HCC sharing success of students, faculty in new marketing campaign

The students and faculty know what goes on at Harford Community College, but the people in the community don't, so as the college gears up to celebrate its 60th anniversary, it's letting everyone know about its successes.

"I succeeded at Harford" and "I teach at Harford" are two new pronouncements from students and faculty that is part of a new marketing for HCC.

"We're telling the stories behind the people," Cynthia Courtney, marketing coordinator for enrollment services, told members of the HCC Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting on June 13. The board met in the newly renovated Edgewood Hall, where its regular meetings will be held going forward.

The campaign was developed using information from the Simpson Scarborough research to create a new brand identity, Courtney said.

"We want to let people know the impact of faculty on students, the quality of faculty and impact on students. We did that using their own words," she said.

About 40 faculty, staff and students have shared their stories of Harford Community College, some with short video clips filmed during graduation and others with interviews, about how they've succeeded thanks to HCC, Courtney said.

"They are from all walks of life so people can see what we've done here," Courtney said.

The new ads already are being seen on two billboards, one on Route 22 and one on Route 1, Courtney said. A third will be erected next month. They are also displayed on Harford LINK buses that traverse the county.

The college is also doing print ads as well as Facebook and other digital media advertising, she said.

All of this is leading to March 2018, when Harford Community College will unveil a new brand identity and campaign as part of its 60th anniversary celebration.

A secondary effect of the project, Courtney said, has been connecting with the faculty and students.

"We learn what they do in and out of the classroom that they bring into the college," she said. "There is student pride in seeing faculty in the advertising and the faculty feels appreciated and recognized."

As for the students, she said, "it's amazing to see the pride" they have when they talked about how "I succeeded at Harford."

Budget approved

The trustees also approved the college's operating and capital budget for the next fiscal year as they were proposed by the college administration.

The $48.8 million operating budget includes a 2 percent tuition increase, $2.48 per credit hour in-county, $4.22 per credit hour in-state (non Harford) students and $5.96 per credit hour out-of-state students.

Current HCC tuition rates are $124 per credit hour in-county, $211 in-state and $298 out-of-state.

HCC enrolls approximately 6,000 full- and part-time students per semester.

Trustee John Haggerty voted against approving the operating budget.

"I'm very disappointed we couldn't work it out so there was no tuition increase," Haggerty, who voted for the capital budget, said. "To me the pride of not raising tuition would be a great thing for us."

The budget, which is 1.1 percent higher than the FY17 operating budget, also includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for HCC employees.

The capital budget for FY2018 is $1.7 million: $848,755 for computer equipment and technology, $275,000 for site improvements and $585,000 for the Fallston Hall renovation.

The trustees also agreed to some computer replacements in this fiscal year, approving a contract for $89,120 with Apple Inc. of Austin, Texas, to replace 40 iMac 27-inch computers.

The retirement of three deans who have been at HCC for a combined 125 years was announced at the June 13 trustees meeting.

Avery Ward, dean of behavioral and social sciences, is retiring after 47 years at Harford. Paul Labe, dean of Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts, is retiring after 44 years at HCC. Deborah Wrobel, dean of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, is retiring after 34 years with Harford.

Rich Norling, chair of the board of trustees, and Cordell Hunter, vice chair, were chosen by their fellow trustees to continue in those positions for another year.

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