It seems that I’m spending most of my week dealing with financial issues – closing out one fiscal year, establishing budgets for the next fiscal year, finalizing grant applications, reviewing personnel contracts, etc. Certainly this year is unique as we deal with a declining economy and the impact on our operations as a result of that decline. That impact includes state and federal legislative issues as well as the impact on local employers, student goals, and decisions made as to whether attending SCCC/ATS is affordable.

However time consuming the financial aspects of SCCC/ATS operations become, the reward is realizing the positive impact on the students who have attended and the goals they have attained. Whether it’s direct employment, transfer to a university, or realizing the ability of completing a particularly challenging class – those students are the focus of our operation. The student typically doesn’t get concerned with the “behind the scenes” issues of financial management, legislative mandates, stimulus grants, etc. they simply want to improve their academic and technical skill abilities.

Keeping the focus of the day to day efforts on the improvement of the individual student’s life is a key component of the SCCC/ATS mission, and it’s worthwhile to reflect on that periodically. As difficult fiscal decisions are made which do impact the operations of SCCC/ATS it is important and essential to keep the focus on the real goal of our efforts – improving the life of each student.