PDCCC working with lawmakers to improve institution

Published 8:12 am Friday, January 21, 2011

by Patsy Joyner

As the spring semester at Paul D. Camp Community College gets well under way, various activities are also in full swing.

Now that the General Assembly is in session, representatives from each of the colleges in the Virginia Community College System visit with their jurisdiction’s legislators in their offices in Richmond as part of “Every Day is Community College Day” initiated by Dr. Glen DuBois, VCCS Chancellor.

The following are the community colleges’ legislative priorities for 2011:

Connecting People with Virginia’s top jobs

Virginia’s community colleges support Gov. Bob McDonnell’s call for an additional 100,000 college graduates. Virginia cannot meet that goal without a strong, vibrant community college system. Accordingly, the VCCS is seeking legislative support in the following areas:

• Strategic investment in community college infrastructure—Virginia’s Community Colleges are seeking $2.5 million in pre-planning money for 10 capital projects chosen specifically to enhance STEM education and promote affordable college access. While the VCCS is in the midst of a systemwide re-engineering effort that ensures we are maximizing usage of existing space, our colleges have enrolled an additional 27,000 students over the last four years, and more space is essential.

• Helping Virginia employers keep their workers on the cutting edge—Recognizing the unmatched leading role Virginia’s community colleges play in partnering with private employers, the governor’s budget proposal includes $3 million to bolster customized training and workforce development programs at the VCCS. With more employees earning leading industry certifications, Virginia companies will be more competitive.

• Making bachelor’s degrees more affordable for Virginia families—Virginia’s community colleges, along with more than two dozen public and private universities, offer the best transfer environment in the nation. The two-year transfer grants aim to make a bachelor’s degree more accessible and affordable. An effort to amend that law will position the grants to better fulfill their intent and help more students.

• Preserving community college funding to serve record enrollments—Virginia’s community colleges have enrolled an additional 27,000 students over the last four years while simultaneously losing $105 million in annual general fund support. Aware of the commonwealth’s budgetary challenges, Virginia’s community colleges support McDonnell’s introduced budget for our core operating needs.

PDCCC General Assembly Visits

This week, PDCCC representatives, including President Dr. Paul Conco and students, visited Delegate William Barlow and Sens. Louise Lucas and Fred Quayle in support of Virginia’s community colleges and their legislative priorities. They were introduced in the Senate Gallery by Lucas.

In February, another group led by Conco will visit with Delegates Chris Jones, Roslyn Tyler and Lionell Spruill — and college and area business representatives will attend the Virginia Community College System’s Legislative Reception at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

Waiting to Exhale Workshop

On campus this week, workshops for students entitled “Waiting to Exhale” were presented by Dr. Harriette Arrington, dean of the Hobbs Suffolk campus, and Hyler Scott, counselor at the Suffolk campus.

The workshops were presented at the Franklin Campus’ Regional Workforce Development Center on Tuesday and the Hobbs Suffolk campus on Thursday.

Since the typical student at PDCCC carries many responsibilities such as classes, jobs, club activities, community work, home, social and more, this workshop was designed to focus on how to manage time and reduce unhealthy stress to become effective and productive.

Participants were given the opportunity to discuss ideas and share with strategies to reduce stress, relax more and increase productivity.

For information on options available at Paul D. Camp Community College, call 569-6700, or visit www.pdc.edu.

DR. PATSY JOYNER is the vice president for institutional advancement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Her email address is pjoyner@pc.vccs.edu.