There’s Much to Celebrate in This 50th Anniversary Year

Excelsior College was established in 1971 as the Regents External Degree Program. It was a unique and highly innovative program designed to address the needs of students underrepresented in higher education. Students then were primarily adults who had gone to college but had not finished degrees. This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Regents External Degree Program and the institution into which it has evolved, Excelsior College. Our commitment to serve adult, nontraditional, and underrepresented students remains as strong as ever.

This year, despite the pandemic, we celebrated our third-largest graduating class, with 5,840 graduates in associate, baccalaureate, and master’s programs. Our graduation ceremony was remote and festive, and the pride of graduates shone through social media pages. As our family of alumni continues to grow, we encourage our graduates to remain engaged in the Excelsior community, to return for more learning, and to support those who follow in their footsteps.

The 2021–2022 academic year will be a busy one. An LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, two new master’s programs, and two graduate certificates will begin in September, and students are already enrolling in them. A timely MS in Human Resource Management with an Emphasis in Diversity and Technology will help students leverage the strengths of diverse and distributed workforces, and a MS in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Technology and Data Analytics will teach students how to harness the power of data to make strategic business decisions. We overhauled our MBA program so that students can take one concentration or layer on additional ones, and the first cohort of students have completed our groundbreaking Graduate Certificate in Cannabis Control. In addition, work is already underway for two more master’s programs that are targeted to launch in 2022, along with an array of undergraduate and graduate certificates. We are expanding on our academic offerings to meet the needs of students and prepare them for career growth and opportunities in emerging and expanding fields.

August 1 marked my one-year anniversary as Excelsior’s fourth president. I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff and their dedication to student success, and I am humbled by our students’ abilities to overcome personal challenges and to succeed in these very challenging times. The Excelsior community is vibrant, engaged, and supportive, and it is an honor to be part of it.

David Schejbal, PhD