Monday, May 16, 2011

The Educational Excellence Fund

During the feasibility study for the Challenge and Opportunity Campaign, we received feedback that the community would support any efforts that address important community needs and amplified things MVCC already does well– thus the Educational Excellence Fund was created. This post provides insight into the Campaign’s fourth initiative, which is focused on launching or redeveloping five allied health programs in five years; expanding our incredible Cultural Series; and enhancing technology in our programs and services.

With tremendous support from Rome Hospital and Bassett Healthcare, we were able to launch our surgical technology program last year. With a new clinical lab at our Rome Campus, the surgical tech program is off to a great start - producing graduates for jobs that are just waiting for well-trained professionals. We also plan on expanding the medical assisting program to provide healthcare providers with a needed workforce. In addition, redeveloping a medical coding and billing program as well as a health information technology program will help our healthcare employers respond quickly to the shifting sands of technology and create flexible workforce ever-changing times. Finally, we are working with our healthcare partners at Faxton St-Lukes and elsewhere to create capacity and graduate more radiologic technology professionals for the growing and changing services in healthcare related to imaging technologies. These programs are expensive and difficult to develop, but the need is there in our local workforce, making this an important part of our campaign.

In a diverse community such as ours, the MVCC Cultural Series not only helps prepare our students for the future, but provides community members with great opportunities today. MVCC experienced another record breaking year once again with nearly 17,000 (16,776) individuals attending 172 Cultural Series events during the fall and spring semesters this year. We averaged nearly 100 (98) patrons per event this season, which included collaborating with Herkimer County Community College to bring Grammy nominee and Association of Country Music’s Top New Artist of the Year winner “the Band Perry” to MVCC’s Utica Campus (tickets sold out a month before the show.) We upgraded the Festine Auditorium at the Rome Campus and saw multiple sellouts in that venue, including Michael Glabicki, the lead singer and founder of the band Rusted Root. Our annual international festival saw more than 600 people attend various events throughout the day. The Cultural Series allows MVCC to provide programming to support our innovative Diversity & Global View graduation requirement and helps us all see beyond ourselves and experience more of the world. Providing such comprehensive and diverse quality programming is limited by student fees and College support and is a natural fit for private sponsorship and investment.

Founded as a technical institute in 1946, MVCC has remained true to our technical roots and maintains a broad array of technically-oriented career programs. With strong math and science offerings that support our award-winning engineering programs as well as our community-oriented trades programs, MVCC’s commitment to technology provides our students and our community with current industry-relevant technology and techniques. The recent $2.8 million Cyberjobs grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is a recent example of MVCC’s ability to keep moving forward at the pace of change. However, maintaining currency in our labs for healthcare programs like nursing and respiratory care and trades programs like welding and heating and air conditioning, as well as the general information technology needs of our students and programs is a perfect fit for public-private partnerships and private investment from industry.

While the Creating Opportunity and Breaking Barriers initiatives in the Challenge and Opportunity Campaign focus more on meeting the most challenging student needs, the Educational Excellence Fund complements the Revitalizing the Economy initiative by leveraging the strengths of MVCC to meet local community needs in creative ways that demonstrate tremendous results. If you have any thoughts on this post, please contact me directly at presblog@mvcc.edu.