Harford Community College Future Summit looks at how higher education might evolve

Harford Community College held a successful Future Summit planning event last Friday, according to college officials, as participants discussed what HCC might be like in the coming decades.

The signature event of the college’s strategic planning efforts, the Future Summit was attended by approximately 325 people, including faculty, staff, administrators and students and approximately 80 community representatives.

HCC’s Coordinator for Student Development Bill Elliott, Assistant Professor of Humanities Regina Johnson and Director for eLearning and Instructional Resources Karen Rege, who serve as the Strategic Planning Committee chairs, welcomed those who participated in planning the “College of the Future.”

Richard D. Norling, Chair of the Harford Community College Board of Trustees and HCC President Dr. Dianna G. Phillips also delivered welcoming remarks.

Len Parrish, director of the Harford County Office Community and Economic Development, presented the first of four EdTalks designed to address each of the major themes identified from an earlier analysis of the college’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Parrish’s talk addressed future workforce demands in the region. Sheila Allen, professor of education at HCC, spoke about “Readying Them for Learning: Streamlining the Student Experience;” Chris Jones, professor of mathematics, and Deborah Dorsey, director of health, wellness and community engagement at HCC, discussed “Maintaining a Personal Touch in a High-Tech Learning Environment;” and John Hamman, dean of mathematics, statistics and data science and ATD Data Team co-chair at Montgomery College, gave a presentation on “Disruption in Higher Education.”

Breakout sessions followed on each of the topics where business and community members, faculty, staff and students discussed the most compelling or surprising things they had learned from the presentations and which they believed would have the greatest impact on the future of HCC.

The groups then built consensus on how best the college should respond to the priority items they identified and developed impact statements that will be a foundational component to the development of the college’s strategies.

“The college is extremely grateful to those community members who joined us on this strategic planning journey to provide their valuable input,” HCC President Phillips said. “By lending their voice to the process, they have helped ensure the relevance, quality and accessibility of a Harford Community College education well into the 21st century.”

The Future Summit was sponsored by HCC’s Strategic Planning Committee and the College Governance Coordinating Group. It was the first of two opportunities planned for its external constituents to participate in its strategic planning process.

The college will be inviting the community back to campus in spring 2019 to review its draft mission, vision and strategies, according to an HCC news release.

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