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Highlights of LaGuardia Community College coverage in The New York Times.
Long Island City, NY(May 1, 2017)—A special presentation of the film 'Raisin/Rosedale' - featuring students from the LaGuardia Community College Theater Program and directed by Sandy Chase. The film explores gentrification, discrimination, and poverty, through the lens of the play, 'A Raisin in the Sun.'
The film was shown on Study With the Best, CUNY TV's show about CUNY. This magazine show focuses on the best and brightest professors, alumni, and programs that CUNY has to offer students, delving into a CUNY system that contains over 500,000 students and a wide and divergent alumni reach. The series highlights the rewards of a college education and the excitement of student life around the system's 24 institutions.
Click here to watch.
Long Island City, NY (November 7, 2017)—The Aloft Hotel in Long Island City is featuring the work of two students of the Commercial Photography program at LaGuardia Community College through December 8, 2017.
The Conundrum of Unconscious exhibition showcases the work of Dalina Berceanu and Carlos Santana – who took individual journeys in search of greater personal insights and a deeper understanding of their unique perspective and vision.
“The exhibit features photos of corn husks and water in a way never seen before,” said Javier Larenas, curator of the exhibition.
The students offer a glimpse into their world through their dozen photographs displayed at the local hotel, which gives students the opportunity to showcase their works to the public.
LaGuardia is the only two-year institution in the City University of New York (CUNY) to offer an Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS) degree in Photography. Students in the Commercial Photography program, administered by the Humanities Department, get access to such professional photographic equipment and facilities as our state of the art black & white and color darkroom, shooting studios and digital imaging facility.The gallery will be open to the public until December 8, 2017 and is sponsored by Investors Bank and the Aloft Hotel.
To watch a recent NY1 story about the exhibit, visit: Photography Students Show Off Their Work at a Local Hotel
Program grads hired at Weill Cornell Medicine, CityMD, Columbia University Medical Center, Elmhurst Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and other NYC health institutions Latest Class of Graduates Complete Intense 5-Month Program
Long Island City, NY (October 25, 2017)—A unique program run by LaGuardia Community College and Weill Cornell Medicine, designed to expand the number of well-qualified candidates for open medical billing positions, has graduated its fourth cohort of 23 students.
23 students graduated from the fourth cohort of the Medical Billing Training Program.
Funded by the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (within the New York City Department of Small Business Services), the Medical Billing Training Program is offered tuition-free and attracts more than 1,000 applicants for limited class spots. At last week’s graduation ceremony, CityMD, which operates urgent care walk-in clinics throughout NYC, was welcomed as one of the program’s newest employer-partner.
Brian Graybow, vice president of revenue cycle for CityMD, said, “LaGuardia's medical billing curriculum is comprehensive and their students come with an appreciation and excitement for the role they are pursuing.”
Nearly 80% of program grads from previous classes are now working in New York as medical billers, customer service reps, and other non-clinical entry level positions with starting salaries of $35,000-$45,000.
Kim Kendall with 4th cohort graduate Carolina Santana, now working at Weill Cornell Medicine
As awareness of the medical billing program has grown throughout NYC, the number of employers engaged in the program and recruiting graduates for hire as medical billers has grown. More than 50% of graduates have started at Weill Cornell Medicine, the program’s lead employer-partner. Additional graduates have been hired by CityMD, Columbia University Medical Center, Elmhurst Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and additional NY metro health care facilities.
“The eagerness of NYC’s leading health institutions to join our partnership reflects their seeing that turnover is near zero, that some grads have already been promoted, and that all hires are detail-oriented, astute professionals eager to work every single day. By working together with business and academia, our team has created an intense, demanding training course whose graduates are much better equipped for immediate employment than the typical entry level job seeker who has worked in the field or had some post-secondary education. Plus, thru our course, taught by industry pros and regularly updated, they’ve obtained a deep understanding of the intricacies of the US health insurance system and have a genuine compassion for the patients whose treatment coverage they help facilitate,” said Barry Puritz, co-chair of the Harvard Business School Club of New York Skills Gap Project, which helped initiate the program in 2015 [ click here to read more].
“Patients are always top of mind; as healthcare expands, we must innovate and adapt our billing practices. Posting payments and adjusting claims in a timely manner is important to our physician practices in providing quality services to our patients.” said Mohammed Kabir, 30, who has been working at Weill Cornell Medicine since graduating from LaGuardia last year. “This program has changed my life in every way. Before, I made ends meet driving taxis and doing odd jobs. Now I have a career that I’m proud of and that fascinates me every day. The US medical billing system is so complex. It’s also ignited my interest in education; I’m planning to pursue a degree in computer science at LaGuardia this spring.”
“Programs like this one that enable our college to utilize our pedagogical skills for the benefit of the medical institutions that take care of us and our neighbors, while getting highly-motivated New Yorkers on the path to an economically and professionally rewarding career, is the pinnacle of what we do in continuing education,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “And it’s especially gratifying when the program inspires graduates to take their higher education further.”
Kim Kendall with 4th cohort graduate Larry Amaya, now working at Weill Cornell Medicine
“It’s clear that there is a high demand for our Medical Billing Training Program—from both employers and New Yorkers eager for a challenging career with growth opportunities, and where they can make a real difference to fellow New Yorkers; ensuring that their bills from doctors’ appointments and hospitalizations are processed smoothly and accurately,” said Kim Kendall, Director of the Medical Billing Training Program at LaGuardia. “As well, because our college attracts many non-traditional students, program graduates bring a wide diversity of age, experience, language, and country of origin, to the healthcare institutions that employ them.”
Of students in the fourth cohort, the average age was 34 (range: 21-51); 82% (19 out of 23) were born outside the United States, from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Myanmar, and Nepal.
According to New York Health Careers, the medical billing occupation is expected to see continued growth as state and federal reforms have made health care available to many more people. Additionally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2014 and 2024, the number of jobs for Billing and Posting Clerks will increase by 13% nationwide. The New York State Department of Labor projects that the number of jobs will increase by 20% in New York during the same period.
Based on word of mouth and media coverage of the first three graduations, more than 1,100 people applied for the 24 openings in the fourth cohort, which had a 96% retention rate; 23 of the 24 students who started the program in May 2017 completed the program and graduated.
“The concept has the potential to be replicated for larger impact,” said Mr. Puritz.
To read more about the Medical Billing Training Program at LaGuardia Community College, click on links below:
1. First cohort 2. Second cohort 3. Third cohort
LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit http://www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.
Media Coverage • Crain’s New York Business, “Training program for medical billers branches out”
Monica Morales(Left) with Kameka Marsh(Right)
Watch PIX11 News: Follow-Up Friday: Kameka's FundOctober 27, 2017 — Kameka’s Fund is a new scholarship fund for LaGuardia Community College students who are supporting their families while working towards their college degree.
It honors LaGuardia Community College alum Kameka Marsh, a single mother of three who received a scholarship last year from the LaGuardia Community College Foundation that helped her complete her studies. When she graduated in June 2017, Kameka became the first in her family to earn a college degree. Now she’s getting ready to start pursuing her bachelor’s degree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and plans to become a lawyer. She wants to help struggling single moms like her.
More about Kameka’s Journey
In November 2016, Kameka contacted PIX11 reporter Monica Morales of “Monica Makes It Happen” (helping viewers address challenges they’re facing), for help to finish her studies at LaGuardia.
Kameka had just 18 credits left, and was eager to graduate. But while pregnant with her third child, she’d stopped going to class without withdrawing. Dropping out unexpectedly left her with an outstanding tuition bill, and dropped her GPA to 1.7 (a 2.0 is required to graduate).
Hearing how determined she was to get back on track, Monica reached out to LaGuardia. Foundation staff helped Kameka set-up a payment plan for her tuition bill, helped her secure a scholarship to help her pay for her remaining classes, and encouraged her along the way. Click here to watch a story that aired on PIX11 in November 2016.
Kameka got to work. As she said, “I didn’t want to let down LaGuardia, PIX11 or Monica. I wanted to show them all that they didn’t make a mistake in supporting me.”
While caring for her family, she worked a full-time job, went to school full-time and earned straight A’s for her last 18 credits.
Now, PIX11 is encouraging its viewers to make a contribution to Kameka’s Fund to help students like Kameka make better lives for themselves and their families.
For more information about Kameka’s Fund, or to make a donation, please visit: www.LaGuardia.edu/KamekasFund. Even just $20 could to help single parents like Kameka stay on track towards making a better life for themselves and their children – raising their earnings potential, motivating their children to follow in their footsteps, etc.
“I’ve been through a lot. I’m working hard to motivate my kids so that they don’t have to struggle like I did; I’m going to school full-time and working full-time; it’s hard,” says Kameka. “But it’s worth it. My daughter, who’s in 5th grade, often tells me that she wants to graduate college like I did. And I’m seeing her work harder in school and getting higher grades, and even the behavior of my three kids has improved.”
October 15, 2017—One of the goals of higher education is to propel low-income students into lives of greater economic achievement. A new study measured the success of US colleges in realizing this outcome by tracking first-year students from families with household incomes at the bottom 20%, and then correlating how many of those students reached the top 20% for individual earnings in their 30s. This measure is called student-mobility.
LaGuardia Community College ranked #5 among all US two-year colleges for upward student mobility, e.g., students born into households from the bottom 20% of income distribution, and who are now in the top 20% for individual earners.
LaGuardia is a member of the City University of New York (CUNY) – and many of CUNY’s 24 campuses made a strong showing among colleges with the highest mobility rates. Seven CUNY campuses were in the top 10 for mobility rates among four-year public colleges, and five CUNY campuses were in the top 10 among two-year public colleges.
Read the full article: Colleges With the Highest Student-Mobility Rates
Destina Garcia, a community health worker with Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, on her way to a home visit with a client in the Bronx. Credit Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Destina Garcia, a community health worker at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, recently completed a new Community Health Worker Apprenticeship Program at LaGuardia Community College. The program is a partnership between LaGuardia, NYC Department of Small Business Services through the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, the Training Fund, and the 1199SEIU UHWE Funds.
… “Using apprenticeships, the program trains people to become community health workers… Gail Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College, says programs like Destina Garcia’s apprenticeship create a career ladder for low-income workers by bringing the college, union and employer together.
… Ms. Garcia completed her apprenticeship in June and has continued on with Bronx-Lebanon as a community health worker. She is also a member of 1199 S.E.I.U. and plans to use union-funded tuition assistance to pursue a bachelor’s in social work at the Lehman campus of CUNY…”
Read the full article: Apprentices Need Expert Eye. So Does Trump’s Plan for Them
Long Island City, NY (September 5, 2017)—The Dreamers are our students, our neighbors. The President’s decision to end DACA creates unnecessary insecurity and runs contrary to our history as a nation built by immigrants.
At campuses across the nation, Dreamers rely on DACA to work, to pay for school, to build a better life for themselves and their families.
We want all LaGuardia Community College students to know that we’re dedicated to ensuring a safe, secure, and welcoming learning environment, where their privacy and human rights are protected.
At Immigrant Support our students can obtain up-to-date information and learn where they, and their family members, can get immigration advice and support.
The doors of higher education are and will remain open to all at LaGuardia Community College. We stand ready to help any student pursue their educational and career dreams.
As echoed by the Chancellor’s message, and by college leaders around the country, I strongly urge Congress and the courts to overturn today’s calamitous decision by President Trump. We owe it to our students and our neighbors to protect and retain DACA, which is vital to our country’s values and communities.
Kelsey Wroten - New York Times
“You might think the typical college student lives in a state of bliss, spending each day moving among classes, parties and extracurricular activities. But the reality is that an increasingly small population of undergraduates enjoys that kind of life. Of the country’s nearly 18 million undergraduates, more than 40 percent go to community college, and of those, only 62 percent can afford to go to college full-time. By contrast, a mere 0.4 percent of students in the United States attend one of the Ivies. The typical student is not the one burnishing a fancy résumé with numerous unpaid internships. It’s just the opposite: Over half of all undergraduates live at home to make their degrees more affordable, and a shocking 40 percent of students work at least 30 hours a week. About 25 percent work full-time and go to school full-time.… … At LaGuardia Community College in New York, where I am president, 77 percent of students live in households making less than $25,000 per year.… … Community colleges need increased funding, and students need access to more flexible federal and state financial aid, enhanced paid internships and college work-study programs. Improved access to public supports, like food stamps and reduced public transportation fares, would also make a world of difference.…”
To read the full article visit The New York Times website. Or you can download a PDF of the complete essay.
Long Island City, NY—New Yorker reporter Lauren Collins wrote about high-achieving LaGuardia students who went to Paris this summer. Six engineering & environmental study students were among 17 community college scholars selected from across the US to go to France as a part of a novel program called Community College Abroad in France. The unique program was spearheaded by the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with Community Colleges for International Development and the n+i network (a network of 50 top engineering schools in France).
For many of the students, it was their first time in Europe and first-ever visit to Paris.
The outstanding students had opportunities to observe the city’s initiatives on sustainable development, learned about French culture, and about professional opportunities and engineering studies in France.
Read the full article: Community College in Paris
Long Island City, NY (July 27, 2017)—The article reviews the powerful and numerous benefits of LaGuardia Community College’s new LaGuardia TechHire – Open Code program, which helps young unemployed or underemployed New Yorkers get trained to work in the fast-growing tech industry where average salaries start at more than $60,000 per year.
Funded by a three-year $3.9 million federal grant to LaGuardia from the U.S. Department of Labor, LaGuardia TechHire – Open Code provides free training to New Yorkers between the ages of 17 and 29. Most don’t have a college degree.
It’s written by Michele Valdez, LaGuardia’s director of technology training initiatives in the Division of Continuing Education. Ms. Valdez oversees LaGuardia’s LaGuardia TechHire – Open Code, which recently celebrated the graduation of 18 students from the programs first-ever cohort.
Learn more about LaGuardia TechHire – Open Code.
Employers interesting in getting involved should send an email to email@example.com.