Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., is chancellor of St. Louis Community College. This quarterly communication initiative is an effort to keep everyone informed on what the College is doing to improve the state of employment in St. Louis, the issues that affect the College in the Missouri legislature, and other ways in which the College meets the needs of prospective and current students.
Learn more about Dr. Pittman at stlcc.edu.
Words from the Chancellor
At St. Louis Community College, faculty and staff are engaged in a wide range of new initiatives to assist students in obtaining a degree or credential for the workforce, expanding transfer opportunities to four-year universities, and offering continuing education to thousands of St. Louis residents.
I’d like to share a few of the many exciting activities transpiring at the College.
STLCC Success Story
The College is documenting stories of our amazing alumni! Take a look at an exciting success story: STLCC alumni video.
STLCC and the 2019 Missouri Legislative Session
Last month, Governor Mike Parson presented his State of the State address in Jefferson City. Although the governor’s proposed budget is flat for higher education, there are several exciting ideas within this budget we hope will come to fruition during the 2019 legislative session.
Fast Track: This proposal provides $22 million to assist individuals to quickly prepare for new, high-demand jobs. In many ways, it mirrors the successful Tennessee Reconnect program as it targets adults over 25 with a household income of less than $80K and provides for 100 percent of free tuition for qualified students. The Fast Track program aligns perfectly with what we have been working on the last several months with the College’s planned expansion of career programs, including nursing and information technology. Zora Mulligan, Missouri commissioner of higher education, believes that the program could put as many as 16,000 students into community and technical colleges.
Mo-Excel: This proposal would provide $16 million for those programs identified on the MoExcel list of priorities. Given STLCC is ranked number two on the list with our proposed expansion in health care and information technology, if funded, it would provide us with additional dollars for these projects.
Missouri One Start: The proposed budget provides $10 million to reinvigorate the Missouri Works program to help new and expanding businesses by covering costs of training for workers.
Missouri A+ Program State Aid: And finally, the proposed budget calls for a $1.5 million increase in Missouri A+ funding.
I recently had the chance to compose a guest commentary for the St. Louis American about CORE 42, a value-added and viable educational opportunity for postsecondary success. In 2016, former Governor Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 997, or the Missouri Higher Education Core Curriculum Transfer Act (CORE 42). CORE 42 is the general education framework that guarantees transferability to all public colleges and universities in Missouri.
CORE 42 went into effect in time for the fall 2018 semester. The CORE 42 curriculum can be found within our General Transfer Studies degree, a degree which more than 8,000 students are seeking at STLCC. You can read the column “Community college now even better step to four-year degrees.”
ArcherMADE Peer Mentoring Program
The College continues to put programs and initiatives in place to address student success, retention and completion. The fall semester included the debut of the ArcherMADE Peer Mentoring program.
The program was very successful, and the mentors achieved the three goals of the pilot:
- Support students by helping them develop key relationships and networks for their campuses
- Improve semester-to-semester retention
- Assist students and provide them with key resources to foster their social and academic success
Because of the program’s success, we intend to expand the program in the future. At St. Louis Community College, we are launching several initiatives such as the above to assist students in obtaining a higher education credential.
2017-18 College Bound Report
The STLCC Leadership Team recently met with College Bound staff to learn about first-year student outcomes at STLCC-Forest Park. The College is working with College Bound to assess the effects of intrusive mentoring and advising with high-risk students at the Forest Park campus.
First-year results were impressive, with a fall-to-fall persistence rate of 81 percent compared to 55 percent for all students at Forest Park. We intend to continue with College Bound this academic year and will continue to monitor results over time, as the College may want to consider scaling such strategies across the entire student body as time and funding allows.
Boeing Regional Elected Officials and Community Members Meeting
I recently attended the quarterly meeting of elected and community officials held at Boeing to hear updates on the many positive initiatives that are now underway at Boeing St. Louis. As I’m sure you are aware, Boeing was awarded the T-X Trainer and MQ-25 Unmanned Aerial Refueler by the Department of Defense, and has expanded into a new line of retrofitting the F/A-18 to extend the life of the aircraft.
The College offers two comprehensive pre-employment training programs with Boeing that provides students the opportunity to learn much-needed skills utilized by Boeing St. Louis for both the defense and commercial lines they produce. These programs are for only a few weeks, but present graduates of the program with skills that, if employed by Boeing, place them into a high-wage job. To date, STLCC has trained and placed more than 500 employees at Boeing.
These programs are just a few examples of the many career and technical programs that the College offers to prepare individuals with the education and skills needed for high-wage jobs in the St. Louis region.
Community College Reads
From time to time, I come across articles that pique my interest and are worthwhile to share. I hope you find them interesting. These articles speak to the tremendous value of a community college education, the future of the workforce, and higher education career readiness accountability trends.