West Windsor, N.J. – All of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges were represented at the 2014 NJCCC Best Practices Conference, hosted by Mercer at the MCCC Conference Center on April 25. Three groups from Mercer gave presentations at the event, describing innovative initiatives that are keeping MCCC at the forefront of community college education.
In a morning session, Dr. Linda Scherr, Deborah Kell and Susan Bowen presented a session entitled “Developing Tomorrow’s Community College Leaders: MCCC’s Home-Grown Approach.” They discussed the MCCC Leadership Academy, which has been offered to four cohorts of employees from various sectors of the college since 2009. In a lively PowerPoint and interactive workshop, they described the academy curriculum, activities and projects, as well as key competencies of 21st century college leaders. A number of attendees expressed interest in learning more about the program in order to create a leadership program at their schools.
In another session, MCCC Vice President Dr. Guy Generals and Dr. Eric Friedman, of Hudson County Community College, presented “Paying It Forward – Supporting Learners from Each Step in Their Pathway to Completion.” The discussion focused on the steps that support learners and reduce the roadblocks to college completion and career success.
A third panel was presented by MCCC ITS Executive Director Susan Bowen and staff member Bryan O’Neal entitled “Successfully Managing Projects and Campus Initiatives.” They discussed a best practices framework for project management, particularly appropriate for those new to the process.
In the final session of the day, Dr. Patricia Donohue and Dr. Raymond Yannuzzi, of Camden County College, discussed future developments. Dr. Donohue’s comments focused three core emphases for the 21st century – a reshaping of the sector's message concentreating on the value and image of community colleges; the completion agenda for community college students; and changes to the traditional business model. Yannuzzi discussed his role in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), an initiative by New Jersey and other states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether K-12 students are on track to be successful in college and careers.
A highlight of the day was the unveiling of the Mobile Manufacturing Learning Lab, which will be used by a consortium of community colleges around the state to train workers on the latest manufacturing technology. Read more about the mobile lab here.
Susan Bowen and Theresa Capra served as Mercer's representatives on the NJCCC Conference Steering Committee.
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