Miami Dade partnership provides opportunities to pursue Salve programs

Photo: Miami Dade graduate Nathalie Bazile, who is earning her B.A. in psychology at Salve Regina.

A partnership between Salve Regina and Miami Dade College in Florida has expanded opportunities for students and graduates from the college’s two-year programs to complete their bachelor’s degrees at Salve Regina, as well as enroll in the University’s online graduate programs and low-residency Ph.D. program in humanities.

Dr. Scott Zeman, provost/vice president for academic affairs, prioritized the partnership with Miami Dade when he arrived on campus in July 2014. Miami Dade is among the nation’s largest colleges, with several campuses and an enrollment of more than 165,000 students from highly diverse backgrounds. The institution, which proclaims itself as “Democracy’s College,” provides educational opportunities to many first-generation students.

“It has been an energizing experience to be working closely with the students and faculty of Miami Dade College,” said Tiffany McClanaghan, director of graduate studies and continuing education. “Their drive and enthusiasm for lifelong learning to benefit them both personally and professional has been invigorating. We look forward to welcoming and supporting more of their fellow alumni into our community.”

Presently, Miami Dade students are enrolled in all three degree programs, pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Salve Regina. Here are some of their stories:

Nathalie Bazile, B.A. in psychology

Born in Port au Prince, Haiti, Bazile moved to the U.S. at age 3 along with her mother and two siblings. At the time, her father was still in Haiti, so the family had to look after themselves. It wasn’t easy, as her mom worked two jobs away from home and only got to see her children a couple times a week. Education was not a family priority either – there simply weren’t enough resources to invest in it.

“The thought of my mom struggling, although she seldom admitted it, is what instilled the importance of education in me,” Bazile said. “I made it my priority to excel so my mother would not have to carry the burden of covering my educational expenses.”

Despite attending schools in the U.S. for more than 19 years, Bazile is not recognized as a citizen. The document she holds, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allows her to live and work in the U.S., but prohibits her from receiving any type of federal aid. After graduating from the Honors College at Miami Dade in 2015, the process of transferring to a university was much harder for her because most schools were not familiar with her status.

“My status also disqualified me from most scholarships, forcing me to decline admission due to lack of financial assistance,” Bazile said. “I saw no way out, until I met with two representatives from Salve Regina [Dr. Scott Zeman and Dr. Khalil Habib].”

Bazile decided to attend Salve even before she was accepted. “I knew I had to do whatever it took to be admitted because I felt like I would be recognized for my hard work and achievements and not be discouraged because of my nationality,” she said. “Not only would the barrier that was blocking me from fulfilling my dream finally be eliminated, but I would now have the opportunity to flourish in a positive intellectual environment.”

While she stumbled over some obstacles during her first semester at Salve Regina, Bazile quickly learned that she could rely on the caring campus community. She adjusted quickly, thanks to numerous services and resources provided.

“The Salve community has proven to be astonishingly close and shows interest in everyone who attends,” Bazile said. “They genuinely want students to succeed. The faculty, staff and students have helped me come to the realization that I am not alone on this journey and are also a big part of me achieving my goal of getting above a 3.5 in my courses and also effectively managing my work schedule.”

Claudia Jimenez, M.S. in innovation and strategic management

When Jimenez learned last year that Miami Dade was offering new graduates an opportunity to complete a master’s degree online at Salve Regina, she knew it was her best chance to pursue a graduate degree. “I read over the programs offered and realized right away that the M.S. in innovation and strategic management was the way to go to fulfill my future endeavors,” she said.

After her first semester, Jimenez knew the curriculum was perfect for her. “Not only are the professors at Salve incredible, supportive and knowledgeable, but the lesson topics are inspiring,” she said. “I have had such a great experience with both the instructors and fellow classmates in the courses I have completed so far. Learning and research has now become an adventure that I just cannot wait to dive into.”

Jimenez describes the module discussions to be the most interesting she has seen of an online class, and she said the involvement with other students is extremely helpful. She also said the feedback and communication she receives from professors are inspiring, always motivating her into doing more than she ever planned.

“I quickly realized that I have been blessed with the chance to study at Salve Regina and have grown into a better student for it,”┬áJimenez said. “In my opinion, every Miami Dade graduate should continue their education with Salve and take advantage of this unique opportunity to flourish into the well-rounded professional we all set out to accomplish.”

Dr. Myra Edelstein, one of Jimenez’s professors, noted that “Claudia’s commitment to her studies, coupled with thoughtful, thorough participation in her online courses, is a true testament to her love of education and desire to excel. It is always a pleasure to witness how, even in an online class, the students work together, encourage each other’s thinking and collaborate. Claudia is a terrific example of a student who helps us build a community of learners.”

Christian J. Travieso, Ph.D. in humanities

In 2014, while working as an adviser for the School of Business at Miami Dade’s Wolfson campus, Travieso met McClanaghan and Donna Cook, associate provost, during their visit to promote Salve Regina’s MBA program.

Travieso had earned his B.A in philosophy and M.A in liberal studies from Barry University, and was struggling to find a doctoral program to complement his work. “That changed once I met Donna and Tiffany,” he said. “They introduced me to the cohort Ph.D. program in the humanities. Once I read the course descriptions, I immediately knew that this program was the right one for me. My background is continental philosophy, so I wanted a program that would favor that background, and draw upon thinkers as foundational as Plato and Aristotle.”

Travieso visited Salve Regina for the first time last November and had a great experience. “The professors were very friendly, and I felt I was in good hands,” he said. “Tiffany has been there every step of the way. She helped me settle in, and made sure I was taken care of. All in all, it has been a positive experience. I am looking forward to the future.”

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