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RBC | With new student orientation Aug. 24 and faculty joining staff and administrators for Convocation on Aug. 19, Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) is gearing up for the fall semester with back-to-school plans, key changes to programs and advising, and new faculty and student support staff.
One focus of this year’s convocation, the several days of training and planning prior to the semester’s start, will be CNCC’s strategic plan, a five-year blueprint outlining the school’s priorities and future goals, Dean of Instruction Judy Allred said. Administrators will give an overview of information gathered over the last several months with the plan’s final rollout slated for September.
CNCC-Craig Campus Vice President Gene Bilodeau, who has helped guide the strategic plan process, said the plan addresses themes like internal and external communications, facilities, sustainability and institutional quality.
“What I really like is that we’ve taken a comprehensive approach to the strategic plan this time around,” Bilodeau said. “After planning sessions with all the governance boards, the faculty and staff and students, what came out of that was these themes … (The plan is) not something that is so detail-oriented that nobody does anything with it and it goes on the shelf for five years. It’s something we’ll continue to work on, revisit, and be able to use.”
Changes in state requirements for developmental education mean that CNCC developmental math, reading and English courses are undergoing a virtual redesign, Allred said. As a result, faculty and staff have developed new curriculum and adviser training to accommodate the changes.
“We’re on board and ready to move forward with that,” Allred said. “We’re looking forward to some positive outcomes with developmental education. It’s new, but I think it will be good for the students.”
New program director John Whipple is helping transform the former outdoor recreation program (ORP) into an academically-based outdoor leadership program with a certificate option and link to CNCC’s Leader Trek program, the frame for student learning communities on campus, Allred said. Students in this component of Leader Trek could potentially create outdoor programs, lead activities and participate in outdoor-related community service.
Other new faculty include full-time equine instructor Stacey Bailey, who will work under equine studies program director Dustin Davis, and marine science and oceanography instructor Ellis Thompson. A third aviation maintenance instructor position is currently in the works, Allred said, with the school hoping to fill the position by mid-August.
Starting this fall, a new director will work with longtime dental hygiene program director Mark Patterson, faculty and staff this year in preparation for leading the program in 2014-2015, Allred said. Patterson and wife and dental hygiene instructor Barbara have announced plans to retire next year. Dr. Kevin Dawson of Littleton, Colo. will fill the program’s clinic dentist position this fall.
Overseeing Ross Hall this semester is new residential life coordinator/hall director Matt Violles, along with a new director/programmer in Holland Hall. Dean of Student Support Services Jeff Devere said that starting next month, the residence life office will be staffed seven days per week with enhanced student programming being a main focus for the department.
In athletics, one of just a handful of female candidates in a pool of 80 applicants has been offered the head women’s basketball coach position vacated by Antowin Edwards earlier this year, Devere said.
Joe Cats and Brad Stiles have accepted positions as CNCC’s new assistant baseball coach and assistant men’s basketball coach, respectively, with assistant rodeo coach interviews taking place this week.
Allred said that current projections have CNCC entering the fall semester with student numbers across the board holding steady.
“We’re looking at stable enrollment, if not slight growth,” she said.