Part I Overview of the Institution
- Institutional Narrative
A. Introduction The College of Mount Saint Vincent is proud of its history and accomplishments in giving preference to second generation Latino and other immigrant parents in college admission. Our tradition represents over 136 years of helping non-traditional student population to be accepted to college and to provide a positive supportative experience. The College of Mount Saint Vincent was founded in Manhattan as a women’s academy by the Sisters of Charity of New York in 1847. Relocate to the Bronx in 1859, Mount Saint Vincent was chartered as a liberal arts college in 1910, and moved to a site overlooking the Hudson River in a beautifully wooden area of the northwest corner of the Bronx. The College of Mount Saint Vincent has been an independent institution since 1968 and co-educational since 1974. It offers associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees to its current population of 933 graduate and undergraduate students’ full time and part-time students. Though the College is governed by a lay Board of 30 Trustees, the Sisters of Charity remain a valued presence and a financial contributor. In 2001, The College of Mount Saint Vincent named its second Lay President Dr. Charles Flynn. Under Dr. Flynn’s guidance the College of Mount Saint Vincent has embarked on a capital fund raising campaign to fund an extension to the Maryvale building for Communication and Fine Arts departments with smart classrooms financed by a Title V Grant 200-2005. In addition to the new building, a newly renovated Technology Center is planned for the basement area of the library as part of the Capital campaign. The renovation of the attic was recently completed to allow for additional revenue by renting the new space to community organizations.
B. Mission Statement
As recent as this past December 2002, the board of trustees for the college approved a final draft of the college mission statement and Vision Statement. This mission statement and Vision Statement was approved by all the members of the College community, faculty and administrators and staff as of January 2003. Vision Statement In looking to the future, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is guided by its spirit, history, values and traditions which are reflected in the following directional statements:
• The College of Mount Saint Vincent will nurture and sustain its community of learners and scholars characterized by the value of civility that flows from respect for the dignity of each person; the intellectual tradition of the liberal arts; spiritual development and the spirit of the Sisters of Charity.
• The College of Mount Saint Vincent will seek a student population that reflects and celebrates unity within diversity, and is capable of achieving personal and academic success.
• The College of Mount Saint Vincent will act from the perspective of stewardship in the care of its campus and surrounding grounds.
• The College of Mount Saint Vincent will invite and encourage leadership that is responsible and enabling.
Mission and Goals The College of Mount Saint Vincent provides to qualified, motivated students an excellent values-orientated education rooted in the Catholic heritage and in the liberal arts tradition. The College requires of its students a common core of learning experiences as well as specialization in a major field that will permit them to attain their academic, career and personal goals. Recognizing the ability and dignity of each person, the College teaches students to think critically, to develop self-respect and self-discipline, and to make informed choices which will affect their own lives and the world in which they live. Students who graduate from the College are prepared for a variety of careers and professions, and for responsible leadership in their field. To achieve these ends, the College attempts to:
• Offer an integrated liberal arts program;
• Afford an educational environment of open inquiry into truth;
• Encourage students to think critically and constructively so that they constantly strengthen their abilities to identify academic and personal problems, and to make judgments on problems of professional development;
• Develop self-confident, informed, concerned individuals who possess convictions of self-worth and purpose, and respect for humanity;
• Provide a climate of appreciation for religious and spiritual values where students may form strong and enduring value systems based on integrity and respect for the rights of others;
• Foster respect for the views of others through opportunities to investigate various systems and cultures;
• Alert students to needs in the community and in the world as large and to promote a spirit of service;
• Infuse students with a sense of responsibility for their world, and a practical urgency to be an influence for good.
Together, the Vision, Mission, and goals guide the planning and development of the college, its programs and services. Both documents reflect the College’s emphasis on the importance of teaching and learning and the desire to provide quality educational programs and services.
Primary Service Population
The College enrolls most of its students from the Bronx, a borough of NYC; Manhattan borough, also a borough of NYC; and Yonkers a city on the border of our property in Westchester counts. Students from the Bronx enrollment________, from Manhattan, from Queens, __from Westchester (primarily Yonkers). A total of of our students come from one of the 5 boroughs of NYC. The largest group comes from the
Bronx both in 1998 and again in 2003.
The demographics of the surrounding area have a direct relationship to student ethnicity, unemployment, family income and high school graduation rate of our students. .Many of Yonkers students come to the College because we are in the neighborhood and accessible by public transportation. Yonkers is right on the border of the College campus has 5 high schools with the highest percentage of students Hispanic and black in all of Westchester county, New York. The Table 4 below indicates the Yonkers High School Enrolment for the school year 2000-2001. The Hispanic population is the highest with 39.7, 39.6, 44.0, 29.2 and 17.7 in the Trade high school. Black students are also in the 30 percent level except the Trade school and together with the Hispanic student population comprise 60% or more of each school’s student body..
School Grades Students %white %black %hisp. %asian %indian Tot B/H
Groton 9-12 1595 21.5 31.0 39.7 7.6 .02 70.70
Lincoln 9-12 1336 17.5 39.0 39.6 3.7 .02 78.60
Roosev 9-12 1649 16.1 35.1 44.0 4.8 .02 79.10
Yonkers Mts 9-12 1564 27.6 29.2 29.2 7.0 .01 58.40
Trade 9-12 1465 34.3 17.7 17.7 5.7 .00 35.40
(Source Nat. Center of Ed. Statistics 2000-20001 )
The largest population comes from the Bronx which according to the Census 2000 is the only county in the northeast quarter of the US (north of the Ohio River; East of the Great Plains) where more than 40% of children live in families below poverty.
It is the only county in the same area where more than 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. Congressional District 16 (entirely in the Bronx, covering most of the South Bronx) had the highest poverty rate in the US (40.2%; the next highest rate was 32.4%). Congressional District 16 also had the highest proportion of children living below poverty (50.1%; the next highest was 42.2%, and the lowest median household income. See Figure 5 below comparing the Bronx with the rest of the US as being the highest county in the US with Single female head of household below the poverty level as being a most glaring sign of need.
Table 5 –Families with single Female Head of households for the entire US from the 2000 Census. Note the Bronx is one of the highest in the entire country.
In the Table 6 below the Hispanic population in the Bronx is indicated from the Federal Census of 2000. The area in dark green indicates 50-100 percent and it is the area that is two neighborhoods away from the College of Mount Saint Vincent campus. The majority of all the Hispanic population lives in this northeastern section of the Bronx bordering with Westchester and going down almost halfway into the Bronx. A majority of these students apply to and are accepted at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The College is conscious of its obligation to server the local community and this service has seen an increase of Hispanic students since 1998 of 11% up from 25% to 36 percent in year 2003. The two neighborhoods adjacent to the college reflect a 10-25% Hispanic population whereas in 1998 these neighborhoods had less than 10 % Hispanics or Latinos living there. The trend is that the surrounding neighborhood is changing over the past decade and will continue to change as poverty values devalue and more affordable high rise apartments become available on the real estate market in the affluent Riverdale area.
(Table 6- The Bronx: Latinos as percentage of Total Population)
The ethnic census of the Bronx show one of the highest percentages of Hispanics in New York State. There are more Hispanics located in the Bronx than any of the other four boroughs of New York. The ethnic concentration has been mostly Puerto Rican and Cuban with a smaller percentage of Central American Latinos. Mexican Hispanics do not have a significant representation as in California and Texas, giving the New York Hispanics a little different ethnic composition and the third highest rate of Hispanics in the US.
(Table 7 Racial-Ethnic Concentration of Bronx Blocks)
The heaviest population of Hispanics is just to the south-east corner of Riverdale where the College is located. In addition to the highest Hispanic and minority population for any other county, the Bronx and Yonkers demonstrate a high level of families below poverty levels. The major red and pink zones show that the Hispanics populate the major portion of the Bronx. The College of Mount Saint Vincent is in the upper most Northeast corner of the Bronx, right on the Yonkers-Westchester county border. The little white box in the upper left corner in the Blue Riverdale area of the Bronx.
The Census 2000 Chart below demonstrates a comparison of the five boroughs of New York City as to the poverty levels. The Bronx leads and has continued to demonstrate a higher level of poverty among all of the five boroughs of New York City. With 54% of the total population below Poverty level, and the kids under 18 at 40% below poverty level and the Female headed families at 30% below poverty all paints a sad scenario. The College does everything in its power to give financial aid to these students living in below level poverty. Almost 88% of the entire student population at the College are on some form of financial assistance including work study, TAP, PEL grant and other scholarships available for Hispanics and other minority groups
(Table 9- Poverty Levels by NYC Boroughs from Census 2000)
The Bronx leads all five New York City boroughs in the total level of families below the poverty level at 52 %. This compares to the Unites States as one of the most concentrated pockets of poverty in New York State as well as other states. The infamous South Bronx area which numerous Presidents have come to see but give little Federal aid looks like the aftermath of an atomic blast. Empty buildings with windows knocked out and graffiti everywhere dot the horizon. All of the commercial building are closed up and abandoned and gangs rule the area. Only the poorest Hispanics and minorities live in or near this area because of cheap rent in depilated buildings
(Table 10- Families below Poverty by County, The Bronx is in the insert in RED, from the 2000 Census)
The families that live in the Bronx live in the one county that compares with all other counties in the US as having the highest rate per capita of poverty.
“Most Bronx children now live in single-parent homes, and almost half of those under four are below the poverty line – many in immigrant families that are new to the Bronx. For the population as a whole, the poverty rate has risen slightly to 30%, while for senior citizens, it has fallen slightly, to just under 20%.
Education levels are also continuing to rise as more of the borough’s population graduates from high school and then completes college. But while two-thirds of the borough’s adults now have at least a high school education, a good indication of a growing skilled labor force, the number of those employed continued to fall throughout the decade.(Bosworth, “First glimpse at Bronx Census Data,” 2002). The children in the Bronx suffer not only from poverty and overcrowded housing, but they also are being brought up by one parent. The chart below shows clearly how from 1960 to 2000 the children under 18 population have dropped drastically from a high of 350,000 in 1960 for two parent families to less than 150,000 two parent families in 2000. The single parent homes have been on a steady increase since 1960, to slightly less than 200,000 in year 2000.
(Table 11- Bronx Kids (under 18) Family Structure –one parent families vs two parent families)
To sum it all up the College of Mount Saint Vincent who was originally an academy run for poor children since 1847 has survived over one hundred and fifty years serving second generation children, below poverty level children, Hispanics and other minorities as a part of it’s tradition. The Sisters of Charity who originally foundedthe academy and who own half of the land where the college is now located has supported this tradition of helping the poor. Supporting the poor and underprivileged students of the Bronx and Yonkers (Westchester) is not without difficulty, however. The college had to merge with Manhattan College in an agreement to allow students from both colleges to cross-enroll for classes at either college in the 1960’s in order to survive.
In the early 1990’s the College of Mount Saint Vincent began to experience difficulties in meeting the new technical revolution of computers and computer driven devices. The faculty was dedicated to teaching but behind in modern methods of teaching using technology such as computers, LCD projectors, internet access and databases.
It was not until Oct. 1, 2000 when the College received a Title V HIS grant for Institutional Improvement did technology instruction for faculty really take hold with individual instruction for 15 professors each year and the installation of 5 smart classrooms each year for a period of five years.
Just recently in the spring of 2003 the Banner corporation began a complete administrative software upgrade both for the College of Mount Saint Vincent and Manhattan College, it’s sister school. This 1.3 million dollar data conversion would take 2-3 years to install. Manhattan College who has 5,000 students would agree to pay 60% of the payments for Banner, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent would pay 40% for this process over three years. The College of Mount Saint Vincent was able to fund their payments through their Title V HIS grant which made the whole process affordable and possible. When the complete database system for both colleges is completed, both colleges will be better able to cross-register and handle student financial aid, college financial services, admissions, Bursar, student services and graduate development offices.