Alex Shchegol Biography
Throughout the 245-year history of the United States, immigrants have always played a major role in the country’s development and will continue to do so for as long as there are actual individuals who are living proof that the American Dream can be achieved. One such individual is Alex Shchegol, who, already retired and living a quiet life since 2018, has found himself back as President of ASA College on October 11, 2021, as the administration, faculty, and staff of the institution, led by no less than the former President who is his immediate predecessor, and the Provost, clamored for his return to avert a looming disaster. Writing a letter of petition which they all signed and sent to the Board of Trustees, they wrote: “We, employees of ASA College, are concerned with a very poor enrollment for this fall semester. Our livelihood depends on our jobs and well-being of the college. We understand the governance structure of ASA College as a Middle States accredited institution and believe that you will act in the best interests of ASA.To escape the financial disaster, enrollment should improve quickly. Therefore, here, at ASA, should be a leader with a proven record of success to accomplish this task. Someone we know and believe in. And there should be no doubt that this leader is Alex Shchegol, the founder of our college.”
Mr. Shchegol immigrated to the US with his parents and sister in 1977 with just $100 in their pockets but he was armed with a master’s degree from the prestigious St. Petersburg, Russia-based Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (which is now a University). In 1978 he started to work as a computer programmer. Later in 1979 he was approached by a rabbi of the local synagogue to help a group of Russian-speaking immigrants find a job as computer programmers. This was the beginning of Alex’s career in providing vocational skills-specific education. He was teaching after his main job for about 3 months. Then he himself was approaching various companies to place these people. The entire group found a job.
Then the same rabbi in Bensonhurst wanted him to concentrate on helping other people. By 1985, he had fully realized that teaching, and helping people find jobs were what really mattered most to him, and he was willing to make a lifelong career out of them. On July 1, 1985, the school received a license to operate a business school from the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision from NYSED. The first class at the school, Advanced Software Analysis, consisted of 20 people. Mr. Shchegol was teaching this class by himself with excellent outcomes. He had a 100% graduation rate and 100% placement rate.
The school started to grow, and it became necessary to hire more instructors and staff which reflected the demographics of the growing student population. In 1987, ASA received its first grant of accreditation from ACICS, the national accreditation agency. The school was reaccredited by ACICS in 1992 with the maximum number of years. In the mid-90s Mr. Shchegol was invited to be on the Board of Directors of the Association of Proprietary Colleges whose member schools come from all over New York State. In 1999, Advanced Software Analysis became a college, and the name was changed to ASA College. In 2010, ASA received its first grant of accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the regional accrediting agency. ASA College was accredited and reaccredited several times by ACICS and MSCHE. For some time, ASA was the only college in the US that was accredited by 2 agencies: MSCHE and ACICS.
The college’s student population kept growing and at one point reached a record number of over 6,000 when you combine the enrollment in all its 4 campuses: Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York; and North Miami Beach and Hialeah in Florida. The institution also went through many accreditation visits and each time passed with perfect reviews. But the original mission of Advanced Software Analysis business school was to help student population underrepresented in the postsecondary education remained the same: to find the best and the most effective way to find graduates a job. These avowed goals remain the same for ASA College. Because of the nature of the population that the institution serves under Alex and his colleagues, which collectively has since become known as the Executive Committee, ASA College has created a very unique support system which helps the college to monitor student progress on a weekly basis and ensure that no student is ever neglected. Such system, called the Tutorial Management System (TMS) and designed by Mr. Shchegol, serves as the institution’s most important tool to retain students, and has received universal praise from every visiting regulatory agency representative, elected official, corporate executive, community leader, and dignitary. Some of these visitors have even recommended that we make presentations of the TMS during Annual Conventions of the associations where ASA College is a member.
In addition to Alex’s exemplary work at ASA College, he has also always been very active in creating strategic partnerships with other organizations. Whether he is looking to have ASA nursing students perform their clinical nursing rotations such as at Maimonides Medical Center and Coney Island Hospital, where because of his outreach you will find many of ASA’s nursing students doing part of their training, or serving as a former Member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the New York Association of New Americans, and the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, you will find the same level of dedication that he’s always had ever since he founded ASA College in 1985. With all his many accomplishments, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that this immigrant who came to the U.S. as an adult, was awarded by the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus with the “Immigrant Excellence Award” in 2004 and until today, is the first and only one from Ukraine to have received the award. In his speech upon accepting the award at a formal ceremony in Albany, New York, Alex said: “Improving the conditions in society by helping people who are in need thereby improving their lives – this is at the heart of what we do at ASA College.”