Miranda Smalls has seen Vaughn College develop, as a neighbor and an education professional.
"I remember when Vaughn was just starting off," the East Elmhurst resident and guidance counselor at Humanities and Arts Magnet High School in Jamaica said. "I've seen the development of the school. I remember when it had the associate degree, then it added the bachelor's, and now a master's program. When are you going to add a doctorate program?"
Smalls was impressed by Vaughn College, and she was not alone on Wednesday (March 21). In fact, she was joined by more than 46 fellow counselors from more than 25 schools at Vaughn's annual guidance counselor open house. Beginning with lunch and including a presentation of degree programs and college life, the program extended beyond three hours and offered the visitors a chance to experience Vaughn as a student would.
Most came away impressed.
"You come to events like this to discover what new programs are being offered, what changes have been made to admissions requirements, what scholarship opportunities are available," said Svetlana Hamlet, a counselor from George Washington Carver High School in Springfield Gardens. "What I learned was that Vaughn is among the least expensive private colleges."
The counselor open house has grown in popularity each year since its inception in 2008. Wednesday's attendance was an improvement over the 43 counselors who attended in 2011; 40 attended in 2010.
Not all the counselors were from area high schools. In fact, Patty Munsch and Donna DellaRocca represented Suffolk County Community College and were eager to learn about transfer opportunities. Munsch was impressed with the ease of the transfer process into Vaughn.
"That seamless transition is so important to my students," she said. "They always want to know what programs are available, what credits can transfer, and how to take care of all that. I am glad we were able to find out."
VAUGHN COLLEGE GUIDANCE COUNSELOR OPEN HOUSE: Above, Director of Admissions Celso Alvarez meets Soraya DiGiorgio of Aviation High School. Below, admissions counselor Byron Gittens, center, entertains visiting counselors.