Westchester County Excels in Education and Local Institutions
High school and graduate students alike have a wealth of resources available in Westchester’s academic institutions, like Sarah Lawrence College and Pace University, among other notable names.
Purchase College, State University of New York
Want to take a class at Westchester Community College, which offers more than 50 programs leading to Associate or Certificate degrees? Finding the right course, registering and even applying for a scholarship is as close as your keyboard or phone, thanks to MyWCC, the college’s self-service, web-accessible portal.
At any time, students using MyWCC can view course offerings, register for classes, check financial aid status, see transcripts and track their degree progress. Of course, students can take courses online as well, or find evening and weekend classes that fit with their work schedule. That’s an important convenience, since nearly half of the students at Westchester Community College, the largest of 20 higher-education institutions in the county, are older than 25.
For those students pursuing a four year-degree, Purchase College, State University of New York, is one of 13 colleges in the public SUNY system. In addition, Westchester is home to several notable private colleges and universities, ranging from Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers to Pace University in Pleasantville. The New York Medical College in Valhalla is the leading academic biomedical research institution between New York City and Albany. As of June 2012, the total value of sponsored research and other programs under management at the college was more than $34.5 million.
Divided into 48 school districts, Westchester County also has highly regarded primary, secondary and post-secondary schools serving close to 150,000 students. Students are involved in their schools: Of 44 high schools in the county, 19 enjoy student participation in extracurricular activities at a rate of 70 percent or more. The dropout rate is low, and six high schools enjoyed a 100 percent graduation rate.
Of the 44 high schools, 30 boast SAT scores above the national average. U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of high schools recognized Yonkers Middle High School, where 67 percent of the students are classified as economically disadvantaged, as the fourth best in the state and the 24th best in the country in 2012. Three other high schools ranked among the nation’s top 100: Rye High School (72), Horace Greeley High School (79) and Dobbs Ferry High School (83).
• Westchester Community College’s main campus, located on 218 wooded acres in Valhalla, is just 45 minutes north of Manhattan.
• Reel Change is a program run by the Pleasantville-based Jacob Burns Film Center that helps students across the county get ready for reading in the 21st century. More than 11,000 students participated in 2011.