Accomplishments and Aspirations
Dr. Williams at the Catherine and Isiah Leggett Building Topping Off ceremony at the TP/SS Campus.
Much of what I have learned in conversations across the College has been about the many accomplishments of people, teams, and partnerships, of which MC is rightly proud. Many of them are ongoing and support the mission of the College in essential ways: there is a strong sense of commitment to continue them, sometimes adjusted or enhanced to better meet our evolving needs.
- Students first: in academics, academic support, arts, and athletics, the irrefutable sense is that students are at the center of all MC activity. A unique Raptor pride in achievement is ubiquitous among faculty and staff.
- Culture of care: a powerful sense of belonging among students, faculty and staff exists at the College.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion matter: anti-racism and social justice are tightly intertwined; inclusion of all residents means adaptations to specific needs.
- Student-designed services: services must be centered around student needs: some should be enhanced, others reconsidered, and perhaps new ones created. Assessments are needed.
- Highly trained workers in key industries are the lifeblood of the county’s success. MC’s educational opportunities offered must support post-completion achievement. Partnerships with the College must continue to be nimble while curricula are adaptable. Partnerships with industry must be timely in order to meet changing workplace demands.
- High tech/high touch: while remote instruction has flourished, many MC students need some personalized, close-in contact—whether in academics, financial aid, mentorship or other.
- Collaborations count: the College’s impact is multiplied by partnerships with non-profits, private industry, and other educational institutions. The MCPS, MC, and USG partnership is one such collaboration that can help us reimagine the future.
Also, frequently mentioned in conversations are the aspirations of the institution: to understand the student experience more thoroughly; to advance students more consistently to their goals; to communicate more clearly and to attend to mental health and wellness—among others. Here are a few aspirations I have heard:
- Access, completion, and post completion success: Critical to any measure of success is that students find employment with a family sustaining wage or step on to a curricular path that is timely and leads to a higher education credential. This must be a focus moving forward.
- Meeting students where they are: Serving students in the neighborhoods, public schools, community, centers, places of worship, and job sites means the College brings opportunities to them. We must go deeper into their communities, following their preferences in recruitment, class modalities and scheduling, support, and administrative processes. We must be socially proximate and create a sense of belonging so we can make an impact that is inter-generational.
- Faculty and staff are eager to grow: professional development relevant to employees' needs maximizes their contributions and helps retain our best talent. Hybrid opportunities that are appropriate to specific jobs have new relevance.
- Pandemic reality: Responses to the pandemic have strengthened the MC community, making us more aware of student vulnerability and more creative in our services. Many have also been left over-exerted, stretched and strained in ways that were unimaginable. We must work toward identifying and pursuing a healthy work/life management structure.
- Effective communication is critical: Effective communication is critical: how we communicate and how often are important in a healthy institution. Communication enhances wellbeing, equalizes opportunity, and enhances our collective efforts to empower students.
- Student unmet need continues: Despite a wave of financial support, students still face financial need that will persist beyond the current resources. Students with unmet needs cannot advance.