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.”

How the Alliance Theological Seminary Made a Difference in my Life

-A Personal Essay by Eric Hoke, graduate of the Alliance Theological Seminary at Nyack College: In 2012, I sensed that God was calling me to continue my education. I was a youth pastor in New Jersey, married for a few years and ready for the next challenge. There were undoubtedly multiple seminaries to choose from and it took a considerable amount of time, prayer and effort to find the place where I fit. After attending an Open House at the Alliance Theological Seminary, learning about the seminary’s mission to educate not just the mind, but to transform the heart and not just for academia but for the church and the nations, I knew this was the place for me.

alliance theological seminary eric hokeIn my last year of my time at the Alliance Theological Seminary, my life circumstances seemed to be stacking up perfectly. I was weeks from my graduation as well as ordination in my denomination—two landmarks I had been working tirelessly to for years. I had landed my dream job as a youth pastor at a large church in New York City. I was ecstatic, all my hard work was paying off and I was so excited for this next season of my life. It seemed like nothing could have gone wrong.

My wife and I said goodbye to a great church and community where we had spent the last four years and began our trek from suburbia to the big city. After unpacking our UHAUL and settling into our new apartment, we began our new jobs and lives with minimal stress all things considered.

Unfortunately everything came to a screeching halt within our first week there.

My supervisor and I had a miscommunication in regards to expectations and my employment was terminated immediately!

I was crushed, heartbroken and in despair. Everything was stacking up perfectly… how could this have happened?

My mind fell into a panic; we were in the most expensive city in the country, and given 3 weeks to find a new place to live with only my wife’s salary and hardly any money put away. It was an incredible amount of trial and pressure, like nothing I had ever experienced in my lifetime.

But in the midst of it all, God provided encouragement, grace and support through the community at ATS.

My professors and classmates were all aware of my transition and I cannot count the number of times I had to explain how my position abruptly fell through. Each time I explained my circumstance to someone in the ATS community, they were empathetic, offering prayer and encouragement. Some bought me food as we took evening classes together. Others would call me outside of class to pray for me. One even offered to let my wife and I live in their apartment until we found a new place!

It was both humbling and overwhelming to see the way in which my seminary family gathered around me in the hardest trial I ever endured.  I don’t know if I would have made it without them. It reminded me why I chose to earn a seminary degree from Alliance Theological Seminary—not just for the academic excellence or the heart for mission, but because the community also cares for my soul. As I walked across the stage on Saturday, I felt honored to be a part of such a special place and thank God for each person that I’ve come across in my journey here. I expected to receive an education, but what I found was a family.

Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Major in College

Many high school students wonder about what to study in college.  They ask themselves what degree will interest me?  Which major will lead to a good job?  What concentration should I choose once I’m accepted?  After choosing your school, picking a major is one of the most important choices you’re going to have to make in college. Many students have almost no idea what they’re getting into when they declare a major. To help you be an informed student, here are 8 questions to ask yourself:

Moving Day

1. Why am I interested in this major? Most students pick a major because someone else (ie: a family member) think it’s not a bad idea or worse.  Your best friend thinks it’s easy enough. But you should also know what you value. Are your values personal, parental, cultural, theological or financial? It’s also important to do self-exploration and your interest should not be because your parents want you to make lots of money or because they majored in it and want you to follow in their footsteps.

2. Have I done research about this major and know what the requirements are? When you think about some majors they sound like fun, but you quickly realize what it takes and you begin to change your mind. You should ask yourself am I willing to put all the work that it takes to be successful in this major. It is also important to research the job market for the specific major you choose. Also thinking through some of the mundane tasks you may need to do on a daily basis. Some majors lead to jobs that will always be in demand: such as education, nursing and criminal justice. Others may require grads to continue onto a master’s degree level.

3. Is the college that I will attend strong in this major? Take a look at the alumni profiles and achievements within their respective fields as well as the professors published works and experience.  If you haven’t used Linked In, open an account.  This social network collects data on colleges and their alumni.  You can really see who graduates with what degree and where they work.  Also look to see what internships and job placements are offered for that major.

4. What are the career opportunities for this major? After graduating will you be able to get an entry level job. Is their mobility in this industry? Basically is there room for you to grow and to advance? Also consider the financial rewards (bonuses, pay increases, mobility and prestige)

5. Is this the right-and-only-major for my career path? Students usually make the mistake thinking that there is only way. For example, to become a lawyer you do not need a pre-law degree. You can take Political Science, English or Criminal Justice. To become a doctor you do not need to a pre-med degree. You can major in History, English, Psychology, etc. and just take the science courses needed to get into medical school.

6. Have I talked with someone about this major? You should think about job shadowing and or volunteering. Job shadowing allows you to observe professionals on the job and get insight into the practical side of a particular career. Certain employers, like hospitals, schools, police departments and non-profit organizations are often happy to have volunteers. Volunteering gets you exposed to different work environments.

7. Would I be good in this major? You should know your strengths and weaknesses as well as understand the difference between passion vs. gifting. There are also tests you can take like the Myer Briggs Type Indicator or Strong Interest Inventory.

8. Is this the right time to declare a major? Don’t feel rushed! Majority of college students today change their majors a few times. You should definitely take the core classes as you continue your career and major exploration.

2 Washington St NYC NyackWe hope this gives you better insight into college and choosing a major.  Remember that this process takes time and you have the right to ask questions.  Need more information?  Feel free to contact us with your questions.  We’re always available here on the New York City campus or on the Rockland campus.

Nyack College goes to YoungLife Camp

Written by Jill Constantinou

Over this spring, 50 staff and students from Nyack College ascended on Lake Champion, a YoungLife serving at NyackCamp located about two hours from our Rockland campus. For each of the three weekends, Nyack students served on work crews as kitchen cooks, dish crew, or wait staff for the C&MA Metro Youth District Spring Retreats. Each weekend, over 500 high school and middle school students came to get away and meet with God. The purpose for our Nyack College students going was not prayer ministry or lead games but instead to work!

Young life campFor those of you who have never been on a YoungLife work crew, let me give you a run down of what that means.  Basically from the time you arrive (Friday 8pm) to the time you leave (Sunday 1pm), you are living in the kitchen except for 6 hours of sleep each night and a 2-hour break Saturday afternoon. Now this does sound like lots of standing and hard work, but we also had fun laughing and getting to know our fellow Nyack classmates. During free time, we utilized the ropes course, the three-person ‘Screamer’ swing (which I highly recommend) and mattress-surfed down stairs with multiple riders (which I don’t recommend).

work crew at campOne of the highlights of being able to work together was seeing everyone’s giftings and helping each other out. I really was able to see the Body of Christ in action!  When I got overwhelmed, I would look to Amanda who would be dancing or posing with food (within food safety regulations, see picture above). If I needed motivation, I would look to Ralf and Justin who might be pushing each other around in a garbage can or tossing boxes of cereal to each other- though, not at the same time.

image_8However, what spoke most to me was the care and concern that the Nyack College students had for those they were serving. It didn’t matter if we were carrying tray after tray of heavy spaghetti to a table of hungry middle school boys or washing dishes alongside the high school girl who is struggling in finding a place to belong at school.  Nyack students exemplified the love of Christ in Mathew 25:40 “Truly, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (NIV).

image_7At the end of each weekend, we walked away thoroughly exhausted but also with a sense of accomplishment and many new friendships. These weekends really allowed Nyack students to shine.  I saw students who were pushed out of the comfort zone and they didn’t complain! Instead, they exemplified servant leadership and the ability to love others. The campers probably did not realize all the work these weekends require, but if Nyack College students are able to make a difference in even one person’s life- the cost is absolutely worth it!

So next spring, #nyacktakeslakechampion2 – are you in?

CTA button for Blog UG

image_5 image work crew at camp image_2image_1

The First Steps Back to College After 20 Years

-A personal essay by Pamela Simpson.

Sometimes taking that first step is the hardest thing to do. Letting go of the fear of falling or failing, keeps too many of us from trying, and ultimately, from succeeding. This is very common among adults considering returning to school. But sometimes we face our fears, be it by force or simply our own choice, and like a baby…we learn to walk….we succeed.

Pamela (2nd from left) with Cohort 543 who will complete their degrees in August!

Pamela (3rd from left) cheering on Cohort 543 who will complete their degrees in August!

I was one of those adults. I thought I would’ve completed my bachelor’s degree long ago. Life got in my way, and I never did. Then, I became a casualty of the economy. I’d been laid-off, and was unable to compete in the job market without my bachelor’s degree. With my years of experience and my Associate’s degree, I couldn’t believe that I’d hit a wall in terms of attaining gainful employment.

Disbelief and anger set in first; then, the acknowledgement of the reality of it all. My anger became action. I couldn’t accept settling, so after some research, I enrolled in Nyack College’s Bachelor’s Degree Completion program. I wondered if I could succeed after being away from school for so many years, and whether I should even try.  But, I knew I had to. I jumped in, with all my fears and excitement. Before long the excitement thrived and the fear died. This is not to say that it was an easy journey; it wasn’t.

Six months after the first lay-off, I took the first job I could find (though underemployed), keeping with the thinking that it’s easier to find a job when you’re employed. It wasn’t. Without my bachelor’s degree, I was out of the running, and becoming gainfully employed seemed out of reach.

In the first six months of the 12-month degree completion program, I found myself immensely challenged and overwhelmed, working 40 hours a week, participating in my (then) 12-year old son’s schooling and extracurricular activities, the day to day tasks of family life, and now, a student myself after many years.

OM CTA buttonLosing that job six months later didn’t make things any easier. The demands of working had been lifted, but were replaced with the emotional and psychological impact of being unemployed and unable to find a job. Either my experience made me over qualified, or lack of a bachelor’s degree disqualified me.  Working, not working, taking care of my family and going to school, all were enough to make me quit, but I didn’t. Yes, it was challenging! But in the greater scheme of things, it was quick, just one night a week for one year and absolutely doable.  I’m glad I took that first step. I’m glad I dove in, and thus, graduated in 2011 (after being away from school for 20 plus years).

By making that phone call and seeing it through, I’ve opened doorways to achieving greater things. Now, I never have to say “I should finish my bachelor’s degree.” Now, I can say what’s next.  Thanks to Nyack College’s adult friendly, supportive bachelor’s degree completion program, I’ve attained personal gratification and, opened up educational and career pathways for myself. Now I’m doing something that I absolutely love.  I help inspire other adults to take that first step, to push past the fear associated with change, and to persevere. I support students along their college path so that they too can gain a sense of personal gratification through finishing their bachelor’s degree.  I tell them that they can turn “to do” into “DONE” and pave professional, educational and personal pathways for their next journey.


Bloggers & Writers Wanted for Our Publication: Life at Nyack

Blogging may be a mystical word for many people getting ready for job- or internship-hunting.  Yes, it is a 21st century skill, highly marketable in today’s economic climate.  Yes, it is something easily learned.  And no, you don’t have to be a techie to get started.  Blogging is writing for the internet (in a nutshell) and our publication, Life at Nyack is looking for New York City and Rockland County students with the passion to help outsiders see into the world of Nyack College.


What kind of person makes a good blogger?

The characteristics of a successful blogger vary but all successful bloggers have some things in common.  They are

  • Current students at either the Rockland or New York City campus
  • Passionate about their field of study and their professors
  • Driven to make a difference in their future careers
  • Active on more than one social network, ie: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Diligent about deadlines
  • Able to work on a computer and submit articles on time
  • Great writers
  • Great readers who follow their fellow bloggers’ stories


Is blogging difficult?

No.  The hardest part is the writing but our bloggers find inspiration from campus life, chapel, class discussion, field trips, visits home, and class projects.  Sometimes our staff writers even do photo blogs or rather tell their stories through pictures!  Our bloggers take on several responsibilities by:

  • Attending training once a year
  • Submitting one article per week by the given deadline
  • Sharing their stories online with friends/family
  • Continuing to post through the summer and other vacation times


Is blogging a paid gig?

YES.  Student bloggers get paid per article and get a nice resume booster too.


How do I apply to become a blogger for Life at Nyack?

The application process is simple.  We want to make sure you have good writing skills and more importantly a voice for Nyack.  To get started:

  1. Prepare a writing sample over 400 words which includes one JPG picture that illustrates your article.  The topic can range anything from academic to spiritual.  Think about a story or moment that in reality can define your experience at Nyack College
  2. Send the sample, the photo and a brief introduction of yourself to marketing@nyack.edu
  3. In your email, tell us about:
    1. Your degree major
    2. Graduation date
    3. Campus on which you study
    4. List the social networks you are active on


Nyack College offers $500 off First Online Class for New Students Finishing Their Bachelors

Adult students have busy lives.  We run after kids, pay bills, and try to save for the future.  Most know that a bachelor degree will help them advance in their careers.  But still many wonder if finishing college is worth it and if the “quick and easy”, accelerated programs work.  Our school has helped thousands of working adults achieve their academic goals and has prepared them for better placement in the workplace.  They earn more pay.  They clinch big promotions.

OM program Until April 25, 2014, the college is offering $500 off the online program for new students. Learn more below and mention this article when asking for more information. Some restrictions apply and the grant is only available for new students entering the program for Spring/Summer 2014 .


Is Nyack College’s OM Program for you?

The bachelor degree in organizational management prepares students to hone their skills in the workplace, be it as a teller in a bank or customer service representative at UPS.  It’s a degree that opens doors.  The OM degree is not for everyone but it was tailor made for working parents and career minded individuals with packed schedules.

This degree completion program began in 1989 and we’ve graduated over 3000 students so far.  In March 204, we launched cohort 552.


Bachelor degree completion NyackThe Bachelor’s Degree is Fully Online And…

Students with 60+ credits will finish their degree in one year.  Placed in cohorts, you’ll work online and move through the coursework. Guidance is provided at every step.  Mentors will help you work through the readings and discussions.  To start, all you need is a computer.

So with 60 credits and a one year commitment, how much does this cost?  The online degree is $12,600 that is less than a year’s tuition at a private university and par to a public SUNY school.  Don’t forget to ask about our $500 offer to help you get started!

Don’t have 60 credits to transfer? Speak to our counselors and see how you could still graduate in 16 months.


Don’t Believe the Hype.  Believe the Students.

Our students come from all over the tri-state area and the US.  Hear what they have to say about the program and feel free to ask your questions below or on our information form.

“The course material is challenging and the academic standards are high.” -Michael, Cohort 403

“I would recommend this program to anyone who has the desire to finish his or her college degree.” -Anacleta, Cohort 432

“I could never have imagined getting my bachelor degree in 16 months after being out of school for 15 years!” -Valencia, Cohort 456

Nyack is different and has history behind it.  Founded in 1882, we are an institution with two campuses in Manhattan and Rockland County, New York.  We are an accredited school with over 3200 students, representing 62 countries.  Ask us now for more information about this program and others. 

CTA OM button


10 Tips for Surviving Freshman Year in College

It’s here: the moment many high school seniors wait for. The mail had come and the acceptance letters to those dream colleges have arrived.  Freshman year in college gets closer and now new students can plan for success.

As you piece together your fall schedule and organize your wardrobe, keep these tips for success in mind as you enter freshman year in college.

006Schedule your day: Work an eight hour shift that includes classes and classwork. If you start at 9, finish your day at 5. If you start at 10, go until 6pm. But keep a regular schedule of studying which excludes vegging on the couch between class.

Eat meals with different people: It’s best to stay social and really extend yourself to meet new people. By having meals with different groups, you can meet new friends and friends of friends.

Take a variety of classes: Get those pre-requisites out of the way. Register for a full class load that includes a balance between science and math with the liberal arts. Take a few challenge courses too, maybe graphic design, computer science or expository writing. Many students suffer later in their college careers because they need more credits or they need to transfer to another college because of prerequisites.  Long story short, keep your bases covered.

Ask for care packages from home: It’s best to stay in contact with home and in the first few weeks of college, you can get homesick fast. Ask friends and family to send little care packages through the mail. They could be as simple as a card and box of chocolate. The sentiment will keep you fueled through all the freshman change.

Make time for yourself: Get some down time to listen to music, hit the gym or take a yoga class. Reflection and prayer will boost you through the long weeks of study.

Ease Up on the Credit Card: Be responsible with your credit. Don’t rack up charges on new clothes, a new TV or smart phone. Weigh out each purchase and only buy what you can afford. Better yet, use cash. That way when you’re out of money, you are done.

Eat Salads at Lunch and Dinner: French fries and pizza are tempting but eating them at every meal is the fast track to the dreaded freshman-15. Make a habit of always putting salad on your cafeteria tray. Don’t think about it. Just do it and eat up the veggie goodness.

Stock Your Room with Water and Good Snacks: Late night munchies come on without warning. While you’re studying or watching TV, you might get thirsty or hungry at random hours past midnight. Make sure you’ve always something stashed away–preferably healthy choices like water, granola bars, and maybe some fruit you snagged from dinner.

Buy Used Books: Now that you’ve a full class load, it’s time to buy all the textbooks for them. Check the bookstore for used copies and then surf the internet. Amazon and other websites have used bookstores. Be careful to order books in time for class. When in doubt, get the first required reading in the bookstore and then order the rest online.

Visit Every Professor’s Office Hours at least Once: All your teachers are required to be in their offices during the week. On the syllabus, check out the times they’ll be available. Around week three, make an appointment and prepare a question related to the material. By using office hours, you’ll get some extra instruction on the coursework and also begin building a relationship with your professor.

The first year of college is a transitional moment for most young adults. They begin their studies so that one day they can become professionals in the workplace. But before any of that can happen, each freshman has to navigate through the months of hard work, socializing, self-discovery, and even weight gain. How would you advise a new student in their first year of college?


Survival Guide for New Transfer Students


A new student hanging with two upper classmen during campus games

A new student hanging with two upperclassmen during campus games


Welcome to campus!  You’ve made the move and switched schools. You’ve registered for classes and are counting down the days to start fresh at college.  Some students may have changed schools and moved to a different state.  Others may have gone just down the road.  Some still have found their way to our New York City campus.  But no matter how far or near you’ve gone, transferring programs is an exciting time and these tips will help you get settled fast.

Refocus on Academics

A new school means an entirely new roster of classes that are available to you.  Research classes that have been rated very well by the student body.  Look at the courses that weren’t offered at your former school and can now kick start your pursuit of the perfect bachelor’s degree.  Then register, register, register.

Get into clubs that focus on your interests. Or start one!

Get into clubs that focus on your interests. Or start one!

Visit Professors Office Hours

Once classes have started, it’s time for you to get to know the people behind the syllabi.  Getting to know your teachers means that you can learn the ins and outs of your new department and school.  Build a good working relationship with your instructors, come prepared with questions that are class specific, and don’t be afraid to talk about where you’ve come from and where you’d like to be post-graduation.

Join Clubs and Academic Societies

Nyack College has two campuses which offer great opportunities for people who love artsy, suburban living as well as metropolitan lifestyles.  Extracurricular clubs explore your interests outside of class such as hiking, prayer, and volunteerism.  Getting involved is not only good for your resume but also your social life.

Double Check Finances

Talk to financial aid and student accounts.  Make sure your accounts balance and your loans are in good standing.  Don’t be afraid to inquire about scholarships and grants.

Commuters! Stick around and enjoy campus

Commuters! Stick around and enjoy campus

Visit Your Program Director

Getting to know your professors is one thing. Meeting with your program director is great too.  As a small community focusing on student growth, Nyack has program directors that are completely accessible.  Look at the big picture of your academic and professional career.  Then talk about these goals with the director.  She might be able to give you tips about independent studies, paid internships, and professors that specialize in your concentrations.

Ask Questions

And we mean randomly.  Ask questions to your roommates, people walking to the cafeteria, and students working out in the gym.  The more you know the easier your transition will be.  Socially, it’s great to start feeling connected to your new home too.  At Nyack, our students are famous for being super helpful.

Settle into the Dorms

Time to decorate!  You’ve done this before so relax and enjoy the time to set up your bed and drawers as well as your clothes and secret stash of snacks

Commuting?  Spend Lots of Time on Campus

College is your job.  So if you’re commuting, get to work early.  Spending time on campus, even if it’s just to sit on Hillside with coffee, can help you get settled faster.  In Nyack and in Manhattan, coffee shops and pizza joints will tempt you to stick around just a little longer.  So sip and enjoy.

Talk to Your Admission’s Counselor

She may have been your first point of contact but your admission’s counselor can help you with questions about campus.  Our Nyack counselors continue to build relationships with their students.  So please feel free to contact us.

Strike Up a Conversation with a Classmate

It may seem simple and kinda of corny but chatting with your classmates is a great way not only to make sure you’re prepared for class but to meet new people.  Keep it simple and light.  After a few sessions, you’ll have at the very least a classmate you can email when you’ve forgotten if the paper is due this week or next.

To our transfer students that are new to Nyack, we’d like to extend a hearty welcome.  It’s going to be a blessed semester!

CTA button for Blog UG

Undergrad Mom Turned Valedictorian and MBA

nyack college graduate

Every valedictorian has a story to tell.  This week our featured alumna is the 2011 valedictorian of the Manhattan campus: Annette Mendoza.  On a cold Friday, we caught up with her for an interview about her life as a Nyack Warrior and as an MBA.

nyack college graduate

Annette fits into the new category of modern-day college student.  A mother of three and full time professional in the banking industry, Annette began her career in 1994 and in 2007 decided to finish her bachelor’s degree in New York City at Nyack College. She began the interview by saying:  “I started as a [bank] teller and worked my way up.”  She wanted to continue her education but life had its demands.  Her career was going well and she had kids in elementary school.  In a one-year span she had doubled her salary and jumped 10 levels at Dime Savings.  She became a trainer and then assistant manager, diving into analytical work.


On returning to school to finish her degree, she said, “Looking back it didn’t seem fast.  But now it just seems amazing.”


Annette’s Job in a Nutshell

“I don’t do the same thing every day,” said Annette about her work at Signature Bank.  Up early to help her kids out the door, she then leaves her home in Queens and arrives at her Manhattan office by 8:30am.  Her day ends at 5pm and in between she works with branch managers as a technical software analyst.  Her responsibilities include working within the mainframe, ensuring accounts are created and maintained properly.  She runs integrity reports to check client data so that nothing has been entered incorrectly.  She helps customers and bank managers on a daily basis and when big projects come up, such system upgrades, Annette reports to the office on the weekend too.  While life may be hectic she laughed, saying, “I really enjoy what I do.”


Her Life as a Nyack Warrior

Annette returned to school to study business administration.  After 15+ years in the workforce and a busy family life, she made the leap and took night classes at Nyack College’s Manhattan campus.  “I had a feeling in my heart that Nyack was the place for me,” she said when we asked her how tough it was as an undergrad mom.  “The professors were very supportive.  Dr. Grant was always available and accommodating especially when I wanted a finance concentration in New York City.  He helped me make it happen so that I could achieve what I needed to.”


Professors in her undergraduate classes helped Annette plan for the future and when she became valedictorian of her graduating class, they encouraged her to continue for a master’s degree in business administration.


Getting her MBA

Annette didn’t think she could continue if she wasn’t “100% full-hearted” about the program.  She was taking time away from her family.  She was sacrificing sleep and free time.  So when she met the director of the graduate program, she knew what she was facing: 16 intense months that was only possible because of her family, friends, and program mentors.  “Dr. Becker was an excellent professor.  I saw his passion and knew that I wasn’t just a number to him.  There was a personal touch and the professors knew who I was and were concerned about me.  It was a blessing.”


How has life changed with an MBA?

Annette replied simply, saying that she can work in a wider array of jobs.  Her workflow is effectively structured according to best practices that she learned at Nyack College.  The master’s degree in business administration helped her create tools to improve her job performance. “I work smarter not harder,” Annette said, adding that she feels better prepared for the unknown and confident that her career in business has a solid foundation.  In the future, she even hopes to teach business and personal finance.


Advice for MBA students?

“Don’t give up!” Annette explained.  So many times she had an urge to stop and call it quits.  But pressing forward and finishing was one of the greatest achievements she’s had.  In a small cohort of eight students, Annette said the camaraderie helped too.  Each class is a step that the entire group experiences together.


‘There’s a lot of changing.”  Annette described the true challenge of the program.  “You are becoming a master in this field.  You are being shaped and molded.  You will cry, laugh, and then you will look back.  There will be a sense of accomplishment.  So just keep moving forward!”


Final Thoughts and Thank you’s

We asked Annette if she wanted us to highlight anything in particular in this article.  She answered, “Yes!  My husband, Carlos.  I couldn’t have done it without him.”  Her many thanks go out to her children: Christopher, Faith, and Jeremiah for their understanding and support.  Finally, she gives her best wishes to the next cohorts in the MBA program at Nyack College.


Note from the Editor:  Alumni Spotlight is a special column dedicated to Nyack Warriors around the world.  Whether on the banks of the Hudson River or in Battery Park, Warriors go far and wide.  Do you know an alumnus with a great story?  Please message us so we can share their story on our blog.

Alumni Spotlight: George Ramos, AGSC Class 2012

At 1pm, George Ramos was leaving family court when we caught up with him for an exclusive alumni interview.  A graduate of Nyack College’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, George has spent the past 6 years working for New York City, first as a Child Abuse Investigator and now as a Family Assessment Coordinator.  A part of the Administration for Children Services, the Family Assessment Program (his employer) helps teens and families in crisis.  The agency provides services and social workers to assist families tackling such issues as truancy and drugs.

george r 2

At the very start, George said that he wanted to do this interview in order to expressly highlight his gratitude to the faculty of the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling.


His work with ACS and the Family Assessment Program… in a nutshell

Specifically, George manages intake, meaning when a case comes in, he identifies specialists who can assist the particular issues of the family.  He speaks to teens, sometimes without their parents in order to learn about the underlying issues in their lives.  Before his degree completion with the AGSC, he already had a steady job within the department.


So why pursue a master’s degree in mental health counseling?

George wanted to advance his degree and like many adults he struggled with time commitments.  He’d a family and a full time job.  Adding course work to this plate seemed almost impossible and in fact the faculty and admissions counselors were unsure he’d be able to carry all the responsibilities.


“I remember sitting in the office as my candidacy for admittance was discussed.  They were skeptical of my application but they wanted to give me a chance to discuss my goals for the program.  As we talked, my understanding of the school deepened.  They spoke about empathy and investment in mental health and the Christian church.  They spoke of people doing good not for a job or number but for a greater purpose.”

George R

The full commitment of the classes weighed on George but he endeavored to succeed.  “It’s hard being in a class with students who are smarter or younger than you and quicker to understand things. Dr. Lucas believed in me even when I struggled.  I don’t think you can get that in any other program. This is a community of learners.”


What was a monumental moment for him in the AGSC?

“Too many,” George told me and again began discussing his admittance into the program.  He knew the program was designed to mend broken lives.  “That resonated with me.  And sometimes in class you wonder how you’re going to remember the material and all the techniques.  But eventually you’re with a client or at your internship and you hear Dr. Chin in your head.  He’s telling you about case studies.  Suddenly, I realized that I knew what to do.  I could hear Dr. Robles speaking and I thought –wow!  I can do this!”


What advice does he give to new students?

George said that students should remember that their job is to learn techniques and new information.  Sometimes in the moment, the material can be overwhelming.  But have faith because the greatest strength that the program has lives with the professors who “have knowledge of the discipline and respect to the Bible.  They merge the two together, not letting one outweigh the other.  It’s thoughtful and pointed.”  New students and graduates are in the program for a reason: to help others and the Kingdom.


Was the hard work worth it?

Yes.  George said that with his degree he was able to advance within his department and compete with applicants that have backgrounds in social work.  He feels that while a master’s degree in social work is widely known, his degree in mental health and counseling is clinically pointed and based on best practices.  He had an edge and used it.


In the future, George knows that he can continue within ACS and can eventually clinch a high-powered administrative position within New York City.  But in fact he wants to open a non-profit mental health practice specifically for people of color.  He wants to continue healing and educating in a Christian way. George is currently enrolled in Harvard University’s Extension School studying Management.



Final Thoughts?

Before we ended our conversation, I asked George if he wanted anything in particular printed in the article.  He said simply, “I want this [article] to show how grateful I am to the AGSC and for how vested they were in me.  I’d like to highlight how warm they’ve been to me and continue to be.  It’s a lot like home.”

Note from the Editor:  Alumni Spotlight is a special column dedicated to Nyack Warriors around the world.  Whether on the banks of the Hudson River or in Battery Park, Warriors go far and wide.  Do you know an alumnus with a great story?  Please message us so we can share their story on our blog.

Announcing the Alumni of the Year and other Homecoming Events

Homecoming Card 2013

Homecoming Weekend 2013 will be here before you know it. We hope you can join us for an unforgettable, family-friendly weekend!  We’ve a packed schedule of events.

We are excited to announce

The 2013 Alumni of the Year:

Pastor Richard A. Villodas, Jr. ‘03

Rev. Kelvin L. Walker ‘88

Mr. Christopher A. Yount ‘84


* The Alumni of the Year awards will be presented at the all alumni reunion dinner, “An Evening of Jazz” on Saturday, October 12.

The 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:

Rev. W. Paul Braun ‘77

Mr. Timothy E. Conway ‘08


* The Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions will take place at half-time of the Men’s Soccer game onSaturday, October 12. The inductees will also be honored at the Alumni Athlete and Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, October 11.


Great Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Just for you, we’ve planned an exciting, event-filled weekend. You won’t want to miss:

Reunion Round of Golf,

Chairman’s Welcome Dinner,

Running Warrior 3K Walk and 5K Road Race

Breakfast with President Michael Scales,

the School of Music’s Pardington Hall Centennial Concert, and so much more!


Kids will have a great time bouncing about at the Lil’ Warriors Kidz Zone, listening to jazz renditions of classic children’s music at Jazz for Kids, and they won’t want to miss a special visit from “Colors” the Clown!

Don’t miss your chance to renew your college friendships at the all alumni reunion dinner, “An Evening of Jazz.” The classes of ’63, ’73, ’83, ’88, ’93, and ’03 will be highlighted as they celebrate their reunion years. Family and friends welcome!

Celebrate the Miracle in Manhattan with us on our New York City Adventure! We’ll have a bag lunch en route to Lower Manhattan, a tour of Nyack’s new Battery Park campus followed by a walking tour (1.4 miles) of 11 Lower Manhattan landmarks including the 911 Memorial at Ground Zero. The afternoon will conclude with dinner at the historic Fraunces Tavern and a ride home under the city lights. The New York City Adventure will depart from Boon Center at 12:15 PM and return at approximately 9:00 PM on Friday, October 11. The cost of the tour is $40 and includes lunch and dinner.

Visit www.nyack.edu/homecoming to view the full schedule of events, travel and lodging information, and to register online. Many of the events throughout the weekend require advanced registration, and our deadline to register is October 10.

We hope to see you in October!


Five Websites For a College Scholarship Search

Previously we’d published information on how to pay for college beyond student loans. We talked about diversifying your financial aid strategies by looking at grants and scholarships that are offered by schools like Nyack College and by private companies. So here are five websites to help you get started in your general college scholarship search. At the end of the article, read some tips about using the search engines.


Taken during photoshoot of some NYC campus students.

Taken during photoshoot of some NYC campus students.



This comprehensive website is like a catalog for students to browse colleges from across the country. Sign up for an account and inquire about the Cappex awards available to students. They’ve given away over $11 billion and offer grants for GPA and community service as well as for special birthdays and “biggest Cappex fan.”


College Board

This is a mega-listing of college scholarships and grants offered around the US. Private and public organizations are listed here and include big names such as Macy’s, Best Buy, and PBS.


Fast Web

Fast Web has been around for a long time. It’s a premiere website for grant, scholarship, and internship information.

CTA button for Blog UG


Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is a leading lender of educational loans. Part of its business plan includes scholarships for college students. Click around and see which fund best fits you!


Scholarship Experts

A search engine for scholarships, this website could take up a good portion of your free time. There may be some overlap with the other sites listed above but once in a while there is a scholarship here that the others have missed.



Tips for a scholarship search: If you are an incoming freshman who needs some tips or a new student to our college, the first step is to find the right scholarship or grant for you. Think about who you are, where your come from, what you want to study, and interests that you’d like to pursue. Finding funds for college takes time and effort. Nothing is for free but these five websites will help you get started by listing available programs that help students pay for college.

  • Real Time Web Analytics