Ensuring Retention and Future Enrollment

Successfully balancing and aligning leadership priorities over the past 240 plus days since we began remote learning and working is, at times, akin to spinning plates. I am sure as you manage your daily workload you may be feeling the same way. Despite these challenges, PVCC continues to excel as a learning-centered college.

My focus is directed daily towards: nurturing current culture, advocating for future thinking and action, and leading to ensure that PVCC is organizationally viable and thriving now and for spring semester 2021. The latter is the focus of this update.

For the 2020-2021 academic year our emphasis, driven by the Strategic Plan, is on increasing the percentage of students who earn a degree/certificate or transfer. Additionally, we are focusing on making PVCC a great place to work by increasing employee engagement, satisfaction and performance. A prerequisite of achieving these goals is to ensure that our enrollment and retention of current students is maximized. For a detailed review of current college work towards these ends see this document. Please take a moment to review the many initiatives underway.

Your collective work to engage and connect with students both through the teaching and learning process and/or providing academic/student support is very much appreciated.

Election Day 2020

As you know, today is Election Day marking the determination of the majority preference for local, state, and national leadership, legislation, and public policy. Unquestionably 2020 has been a year stamped by civil unrest, a public health crisis, and increasing political polarization. News commentators and columnists are suggesting that “the world is watching” as the American democratic process is put to the test as measured by the validity and authenticity of this election.

All of these factors have created a sense of public stress, disquiet, and apprehension. I suspect that our students are facing similar stressors. See the article entitled  “How Faculty Can Prepare to Handle the Post-Election Classroom” written by Nancy Thomas, Tufts University and Cazembe Kennedy, Clemson University. As situations arise, I encourage you to engage with our students and work through questions and fears.

It is my hope that our country will move forward from this election and act with a “fair-minded” critical thinking perspective. Hu Shih, a Chinese philosopher and diplomat once wrote “The only way to practice democracy, is to practice democracy.” Before us is an opportunity to engage with our students to better understand and appreciate a country where power is exercised by the people directly or through their freely elected representatives.