Pillar College President Dr. Rupert A. Hayles Jr. met with students at a Town Hall meeting held in the Maranatha Chapel at Pillar’s Basking Ridge campus on Wednesday, January 18th. During that event, Hayles answered questions from students as he provided updates on various activities at the college.
When some audience members asked about ways to help address the needs of society, Hayles responded by referring to the current nationwide teacher shortage in the United States and its impact on urban areas. “Studies have shown that when African-American students have at least one Black teacher they have a 13% better chance of attending college,” Hayles said. “That chance increases with two or more Black teachers. Today at Pillar, we have the B.E.S.T. (Black Elementary School Teachers) scholarship program to help address those needs. Also, we meet regularly with school superintendents to help paraprofessionals get their teacher certifications faster,” he said.
In the past year Pillar College has developed other effective programs and partnerships to address society’s needs. For example, the unique MBA in Social Sector Management online program prepares leaders of non-profits and churches to effectively manage all aspects of their organizations. Other new degree programs at the College include a Master’s in Ministry Leadership curriculum taught in Spanish. Also, Pillar College is a member of the Lower Cost Models Consortium (LCMC), a network of independent colleges that work together to control costs as they expand the variety of degree programs offered to students at their respective schools.
“What distinguishes us from most other major colleges is our focus on Christ,” Hayles said. “We are looking to develop future leaders. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of our students eventually become President of the United States,” he said.
During the second segment of the Town Hall, Dr. Hayles, reiterated his support for students and opened-up the floor for questions. This produced a lively discussion as students requested more details about the school’s future direction as well as its STEM programs. A suggestion to have athletic teams at Pillar also was mentioned by students during the discussion.
Many students who attended the Town Hall are part of a cohort from South Korea, a group that expressed gratitude for the opportunities Pillar College offers them. “Thank God for Pillar College,” one student said to Dr. Hayles. “I have learned to have a vision and I thank you for teaching us.”
About Pillar College
Pillar College, founded in 1908, is an institution of higher learning that provides a comprehensive education from a Christ-centered worldview. Pillar is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, and is a member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Pillar offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs. Pillar College educates, inspires and equips students for excellent scholarship, service and leadership. Rooted in and committed to Christian faith and love, Pillar fosters intellectual, spiritual and social development among its diverse student population. Pillar College has locations in Newark, Basking Ridge, Paterson, Plainfield and Jersey City, New Jersey. For more information about Pillar College, visit https://pillar.edu.