Cheyney University Blog

President's Blog - January 2014 - New Year's Hope

January 08, 2014

As I come to the realization that it is indeed 2014 and another year has buzzed pass us, there are some things I hope will happen in 2014.
 
My first hope is for everyone to really see poor, decent Americans make better lives for themselves and their families through education.  These Americans are not the "beautiful people" that are stylishly portrayed in the media, but they are the citizens who possess "true grit."  They are the unnoticed and unheralded Americans who go through their daily lives unrecognized and unappreciated for the stability they provide America because of their steady belief in the American dream.
 
Moreover, even though I am not recommending any redistribution of wealth, I hope to see more affluent Americans invest in the future of America and strengthen our national well-being. I hope Americans with affluence invest in one or two fewer "toys" and contribute to much needed merit and need-based scholarships for young people with steel in their spines and hope in their eyes.  Further, I hope we see the value in investing generously in our youth -- our collective futures.
 
I also hope that in 2014 we will move closer to closing the achievement gap by realizing that students learn in many different ways, And we will  use the  many options at our disposal  to help students increase both their cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence.  Really, it is hard to believe that with all the technology that students can master that we cannot learn from them how students do actually learn and how they want to learn. Perhaps if students saw their lives at the center of their learning and they could be engaged in solving problems, we, the educators, could possibly change our somewhat parochial instructional design.
 
Oops, I digress. What I really hope happens in 2014 is that we celebrate our successes and learn from our past experiences.
 
As we welcome students back to another semester at Cheyney University, it is my hope that we keep our focus on examining evidence on our professional practices and pledge to continuously improve.

 

Tags: 2014 , blog , Cheyney University , Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital , education , President's Blog

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President's Blog - February 2013 - Helping Others Reach Their Potential

January 25, 2013

Most of us have visited a pre-school or kindergarten and noticed how much fun the children are having playing,  moving around,  laughing, and learning.  Their enthusiasm seems contagious, and some may even marvel at the teacher's ability to direct the students' energy and movement towards the learning and development activities.  But many of us also notice that when we visit students in the sixth or eighth grades, something has changed.  The students seem to have become more sluggish, and there is less laughter and enthusiasm.  These differences seem to become more pronounced as students enter high school.  The noticeable transitions from excited interest toward apathy probably are related, in some part, to hormones and adolescent development, but does it have to be so?  Some of the transitions in students' outward attitude towards school, learning activities, and the acquiring of cognitive skills brings back memories of Jonathan Kozol's observations of his teaching experience that he discussed in "Death at an Early Age."

 
So the question becomes, even as students begin a college education, how do we rekindle that "joy of learning" and guide students towards a life that will have to include continuous learning along with professional, and emotional growth?  Yes, we know this is not easy, unless you get to know the students. At Cheyney University, we work to help students rediscover their natural curiosity towards learning and their confidence.  Small classes, caring faculty, and University College are just some of the strategies we use to help students explore, develop personally, and find their potential contributions to society.
 
The thousands of Cheyney graduates who tell us how we helped them find their way to complete graduate programs and reach fulfilling careers are the evidence that inspire us to continue pressing forward in this mission of restoring that youthful love of learning. 
 
Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D.
President
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 
 

Tags: education , Michelle R. Howard-Vital , president , youth

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If students really understood the impact they can have in this world and just the potential of their human bodies, they would strive as hard as they could to be the best they can be. Life's amazing when you really educate yourself!
Karen Falgore 10:23AM 03/25/13
I think this is a great idea because of opportunities, which events like this are giving. Good job!
Caroline 5:05AM 03/15/13

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