When students begin classes at the college, they often need support in addition to what the instructor provides in the classroom. Tutoring, financial support, mentoring, personal counseling and advising, and help towards preparing for a career can often be as important to their success as the facilitation provided by the instructor.
Individual efforts are enriched and deepened when created within the context of a community. When faculty and advising staff share knowledge to mentor a student, when community leaders review the effectiveness of career programs, and when faculty meet to align curricula, a community is created that works to ensure student success. We must strengthen our partnerships with each other and the external community—sometimes asking for their help but also offering our help— to assure our mutual benefit so that our students will be successful.
We are diverse in who we are and how we learn. Respecting diversity means seeing diversity as a strength that can be used to accomplish the goal of student success and recognizing that people may have diverse needs in achieving their goals. As we value what each of us can contribute to the goal of student success and attend to what each of us needs to achieve success, we are respecting our diversity.
An academic community works best when all members are engaged and proactively working to achieve goals. This engagement can create leaders in any area—the student helping a peer, a staff member tutoring or advising learners, a faculty member constructing knowledge with learners in the classroom. Professional development can support these efforts on the part of individuals to become leaders.
In a time of dwindling natural and financial resources, we must find creative ways to preserve and increase the financial means of the college in order to continue and even expand our efforts to improve student success. One way to achieve this goal is to pursue avenues of external support aggressively. Another way is to create a sustainable environment on campus in a way that is socially responsible and financially rewarding.