Personnel at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) are undertaking a major study the next few months, one that they hope will involve much input from people in the community. The college is involved in the Alabama Community College (ACCS) Aspire 2030 Strategic Plan, a study being conducted by all the colleges in the ACCS.
The plan involved a straightforward question: what the college should be like in the year 2030. The answer to that question, however, is complex in that plans are being drawn for the types of programs of study the college will need to develop from now to 2030, what buildings and facilities will be needed or upgraded, what buildings will need to be demolished, what types of services will students need, what types of educational delivery will be needed, how can the college be more involved in the community, and what educational technology will keep the college at the forefront of education.
“Those are just a few of the major issues the college will be addressing, and these issues will be examined in detail,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “This is a major undertaking we hope will revitalize both Northeast and the Alabama Community College System. It is a vision for the future that our Chancellor, Mr. Jimmy Baker, has challenged each college to pursue. I think personally that this is a tremendous opportunity for growth that will help us better serve our area.”
Campbell also noted the Strategic Plan will involve Northeast faculty, staff, and students, and community members as well. “Our Committees will attempt to interview as many people as they can to gather insights on what type of services people would like Northeast to offer in the future, particularly what type of workforce training.”
To augment those insights, the college is collecting data on local trends in everything from types of jobs needed in the area in the future, income level and financial needs, internet services, housing, and data on social issues such as hunger and poverty.
The Strategic Plan is being conducted at this point by Committees on campus and focuses on such issues as workforce development, technology, teaching and learning, adult education, community development and engagement, student success, financial management, economic development, and campus facilities.
Dr. Mike Kennamer, Dean of Workforce Development and Skills Training, who serves as chair of the Workforce Development Committee and co-chairs the Economic Development Committee with Dr. David Campbell, noted that NACC works closely with local employers to assure that graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to work in their industry. "We work daily with companies to assure that our students meet their current needs," stated Kennamer. "ASPIRE 2030 gives us the opportunity to project what industry needs will be ten years from now and to build an infrastructure that will serve industries in 2030 and beyond."
Each committee includes seven NACC faculty and staff members and two members of the community who are experts on each topic. The Committees will be interviewing and contacting many more Jackson and DeKalb county leaders, students, and its own faculty and staff before the study ends.
Jon-Alan Pope, Director of NACC’s Adult Education Program, will serve as co-chair of the Adult Education Committee alongside Kip Williamson. Pope is looking forward to working closely with the community to complete the Strategic Plan. “This opportunity to collaborate provides unique perspectives of the challenges facing both our students, staff, and teachers in Adult Education. Planning ahead and finding solutions to those challenges allows us to better serve the needs of students and the community now and in the future, which is what Aspire 2030 is all about,” said Pope.
Dr. Campbell remains confident in Northeast’s ability to relate to the local community and understand the value of upholding existing community relationships. “We want this to be as an extensive a review and analysis as we can do,” Campbell stated. “We want to consider ideas and proposals from every perspective. We appreciate in advance those of you who are helping and will help us with this project.”