Jul 13, 2024  
Spring 2014 Course Catalog 
Spring 2014 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Profile

About The College


Westchester Community College is more than just the county’s largest educational institution. It is a true community unto itself, reflecting the cultural and economic diversity of the area. It is a living, breathing part of Westchester that goes beyond the influence of a typical college and affects the lives of all who enter its doors. It is a showcase for the best of Westchester.

One of 30 community colleges affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY), this institution has always been about accessibility, but no more so than in the past several years. The college’s extraordinary role in providing quality, affordable education dates back to 1946 when it was founded as the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences and first opened its doors in White Plains. In 1957, the County of Westchester bought the 360-acre John Hartford estate in Valhalla, three miles to the north, and designated 218 acres as the relocation site for what would become the college.

Although the estate contained a conglomeration of buildings, which could be, and were, used for instructional space, it was clear that these facilities would be temporary if the college were to serve its community well. A master plan for construction, drawn in 1961, was followed to complete eight major buildings by 1988: Engineering Technologies (1962), Student Center (1963), Physical Education Building (1964), Classroom Building (1967), Learning Resource Center (1969), Science Building (1978), Academic Arts Building (1981), and Administration Building (1988). The Health Science Building, originally constructed by Yale University during its brief prior use of the Hartford estate, was extensively renovated in 1990. Hartford Hall, the beautiful English Tudor manor house of John Hartford, placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1978, now houses the offices of the President and the Deans of Academic Affairs and Student Development and Support Services, College-Community Relations, and The Foundation for Westchester Community College. Several other former estate buildings are used by the college for maintenance, receiving, engineering functions, and storage. The resulting mix of modern and traditional architecture, together with the rolling terrain and mature trees and plantings including The Native Plant Center demonstration gardens, makes for an unusually beautiful campus.

In the academic year 2008-2009, Westchester Community College enrolled a total of more than 24,000 credit (full-time and part-time) and non-credit students. Credit students selecting a liberal arts emphasis, majoring in humanities, social sciences, or communications and media arts are candidates for the A.A. degree. Students who choose business administration, computer science, mathematics and science, engineering science, or accounting are candidates for the A.S. degree. Those pursuing the technical curricula, such as the various engineering disciplines, the arts, and some business and health science programs, are candidates for the A.A.S. degree. A variety of certificate programs for career training and advancement are also available.

Other programs offer Westchester residents a variety of educational options for lifelong learning. The Professional Development Center provides non-credit courses specifically targeted for career enhancement and advancement, working with corporations and others to individualize course packages for management and other personnel. The Division of Continuing Education offers credit and non-credit courses and special programs to students of all ages, scheduled both on the Valhalla campus and at Extension Centers in numerous Westchester communities. The college has a Life Sciences and Healthcare Center in Ossining, a Computer Arts Center in Peekskill, a Computer Technology Center in Yonkers, and a Business/Entrepreneurship and Culinary Arts Center in Mt. Vernon; all of these Centers also offer English as Second Language and General Education classes.

Additional off-campus programs provide more specialized opportunities. The Westchester Community College Center for the Arts in White Plains, sponsored jointly with the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, offers visual arts and fine crafts classes for all ages and skill levels. The Educational Opportunity Center of Westchester, located in Yonkers and administered by Westchester Community College for the State University, offers tuition-free basic preparatory, academic and vocational training programs for economically and educationally disadvantaged adult students in Westchester.

The college, sponsored locally by the County of Westchester, is governed by a ten-member Board of Trustees. Four are appointed by the Governor, and five are appointed by the County Board of Legislators. One student trustee is elected by the students. The college receives financial support from the students’ home counties of residence (ninety percent are from Westchester County), from the State of New York through the State University system, and from tuition and fees.

Bus transportation to and from the campus is frequent during the academic year. Schedules can be picked up in the Student Affairs Office in the Student Center. Monthly bus passes are sold in the Bookstore.

Visitors are welcome to tour the campus while the college is in session. Guided tours can be arranged by contacting the Office of Admissions in the Administration Building, 914-606-6735.

College Philosophy

Westchester Community College is dedicated to the belief that growth and adaptation through educational experience are possible for individuals and organizations at all stages of development. Our democratic heritage mandates that we provide educational opportunity for all who might benefit. For today’s dynamic and diverse society, the college provides opportunities for enrichment, career changes, upgrading and retraining, in addition to the traditional role of education for first jobs and college transfers. We exist primarily to serve the needs of Westchester County constituencies, from individuals to business to other organizations. Looking upon educational expenditures as an investment rather than merely a cost, the college strives to achieve and maintain excellence.

College Mission

Westchester Community College provides accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning.

Strategic Goals of the College (2008-2013)

Westchester Community College has established the following strategic goals and objectives to guide our mission and vision for the period of 2008-2013. These goals and objectives will be central in determining institutional strategies and commitment.

Student Success
Westchester Community College will provide access to the highest quality, student-centered environment to help students define and achieve their learning objectives and career goals.

Curricula and Programs
Westchester Community College will offer curricula and programs that meet the dynamic educational needs of its diverse service area.

Organizational Excellence
Westchester Community College will demonstrate its commitment to diversity, excellence and continuous improvement so all members of the college community can work collaboratively to achieve organizational excellence.

Westchester Community College will keep pace with changing technologies to improve academic outcomes and to advance administrative tasks to increase efficiency.

Planning and Budgeting
Westchester Community College will align its planning processes and resource allocation.

Development and Marketing
Westchester Community College will seek resources to support college strategic priorities and develop effective and dynamic communication with internal and external constituencies.

The Faculty

Westchester Community College is a community of scholars, many of whom do research and publish in their chosen fields. Most important, however, is the fact that they are among the strongest teaching faculty in the nation. Their instruction has been innovative and creative, as they have devised and learned the best ways to help the student body.

When Westchester Community College students are surveyed regularly about the college, the faculty receives their strongest praise. Mentioned most frequently are the faculty’s strong teaching skills, their accessibility, the individual attention they give, and the guidance they provide for life after the college, for both careers and further education.

Student Success Rate

Under the guidelines set forth by the federal Student Right to Know Act, the graduation rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in the Fall 2005 at Westchester Community College is 10.8%.

The success rate for students recognizes that many students come to the community college with the intent of transferring before degree completion or may take longer to graduate. With these factors in mind, the success rate for the fall 2005 cohort is 54.2%.

2005 First-Time Full-Time Students*

  Number Percentage
Total Number of Students in Cohort 1,588 100.0%
Graduated Within Three (3) Years 171 10.8% **
Transferred to senior college without graduating 367** 23.1%
  SUNY 99 6.2%
  CUNY; Private; Out-of-State-Public 268 16.9%
Total Graduated or Transferred 538 33.9%
Persisters 320 20.2%
Total Success Story in 2005 Cohort 861  54.2%

* All students in this cohort are strictly defined by the Student Right to Know Act. They include those who were: (1) first-time students in Fall 2005; (2) attended full-time (12 credits or more); (3) were enrolled in an associate degree program in Fall 2005; and (4) graduated or transferred to a four-year college within three years (Fall 2008). Not included are students who transferred-in to WCC in Fall 2005, non-matriculated students, students transferring to two-year institutions, and students receiving a certificate.

** Figures taken from the SUNY Central Administration’s Report: Disclosure of Completion, Persistence, and Transfer Rates for Full-time, First-Time Associate Level Students Entering in Fall 2005, March, 2008.

Transfer figures to non-SUNY colleges obtained by SUNY Administration from the National Clearing House


Westchester Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for accrediting activities in the Middle States region, which includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Documentation describing the institution’s accredited status is kept on file in the President’s Office. Anyone wishing to review this documentation may request to do so through the President’s Office. The college is authorized by the University of the State of New York (the Board of Regents) to award two-year Associate Degrees in Arts, Science, and Applied Science, as well as a number of one-year certificates in various program areas.

Continuing Education


The Division of Continuing Education, one of the largest in the entire SUNY system, works with all divisions and departments of the college to provide non-traditional programs for the community through varied delivery systems. Educational opportunities are available seven days a week, at various sites around the County.

The variety of programs offered through Continuing Education is as diverse as the community we serve. Programs include:

Mainstream the Institute for Mature Adults

Mainstream brings innovative educational programming and career change options to mature adults. Responding to a broad range of mature adult learning needs, Mainstream develops and presents challenging courses, workshops, conferences, and special events on the Valhalla campus and at community locations.

Course topics include job readiness, enrichment, and personal growth. These low-cost, non-credit courses are taught by Westchester Community College faculty and are tailored in content and length to meet different instructional needs. Mainstream is affiliated with the Elderhostel Network through its Collegium for Lifelong Learning Program.

Mainstream also links mature adults to all Westchester Community College credit, non-credit, and course audit options.

For more information, please call 914-606-6793.

Professional Development Center

Since 1984, the Professional Development Center at Westchester Community College has helped area businesses meet their business goals and achieve a competitive edge by providing cost-effective, customized training for their employees. Training through PDC is designed to help improve productivity, increase profitability, and sharpen problem-solving and people skills among the employees of Westchester-based companies. Workshops, seminars, and degree programs may take place at a company’s headquarters or on-campus at the college. PDC trainers and workshop facilitators are experienced professionals who specialize in on-the-job training. We train new employees or upgrade the skills of current staff members. The Professional Development Center also offers non-credit workshops for individuals on the main campus and at our extension sites. Topics include a broad range of computer applications as well as business skills and entrepreneurship. The PDC also offers Professional Development Services, in which a qualified training professional will come to an organization’s location and manage its training program.

For more information, please call 914-606-6669.

Community Services

Community Services offers a wide variety of non-credit personal enrichment and professional development classes for the community. Courses range from foreign languages to notary public workshops and insurance pre-licensing for property and casualty as well as life, accident and health; fiber optics, home inspection and personal fitness training; from writing, literature history, wine appreciation and cooking programs to real estate sales, broker and appraiser licensing and continuing education courses; from yoga, scuba diving and self-defense to historic and culinary tours of Westchester County.

Responding to the changing needs of community residents, we develop and offer classes designed to help prepare participants for a new career, advance or maintain credentialing in a current career, or simply expand and enjoy leisure time. Classes are offered both at our main campus in Valhalla and at our new Lifelong Learning program location in Mahopac (call 914-606-6839 for Mahopac information).

For more information, please call 914-606-6830 and choose option 1, visit us online at www.sunywcc.edu/ce,   or email us at communityservices@sunywcc.edu.

English as a Second Language

The English Language Institute currently serves nearly 4,000 English learners per year from over 100 countries and more than 50 language backgrounds. The instruction is geared to a variety of needs ranging from academic to professional, job-related to personal. Once prepared linguistically for college study, many of our students transition into a degree or certificate program.

Courses helping learners build English proficiency in all language skills at eight levels are offered on several schedules: the five-day Intensive English Program (IEP) meets mornings or afternoons. The Semi-Intensive, six-hour-per-week program can be taken over two evenings or mornings or as an all-day Saturday or Sunday course. Semi-intensive courses are also available at eight extension locations: Mt. Kisco, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Port Chester, White Plains, and Yonkers. In addition, there are specialized courses offered each term in English for Academic Purposes, Business English, Computer Skills, Pronunciation, TOEFL Preparation, and writing. The English Language Institute (or ELI) upon request, also provides customized language courses and services for clients in community-based organizations, business and industry.

For information about The English Language Institute, visit us in person in the Gateway Center, Room 243 or at www.sunywcc.edu/esl, or by phone at 914-606-6656, or at ESL@sunywcc.edu.

Extension Centers

The college offers credit courses at several extension sites in Westchester County. Classes are also offered at other convenient locations in New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, Yonkers, Port Chester, Ossining, Shrub Oak, Mahopac, and Peekskill. Courses include college core requirements and general education courses and may be used to satisfy degree requirements at the college or used to transfer to another college. Both full and part-time faculty members teach at the extension sites. For more information about the Mahopac, Shrub Oak, New Rochelle, Port Chester, and Yonkers-Roosevelt High School extension sites, please call 914-606-6832.

The Mount Vernon Extension Center, located at 175 Gramatan Avenue, offers day, evening, and Saturday classes in their 16,000 square foot facility. Its areas of specialty include Business and Entrepreneurship and Culinary Arts. A wireless business lab, complete with laptops for each student, as well as a fully equipped culinary arts teaching kitchen, adds to the learning experience. Credit classes are offered in these areas as well as general liberal arts courses. The Center houses the only off campus Academic Support Center, open on Saturdays and available to all college students. Non-credit programs include English as a Second Language, and classes for personal enrichment in computing, cooking, and other areas of community interest. A Jr. Chef Academy is also offered for budding chefs ages 10-13, as well as other youth programming.

For more information about the Mount Vernon Extension Center, email mountvernon@sunywcc.edu or call 914-606-7200.

The Ossining Extension Center, located at 22 Rockledge Avenue in the Arcadian Shopping Center, focuses on science and health and provides day, evening, and Saturday general education and laboratory-based biology classes. The Center also offers non-credit certificate classes and workshops in healthcare including but not limited to Certified Nurse Assistant, Surgical Technology and Phlebotomy. In addition to healthcare, the center offers professional development classes for CEU’s and general interest classes for various professions including but not limited to, funeral directors, and teachers. Furthermore, the Ossining Extension Center offers evening and Saturday classes in English as a Second Language, computer classes for mature adults and a variety of computer skills classes. Finally, the Center offers the summer Science Academy for kids and teens.

For more information about the Ossining Center, please email Ossining@sunywcc.edu or call 914-606-7400.

The Center for the Digital Arts, Peekskill Extension Center, located at 27 North Division Street, provides credit and non-credit courses in digital arts, graphics, interactive multimedia, digital filmmaking, and animation. The Center for the Digital Arts at Peekskill hosts five post-production studios including two digital video editing studios, a 3D animation studio, and a PC lab. Additional non-credit classes include Quick Start software training courses, Community Studio Arts, and Digital Arts offerings for pre-college (7-17 years of age).

In addition, this Center offers day and evening general education classes and English as a Second Language. Students taking courses at the Peekskill Extension Center may take advantage of onsite student services such as registration, academic advisement, placement testing, financial aid workshops, and academic tutoring.

The Center offers a 20,000 square foot facility with high-end digital arts labs, smart classrooms for general education, a large smart lecture hall, and a storefront gallery.  In addition to course offerings the Center hosts professional arts exhibitions and public lectures on a myriad of topics within the digital arts.  The Center offers lab access during all hours of operation for students to do independent work.  Founded in 1994 in the downtown artist-district in the City of Peekskill, this Center is a part of the lifeblood of arts and education serving the Northern Westchester and Putnam county communities.

For more information about the Peekskill Extension Center - please email Peekskill@sunywcc.edu, visit www.sunywcc.edu/peekskill, or call 914-606-7300.

The Yonkers Cross County Extension Center, located in the Cross County Shopping Center, provides early morning, day, evening, and Saturday classes. The Center offers a broad selection of general education courses leading to the college’s many Associates Degree and Certificate programs. The Center also offers Microsoft Office and other computer training to enhance personal skills and professional development, as well as English as a Second Language classes. In addition, the Yonkers Center provides a variety of student services including tutoring, financial aid workshops, academic advisement, admissions, registration, and bursar functions.


For more information about the Yonkers Cross County Center, please email CrossCounty@sunywcc.edu, or call 914-606-7100.

Westchester Community College Center for the Arts

The Westchester Community College Center for the Arts (formally the Westchester Art Workshop) in White Plains is centrally located at the Westchester County Center. With a long-standing commitment to excellence and safety, the Center for the Arts offers a wide variety of courses the visual arts, computer arts, design, and fine crafts. These courses serve matriculated students working toward a certificate or Associate Degree, as well as the community’s needs for enrichment.

Since its founding in 1926, Center for the Arts has provided the Westchester community the opportunity to explore and expand its creativity and gain an education in the visual arts. From the most traditional methods to the most cutting-edge technology, The CFA is dedicated to providing education in the arts and crafts, supporting the notion that the arts and creativity are fundamental to life. From its unique setting in central Westchester, this intensely used art school attracts students from all over the county and its surrounding areas.

The warm and friendly environment makes the facility conducive to creativity and artistic endeavors. The Macintosh G5 computer labs offer publication design and photo imaging supported by popular software for artists and career professionals. The Center for the Arts offers fully equipped studios for Black and White Photography, Color Photography, Digital Arts, Ceramics, Jewelry/Metalworking, Sculpture, Painting and Drawing. Specialized technicians help facilitate the efficient operation of this wide range of technologies. The school is also accessible to the handicapped.

Registration and most other administrative services are offered on site, along with a store that carries art supplies for most classes. For more information about the Westchester Art Workshop, please call 914-606-7500 or send email to WAW@sunywcc.edu.

Distance Learning


Distance Learning widens students’ access to education, increases students’ control over the time, place, and method of study and allows students more flexibility in scheduling that best suits their individual learning needs and styles. At Westchester Community College, we offer two ways to become involved in this type of learning.

Online courses are taught via the Internet and follow the same schedule as do Fall and Spring on-campus courses. Summer courses vary slightly from the on-campus schedule. Students have access to their course 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are not required to log on at a specific time but must submit work and complete all activities in a timely manner according to the schedule set up by the instructor. Online course activities typically include reading assignments, written assignments, group projects, class discussions, and taking exams. Some online courses may require students to take tests on campus or at an approved site. Two degrees and one certificate can be taken online.

Video-based courses provide college credit through the use of video, textbooks, and study guides, in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Students have an on-campus orientation where they receive all the information they need to succeed in the course. This approach allows students who need a more flexible schedule than the traditional classroom to fulfill their educational needs.

We are expanding the distance learning courses offered each semester. Courses, descriptions, computer requirements, special requirements, and registration information can be found at www.sunywcc.edu/dl.

For more information, please call the Distance Learning Office at 914-606-6827 or email us at distance.learning@sunywcc.edu.

Westchester Community College Foundation


The Westchester Community College Foundation was established in 1969 to meet college and student needs not met by public funds. As part of its mission, the Foundation’s primary objective is to provide scholarships for incoming, continuing, and graduating students. Additional objectives include funding new initiatives and projects, faculty development, and other programs that enrich campus life and assist the college to fulfill its mandate to provide attainable, affordable, and quality education.

In addition to seeking private funding to support the efforts of the college, the Foundation is the sponsor of Westchester Community College’s Alumni Committee, Volunteer Corps, and The Native Plant Center.

Governed by a 55-member independent Board of Directors made up of community leaders who represent the social and economic make-up of Westchester County, the Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation. The efforts of the Foundation are made possible through the continuing support of alumni, community individuals, local businesses, corporations, and foundations who are committed to advancing the mission of Westchester Community College.

For more information about the Foundation, including ways to join in its work for the college, contact or visit the Foundation Office in Hartford Hall, Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595 or telephone 914-606-6670.

Westchester Community College Alumni Committee

The Westchester Community College Foundation was established in 1969 to meet college and student needs not met by public funds. As part of its mission, the Foundation’s primary objective is to provide scholarships for incoming, continuing, and graduating students. Additional objectives include funding new initiatives and projects, faculty development, and other programs that enrich campus life and assist the college to fulfill its mandate to provide attainable, affordable, and quality education.

In addition to seeking private funding to support the efforts of the college, the Foundation is the sponsor of Westchester Community College’s Alumni Committee, Volunteer Corps, and The Native Plant Center.

Governed by a 55-member independent Board of Directors made up of community leaders who represent the social and economic make-up of Westchester County, the Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation. The efforts of the Foundation are made possible through the continuing support of individuals, local businesses, corporations, and foundations who are committed to advancing the mission of Westchester Community College.

For more information about the Foundation, including ways to join in its work for the college, contact or visit the Foundation Office in Hartford Hall, Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595 or telephone 914-606-6670.