Guest Column

Guest Column: Bond will aid JCC’s mission

November 22, 2013 

In a sentence, the mission of Johnston Community College is to provide accessible, high-quality educational and community-enrichment opportunities for the successful development of learners.

On Nov. 5, Johnston County citizens extended a tremendous vote of confidence in JCC and provided the much-needed resources to continue accomplishing that mission. On behalf of the board of trustees, faculty, staff and students, thank you. Because of your assistance in promoting the vision, mission and value of the college, JCC will benefit by a $7 million infusion of capital funds over the next three years.

These monies will be instrumental in reducing barriers for students while providing 21st-century learning environments. Additionally, the sale of bonds will complement the private fundraising efforts that have been ramped up to a feverish pitch in the last couple of years.

While assistance with tuition and books continues to be a priority for the JCC president, the JCC Foundation and the JCC Financial Aid Office, the fact remains that if facilities and equipment at the college are not satisfactory for adequate student learning activities, all of the scholarships and loans are of poor value. So once again, thank you for your overwhelming support of the bond referendum. A more than 75 percent positive margin indicates the citizens’ opinion that JCC is a vital part of the economic recovery of the county. Additionally, citizens have recognized the importance of investing in students, the real future of our locality.

This investment will support planning for classroom, building and infrastructure renovations; actual construction around planning priorities; and relieving the pressure of growing enrollment on maximized facility resources by considering off-campus expansion opportunities. Expanding program offerings throughout the county in lieu of building new buildings on campus might serve several purposes. Off- campus expansion might result in less expensive construction costs while connecting the college more directly to the economic-development efforts of specific areas of the county.

JCC’s enrollment is expected to increase because of anticipated population growth in the county, a new transfer agreement with the UNC higher education system, new JCC program development and renewed efforts to provide students with seamless pathways from high school to college/work through the Career and College Promise. Renovating existing facilities and studying the feasibility of expanding to locations throughout the county will help ameliorate the current and future demands on campus facilities. In other words, because of the county’s vision, your vision for the future, JCC will be better positioned to utilize limited resources for the improvement of student learning, community outreach and economic development. Thank you.

David N. Johnson is president of Johnston Community College.

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