Community College Month is a time when college leaders should be bragging about all the contributions they make to the lives of students and to the community. Here are some ideas about celebrating your institution:
- Invite the public for a visit. Campus tours are a great way of showing off your programs. Include demonstrations with students and staff. John Wood Community College (JWCC) in Illinois has planned several events that get people on campus. Tours, concerts, a student art show and a career fair are just a few of the activities. There also will be events aimed at high school students, giving them the opportunity to meet JWCC students and faculty, and to learn about academic programs and career paths.
- Bring the college into the community. Talk about your college at local organizations, such as the Rotary Club or Knights of Columbus. Or, better yet, have your students (present and former) tell their stories about finding success at your institution. And don’t forget about visiting your representatives. In Alabama, April 6 was designated as Alabama Community College System Day. The state’s 25 community or technical colleges came together at the Alabama State Capitol. The colleges promoted their institution and engaged with students and employees from sister colleges. Acting as a unified system allowed them to amplify their message. Students and staff also were encouraged to visit with their legislators.
- Make your voice heard. This is the perfect time to meet with the media and talk about how valuable your college is to the community. Presidents should consider placing an op-ed in the local newspaper. Karen Vickers, president of New York’s Clinton Community College (CCC), leveraged Community College Month and the college’s 70th anniversary to talk about CCC’s history and student success efforts in the Clinton Herald. She also invited the public to visit the campus.
How is your college celebrating Community College Month? Sound off at LinkedIn.