Officials with the Coconino Community College are developing a strategic plan and are seeking input from everyone - students, private citizens, businesses and employees - to formulate the plan. The strategic plan will serve as a guide for the college for the next three years.
David Minger, CCC vice president of student affairs, and Shawn Nittman, CCC executive director of learning enhancement and adult education services, spoke briefly to the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce Board during their regular monthly meeting Dec. 21.
According to Minger, the state of Arizona formerly provided most of the funding for colleges.
"Now we receive approximately 20 percent of our funding from the state," Minger said. "CCC is supported by tuition and taxpayers through property taxes."
The strategic plan will focus on four goals - growth and ethics, quality, community, learning and people and respect. Through growth and ethics, officials hope to improve internal efficiencies, strengthen CCC's foundation, develop new revenue streams and enhance recruitment and retention through innovative enrollment management strategies.
Through quality, officials plan to strengthen technology infrastructure, maximize technology and facilities for learning and improve access to and delivery of distance learning.
"There is one I-TV room on the Williams campus," Minger said. "We have to make sure that classes are offered at convenient times and that the TV is working. Sometimes there is pixilation that occurs that can make it difficult to see."
By utilizing the I-TV room in Williams, students can sign up for classes that are offered from the Flagstaff campus. Many classes are also offered online, but are inaccessible to students that do not own computers.
"Perhaps we could lend laptops to these students so they have access to online classes," Minger said. "Programs such as this strengthen the local workforce."
Minger admitted that not all classes that appear on the schedule are always offered. There are times when a class requires 12 students to be economically viable. If only five students sign up, the class cannot be offered.
"Classes are not always available for economic reasons," Minger said.
Through community, CCC officials hope to strengthen current partnerships with Northern Arizona University while pursuing new ones; strengthen high school partnerships; form partnerships with businesses, government, organizations and tribes; increase CCC's visibility throughout the district; develop ways to measure and understand the diverse learning needs of the county; and develop a clear branding for CCC describing how the college uniquely meets the needs of the county.
Currently "dual enrollment" is offered to students at Williams High School. Through dual enrollment, students can take one class and receive credit not only for high school, but credit that can also be transferred to a state university.
"This saves families money," Nittman said. "However, dual enrollment cannot lead to a complete graduation."
Minger stated that the Williams campus could be utilized for many other uses, such as an additional meeting space.
"The building is beautiful and is an asset to your community and surrounding areas," he said.
Through learning, the strategic plan will promote and expand post-secondary opportunities for high school students; expand non-credit offerings to correlate with demographic opportunities; develop new programs; and develop strategies to address the specific needs of distance learners.
One chamber board member expressed concern that not enough information about what CCC has to offer is being filtered to WHS juniors and seniors.
"We absolutely do need to do more," Minger stated. "Perhaps one solution is to offer a career fair located here."
Through the people and respect portion of the strategic plan, CCC officials plan to implement an enhanced total compensation philosophy that promotes recruitment and retention of quality employees; expand professional development opportunities for employees; and infuse a learning college philosophy deeper into the CCC culture.
"We want to attract faculty and students," Minger said. "Lack of housing has kept students from attending CCC."
The Williams Campus is located at 636 S. Seventh St. Nittman said that comments and suggestions could be left at the campus. CCC President Leah Bornstein plans to work one day each month at the Williams Campus. Bornstein will be at the Williams Campus Jan. 28 and welcomes visitors with ideas and feedback.
"Folks can stop by the Williams' campus and talk directly to Carol Wamble. She does a great job of recording feedback and passing it on to David and I," concluded Nittman.
Comments can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to CCC, Marketing and Public Relations Office, 2800 S. Lone Tree Rd., Flagstaff, AZ 86001. CCC needs all input no later than Monday.