Graduate Admissions Blog

Seven Months In: A Reflection

Kevin B. Taylor
Kevin B. Taylor

For over two decades, I have overseen programming and admissions at many different institutions of higher education—large and small, private and public, rural, suburban, and urban —with programming that spanned many academic areas, including business, law, engineering, science, continuing studies, health, and education. My many experiences led me to believe I’d seen it all. However, after becoming the new Director of Graduate Admissions for the School of Education in June 2022, I found something new and unexpected here. Over my entire professional career, which included working briefly in corporate America, I have read, and at times participated in, the creation of countless strategic plans, mission statements, and statements of purpose. The goals were always well-intentioned, but the policies, processes, and procedures weren’t always in alignment.

But Bank Street stands out because it is truly rooted in its history, credo, and mission. Here, we not only talk the talk, but we walk the walk. As I started my job here, I read Bank Street’s strategic plan and found a statement that has stuck with me: “Like other American colleges, the complex, fast-moving environment that Bank Street faces today brings serious challenges that are also great opportunities.” I realized right away that I had joined a very special community of forward-thinking, people-centric individuals. Together as a collective, we form a unique institution that seeks to continually meet and support the ever-evolving needs of all of its members, including its faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

How will that affect you as a graduate student? First, from an admissions standpoint, I want you to know that we understand that people strive to obtain additional education for a variety of reasons. Your needs are specific and individual, and this organization is built to support that individuality. Bank Street is a small institution offering over 50 graduate programs in education, leadership, and teaching that start in the fall, spring, and summer terms, in both on-campus and online formats. You’ll have many options for earning your graduate degree. Providing this flexibility to our students enables them to successfully manage their personal and professional lives while they’re working towards their degrees and acquiring the skills to become the next generation of teachers and educational leaders. And, our entire admission process is online and, when combined with our rolling admissions policy, applicants can pursue their educational goals as soon as they want—and in a way that works for them.

Established in 1916 as a New York City-based educational research institution located in one of the most diverse cities in the world, we understand our responsibility to ensure we continue training teachers and educational leaders who meet today’s demands and the needs of all learners across a variety of classrooms.

Our programs in early childhood and childhood education, infant and family development, adolescent and secondary education, educational leadership, and specialties like literacy, special education, museum studies, and math leadership produce leaders in the field of progressive education. We also offer advanced certificate and professional development courses to support educators as they advance in their careers. Here, you’ll learn from a community of teachers and leaders who’ll train you to work for students in public and private schools and at museums, cultural institutions, and hospitals—and who all use our signature developmental-interaction approach. This approach to teaching and learning recognizes that all individuals learn best when they are actively engaged with materials, ideas, and people, and that authentic growth requires diverse and nurturing opportunities for ongoing social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Prior to joining Bank Street, I had not known much about it. We are a hidden gem in higher education, a modest institution focused on delivering relevant, current, and socially responsible programs. In addition to our core programs, we also partner with the New York City and New York State Departments of Education to provide programming. Moreover, most higher education institutions quickly moved their programs online due to the pandemic. I was happy to discover that Bank Street had already launched its online graduate programs before the pandemic, which continue to attract students well beyond the tri-state area.

Because we are a small institution, personal attention is our strength. We are able to provide and foster strong student/faculty relationships and create mentorships that extend beyond the classroom and well past graduation. Additionally, we have well-established support services that provide assistance and guidance when needed. Students are assigned to a dedicated student services advisor (SSA) to assist with any issues throughout the duration of their program. Students can also access writing support, certification preparation, and career counseling. For personal support, we provide disability accommodations and counseling services, and affinity groups that nurture our various communities, bringing people together from across the college.

In my short time here, I continue to marvel at how prospective applicants find their way to Bank Street. I have found that through word-of-mouth conversations, our alumni network, and our deeply established relationships with secondary schools, school administrators, and industry colleagues in the field, we continue to draw the best and brightest graduate students.

I encourage you to consider exploring what we have to offer because, when you become part of this community, you’re joining a large network of passionate educators and leaders who will be leading the future of education and leadership for decades to come.

As they say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I enjoy my role at Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and I’m thankful to be here.

Want to know more? Read more about Kevin and how to reach out to him to connect.