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Mercy College In Dobbs Ferry Hosts Education Forum On Student Success

Moderator Paul Tough, Martha Kanter, Cynthia Rivera Weissblum, and David Laude took part in the forum.
Moderator Paul Tough, Martha Kanter, Cynthia Rivera Weissblum, and David Laude took part in the forum. Photo Credit: Pamela Stern
Moderator Paul Tough with Martha Kanter who was participating in the discussion.
Moderator Paul Tough with Martha Kanter who was participating in the discussion. Photo Credit: Pamela Stern
Mercy College held a forum on student success.
Mercy College held a forum on student success. Photo Credit: Pamela Stern

RIVERTOWNS, N.Y. — Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry hosted a National Thought Leaders' Forum on Student Success on Monday that was moderated by Paul Tough, a New York Times Magazine contributor and best selling author.

The panelists for the discussion were Martha Kanter, former under secretary of the U,S. Department of Education and a visiting professor at New York University; Cynthia Rivera Weissblum, Edwin Gould Foundation president and David Laude, senior vice president, University of Texas at Austin. These panelists answered questions from Tough and from the audience. There were 180 people in attendance and there were 100 people who were viewing on-line.

One of the audience members asked if the panelists have seen any increase or decrease in student success in blended and online learning. Laude said,"Absoutely! At UT Austin, we find that our courses typically that have 30-50 percent non passing rate in courses like calculus, statistics, chemistry and biology, the non passing rates were cut in half, within the first year of conversion. The reason was either because there is more material available to them now or that there is faculty available to them 24 hours." It's about the students supporting the students.

During the second part of the forum, Edie Magnus was the moderator for the Bridging the Skills Gap: Higher  Education's Moment and Opportunity discussion. For this discussion the panelists were Dan Black, Ernst & Young American director of recruiting; and National Association of Colleges and Employers recent past president; John Thompson, Best Buy, Inc former vice president and general manager and Mercy College trustee; and Dennis Di Lorenzo, dean of NYU School of Professional Studies.

Toni Pellegrino, a freshman who came to Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry from Brick, N.J., to study in the vet med program was very excited about this forum.

"I think this is amazing, it's as if they were talking about me.  I am  first generation in my family to attend college and I come from a low income family," said Pellegrino, who  volunteered to help out with the forum.

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