Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • Missouri partnership offers more degree options
  • Night classes at Peace Officer Academy
  • Lone Star College opens its eighth college
  • Tyson Foods, Virginia college partner for job training
  • A student’s vegan dish sold at 7-Eleven in Hawaii
  • A butcher shop on campus
  • New Mexico partnership to increase efficiencies expands
  • South Dakota’s summer career exploration camps

Missouri partnership offers more degree options

A new partnership among three Missouri community colleges in neighboring districts will allow students to take certain programs at each other’s colleges at in-district rates.

Jefferson College, East Central College (ECC) and Mineral Area College (MAC) signed the agreement last week, which will go into effect this fall. The partnership was done through the Missouri Community College Association.

“This collaborative program between these community colleges will improve access, affordability and opportunities for students seeking career pathways that are not currently offered by their in-district college,” said MAC President Joe Gilgour.

Through the Beyond Boundaries partnership, students in the MAC district will pay in-district tuition rates for music, culinary arts, radiologic technology and veterinary technology programs at Jefferson College; and music and culinary arts at ECC.

Jefferson College students will pay in-district tuition for building construction, industrial engineering technology and agricultural pathway programs at ECC; and engineering technology-design/drafting and industrial maintenance programs at MAC.

Students at ECC will pay in-district tuition for a law enforcement program at both MAC and Jefferson College, as well as physical therapy assistant and veterinary technology programs at Jefferson College.

(From left) Presidents Jon Bauer (East Central College), Dena McCaffrey (Jefferson College) and Joe Gilgour (Mineral Area College) signed the Beyond Boundaries partnership last week at the Missouri Community College Association office in Jefferson City. (Photo: MCCA)

Night classes at Peace Officer Academy

To meet the increasing demand for law enforcement officers and provide an option for students who work during the day, the Savannah Technical College Peace Officer Academy will offer night training for its basic law enforcement technical certificate. The Georgia college is among a growing number of community college-run police training programs that are expanding courses to evenings and weekends to accommodate students’ schedules as localities struggle to find qualified workers for law enforcement jobs.

“Never before have so many demands been placed on law enforcement, and never have we had so few officers to meet those demands,” Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said in a release.

The new night cohort will be a 30-week program running 6 pm to 10 pm Mondays through Thursdays during summer/fall semesters, according to the college. The college’s academy traditionally is an 11-week program offered during the daytime on weekdays.

Lone Star College opens its eighth college

Lone Star College (LSC) in Texas has added LSC-Online as its eighth official college to help address the growing demand for virtual learning.

“The focus will be offering classes for students who want to complete a program fully online,” said Chancellor Stephen Head, who also serves on the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors. “Currently, few students complete their degrees fully online. We plan to provide a guaranteed schedule through this new college that will allow them to earn their degree in two years.”

Seelpa Keshvala, executive vice chancellor/LSC-Online CEO, said the independent campus will offer 30 online programs as well as online student support services, such as advising, tutoring, library services and 24/7 technical support. LSC-Online plans to expand program offerings as it grows as well as recruit out-of-district, out-of-state, military and international populations, according to the college.

Tyson Foods, Virginia college partner for job training

Danville Community College (DCC), in partnership with Tyson Foods, is offering a new maintenance technology training program to prepare students for skilled positions at the company’s new $300-million facility in Danville, Virginia, which is slated to open in early 2023.

Hiring for maintenance technicians will begin in early 2023, which coincides with when the first class of students who enroll will complete the new DCC program, according to the college. The certification program will train students in the repair and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment. They will also learn to diagnose, troubleshoot and maintain automated systems. Students who complete the program will receive priority in the plant’s hiring process for the positions.

“The career path we hope our students will pursue at Tyson Foods will begin with roles that pay well and have significant upward mobility,” said Muriel Mickles, DCC interim president. “Maintenance technicians have the opportunity to begin their careers with Tyson with nearly $45,000 in annual pay, plus full benefits, with the opportunity to grow into larger and even better-compensated roles.”

A student’s vegan dish sold at 7-Eleven in Hawaii

A Leeward Community College culinary student is having his vegan rigatoni bolognese sold for a limited time at 7-Eleven stores in Hawaii.

Kaleb Molina, who is the first in his family to attend college, was among 10 University of Hawaii Community College students who competed in an annual 7-Eleven Hawaii contest that looks for a healthy bento or entrée that could potentially be sold at all 7-Eleven Hawaii locations.

Molina’s dish had “a really good flavor profile, and we think customers who don’t eat vegan would eat this,” said Debbie Lee Soon, a senior manager at 7-Eleven.

The dish went on sale statewide on March 29. The three-week sales window could be extended if it does well.

A butcher shop on campus

Every Monday from noon to 1 p.m. the culinary arts retail counter at the Madison College‘s Truax campus turns into a butcher shop, selling bacon, brats, bologna and more.

The shop is part of a class in the Wisconsin college’s Artisanal Modern Meat Butchery program, which allows students to learn about the entire lifecycle of an animal from an agricultural, meat production and culinary arts perspective.

New Mexico partnership to increase efficiencies expands

Mesalands Community College has joined a nonprofit organization established by five public New Mexico community colleges to share decision-making and technology across institutions.

The Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services, which was created about a year ago, works to transform the student experience and modernize administrative processes through a new shared-services platform and student information system.

“Our board, our employees and our community are excited to provide more opportunities for our students and better administrative operations for our employees through our membership in CHESS,” said Mesalands President Gregory T. Busch. “Being a part of CHESS will exponentially increase our ability to serve Tucumcari, and beyond, in ways we only could have imagined on our own as a small, rural college.”

Mesalands joins CHESS colleges Central New Mexico Community College, Clovis Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College and Santa Fe Community College. Together, the colleges are designing an enterprise resource planning and student information system that includes student services, finance, human resources, payroll and more. Each college retains its independence and governance structure.

South Dakota’s summer career exploration camps

Three South Dakota universities, in partnership with three two-year colleges, this summer will offer free week-long career exploration camps for middle school students.

The Dakota Dreams Career Exploration Summer Camps will allow incoming 7th- and 8th-grade students to experience at least 10 different career paths. Students will engage in hands-on learning, spend time on university and technical college campuses, and visit area businesses and industry. By week’s end, participants will have a better understanding of their career interests and how their K-12 education prepares them for professions.

Western Dakota Technical College, Southeast Technical College and Lake Area Technical College are the two-year colleges participating in the camps.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.