A large white board, spanning a few feet across, stood on metal legs. Bold, stenciled lettering spelled out the words “2020 ConnExxpo” across the top of the frame.
Monthly events filled the board’s white space. A March 20 seminar titled “Entrepreneurship” described as “Make Stuff. Get Paid!” in purple was the first of two seminars Alan Shelton canceled since shutting the doors to MIXXER, a nonprofit makerspace just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, five days earlier out of growing concern for the coronavirus outbreak. That roughly 8,000-square foot building — equipped with anything from an anvil to circular saws, Singer sewing machines and even 3D printers spanning the concrete floors — was nearly vacant
Take people where they are and carry them as far as they can go. As a North Carolina community college educator, I have been trained to remember this statement by Dallas Herring as the reason to show up to work every day. With this statement, it’s also important that community colleges not let policies and procedures impede their mission, especially as it relates to student services and enrollment. One often overlooked student group in these discussions is College and Career Readiness (CCR) students who take free classes. If they were recognized as a target group for enrollment and provided with wrap-around services early in their studies, then community colleges are later more likely to enroll these students into advanced level programs and retain them more easily.