As the new president of Missouri Community College Association’s board of directors, Joan Barrett wants to continue to help advocate for the state’s two-year colleges any way she can.
“I have served the organization for the past two years and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my community college colleagues across the state and have a better understanding of the unique mission of each of our state’s community colleges and the communities they serve,” said OTC’s associate vice chancellor for student affairs.
“In a time when much is asked of community colleges, it is an honor to serve the association’s members by helping develop professional development offerings throughout the year.”
MCCA is an individual membership organization dedicated to providing professional development and networking opportunities, education, and advocacy for current and former community college faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and students.
The board works to support the association members’ professional development, provides members with opportunities for networking, and supports these efforts.
Barrett said the MCCA board is in the enviable position of advocating for particular issues common to community colleges.
“Having a voice in leading those discussions is an honor and of particular interest to me,” said Barrett.
Topics of interest to the board and others in the state’s community college system include the viability of the A+ program, increasing enrollment and improving completion rates.
The role of community colleges in helping pull the country out of an economic morass has been a key topic of discussion in the presidential campaign.
Barrett is happy to see the community colleges’ contributions put in such a positive light by everyone.
“It’s not even a political issue. Everyone recognizes the role of the community college. Our responsiveness has been recognized time and again. We are the institutions that can be used to further along the agenda of putting trained graduates in the workplace,” she said.
And Barrett believes that furthering one’s education can only have a positive impact.
“There has to be something after high school in terms of education and at community college, we can do some really cool stuff for folks,” she said.
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