One of the great roles of any community college is the relationship the college has with the local community. A vital aspect of SCCC’s well-being is recognition by the community that our college serves the role of providing educational opportunities but also cultural, entertainment, and social awareness opportunities as well. Recently, with the help of Wade Lyon, SCCC Director of Student Activities and other college personnel, SCCC hosted an awareness activity related to the United States Constitution. The popular television game show “Are you smarter than a 5th grader” was imitated with a fun event featuring our students and 5th grade students from Cottonwood Intermediate School. The event provided an awareness of the importance and content of our Constitution, but also created a connection between SCCC and Cottonwood students, parents, and teachers. Similarly, Darin Workman, SCCC instrumental music instructor, students from Lori Geis’ vocal music classes, other students, and staff performed recently at our first Sunday Brunch for the fall semester. This event allows our students an opportunity to showcase their talents in an informal setting, and allows our community members a chance to enjoy a wonderful meal and fantastic music. These are just two recent examples of how SCCC meets an essential feature of the educational, cultural, and social awareness aspects of our community.

Another successful “party auction” concluded this past Saturday evening (Sept. 22, 2007) with plenty of wonderful food, fantastic student entertainment, and a fun filled atmosphere. Many thanks to Tammy Doll, SCCC Director of Development, and Andy Yoxall, SCCC Director of Public Relations, and the many other individuals who helped make this a successful event. The student performers certainly add a significant aspect to the evening. Those students along with the student ambassadors and presidential scholars provide the auction participants with an insight to the great students who are able to attend SCCC due to the generosity of the Development Foundation. A special thanks to those who purchased tickets, contributed items, and/or brought a guest to the event. As final numbers are determined, I’ll let you know how many dollars were raised for student scholarships and institutional improvements.
Well here goes – I’m finally getting around to getting my “blog” established. My intent is to place something on our site at least bi-weekly; however, if the need presents itself, I will use this forum more often to address an immediate issue related to SCCC.

Our 2007-08 academic year is off to a great start. Unfortunately, due to a sudden health issue, I was not able to be here for the “welcome week” activities. I’ve heard very positive comments about the hamburger cook-out, the activities fair, and the many other activities which our staff provided for students to become acquainted with each other and with our fantastic college.

As we launch a new academic year I am very proud of the focus SCCC continues to place on student success and academic progress toward the individual student’s goal. Our students excel as they transfer to bachelor’s degree programs at colleges and universities; our students excel in obtaining employments after completing our career programs; and our licensure exams exceed statewide averages (our nursing licensing exam passage rates are 100%). Considerable effort is provided by our faculty advisors, our student support services, and our entire college organization to do all we can to help the first time student, the returning student, and the continuing student to achieve his or her academic and career goals. We continue to improve our advising processes, and our “early alert” system allows faculty members to identify necessary support procedures which can be used to help the student complete the individual class in which he or she may be having difficulty. Our student support services provide individualized support for first generation students, and our entire student services team does a wonderful job in providing financial aid services, counseling, and a variety of activities to ensure the students have support to address their financial, emotional, and social needs. Our security team is diligent in providing a safe atmosphere, and of course our maintenance team is unmatched in ensuring that our facilities are clean, attractive, and create a sense of “welcome” to all of our students and guests.

Successful organizations require full effort from everyone in the organization. I believe SCCC students succeed because of the efforts of everyone at SCCC – the faculty, the administration, the support staff, and certainly the decisions and vision of our Board of Trustees and the Liberal/Seward County community. It’s a wonderful college with genuine concern for the individual student – and the success our students attain is evidence of that genuine concern.