Archived Story

PDCCC got great feedback

Published 10:01pm Monday, July 15, 2013

Recently, Paul D. Camp Community College held a series of strategic planning meetings throughout our service region (Franklin, Suffolk, and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties) to gather insight on the future vision for the college. Our goal was to create a vision that would carry us for the next three to five years.

Initially, we held sessions with our faculty, staff and students. After gathering their input, feedback sessions were held with the Local College Board and the Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation Board of Directors.

Sessions were then held at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus, the Franklin Campus and the Smithfield Center with other stakeholders from our communities. Participants were asked what they need and expect from the college. Finally, they were invited to provide their perspectives on our strengths, areas for improvement, opportunities and threats.

The participation and feedback were tremendous.

What we learned

It was felt that a strong and expanded marketing program would enable the college to attract more students and better serve our communities. We have begun building an aggressive campaign to improve our marketing and recruitment efforts.

We received communication regarding expanding opportunities for students to become employed through certificate-based programming. There also was consensus that more vocational programs and a greater emphasis on skilled trades should be stressed. We have been placing more resources in this critically important area.

Consistently referenced was the feeling of pride that the community has for the college. Most constituents we talked with understand the important role that we have in providing educational opportunities through the western Hampton Roads region.

The college is seen as welcoming, family-oriented, affordable, flexible and able to quickly meet a variety of constituents’ needs. In addition, the college is seen as an organization that strives to align its curriculum with the needs of the community. The dedicated faculty, staff and leadership team were viewed as significant strengths for the college.

There were many positive comments about recent successes in fundraising and acquiring grants. These funds will create many opportunities to improve the college’s service to the community, meet employers’ needs and increase their professional staffing.

Recent grants and donations have increased our scholarships to students, allowed important renovations to our facilities, established our new Career Development Center and allowed us to increase programs.

You can see details of our recent plans and strategic planning results on our website at www.pdc.edu/about/presidents-office. I encourage you to visit the site and let us know what you think.

Next steps

I will soon be meeting with the leadership teams of the college, as well as the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System to review and assess the findings. We will prioritize key items and work to develop cohesive action plans to achieve success in the areas identified.

I would like to thank all those who contributed their feedback to this important process. We are so grateful for the input and extensive guidance shared through the strategic planning sessions. It is through your active engagement that we continue to improve and deliver our mission — to provide diverse learning opportunities to enhance the quality of life for students and the community. Thank you again for your support of your community college.

Dr. Paul William Conco is president of Paul D. Camp Community College. Email him at pconco@pdc.edu.

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