An Open Letter and Open Invitation to the Community
From Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State Community College
I am finally home. I have found my mission in life and Northeast State is my home. I want to say thank you to the business leaders, public officials, faculty and staff, and, most importantly, the students and families of this community for embracing me so graciously into your community.
I want every resident of this community to understand that Northeast State can be your home, too. We are working tirelessly around a set of goals, objectives and strategies that will ensure that your experience at the College will be warm, welcoming, meaningful and successful. You should expect to be treated by every member of our staff and faculty as our special guest, respected client, cherished customer and family member. This is our commitment to you.
As you begin to see changes on campus and hear about new reforms and initiatives, remember that we will be driven by three primary principles:
- Access – Pursue your dream with us. We want to be your first option academically to pursue a better quality of life for you and your family and we will design a tailored game plan for you based on your needs, goals, life challenges and local opportunities.
- Completion – For some, graduation is a goal. For others, goals may include continued work toward a bachelor’s degree, good paying job, or advancement in your career. Whatever your goal – we want to help you achieve your dreams.
- Community – We are here to serve you. We are committed to being a good steward of taxpayer dollars and your tuition funds, and we want to be an economic engine of the region by graduating and placing you in great jobs and helping build a workforce worthy of new and expanding businesses.
If we bring business practices and discipline to our operations and make sure that all of our decisions are in the best interest of the student, I am confident that we can achieve our three major objectives of (1) keeping college affordable; (2) shortening the time it takes to earn a degree; and (3) increasing completion rates. As a measuring stick, by 2020, our bold and audacious goals will include doubling the number of first generation college graduates who complete a credential; tripling the number of single parents who will earn a degree; and reducing the average time for recent high school graduates to earn an associate's degree by 25%.
I am one of you. I grew up on a small farm in rural western North Carolina, raised by parents with an eighth-grade education. Like you, I know a little something about hard work and sacrifice – first taking cosmetology classes, teaching at a community College, earning a two year degree, bachelor's degree, then a master's, then a doctorate, and working full-time all while raising three children. I know how challenging it is to simply survive and then try to advance. Before the passing of my father, whose parents died while he was still a young boy, he taught me that my greatest value would be to raise my three sons the right way. He was right, but I also discovered recently that second to that responsibility, my mission in life is to make sure that you have the same opportunities and support that I was afforded via a community College experience.
If you make the significant commitment to step on our campus and give us your all, Northeast State will commit to do everything we can to help you earn your degree, continue to grow academically, get a good paying job or advance in your career. Northeast is a place that can change the trajectory of your life and I want you to know that the College can be your home too.