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ECC focuses on collaboration to meet goals

reimer_martinBy Dr. Martin Reimer

As part of its overall mission, Ellsworth Community College is dedicated to providing quality learning experiences and ensuring student success while responding to diverse community needs and building community partnerships. This year Ellsworth Community College has been recognized in several ways for its commitment to achieving these goals.

ECC has been named to the Aspen Institute’s Top 150 Community Colleges. This honor was earned by focusing on student success in the areas of student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students. ECC has also been named to the 2016 Military Friendly® Schools List for embracing military students and dedicating resources to support their education and career goals.

While these recognitions are gratifying, it important to recognize hard work and collaborative efforts that lead to student and community success. The oft-repeated African proverb “it takes a village…” comes to mind. In this case, it takes a village to ensure student success and address community needs.

There are many examples of collaborative efforts taking place at ECC. One instance includes ECC hosting more than 200 area high school students from Hardin County for a Financial Literacy Fair. Area banks, businesses and economic organizations came together to help students understand the earning potential of different careers, how to manage expenses, and how to save for the future. As part of an area sector board, the ECC Agriculture program has been working with businesses to develop a career pathway system that will enhance the current talent pipeline to close the skills gap in agricultural industries. Last year, ECC Practical Nursing graduates had a 100% passage rate on their national board exams. This again occurred through the work of dedicated nursing staff joining forces with area hospitals and healthcare organizations to create relevant curriculum and provide quality clinical experiences.

These are just a few examples of how working together leads to a win-win scenario for our students and communities. While ECC and its partners have achieved much success through 125+ years of working in partnership, we will need to continue to collaborate to continuously improve on these endeavors. As a rural college in a rural community, we will need to think of signature programs that will attract students and align with community needs.

ECC welcomes input on how to improve its programs and offer important services to the community. Please consider sharing your ideas, your expertise and your time on how we can continue to work together to ensure student and community success.

Dr. Martin Reimer is Provost of Ellsworth Community College.

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