2015 Dowling Graduates Reflect on their Experience

Dr. Michelle DeMarco, Dowling College Class of 2015

DeMarcoIn my first year of teaching in the New York City school system, I enrolled in classes to obtain my Master’s Degree in Literacy. After finishing my Master’s Degree, I began my journey in the CITE program in 2010 and was fortunate to meet inspiring professors who had extensive leadership experience in various school districts. The sharing of these experiences enhanced the coursework and gave us an opportunity to learn from real situations. The professors and cohort model in the CITE program greatly influenced my thinking and having access to my cohort members, all of whom had different backgrounds, enabled me to grow not only as an educator, but as a person, as well. One of the first things that we learned was if you aim to be an effective leader, you must start thinking like one. The professors and my fellow cohort members were very supportive and the cohort model truly works. Upon earning my building and district licenses in 2012, the professors in CITE program began speaking to me about continuing my education in leadership by enrolling in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Technology at Dowling College. Learning that the Doctoral Program at Dowling College followed the same cohort model as CITE made the decision to enroll that much easier. Learning the theories, concepts, and practical experience provided in the courses offered in the Doctoral Program for Educational Leadership, Administration, and Technology at Dowling College coincided with those that were taught in the CITE program for advanced leadership making the visions of both programs very much aligned. The level of support that I received from the Dowling professors during each course, as well as when I was conducting my study and writing my dissertation, helped me earn my Doctoral Degree in just three years. The professors in the Dowling College Doctoral Program rally behind the doctoral candidates and devote much time in helping them complete the program. In the time it took to complete the doctoral program, I have grown close to my professors and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with them in future studies and publications. Enrolling in both the CITE program to earn my advanced certification in building and district leadership and the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Technology were the best decisions I have made for myself, and I look forward to applying what I learned from both programs in my professional career as a school leader.


Deana Rinaldi, Ed.D. Dowling College Class of 2015

RinaldiI began my career in education as a special educator in an elementary school in Queens. I taught for four years and received my Master’s degree in literacy during that time. Once I completed my Master’s degree, I heard from administrators in my district of the wonderful CITE program through the College of St. Rose. I began classes in administration and leadership and met some of the most influential people in my life. The professors from the administration advanced certificate were extremely knowledgeable in each course. The faculty at CITE were all administrators or superintendents during their career and they shared so many insightful experiences that helped prepare me in becoming an administrator. I am currently an assistant principal. After completing my certification for School Building Leadership and School District Leadership, professors from the CITE program encouraged me to continue my education in leadership. The doctoral program in leadership, administration, and technology at Dowling College was recommended to me by the professors from CITE. I continued my education and earned my doctoral degree within three years. The College of St. Rose CITE leadership program prepared me for the coursework and discipline necessary in completing the doctoral work at Dowling. The professors at Dowling College are very professional and supportive through every step of the way in order for doctoral candidates to be successful. The alignment between CITE and Dowling College was easily witnessed, which made my experience in both programs that much better. There are no words to say that would share my appreciation for the professors from both programs, as well as the systematic approaches to each. The cohort model works and the collaboration is a key quality that both programs plan for. The alignment between the two was such a beneficial aspect and I highly recommend anyone in attaining their doctoral degree from Dowling College.

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