Wednesday, October 24, 2012

College Mission Statement

As part of the 2012 planning questionnaire, ninety-eight percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the mission statement is clearly defined, comprehensive, and accurately guides the institution’s operations. After review by the Executive Committee, a slight revision was made to one sentence in the mission statement. The original sentence stated “The College seeks to contribute to the economic growth and development of York, Lancaster, and Chester counties and of the State by maximizing student success.” The sentence was rearranged to put emphasis on maximizing student success first in the sentence. The sentence now states “Through maximizing student success, the College seeks to contribute to the economic growth and development of York, Lancaster, and Chester counties and of the State.”

Our College governing board (York Commission for Technical Education) approved the change on October 9, 2012 and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SC CHE) approved the non-substantive change on October 22, 2012. The revised mission statement is provided in word format for those individuals who need to include the mission statement in accreditation documents or other publications. It is required when publishing the mission statement in its entirety to include the approval dates by our governing board and the Commission on Higher Education. The abbreviated version of the mission statement “Building Our Community Through Maximizing Student Success” may be used in informal communications without the approval dates. If there are any questions about the use of the mission statement, please contact Jacquelyn Nesbitt at

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Acceleration Team

I had the pleasure of meeting with the Acceleration Team over the spring semester to discuss a variety of subjects. Meeting with a primarily faculty group gave me the opportunity to discuss the input gathered at the all-faculty meeting on August 22, 2011. The team included the following representatives that were chosen by the employees from the respective divisions with a few employees that I appointed myself.

Debbie Tertinger – Health and Human Services
Pete Baldwin – Business, Computer, Arts, and Sciences
Jonathon Stewart – Industrial and Engineering Technologies
Krista Bradshaw – Center for Teaching and Learning
Linda Bolick – Corporate and Continuing Education
Sally Herlong – Student Services and Adjunct Faculty Member
Kerri McGuire – Student Services and Adjunct Faculty Member
Steve Rast – Adjunct Faculty

I greatly appreciate the time and energy that all of these employees spent reading articles and discussing a variety of subjects with me. I believe they provided me honest input that gave me a deeper understanding of the challenges that you and our students face. We also discussed several articles that I have provided below for those who wish to review.

Making It In America
A Matter of Degrees
Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need
Who Are Our Students?
Are College Students Learning?
The Case Against Strategic Planning

We were able to summarize what we thought were the “big rock” issues discussed during our time together and have documented those in our summary document. Many of these recommendations are being followed-up on by various groups. If you want to learn more about my time with the Acceleration Team, I welcome you to contact one of the members listed above or myself. I will continue to engage you to learn more about what we can do to improve student success.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2013-2017 Strategic Direction

In late spring, a planning questionnaire was administered to faculty, staff, Commission and Foundation members asking for input related to our mission statement and strategic themes. An Ad-Hoc Committee was formed to review the input. The Committee, led by John McGill, included members from the Quality Learning Council as well as staff representing various areas across campus. Members included:

Jamey Abercrombie     Maureen Gore
Jack Bagwell               John McGill
Brittany Burton            Kerri McGuire
Deborah Dukes           Mary Beth Schwartz
Kimberly Herndon        Susie Turner
Shannon Godwin         Teresa Faile

Their evaluation of the State of the Strategic Plan was presented to the full Quality Learning Council, Council of Academic and Student Affairs (CASA), and Executive Committee. I want to sincerely thank the Ad-Hoc Committee for all their work!

From your input and the feedback from the Ad-Hoc Committee, strategies were developed to form the 2013-2017 Strategic Direction for the College. You will find that our strategic themes haven’t changed and that some of our goals, or strategic theme statements, have had minor revisions.  Your input reaffirms our commitment to Maximizing Student Success and to the future direction of the College.  Our governing board reviewed and approved the plan as presented on Tuesday, October 9. 

To ensure that we are all fully informed about the College’s 2013-2017 Strategic Direction, I am requiring that every employee attend one of the following sessions in L-100 (Bowater Room) in the library. Please click on the link below to sign up.

Sign Up for a Strategic Direction Meeting

Friday, November 9 from 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Monday, November 12 from 2 - 3:30pm
Tuesday, November 13 from 9:30 - 11am
Thursday, November 15 from 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 15 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, November 16 from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Three R's

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, as had been predicted, college enrollment is leveling off while state funding continues to decline. Historically, these are the worst times that our College has seen in terms of available resources and the expectations of us. In the most recently published Reclaiming the American Dream:  Community Colleges and the Nation's Future report, they state:
“Community colleges are not funded at a level permitting them to perform the monumental tasks expected of them…community colleges must make better use of the resources they have. Most of the necessary changes in these institutions and in student outcomes will come not through an influx of new or restored funding; rather, they will come through the leadership commitment and skill to reallocate existing resources to fund effective educational practice at scale.”
We are facing significant challenges in the future sustainability of the College; therefore, significant changes are needed to better align us with the realities of our current operating environment. Unfortunately, raising student expenses has been a difficult but necessary measure for us to take. We continue to evaluate other options to determine additional measures that will be needed.

As the Reclaiming the American Dream report recommends to community colleges, we must Redesign students’ educational experiences; Reinvent institutional roles; and Reset the system to create incentives for student and institutional success.  This is why your input in evaluating our strategic themes is so important. I take our strategic themes very seriously and your feedback helps us to know how to best set course for the next five years. Please make sure you take the time to complete the planning questionnaire by Friday, May 11.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Making Progress on Campus Master Plan



One of the goals for our Campus Master Plan is to have a pedestrian-focused campus core. The first step to creating this will be the development of our major pedestrian corridors, one of which is the east-west corridor. This corridor runs from the eastern gateway, at the rear of campus near buildings F and G, to the west side of campus, towards Anderson Road. This corridor intersects nine of the 15 buildings on our campus and is frequently used by students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Currently, the western portion of this corridor, between buildings C and H (Administration building), is confined and enclosed by walls and utility infrastructure. The College’s goal is to remove these barriers as we implement the Campus Master Plan and create a more inviting campus with universal access. The first step in the implementation process is to remove several walls located around the plaza between buildings C and H. During spring break, a large portion of this wall system was removed. Many thanks to Robby Brown, James Reeves, Roy Polk, and their staff for making this happen! Over the next several weeks, the area where the wall once stood will be re-landscaped to create a more open space, providing better visibility in the area. There will be interim landscaping performed by our grounds department to tie the two spaces together. As we develop our central energy plant, eventually the utility infrastructure will be removed, which will provide full access to the east-west corridor. There are also future plans to enhance the plaza area to provide additional outdoor collaborative learning space and possibly a signature water feature.



In addition, over the next six-eight weeks the College will add landscape improvements to Hood Center Drive (from Baskins Road to Garrison Road). These improvements are part of our Campus Master Plan and coincide with the development of our loop road system and eastern gateway to the campus. These improvements will require the use of the roadway at times for the contractor to off-load equipment and plants. Please use caution as you travel this roadway so that our contractor crews may work safely in these areas.

Your input received from the ‘07-‘08 planning sessions, as well as input received from the ‘09 visioning and design meetings, helped us to develop a comprehensive Campus Master Plan. Thanks to all of you, we are making progress in our strategic theme – Campus Environment. Our campus is more than shelter for classes. Our campus must welcome us all, support our goals, and be an inspiration.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Faculty Recognition

I am proud to share with you that John McGill, York Tech’s Science Department Chair, was recently recognized as a finalist for the Governor’s Professor of the Year award at a luncheon on the University of South Carolina campus. John was one of 10 finalists selected among 34 candidates nominated by their respective institutions. Craig Garner, South Carolina Higher Education Foundation President, presented John with an award for his excellence in teaching and student advising.

Last year, John was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence at York Tech’s 2011 graduation. John is passionate about his work and the success of his students. He continuously looks for new and creative teaching methods to engage his students. We are very proud of John and all his accomplishments!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More great things happening at York Tech…..

Please read some of our most recent news items, published by our Marketing and Public Information Office, by clicking on the below headings.

York Tech Students Recognized for Promoting Art Awareness
Congratulations to our Phi Theta Kappa chapter for receiving second place in the 2012 SCTEA Student Community Involvement Project!

SCTEA Recognizes York Tech Educators of the Year
Congratulations Dr. Jack Bagwell, Jyron Baxter, and T’rone Gibson for being recognized as York Tech’s Educators of the Year.

York Tech’s Bobby Plair Receives Community Service Merit Award
Is that Bobby and Glen the Frog? It is! Congratulations, Bobby, for all your work in the community and being one of six recipients of the Community Service Merit Award.

I am so proud of our students, faculty, and staff!  I am grateful for all that you do!