Nyack College

About Nyack College

Nyack College, through its undergraduate, graduate and seminary programs, pursues its historic mission of preparing men and women to ”take the whole Gospel to the whole world.”

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Thornton ’07, Pastoral Ministry

Thornton family nyack alumniA 2007 graduate from Nyack College, Justin Thornton knew that by studying pastoral ministry he wanted to plant churches.  He knew he wanted to be a pastor and he knew that “youth ministry was the first option [he had] to learn how to love people.”

Currently, he resides in Michigan with his wife and family.  There, he is the lead pastor at Jericho Road Church as well as the Church Planting Coach for the Great Lakes District.  Holding two distinct positions may seem like a huge feat but Justin stated that though the time seems split “it all flows together.”

Over the phone, we asked about his life’s work and his past experiences at Nyack College. 

nyack alumni working in ministry

What core program are you working on right now?

The Multiplication Center.

As an option for pastoral ministry students, this church planting program functions as an internship experience where participants can have a chance to lead, preach, train, and teach with peers inside a community.  After the internship’s completion, they are prepared to plant within Michigan or to set out on their own.  As he stated, “the culture of multiplication” is a new concept and almost like an incubator experience.  Outside of an associate’s position at a church or within youth ministry, new college graduates may find their career options limited.  But Justin invites undergrad students into the internship program where they can receive leadership development and expand on their true potential.

In the past he has welcomed Nyack College students to the Multiplication Center and he continues to encourage our community to experience the incubator for themselves.

What Advice would you Give Current Nyack Students?

CTA button for Blog UGDon’t stress the small stuff.  Just enjoy the community.

Justin explained that at Nyack College, he was “surrounded by—for the first time—young men and women who loved Jesus and were relatable.”  He found true brothers in Christ.  They didn’t want the college keg parties or the senseless waste of undergrad time. Instead, he and his friends enjoyed depth of true friendship and observation of God in their lives.  They “kicked it” like any other college kids and had fun but at Nyack there was something more meaningful brewing.  Pointedly, he remarked, “I don’t think I’d get that at many other places.”

He added that students should take advantage of the leadership opportunities on campus.  Good leaders lead from a young age and in college, Justin served as a resident assistant, the captain of the soccer team and as a chaplain.  These experiences honed his leadership potential and paved a path to where he is in life now.  They should also just enjoy.  Enjoy travel, enjoy worship, enjoy life now because everything just speeds up after graduation.  “Let the word of God pour into you everyday.”


youth ministry post nyackMore on his Work at Jericho Road Church

Justin Thornton’s community at Jericho Road Church is all about outreach and radical love.  Their “missional communities” are small groups that build intentional relationships with neighbors and beyond.  Their goal is to become disciples and make disciples.  By studying the bible, laughing, praying and serving together, these groups serve the greater good.

On every twelfth Sunday, church services are observed differently.  Instead of going to church, Justin’s community goes out to “be the church.”  Partnering with a neighborhood, they share meals, construct “garden socks” and pray.  At the core of these church days, they believe that “we don’t have all the answers but we do have love and we do have a Savior.  These are things worth sharing, not just talking about.”

Thank you to Justin for sharing his alumni story with our Nyack College community!




Why College Students Should Get onto LinkedIn NOW

The school year for many college students may not have started, but there is no better time to think of graduation and job hunting.  Back in the day, young grads could send out a legion of resumes to corporations around the country, confident that the fine-quality paper and title of baccalaureate was enough to clinch an offer letter.

Times change.

Instagram and Snapchat have ensured that young people are online, chatting with their peers and sharing their life stories.  But few of these millenials engage on the one online social site that could change their lives: LinkedIn.

nyack collegeWhy is LinkedIn Important?

Business used to be about boardrooms and black-tie cocktail parties.  But with the age of digital social networking, these conversations and introductions can happen online.  Your friend’s uncle (whom you’ve known since kindergarten) may be just the person to introduce you to an internship opportunity.  Or a colleague of a colleague may be leaving a position—that you would be perfect to fill.

News travels fast on LinkedIn.  People share industry-standard articles.  Relatives post about their professional lives and alumni from your college update their profiles often.

How to get started on LinkedIn?

First, get your resume online and use a great title or tagline for your profile.  Instead of saying “student”, you should type in your area of study such as “Digital Marketing, student”.   Keep it updated and write out your experiences.  Don’t just bullet point your life.  Show recruiters how you are special and how you’ve done great things.


  1. Join groups that relate to your field of interest.
  2. Follow companies that are the industry leaders within this field of interest
  3. Follow the individual decision makers within this field.  You’re not going to spam anybody.  Instead, you’ll comment on their articles and begin to engage in meaningful conversation.  In an interview, if you can quote or refer to a recent article of the CEO of XYZ, that makes your application memorable.
  4. Get recommendations from your past jobs.  Email links to your boss or supervisor and ask for a quick review of your work.  The blurb becomes attached to your profile so recruiters can find you.
  5. Find your personal friends and build your network.  Invite people to join your network.  Tweet and post on Facebook that you’re on LinkedIn.
  6. Use the Jobs feature to research keywords to use in your resume and openings in your area

A New Look Into Evangelism

A personal essay by Daniel Ortiz, Admissions Counselor

When I was told that part of the International Leadership Summit would be street evangelism and outreach, I immediately felt a knot in the pit of my stomach. It was the first week of a terribly harsh Winter season. I was ecstatic to see an email from the Christian organization, Envision, who was hosting the International Leadership Summit in Paris. My mentor, Dr. Martin Sanders, told me about this summit and how beneficial it would be for me as I am looking for my next steps into ministry and seeking to refine my skills and talents for kingdom change. I was very excited to see this email, until I saw the dreaded words, “street evangelism.” Just the thought of stopping people from their rhythms of life to tell them how lost they are, how they need to do what I say and read a tract made me extremely anxious, but what could I do? I was already committed to this trip and I agreed to participate in all activities “being open minded”. Little did I know, my conception of sharing the gospel was about to be restored

I grew up in an era of evangelism filled with rambunctious claims of the second coming of Christ, the fiery judgment that is soon to come and illustrious tracks that would give a visual aid to all the hollering and yelling in the streets of the Bronx. This was how sharing the gospel was taught to me and many other young Christians and frankly, it made me feel quite uncomfortable. I didn’t feel right about telling people that they are “wrong” or “condemned” especially because I didn’t know them. I didn’t know their life stories; if they have ever heard the gospel or what problems they might be facing. I was just supposed to assume that because they weren’t doing what I was doing, they were lost and I needed to give them a 4×6 booklet that would give them the key to the pearly gates and some wicked pictures of what happens if you throw the tract away and don’t listen to what is taught.

CTA button for Blog UGThe first day in Paris was such a whirlwind. After our six hour flight and four hour amazing race around the city, we were finally able to sit down and enjoy some Parisian pizza in one of the conference rooms at the American Church of Paris. Ben Stewart, the director of Envision, took this time to brief us on part of the schedule for the week. He referenced the time of street evangelism and ministry with a quote by St. Francis of Assisi. “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.” This quote shook my core. I have never heard such an approach for sharing the gospel but it made so much sense to me. We can talk until our faces turn blue, but actions will always speak louder than words. I thought deeply about this quote for a moment, and then I began to think how it’s not about remaining silent about our faith, but the quality of the words we use. We were taught to evangelize, not with tools of condemnation and forced persuasion, but with love and relationship. We were taught to live our lives, enjoy ourselves and simply enjoy the people and culture of Paris, and letting the spirit speak through our life and actions.

street evangelism ParisNow let me explain something. Just because the approach of evangelism may not include very direct questions and statements regarding one faith and spiritual life does not mean it cannot be intentional. Our time for ministry and street evangelism was extremely intentional, just with a different approach than we might be used to. We spent a lot of time prayer walking. We were told about some key locations, either local churches that Envision was affiliated with or just areas that were known to be darker and holding some spiritual bondages. We were instructed to pray over these places and keep eyes and ears open for what the spirit had to say. We were also told to be in community, talk to people, and enjoy their culture. Talking to people without an agenda will give the spirit freedom to become known in any part of the conversation. Talking to people in love, just to get to know them or share a joke or just a bit of life demonstrates the kind of relationship our father wants us to have with each other. For some, that can be the best form of evangelizing.

I experienced this through the outreach done at Genesis, which is an art gallery and open mic held by one of the local churches. The international workers in residence use this place to share common interests with the people of Paris, as they have an artsy and talented culture. As I simply listened to many people share their talents at the open mic, I struck a conversation with a local student who is originally from Venezuela. I heard him speak in Spanish and decided to just join in with some Spanish slang to bring some familiarity to a foreign setting. We spoke for about an hour, just about our backgrounds, sports and eventually why we were at that place at that time. We did not have a conversion experience, nor did I share bible verses on why he needs to become a Christian, rather I just became a friend to him. I know that God was able to use that conversation to plant a seed, a seed that I might never see grow with my own eyes but I have faith that the seed planted will lead to something; a thought or a moment of curiousity as to why these Americans were so happy? Why did they want to know who I was and just talk to me? We just plant the seed, the spirit is the true gardener.

Another example of the evangelism we experienced was through an ESL project that some of our Nyack college students participated in. I briefly interviewed Maria Verano and Kari Nehlson, two current students at Nyack who were able to go to a foster home right outside of Paris. Most of the children at the foster home have been removed from their families because of drug addiction and abuse in their homes. Our students were able to work with 5th and 6th graders who were practicing their musical talents to travel to Florida and perform with a group of American students. Our students played games with the children, and taught them basic conversation such as introductions and traveling terms. Their evangelism focused on the tangible needs of the people, learning basic English and just having some people to talk to and play games; a brief escape from their harsh situations. This was a little different than the other outreach that was done, however it was equally as effective and necessary. Why just pray for the needs of people if there are things we know can be done for them. Evangelism should not be passive, rather a very active experience; reaching people where they are and helping their needs. That was how we shared the gospel of Christ.

Our responsibility as followers of Christ is to emulate what Jesus did while he walked this earth. He would go to those in need and those needs, allowing the spirit to use every conversation and every moment. I not only had the opportunity to finally understand what this meant through scripture, but I was now able to put in into practice with other fellow Nyackers  the tools we learned in a completely different culture! It was one of the best experiences of our trip to Paris.


Our Bloggers Write and Make a Difference in the World

A Letter from the Editor~ Melissa Ruttanai

I’ve worked with many writers and bloggers in the past in a variety of fields and industries.  But this summer at Nyack College, I have been impressed.  I’ve been moved and inspired by the genuine passion of three of our veteran bloggers at Life at Nyack.  Almost two years ago, we sat together as a staff and talked about the ins and outs of blogging.  They discussed their degree majors and hobbies.  I thought I was imparting all the information to them—about the world of online publishing and storytelling.  But now, these three bloggers are teaching me.  Through their posts, they’re showing the difference in the world that they are creating and our college blog has benefitted greatly from it.

If you have not read the stories from Madelyn Badillo, Jennifer Cook or Erin Fox now’s the time to become inspired.  These young women have gone out into the world beyond the college classroom.  They are changing lives everyday.

Center Do RecifeMaddy: Our Missionary Blogger in Brazil

In her second time in Brazil, Maddy has set her scope to help the local community in Recife.  With the backdrop and drama of the World Cup at her door, she continues to reach out to help those in need.  She’s brought prayer and hope to orphans, prostitutes, and those in need of Christ.  Maddy’s top posts for the summer include her stories about faithfulness through the little things, the joy of God’s presence in her work as well as her daily tasks at the Shores of Grace Ministries in Brazil.


photo (22)

Jennifer: Our Youth Intern in the USA

A business major with a heart for non-profit organizations, Jennifer is spending some time at home in Pennsylvania but that doesn’t mean she is a homebody.  Instead, she’s busy working with her church and internship leading youth groups around the US east coast.  She’s even had time to give a PA welcome to old friends from a 2011 mission she did in Mexico.  Her work with young Americans is amazing.



a17Erin: Our Internship Blogger in Thailand

Having always wanted to be a missionary, Erin has ventured out of her comfort zone to spend the summer in Thailand.  As part of the “Remember Nhu” internship, she is learning how to reach out in the community and fight child sex slavery.  No easy feet for an undergrad.  But she takes it all in stride and her stories reveal the real world of international missions.  From food to culture to the local communities, Erin is writing it all down for her column.  It takes guts to leave everything for another country, especially for the heat of Southeast Asia!

The Importance of Building Relationships with Your Professors


One of the unique benefits of a small liberal arts college like Nyack is the opportunity to get to know your professor outside of the classroom. You’re probably asking yourself why it’s important, and how do I go about getting to know my professor.
Professors are more than researchers and lecturers; they each have real life experiences to share. Your college professors can be one of your biggest assets. They can help you succeed academically and prepare you for life after college. There are various studies that have shown that college students, who make an effort to engage their professors outside of the classroom setting, are more likely to succeed in college. Below are some reasons why you should build a relationship with your professors:

–       You will see that they are really captivating

–       Once you create a great impression, your professor is more likely to help you with a question or later request

–       They can help answer any questions and or concerns you may have for upcoming exams

–       They can also clarify what was discussed during the class discussions and lectures

–       They can be helpful to you when considering career plans or graduate school

–       They can write a letter of recommendation for jobs and internships as well as for graduate school

–       They can also serve as your mentor or help assist you in finding career and internship opportunities

Many students feel intimidated when it comes to approaching their professors. Your professors want to see you succeed as a student, but they can only help if you take the initiative. It is important to understand that they are very interested in talking with you and getting to know you. Below are some tips on how to take the initiative in building a relationship with your professors:

–       Introduce yourself at the end of your first class

–       Address your professor based on their preference: Is it by their first name? Or is it “Professor” or “Doctor”?

–       Attend class regularly

–       Don’t be late!!

–       If an emergency arises that causes you to miss class, be sure that you are able to get notes from a classmate

–       Always come to class prepared!

–       Sit toward the front of the class

CTA button for Blog UGAnother great way to start building a relationship with your professor is by going to their office hours. Yes, your professor may be extremely busy but professors are required to have set hours each week to meet with students. You should definitely take advantage of this!  Surviving college especially as a freshman or as a transfer can seem insurmountable. But don’t worry, read our tips for success in college.

Students in the Graduate School of Counseling Get More Than They Bargained For

AGSC two women with brochure“I’m a different person than I was when I came here!”  As I walked the halls of the graduate campus, showing a perspective student our campus and introducing her to some of our current students, it struck me how each student I saw, commented on a similar theme.   Each student came here to study counseling.  What they received became so much more than just earning a degree.   It changed their lives.

Don’t get me wrong.  Alliance Graduate School of Counseling does a great job with their master’s in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.  But what God does with each student’s story changes everything.  Students begin to make sense of past wounds and develop the ability to move on.  Courage grows, stuck areas are addressed, and new freedom is experienced.   A perspective is “reframed” to gain added insight.   Things begin to make sense that didn’t make sense before.

One student said: “As a newlywed who instantly became a mother of three children, I felt overwhelmed and inadequate as a new wife and mom.  In the counseling program here, I learned information that helps couples step into new roles in a way that builds strength in relationships.  In teaching me to help others, I was actually learning how to help myself.  This program has not just made me a better person it made me a better wife and mother.”

AGSC womanGod met her here, in her place of need.

What’s your story?  Are you hoping to make your life count and make sense beyond what you currently see?  Do you have a passion for bringing healing to wounded people?  Come check out Alliance Graduate School of Counseling if you answered “yes” to either of these questions.   As my pastor often says, “God does what He does for His glory, other’s good, and your joy.”    Maybe that idea is developed here.  Maybe you’re one of the people I’ll see in the hall who echoes a similar theme.   “God changed my life while I was at Alliance Graduate School of Counseling.”  Maybe you’ll go out from here, bringing the same hope and healing to others.  Make your story count!  Dream big dreams, take small steps.  Allow God to use your life’s defining moments for His glory, other’s good, and your joy.

Luanne McGann works at Alliance Graduate School of Counseling  and Light the Way Counseling Center as a Marriage and Family Therapist.  She is a 2013 graduate of AGSC.


Is Nyack College Right for YOU

You may ask yourself if Nyack College is right for you.  You might wonder what it is like to attend a Christian college.  Or you may wonder about the benefits of a small liberal arts college in New York.  But really you have to ask yourself if Nyack and you are a good fit.  90% of our freshmen say that their experience here was good and excellent.  But before they even came to Nyack, they had to think honestly about what our college is and who they are as well.

006We’re a Christian College

Schools like Dominican or Houghton may come to mind but Nyack is different for many reasons.  We were founded in 1882 and are a college devoted to exalting Jesus Christ through global awareness, personal education, and professional work.

When students feel stressed and overwhelmed by coursework or real life tragedy, it’s not unusual for faculty and peers to stop everything—and pray.  Worship brings us closer to God and to the calling He has for us.  Each week, we have a chapel schedule that allows faculty and students to come together as a community of Christians.  We sing and socialize, we catch up and take time to thank Jesus for everything He has given us 

We have two Campuses

Nyack College was founded in New York City.  Our roots as a seminary and Christian and Missionary Alliance institution began in historic downtown.  Since the late 19th century our school has grown to include two campuses.

At 2 Washington Street, we’ve just moved into brand-new classrooms with gorgeous views over the river.  Our famous neighbors include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Trinity Chapel, and the Freedom Tower.

In Nyack, New York, our administrative and academic buildings are perched on a hillside overlooking the Hudson River and the artisanal town of Nyack.  If you like outdoor adventures, you’re steps away from hiking, biking, and kayaking.  Just 40 minutes north of Manhattan, this campus is the gateway to upstate New York and a quick drive to Times Square.

New Programs

From our adult programs to our brand new Nursing Department, Nyack College keeps our academics up to date in response to modern-day workforce needs.  Online and evening classes permit students to pursue their degrees while working full time or raising a family.

Scholarships and Grants

We pride ourselves in helping students, not just academically and spiritually but also financially.  Last year we awarded over $9 million in awards and this year we continue to offer dozens of scholarships for students who are attending our school.  If you are a transfer student, a music lover, or even have a sibling already attending Nyack, then you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.  Check them out!

Multi-Cultural and Multi-National Student Body

Nyack College is purposefully multi-cultural.  Our students speak dozens of languages and come to our school from Asia, Africa, and Europe.  We share ideas and work together to not just learn academically but spiritually.


Benefits of Attending the Manhattan Commuter Campus

Many people wonder what it’s like to attend a commuter campus.  They wonder what the college experience will be like if there are no dorms.  Our students at Nyack NYC see things in a different way.  They see the myriad of benefits that commuting to class provide.  Here’s a short list of what life at Nyack is like when you are a commuting NYC student.  Let us know if we missed anything.

nyack_admissionsNYC101Saving Money at Home

The biggest advantage of commuting to our Battery Park campus is of course the ability to save money while living at home.  Family support is a top factor in academic success.  But your mom and dad don’t have to sign away their life savings.  By living with them or other relatives for as long as possible, New York City students can save tens of thousands from their tuition bill.

Cool Digs with Roommates Around the City

Many students prefer living on their own with friends.  One great benefit of living off campus is that you can choose your roommates AND where you live.  New York City is an enclave of culture and choice.  Depending on your tastes and budget, you can commute to class from Harlem, Queens and Brooklyn.  We even have students attending class from New Jersey.  With friends, you can choose the lifestyle that suits you best.

Internships and Practicum are Exactly Where You Want Them

If you are a student enrolled in a program with a practicum or internship requirement, the New York City campus is the perfect launchpad.  Business students will find companies willing to take them under their wings—sometimes right in the financial heart of Manhattan.  If you’re an education student, you’ll be able to experience several types of schools from small to large, private and public.  The experience is invaluable and the connections you’ll make will help you get a job later on.

CTA button for Blog UGTime Away from Academics

In the city, you can really set your roots firmly in the urban culture because you are not tied to a campus.  Cafes, clubs, and art galleries abound all over the boroughs.  By hopping on a bus or train, you’re free to enjoy them all.

Explore the Christian Community

As an urban environment, New York City offers an intricate network of Christian churches and organization where you can volunteer and become part of the local community.  Inside these groups, you’ll find great people to connect with and future contacts for when you graduate.

On this blog, we’ve talked about how to get money to college.  We’ve discussed assistantships on campus, need-based grants and even government programs that will pay you to get your bachelor’s degree.  But one great secret to an affordable college education is to simply attend a commuter campus.  Ask us about our programs at our Manhattan Commuter Campus.

Upon Arrival in Paris for the International Leadership Summit by Envision

By Daniel Ortiz, Admissions Counselor, Rockland Campus

“I’m praying that by the end of our time together in Paris, you will have encountered God in a powerful way. I’m praying that in three years from now, you’ll be able to look back at ILS as one of the most profound experiences God used to help shape you and inform your service to Him.” This excerpt from an email by Ben Stewart, the director of Envision, was sent to eight different Nyack students and alumni last December. We were selected to attend the international leadership summit hosted by the group Envision in Paris, France!

international leadership summitEnvision is a group through the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Their goal is to raise up the next generation for kingdom change by empowering, teaching and sending out those who are interested in international work. What started with short term missions trips has turned into many international sites in major cities across the world that find the greatest needs in those cities and unleash an impact for kingdom change. This international leadership summit was a way to get connected with people who are interested in taking a role in the process of spreading the gospel of Jesus through service, teaching and by simply being.

IMG_2568.JPGThere were a few hurdles that quickly arose for the group that was selected from Nyack College. We were told there would be a blind schedule, so we quickly wondered, “How can we prepare for an event that could potentially change our lives if we don’t know what to expect?” We decided to meet as a group and discuss our concerns and problems we might be facing. Dr. Martin Sanders, the head of the doctor of ministry program at the Alliance Theological Seminary agreed to meet with us to not only give us advice on what to expect, but how to capitalize on such a unique opportunity. We met at the Nehlson residence, the home of Nyack College international workers in the past. We were able to not only get solid advice and leadership skills from Dr. Sanders, but also fellowship and get to know the people we would be spending 10 days in Paris with. This time of discussion and prayer was crucial for our preparation. We learned how to adapt to the rich and unique culture of the Parisians and also how to make use of all the ministry experiences we would have. By the end of our session, we felt equipped and ready to begin the journey.

CTA button for Blog UGAfter a six hour red-eye flight, we landed in Charles De Gaulle Airport and there was no time to catch our breath because we started the amazing race! Envision planned a race that would begin the second we dropped our luggage at our hotel. We were given a list of over 15 different landmarks and famous cites in Paris, each given a different value in a point system. We had to go to each site, take a picture with our group and finally return to the end point the Arc de Triomphe. The group with the most points would win a free boat ride on la Seine River through Paris.

IMG_2770.JPGIt was an awesome way to see all the sights of Paris and also get to know the metro system. The group from Nyack was split into two different cohorts and we ended up taking 1st and 3rd place. What a great way to start our adventure in Paris and also show what Nyack college students are made of! This experience gave us a small window of vision to all the places we would eventually see and lead ministry in from the American church of Paris to the many smaller local churches we would attend and just get to know the people of Paris. We were exhausted by the end of the first day, but we were also thrilled to see what would happen the rest of our eight days and most importantly what lessons opportunities God had in store for us.




7 Things Incoming Freshmen Should Consider Doing This Summer

Some of you thought that you wouldn’t have made it through high school but you did! As you say farewell to high school it’s time to get ready to embark on a new chapter! We know that you want to celebrate and have fun all summer before you head off to college. We, here at Nyack College, want you to know that the summer before college is very important! Below you will find a few things that we think incoming freshman students should consider doing this summer:

1. Secure summer employment

Making extra money is always a good thing! By getting summer employment you can begin to build up your resume and gain work experience. Not only will you make money and gain experience but you will also gain valuable skills. Some of these skills are time management, responsibility, as well as enhancing your critical thinking and leadership skills.

2. Learn to manage your money

We feel that this is one of the most important lessons you will learn in college. If you can get a head start on budgeting that would be great! In college, you will now be spending money on food, transportation, entertainment as well various things for your dorm. – It can all get a little pricey!

3. Take a summer course

Your first year of college can be one of the most difficult! You are learning new material on a higher level and at a different pace than in high school. You are also adjusting to college life, making new friends, and becoming independent. Start college with a few credits under your belt and even lessen your course load. You can take classes at a community college them transfer them to Nyack.

4. Reach out to your roommates

Once you receive information from your college on whom your roommate or roommates will be, use the contact information provided or look them up on Facebook to arrange a meet-up. When you reach out to them you should discuss what dorm room supplies you will each purchase so you can avoid buying duplicate items.

5. Attend events and activities for incoming students

You should make it a priority to attend your college’s orientation, events organized by student development, or any activities that are put together for incoming students. At these events this is where you can meet/make new friends, familiarize yourself with the campus, and check out the surrounding areas.

6. Be pro-active-from the start

Birds are not going to come from the sky and bring you “manna”. Once you start, the best strategy you should implement is to make connections with everybody. Once classes begin (or even before they do if you are on campus or have time to go by and visit), get name/s, email/s telephone number/s of the people in every department throughout (i.e. Admissions, registrar’s, bursar’s, and the department secretary of your major-if you have declared one). This shows great initiative and enthusiasm which separates you from the pack. Trust that this strategy will be very helpful once the ball starts rolling.

7. Make time to get in shape or stay in shape

So you are already active and play sports, great. If you don’t do any type of exercise, sports, now more than ever, is a good time to start. Exercise has too many benefits to list here, but one of the top reasons is that your self-esteem will shoot through the roof. It is simply just good for you. Go ahead and buy those cool running Nike shoes. Planet fitness, o.k. or better yet, your school’s gym is free for you to use, check out open-community use hours.

VIDEO: 131st Nyack College Commencement with Lord Edmiston, Roma Downey, and Mark Burnett

In 2014, we are proud to graduate a new class of Nyack alumni.  Below you can watch the speeches from our honorary doctors of letters.  For the full playlist, please visit our Nyack College Youtube playlist: Commencement 2014.  Enjoy!

If have questions about our programs and degrees, please feel free to ask for more information! 

Adult Students: Surrendering to the process could be your key to success

As adults we seldom want someone to tell us what to do. As adult degree seekers, it may be precisely what we need.

NYC campus studying

The last twenty years have seen adults head back into classrooms at an impressive rate.  Many return after a decade or more of being in the workforce, raising families, serving in the military and other pursuits that exercise the skills we build doing the things adults do. You know—AUTONOMY! We juggle the plans and make the decisions and determinations that make us masters of our own destinies! Enter adult education, and some of that might have to change—at least for a little while.


Years ago, adult students came back to institutions that didn’t really know what to do with this odd lot that had full-time careers, families to care for, soccer games to keep track of  and very little downtime! Fortunately, good colleges have become adept at serving the non-traditional student population with degree formats, timelines and pacing strategies that make adult education goals achievable to students who are willing to sacrifice a little bit of control and let the process be their guide.


Nyack College offers Adult Degree Completion Programs and graduate degrees in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) and Business Administration (MBA) with the adult student in mind.  The authors of these thoughtfully constructed programs strive to deliver quality content while considering the time frame students have to process it and incorporate it into a durable skill set that will serve them far beyond graduation.


Program deans, directors, professors and mentors have an eye for student success. They are also keenly aware of the stumbling blocks students can encounter if they, like the Y-Wing flier in Star Wars, running the gauntlet to the Death Star reactor, fail to STAY ON TARGET! STAY ON TARGET!—Okay, that was a little dramatic, but students will find that program leaders have a keen focus on staying on track. It’s part of the process. Surrender to it!


The plain truth is, programs geared for adults are often delivered in an accelerated format with non-traditional schedules (evenings, weekends) and even the most organized and self-directed professional may need some guidance while adjusting to a daily regimen that now includes homework—not their kid’s— but their own!


Nyack’s program leaders engage students in frank discussions about goal setting, time management and prioritizing.  This way, degree seekers don’t make the mistake of assuming that adult education is a watered down, Cliff Notes version of smarter, longer and more rigorous traditional programs. That is a misconception that causes some eager, but unprepared adults to go into the process with a faulty perception of the quality and quantity of work they’ll need to produce in order to succeed at earning their degree.


If you’re in a program that’s worthy of your time, effort and money, you should feel pushed to succeed. Just remember, your hard work and sacrifice will be for now, but your degree—your accomplishment, will be forever!


Traci Piescki


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