One of our core values at Monroe County Community College is to be student-focused. Over the past few months, I have heard several individuals discuss the term “student-focus”. Oftentimes, the conversations conclude with a question. What does it mean to be student-focused? In our Mission, Vision, and Values document we include student-centered decision-making. According to the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, “In student-centered schools, the decision making process is transparent, inclusive, and perhaps most importantly, dictated by the needs of the students.” (https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/node/1214).
In a recent conversation, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor, Devinder Maholtra, stated that we are always concerned that students are not “college ready.” He went on to say that perhaps we should reverse that and make certain that we are “student ready.” Students come to MCCC for a variety of reasons. What can we do to facilitate their success? Students are changing, and so should the ways colleges think about serving them. (Selingo, The Future Learners) I believe that students come first, because without them none of us would be here. With that in mind, we will develop more programs that have students at their core. It cannot be about us, it has to be about them. They are our reason for existence. It cannot be about what is more convenient for us, as it has to be about what is best for our students. Student-focus and success must drive everything that we do, as evidenced by our new vision, which was vetted and approved by all stakeholders here at MCCC.
Our Vision states: Monroe County Community College will be recognized for our student-focused service, academic excellence, affordability, innovation, community responsiveness and student success.
The only way that we can achieve this is to focus on our students and make sure that they are our sole purpose for existence. Without that singular focus, our vision is mere words without action. As we develop our Strategic Plan over the course of the next few months, we must live and breathe the mantra of student-focus; this is what will lead to greater student success.