It's a Bronx college that's been around for 81 years, but Monroe College doesn't get as much attention as other schools in the borough, even though it's graduating more students. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a college or university that doesn't say its staff is devoted to students' success, but at Monroe College, a career-oriented school offering degrees in things from culinary arts to criminal justice, students say that's really the primary focus.
"Everyone here has been very supportive," said Samantha Vega, a senior at Monroe College. "They've been like my number one fans, my cheerleaders, always rooting for the best."
Vice President of Student Affairs Roberta Greenberg said the college seeks out individuals, from maintenance and security right up to senior staff, who will offer a friendly acknowledgment daily and have a genuine interest in everything students do.
"When we have an athletic event, we're all there to support the students." Greenberg said. "Now you know, I don't think you can go to many colleges and see the president and vice presidents and faculty sitting there rooting for the students."
As of 2011, Monroe's six-year graduation rate was 73 percent, which the state Department of Education says was second among for-profit schools in New York and higher than any of the CUNY schools.
The administration and faculty, and the students, attribute that to what they see as a family atmosphere at the school, where there's a watchful eye on everyone's progress.
"They stay on top of you," Vega said.
It's not like the typical college, where your parents warned no one would make sure you went to class.
"If there's a lateness, they'll ask about the lateness," said one person.
"If a student missed my class, I called the student at home," Greenberg said.
Perhaps some see it as overkill, but these students say the extra care and attention is welcomed and it encourages them to come back every day.
It's the reason Matt Kocay felt he fit right in even after a long break for the Army reserves.
"The professors recognized me after being gone for a year and four months," he said.
Now, he's working his way towards another Monroe graduation, just like the other 7,000-plus students the school serves.