For more than 25 years, Monroe College has been helping students from the Caribbean pursue their academic goals and prepare for rewarding careers.
Its two main campuses in the New York City area educate hundreds of students annually from the Caribbean region, as celebrated by the festive parade of flags from the islands and elsewhere that starts the College’s graduation ceremony at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan each year. Closer to home, the College has a thriving campus in St. Lucia.
Educating Students Since 1933
The history of Monroe College goes back more than 85 years to 1933 when teacher Mildred King took the helm at the Monroe School of Business in the Bronx, a borough of New York City.
Named for U.S. President James Monroe, the institution consisted of just four small classrooms and seven students. Three years later, Ms. King was joined by Harry Jerome, another educational visionary who shared her philosophy. Shortly thereafter, the school grew to 145 students as Monroe’s reputation solidified for offering highly personalized support and “real-world education” — elements that remain the hallmark of the College today.
Monroe celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1983, the same year it opened the College’s second campus in the New York City area. Two years later, the College was authorized to grant a second associate degree. During the 1970s and 1980s, the curriculum was continually revised to keep pace with rapid changes in the business world.
In 1994, Marc Jerome joined the College as Director of Administration. He was promoted to Vice-President and Director of the New Rochelle campus in 1996. Today, he leads the institution as its fourth President.
In 2007, the College opened a campus in the Caribbean country of St. Lucia in response to the growing enrollment of students from the region. Students on the campus in Castries have the option to transfer to the New York campus for the summer semester should they desire an international experience. In late 2018, the College opened the International Hospitality Training Institute in partnership with the government of St. Lucia to provide a pathway for residents to train for entry-level hospitality and tourism sector jobs, a mainstay of the regional economy.
Academic Offerings for Today’s Careers
Since its earliest days, the College has been guided by a single goal: To educate men and women for a successful future. Today, Monroe is recognized as a leader in providing a focused, career-oriented, quality education that integrates classroom learning with real-world experience.
The College educates close to 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from campuses in the United States (Bronx and New Rochelle in New York), and St. Lucia. Students may also take courses online.
In New York, programs are offered through seven academic schools, namely the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Business & Accounting, Criminal Justice, Education, Hospitality Management and the Culinary Institute of New York (CINY), Information Technology, and Nursing, as well as through King Graduate School. Liberal arts and continuing education programs are also available. While many of the College’s degree programs are available on the St. Lucia campus, some requiring specialized training, equipment and/or facilities, such as the nursing and education programs, are only available in New York.
At Monroe, there are no large, anonymous lecture halls that are typically found on American college campuses. Its leadership knows that students learn best when there is a personal connection between the faculty member and the students in the classroom. Classes tend to be less than 30 students on all campuses. On the St. Lucia campus, the classes are kept to an even more intimate size. Generally, there are 10-15 students in each class there.
The College has a heavy academic focus on experiential learning, which is reflected by the innovative educational resources and tools offered, as well as our internship requirements. For example, students pursuing Criminal Justice degree programs on our New York campuses benefit from a state-of-the-art simulation system called LETS (Law Enforcement Training Simulator). It enables students in selected classes to participate in “real world” scenarios faced by uniformed law enforcement in the field. By participating in these exercises, they build an appreciation for the split-second decisions police must make as they deal with stressful situations encountered every day.
The Monroe Difference
There are many attributes that set Monroe apart. Chief among them is its incredible faculty. Ninety-three percent of the faculty at the College bring professional experience to their classrooms. In addition to the invaluable on-the-job perspective they bring to classroom teaching, these industry-connected faculty help the College’s graduating students navigate job opportunities and make better informed choices about their career paths.
Without prompting, students regularly – both publicly and privately – express their high regard for their professors and gratitude for the care and concern they consistently demonstrate. The president of the College and scores of administrators routinely receive correspondence from students citing professors who truly changed their lives. Quantitative evidence supports these assertions. In student course evaluations, which are administered at the conclusion of each semester, approximately 90% of students consistently report that they would recommend their professor to another student.
Commitment to the Caribbean Starts at the Top
Monroe College President Marc Jerome is personally committed to helping students from the Caribbean find success at Monroe. More than 25 years ago, he was there to greet the first international students to arrive for the semester at the College’s campus in New Rochelle, NY, and he is there for them today. Today, there are approximately 1,000 international students on the New York campuses, including residents from most of the islands in the region.
President Jerome often takes groups of students out to experience the very best of New York – from fun dinners to trips to museums to hiking along the scenic trails and hills across the city so that students can see the legendary New York City skyline. He is known to stop students in the hall or meet with them in his office to learn how they are doing or to help resolve an issue they may be having. His door is always open to students and their parents.
When it’s Time to Unwind
With trains able to take students on the campuses in the Bronx and New Rochelle to the heart of Times Square in less than 45 minutes, students studying at Monroe in New York have all the cultural, educational, and social entertainments and enrichments that the city has to offer right at their fingertips. The College’s talented Student Activities team makes sure that there are also plenty of events and activities on campus as well, from student clubs to guest speakers to holiday celebrations to support groups and fun contests.
On the St. Lucia campus, most of students are working adults, so activities tend to be more oriented for family fun. Among the recent activities: movie nights, island tours, paint ball, zip-lining, and cultural activities.
One thing students who attend Monroe soon learn: you’re not just a student. You become part of a wonderful community that treats you like family.