About Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson River Valley
The City of Poughkeepsie and the greater Mid-Hudson River Valley Region feature an abundance
of natural beauty, a tradition of strong community engagement, and rich historical, cultural, and
educational resources. Faculty, students, and staff from every part of the College encounter
numerous opportunities to develop projects that will make a positive impact on the region.
According to 2014 U.S. Census data, the City of Poughkeepsie has
a population of approximately 30,513 residents; the surrounding
Town of Poughkeepsie has a population of 44,640. Residents
enjoy easy access to outdoor activities such as bicycling on the
Dutchess Rail Trail, hiking in the nearby Minnewaska State Park
Preserve, and enjoying the scenery from the Walkway Over the
Hudson, the world's longest pedestrian footbridge. The region also
contains vibrant resources for studying the area's vital importance to American History, such as
the Hudson River Valley Institute and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Museum & Library.
Along with its assets, the region confronts challenges shared by many small cities in the Northeast.
Census data from 2014 indicates that the City of Poughkeepsie’s per capita income is $23,923, with
23.6% of the population living in poverty, compared to Dutchess County’s $33,037 per capita income
with 9.1% living in poverty. The City of Poughkeepsie had a 6.7% unemployment rate as of August 2014,
comparedto the County average of 5.3%. More information about Dutchess County can be found on
the Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles page.
Individuals' and organizations' productive responses to these challenges take many forms, as demonstrated
by the CCEL's current community partners, which range from the Poughkeepsie Farm Project to Rural &
Migrant Ministry and Hudson River Housing. Students interested in Community Based Learning have the
chance to work closely with the CCEL Director to determine the best match for their interests, skills, and