Sponsored by Elyon College.
Chartered in 2012 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Elyon College is a private institution built with the goal of challenging and supporting individuals in developing their full potential to contribute not only in the workforce, but to their communities at large. As a multicultural hub of learning and growth, Elyon College stands as a testament to the belief that every individual — regardless of cultural or social background — has the capacity to acquire new skills and achieve greatness in the workforce.
In order to take a closer look at the school’s many offerings and highlights, Elyon College faculty members sat down with Vision Times to discuss what sets them apart.
“What we do is to have the student come out with good skills. In order to get hired they must have good skills. So that’s number one — that gives them a leg up to be hired in the businesses. That’s not only true in Asian businesses, but also in the American business society. While we’re not allowed to guarantee employment, we do assist them and most of our students are gobbled up, and are recruited even before they graduate. We have employers come down and select from our good students and say, ‘Can you work for us’?” said Elyon College President Chaim A. Waldman.
He added, “We give the support because we have people that care on staff that want to see our students to be successful, to be able to get ahead. Our success from the college’s standpoint depends on the student’s success. Because if our students are successful, then it means that we achieve our mission and we accomplish very much what we are interested in doing.”
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“We are a small college and so I’m a very hands-on Dean. I know the students very well. I see them all the time and they come to me, all students who are here at Elyon College can come,” said Margie Nussbaum, Associate Dean of Students and Academic Affairs at Elyon College, adding, “They know my door is open to them. And we have a very nice relationship.”
“We have some wonderful accounting teachers. One in particular has taught in many colleges. And she has said, ‘I’ve never taught in a program that’s as comprehensive as this program is, where the students are as motivated and as successful’.” said Nussbaum.
Delving into the many course offerings the college offers, Nussbaum said, “When freshmen come in, we watch carefully to see that they are comfortable in their surroundings, that they’re comfortable with the program, that they’re comfortable with the other students,” she said, adding, “Some students join the class, even their English test is really good, maybe they can’t follow the teacher. It’s one of the advantages of a small college so that a teacher can really check and see and make sure she checks for understanding. They check for understanding on a constant basis. Also, they do certain assessments as they go through the curriculum.”
“In addition to that, the students go through two semesters of English composition so that they can read and write well. There’s also a semester of business English in which they are really taught how to work in a business environment and to communicate intelligently. They are also taught how to write resumes, how to go for an interview, etc.”
‘Our graduates have done extremely well’
Nussbaum beamed with pride when recalling previous students’ success after attending Elyon College. “Our students, our graduates have done extremely well. They are sought after in the community. People know me, and they say ‘Mrs. Nussbaum. I need graduates. I need graduates of Elyon college because we know they come prepared’.” So I send out whatever job opportunities that they say. I say to them, send me a flier with all the information and I send out whatever job opportunities I get both to the current class as they approach graduation and even to alumni who may or may not be working at that time.”
She added, “Our graduates have started off with wonderful jobs. They’re very, very happy in their jobs. We’ve had graduates starting off at $50,000 a year, which I think is quite a nice salary for an entry level position. And their employers are extremely satisfied. So what it comes down to is that we have made a contribution to the community at large in providing really, really wonderful professionals to the community.”
“If there are those who need additional help, we do peer tutoring. We do recommend tutors as necessary. We even have a math prep course, which is not actually an official course. But for those students who need additional help in math before taking college algebra and statistics and some of these courses, there is a math prep course which we have found to be extremely helpful and beneficial to our students,” elaborated Nussbaum.
Assisting students every step of the way
The school also goes above and beyond to ensure all students are on the same page and able to handle the workload, she explained. “If [teachers] see a student is struggling, they will call that student over and speak and work with that student. I have plenty of teachers who will stay after class with a student to make sure that the student knows where she’s at, knows what’s going on. There is formative checking throughout the teacher’s watch, whether it’s through quizzes, whether it’s to homework assignments, which do any of that.”
Delving into the specifics for the computer courses that are offered, she said, “Excel is an absolute necessity for a good accountant. And let me tell you, our students come out knowing Excel very well. And any other part of Microsoft Office and computers skills. But in any case, we really do our best to place them, to find them the best positions possible.”
“They graduate from college with an associate of science in accounting and business. And they can and they do get jobs with it. We have found that most of our graduates do go on for a bachelor, and most of them do go for the CPA.”
One of the standout courses offered at the college include the: AAS Degree in Accounting & Business Technology. This 60-credit program combines the latest in business technology with essential accounting skills that go beyond traditional tax models. It also offers a fast-tracked curriculum to assist students who wish to pursue a career in accounting to become certified public accountants (CPA).
“They are motivated. They persevere and they really go after their goals. And not only academic goals, their goals for life. And they succeed to an incredible degree. So I have to say, I take great pride in it,” added Nussbaum.
“There’s an old expression. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. And that hangs in my office and we do care.”
When asked what sets Elyon College apart from other institutions, Nussbaum said, “So it’s a very, very big difference. It’s an academic difference. It’s a difference in how you feel toward the school, how you feel towards your classmates or the people you’re sitting with and to the teachers as well.”
“So I’m just saying that is the difference between having 30 people in a class as opposed to 300 people in a class. You get lost in the crowd and nobody knows that you came or left. But every single individual student is very important for us. And we are interested in seeing them, every student to be successful and to achieve their goals. It’s a huge difference,” she said, adding, “We also will try pairing up a student with a stronger student. Let them help each other. It works well so that we really, really make every effort not to let our students slip through the cracks.”
Delving into more specifics, Nussbaum said, “We have articulation agreements with Brooklyn College, Mercy College, the New York Institute of Technology, Touro College, etc. All of those colleges accept our degree and take our credits.”
‘A meaningful and serious education’
Mose Fundo, career counselor at Elyon College, also shared his thoughts on what sets the school apart. “Here, we have a personal approach to everybody. I know each student, I know their background, I know where they’re coming from, the pros and cons, whether they know Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, etc.”
When asked about his contributions with the Asian-American community, Fundo said, “I strongly recommend for more Chinese students to come study [with us], receive a very meaningful and serious education over here and I’ll take care of your internship and placement.”
“I have many, many connections in the Chinese community. Sometimes when I’m calling, they recognize my voice and I’m sending students over there for the interview and they’re getting jobs in general. I really love working with the Chinese students because they are very friendly, sociable, and appreciative.”
“As a matter of fact, we have an advisory committee and one of our advisors is a Chinese CPA, and he is very supportive and appreciates our education,” he adds.
Fundo credited the school’s dedicated staff and follow-up programs to further assisting the students’ success. “Now, what is very important is that we have follow up. So those graduates who have successful internship experience there, many or very often early, they get jobs at this very companies where they had successful internship in general. I would say that we have about 80-85 percent of successful placement for our graduates. They have an experience and they tell their friends about it, which makes our whole business very successful.”
Experts in accounting
Delving into the specific skills that students can acquire at Elyon College, Fundo said, “It is so important when we care about each student. You will feel at home here. You could get bookkeepers, bookkeeper assistance with the knowledge of accounts payable & receivable, or QuickBooks as a base general ledger taxes. So you are becoming the right hand in any CPA and that gives you the necessary experience. And then you continue with the Bachelor and then you can achieve the level of CPA.”
“Our graduates are very, very skilled and handy to provide general office support, so they can really guarantee that they’re going to get jobs in the office, running different office positions, providing necessary help to the company,” said Fundo, adding, “You’re going to be the right hand of the boss in terms of financial backup, as an accountant, as a bookkeeper, and running the whole system.”
This commitment extends beyond the classroom at Elyon College, said Fundo. With a focus on guiding students through their academic paths, the school offers credit transfers and course recommendations to expedite their journey towards graduation and career success.
“We look forward to seeing you in our college to get acquainted and to show you all the privileges and pluses — all our achievements. And you will see that we are a team, that we are very friendly, and that we will do everything possible to help you achieve success, get an education and a good job.”
Prospective students and interested parties are encouraged to learn more about Elyon College and start their journey to success by visiting the college’s official website here.
1400 West 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11204
Tel: (888) 653-3118
Email: [email protected]
With reporting by Tom Ye and Vivian Sun.