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​TCC Blogs

Follow us on an authentic written journey through life here at Tallahassee Community College.
 
Interested in blogging for TCC? Students, faculty and staff are invited to contact us at communications@tcc.fl.edu. 
 

 Latest Blogs

 

Technology and the Future of Our College

Jim Murdaugh, President Friday, April 4, 2014

There’s been a lot of buzz circulating as of late here at the College over technology. Just a few short months ago, the District Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system, along with a partnership with the provider, Workday, Inc., to help design a revolutionary new student system from the ground up. We’ve also been working on our next quality enhancement plan (QEP) as part of our accreditation process. The QEP theme will be technology and digital literacy across the curriculum. 

This year will truly be the start of a new, more technology-focused chapter for our College.

WorkdayLaunch.jpgAs many of our employees learned at the Workday project kick-off a few weeks ago, we are moving quickly in the direction of our goals. Configuration and testing of our first phase of the ERP, student recruiting, begins this month with deployment expected sometime late summer or early fall. Then the process will move on to other areas such as human capital management, admissions, financial aid and advising, some of which will be simultaneous. Completed implementation is expected sometime in 2017 which may sound far away to some, but is actually quite impressive considering the amount of work that must be done.  

Collectively, this project will require some tens of thousands of hours and the involvement of not only Workday and our implementation partner, CedarCrestone, but also nearly every area of our College. It is the single largest technology project we have ever undertaken. However, the large team that is leading the charge on campus has already proven to be enthusiastic and quick-thinking as they are well on their way to an on-time completion of the first phase.

On the academic side, the QEP committee announced the winner of their recent naming contest. Students were invited via email and social media to weigh in on the development of the QEP strategy and give it a name. The name that was chosen, Digital FOCUS (Find, Operate, Create, Utilize and Share), won its author an iPad Air. Over the coming months, the QEP committee will finalize their strategy and create initiatives to help our College leverage new and existing technologies to keep our students digitally literate in the classroom and beyond. This will satisfy both accreditation standards and our College’s mission while also significantly improving the student learning environment.

As we work through the many tasks ahead of us, let’s not forget that the work we do today puts us at the forefront of tomorrow and will help create a better College for our students and our future.​​​​

These projects represent only two of the larger efforts we have undertaken to advance areas such as student onboarding, academic planning and leadership. We are fortunate to live in a digital age where technology is readily available and can offer solutions to maximize the experiences in these areas, areas where I see effectiveness as more important than efficiency. Efficiency is great for established processes, but when confronted with change, efficiency can sometimes create barriers. Effectiveness thrives in changing environments and sees barriers as opportunities for advancement.

I believe technology will change the face of our College. 

I envision a future where employees transition our business processes into best practices; where students are able to service their own accounts easily with online and mobile functionality; where evaluation involves tools like apps and micro-credentials, and serves to enhance student and the employee experiences, not hinder them. As we work through the many tasks ahead of us, let’s not forget that the work we do today puts us at the forefront of tomorrow and will help create a better College for our students and our future.

Jim


Embracing the Future

Ginny Wagner, Faculty Thursday, March 27, 2014

This has been an amazing first year for me as Program Chair. Let me recap some of the highlights.   

Ginny_3-27-14_1.jpgI have learned how to fill out a number of forms, schedules, surveys, and worksheets. I have re-done most of them at least once, so I guess that counts for double the experience. I created two simple spreadsheets for the agenda items for the weekly faculty meetings and the biweekly meetings with the dean.The longest survey so far has been the annual American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation Survey for Dental Hygiene Education. The final printed version was 73 pages. Then I completed the same survey for Dental Assisting Education, which was a ‘piece of cake’ at only 53 pages. 

In my role as Program Chair, I have attended meetings, Ginny_3-27-14_2.jpgmeetings and more meetings with current, former and prospective faculty, current and prospective students, administrators, TCC Foundation Board members and representatives, my mentors, local dentists, CareerSource Capital Region representatives, dental equipment sales representatives, the Dental Health Programs Advisory Board, and the architects, the construction manager, contractors, and subcontractors for our renovation. 

I have also spoken at a Capital Area Dental Hygienists Association meeting about the services we provide in our dental clinic. 

Ginny_3-27-14_3.jpgSome days I have to remind myself that my primary role is still teaching.

I do have to admit that I attend some meetings simply because I enjoy them. I usually participate in one of the Book Clubs every semester, and I try to attend all of the District Board of Trustees meetings. I am already sad that one of my classes this summer is scheduled on Monday afternoons and I will miss the May and June BOT meetings. However, since I am in charge of scheduling the classes, next summer I will make other arrangements.    

There have also been physical changes. I reorganized and realigned all of my files. My email folders now match my document folders on my computer, and both of them match the organization of the files in my file cabinets. One of the most important things I have learned this year is that I am never finished with anything. Data, documents and discussions all have to be retrieved, revisited and revised, so I have to know where I stored them. With everything synchronized, my frustration is significantly reduced. How many times have I created a document and then I can’t find where I saved it, and have to start over? (Of course when I save the second one, then I find the original!)   

Ginny_3-27-14_4.jpgI also moved into a larger office so that I would have plenty of room for the others involved in "MMM" (my many meetings). If I am being really honest, I also bought clothes and shoes to dress a little more professionally, okay, a lot more professionally. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?    

Over the past few months, I have received four job announcements/postings for vacancies for the position of Dental Hygiene Program Chair from schools around the country. I have read every single responsibility listed on every vacancy. As I read, I said to myself, “Done that, done that, am doing that. Accreditation site visit? Working on that one, done that, doing that next month, etc. Hmmm, I could apply for any of those jobs.”  In a moment of clarity, I thought about the process of applying for a promotion, and the self-evaluation that takes place; the preparation for focusing on strengths and abilities, vision and character that comprise excellent candidates. 

I thought about the locations of each of the other vacancies - Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia and Wyoming - while watching the Weather Channel. I know that many times advancement requires moving, and I did not have to even consider snow tires and heavy coats. Nor did I have to struggle through the application process, the writing, the waiting, the wringing and ringing! I was offered this position as a gift. I am the Program Chair and I am doing the job of the Program Chair.    

"I took the job, I love the job, and now I am all about embracing the future of the job.​"

I decided then that I will stop whining about not being trained, or feeling overwhelmed, or not having enough time or any other frustration about the job as if I didn’t have a choice about being here. I took the job, I love the job, and now I am all about embracing the future of the job. 

I will teach myself how to think forward by spending time with forward-thinking leaders. I will become a visionary by watching and listening to visionary leaders.  I will learn from my mistakes, embrace leadership through service. Next year will be even better.

Ginny



A year ago this spring, Ginny Wagner was accepted into the Advanced Leadership TCC class of 2013-14. Participants for Advanced Leadership TCC are required to promote partnership, collaboration and networking while giving back to the campus community. Having just been named the new chair of the Dental Hygiene Program, Ginny chose to document her experience for her Advanced Leadership TCC class in a "leadership pilgrimage blog," the purpose of which was "not just about personal reflection but also to create a blueprint for future chairs to follow." In addition to her role as Chair of the Dental Hygiene Program, Ginny is a full-time teaching faculty member for the Division of Health Care Professions. Though this marks Ginny's last blog for her project, she is considering continuing writing just for the fun of it.   

​​​


Announcing the TCC2FSU Golden Guarantee Program

Jim Murdaugh, President Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TCC2FSU_LogoSquare.jpgThis week, our College was proud to launch the TCC2FSU Golden Guarantee Program. This program offers guaranteed admission into Florida State University for those students who continue to meet the academic requirements to complete their Associate in Arts degree program at Tallahassee Community College. It will also be a great opportunity for students who want to go to FSU but were not admitted initially. This pathway will allow them to achieve that goal.   

The program is another demonstration of the proven partnership between TCC and FSU. We are the #1 transfer school to Florida State in addition to being #1 nationally in producing A.A. degrees among two-year colleges. Studies have shown, our students do well at FSU and graduate at the same rate as their classmates who started at FSU. They thrive in the classroom and in the Seminole community having already developed friendships in their first two years in Tallahassee.     

This program is designed to help our students start right and stay on track for their FSU degrees with customized orientations, individualized advising, and special opportunities to participate in activities at FSU.  Of course, participants will also enjoy the personal touch that our caring faculty and staff offer in and out of the classroom.   

I would like to point out that the TCC2FSU program is just one of the many transfer pathways we have established or are currently working on to ensure our students’ success beyond our College.  We know that students are attracted to Tallahassee because of the excellent opportunities our community provides in higher education. The diversity of these opportunities is directly represented here at TCC where, in addition to the public universities, we partner  with five different private colleges and universities who offer many in-demand baccalaureate degrees right here on our campus.  

These programs are important not just to TCC and our partner universities; they are important to our community today and will continue to increase in significance in the future.​ 

We have also set up guaranteed transfer programs to FAMU and UWF which we will launch this spring, and we are in talks with other four-year schools that are looking for more qualified transfer students like those here at TCC. I hope to establish many partnerships of this nature in the months and years to come so that our students can have as many options as possible.   

These programs are important not just to TCC and our partner universities; they are important to our community today and will continue to increase in significance in the future. The more students we bring to our area and the more graduates we retain locally, the more we invigorate our economy. This will pay dividends for our community.   

 I encourage students to consider the TCC2FSU Golden Guarantee Program. Those who are interested can learn more about program benefits and application details at: www.tcc.fl.edu/tcc2fsu

Jim  ​


Alternating Currents of Change

Ginny Wagner, Faculty Thursday, January 30, 2014

alternatingcurrents.jpgIt is amazing to me how my thoughts so easily fly off on seemingly random tangents. Two weeks ago I taught my dental radiography students about the sine wave of the 60-cycle alternating current operating at 90,000 Volts (90kVp). Basically this means that the normal flow of household electrical current changes its direction of flow 60 times every second. For our purposes, this means that x-rays are produced in bursts or impulses rather than a continuous flow. On the diagram, the effective portion of the cycle is shaded in the light green.   

Last Friday we continued our discussion of the biophysics of ionizing radiation and the theories of harm to living tissue. The breakdown of water molecules begins in the ‘green’ cycle within the first 10 -12 of a second, and by the time the ‘green’ cycle is over, the damaged molecules have recombined and the free radicals have disappeared. Then the negative phase of the cycle begins when no x-rays are produced and the tissues continue to repair.   

My thoughts joined the x-rays traveling at the speed of light about the nature of change. All of change seems to flow from alternating currents as well. We move in new directions, mostly chosen, sometimes mandated, but the movement in never straight or linear. All of the changes require learning new methods, computer systems, trainings, paperwork, or, fill-in-the-blank with whatever is changing. Changes also spend time below the line, in what I am going to call the unproductive part of the curve. This is where we hold onto the old, we make mistakes, we think in the old paradigm, we dig in our heels and fight the change.   

The most important revelation to me, while I was staring at this diagram in the front of class, was the realization that this is a snapshot of my attitude as well. How do I consider the changes coming at me? The productive or ‘green’ attitude lasts for half of the cycle, but on the smallest level, it has already cycled through repair before 1/120th of a second!    

These types of insights motivate me to challenge my team to focus on the ‘green’; the productive part of change... Let’s move forward. Vent your frustrations, but let’s not remain stuck in them.

Complaining, criticizing, whining, blaming, acting passive-aggressively, stalling, balking, sabotaging, and refusing may describe some of the damages to my attitude, which are comparable to damage to tissue, but if the physical repair can occur almost instantaneously, then why should my attitude take longer? I can choose to let go of the negative and cycle immediately back to an attitude of embracing the change.   

I am a positive individual, and these types of insights motivate me to challenge my team to focus on the ‘green’; the productive part of change. We are beginning renovation of the dental clinic area which we have wanted for a long time. The end result will be beautiful and state-of the art. Until then, we will have construction noise (drilling, hammering, removing floors), construction smells, roped-off doorways, different classrooms with different seating/lighting/teaching arrangements, and new systems to adjust to even when the construction is completed.   

Let’s move forward. Vent your frustrations, but let’s not remain stuck in them. We can do this, we can move forward together.   

Oh, and green is my favorite color because it is the color of growing things.​​


Celebrating Black History Month at TCC

Jim Murdaugh, President Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Monday, TCC unveiled our 14th annual Cherry Alexander African-American History Calendar in a special event that both showcased the calendar’s 14 honorees and kicked off our celebration of Black History Month. This year’s theme for the calendar was, “Civil Rights Unsung Heroes: Great by Choice” and each of the individuals featured in the calendar were chosen for their significant contributions to the community.   

During the ceremony, I found myself reflecting on the “great by choice” theme. The calendar’s honorees were all pioneering leaders who at any point in their careers could have chosen an easier path. Fortunately for all of us, they chose to be the first to break through their respective barriers, improving the path for all those who would follow and promoting our country’s founding principles of equality and opportunity.    

Diversity, particularly as a minority serving institution, among our student population as well as among our faculty and staff, is a great source of pride for our College.​

I also appreciate the theme because TCC is known as the “college of choice,” a tagline which I feel has many different meanings. For example, we are the college of choice for over 4,700 African American students. (For perspective: that is just over half as many students as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University enrolled in Fall 2012.) In 2013, we were ranked fifth in the nation among two-year colleges in awarding associate degrees to African American students having graduated over 700 African American students. 

We are also the employer of choice for many outstanding African American faculty and staff like recently retired math professor Mac McCorvey who, until his retirement, was the most senior faculty member at the college, and Kimberly Moore, vice president for workforce development who was appointed to the FAMU Board of Trustees last year and selected by the Florida Diversity Council to receive their 2014 Florida Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award. 

Diversity, particularly as a minority serving institution, among our student population as well as among our faculty and staff, is a great source of pride for our College. The cultural richness that comes as a result is not only a fortunate side-effect of our open-education policy, it has become an essential component of our collective success. Every day thousands of students, faculty and staff come together on this campus. They bring their own individual experiences, insights, and talents, and together they create something cool, something new, something better.  We are, and always will be, greater than the sum of our parts and that is the story of our College.

Jim​


Happy Holidays 2013

Jim Murdaugh, President Friday, December 6, 2013

This semester has flown by, as has this entire year. Already we are putting up the decorations, gathering family and friends, and celebrating the holidays again.

I blinked, and 2013 is over. Or at least that’s how it feels.

In reality we have had another great year at Tallahassee Community College. There have been a few challenges but many more accomplishments. In case you missed some of our College’s biggest news stories, here are just a few highlights.

  • ao97xx24mkt7mzx1.jpgOur student organizations continue to thrive and bring home awards such as the Model United Nations team that earned the highest award at an international conference earlier this year
  • Our nursing program received national accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.
  • TCC rose to No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 Baseball Poll for the first time in the program’s 23-year history. 
  • The new Wakulla Environmental Institute broke ground in April
  • We were recertified as a Leader College by Achieving the Dream, a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion. 
  • TCC was ranked No. 1 in the nation among two-year institutions in graduating students with A.A. degrees. 
  • TCC’s Police Department became the first among Florida state colleges to receive accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. 
  • IMG_0546webedit.jpgWe entered into a partnership with Workday, Inc. to build Workday Student, the first student service application developed for higher education in over two decades.
  • We finalized a new five-year Strategic Plan.
  • TCC was recognized as a military-friendly school by Victory Media’s 2014 Military Friendly Schools list  for our academic credibility, on-campus support, veteran student outcomes and student satisfaction.
  • Our District Board of Trustees approved the development of a proposal for a baccalaureate degree in nursing.
  • Our Connect2Complete and service learning programs were recognized for community engagement by Florida Campus Compact.

We certainly have a lot going on, none of which would be possible without the students, faculty and staff that make it happen. The individuals that comprise our TCC family all believe in the College’s principles of freedom and equality through open access to education, and being a 'College of Choice'. They come here from all over to learn, to grow and to give back. Needless to say, it is an inspiring place to work.

This season, I invite you to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Myself, I am thankful for a fulfilling job and the many great family and friends who remind me every day what is important in a life well lived.

Happy Holidays!

Jim

 

Campus Compact: Creating Global Citizens Through Service Learning

Jim Murdaugh, President Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There is a growing buzz at Tallahassee Community College that has nothing to do with any innovative technologies we implement or demand-driven programs we add, though these things are pivotal for the future of our College. What I’m talking about is something I see as a subtle re-emergence of the role of higher education in providing students the opportunity to use our communities as classrooms.

CampusCompact_11-7-13.jpgI recently had the pleasure of attending the annual Florida Campus Compact Conference including the conference’s Awards Gala with several TCC team members. The Gala ended up being a stellar night for TCC. Our College placed second in the Florida College System for the Engaged Campus of the Year Award. Our Connect 2 Complete program won the Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs Award. And I was also very proud to see Assistant Professor of Humanities Lindsey Smitherman-Brown win the Community Engagement Educator Award which recognizes “significant contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement by inspiring a vision of service on the campus.” Well-deserved honors. 

For those who don’t know, Campus Compact is an organization that encourages colleges and universities to advance their civic engagement with local communities. They seek to foster engaged scholarship (also known as service learning) initiatives in higher education that educate students on social responsibility while improving the lives of those around us. 

During the conference, I took part in a discussion panel with two other College presidents on the topic of understanding an administrator’s perspective on engaged scholarship. We talked about the challenges we face as leaders, and our unique perspective on how service learning supports colleges’ strategic plans and affects institutional growth. I spoke at length on TCC’s own service learning projects including the Connect2Complete program, which is doing a great job promoting college success with our developmental students, our 16 different service learning classrooms, and our community efforts like the campus food pantry and the community garden.  

communitygarden.jpgThis year we also carried out a significant restructuring of Student Affairs, phasing out the Department of Campus Life in favor of creating the Department of Campus and Civic Engagement to focus on student service and leadership. 

All these projects and developments represent TCC’s mission to produce graduates who are valuable, socially-conscious members of society. This is a topic I’m extremely close to. I believe our College has a responsibility that transcends occupational trends. Our learning environment fosters personal growth as well. We are educating our future. 

However, I am never one to say we have it all figured out. We have only just begun to explore the possibilities. I have asked those currently leading our service learning efforts to define some clear objectives for improving and growing. This type of scholarship should not just be reserved for special projects or select classrooms. It should saturate every subject and initiative we administer. Service learning isn’t just about doing good, it’s about changing the way our students learn and preparing them for their future as citizens of the United States and of the world. 

I want to congratulate those who were a part of the programs and initiatives that won the Florida Campus Compact awards. The faculty, staff and students who dedicate themselves to service learning on this campus are not just representing the College with distinction, they are working towards the betterment of our entire community.

Jim​


Are we having fun yet?

Ginny Wagner, Faculty Friday, November 15, 2013

DentalChair-New.jpgWe are working fast and furiously on the plans for the renovation of the TCC Dental Clinic. It seems that I am constantly asking what the words really mean. The architects and the other construction experts have their own language. I hear familiar words, but the meanings have changed. Everything seems to be in code. I am learning to ask for definitions, but it is a very slow process, when every word in the sentence is ‘odd’ to me.  I wonder sometimes if we are really still speaking English.     

Then there are the IT experts asking questions that provoke a blank stare. I guess I have finally found my poker face, devoid of any intelligent signs of life whatsoever. Sometimes there is a ripple of hysterical laughter bubbling up inside as I wonder if they really expect me to have an answer to questions containing words that are not really words to me. I remember the first time someone asked me about the computer’s ‘footprint’ for clinic. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!   

I am learning to quietly respond, “I’m not quite sure I understand” while my brain tries to capture the misplaced letters, rearrange them and create meaning. Most of the time I just drift away into unknowingness.  (There’s a word that in context makes perfect sense!) I cannot even remember the conversations enough to give any examples. I think I have mentally blocked my ignorance.   

Then in a stroke of brilliance, I decided I would offer up some of my own acronyms and abbreviations, my own fluency of dental educationese. We have our own language, our own code that makes us special. Try these on and enlarge your perspective, so we can reach a little further and see a little clearer into each other’s world.   

ADA.ADEA.ADHA.ALARA.ASAP.BLS.BOD. CADHA.CDA.CODA.DANB.DBOT.DEA.DEH.DES.DOH. EO.EPA.FADE.FERPA.GCHE.GP.HEP-B.HIPAA.IA.IO. JD.K+.LA.LCHD.MSA.MSDS.NBDHE.NCOHF. NCRP.NERB.NIDCR.OLP.OSHA.PSA. QEP.QSSS.RDH.RX.SACS.SADHA.SOHIP.SUAT. TB.TE.UT.VIM.WCHD.XCP.YT.ZO   

*Answers available upon request. 


What Student Veterans Mean to Our College

Jim Murdaugh, President Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Memorium display at the TCC Veteran's Center

Many may not know it, but modern higher education owes a great deal to the military. 

The months and years following the end of World War II was a time of change. With all the veterans returning from war, leadership recognized an opportunity to help transition our nation into the new world order and passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill. The Bill paid educational tuition and board, and made college accessible for many veterans who couldn’t have afforded it otherwise. As a result, tens of thousands of much-needed college educated engineers, teachers, scientists and other professionals were graduated over the next few years and colleges and universities grew and flourished along with the nation’s economy. 

Today, student veterans continue to benefit institutions of higher education everywhere. Their perspective improves each initiative, organization and classroom they participate in. Their maturity and discipline add incalculable value to any student body. 

Almost every decision I’ve made and will continue to make at Tallahassee Community College works back to the end goal of creating a learning environment that produces well-rounded global citizens. We have a responsibility to provide degrees with both market value and social value. We are committed to producing citizens with diversity and distinction who promote democracy and understand service. Veteran students are particularly well-suited for this. They have come to our campus from all paths having made a conscious decision to better their lives. In turn, TCC strives to provide the resources to help them transition back into a meaningful civilian life, including: 

At the TCC Veteran's Center with Student Veterans Association President Ryan McKibbenVeteran’s Affairs​ is a specialized office that provides exclusive services to eligible veterans, dependents, active duty servicepersons, and members of the Selected Reserve. 

The Student Veteran’s Association is a non-political student organization that promotes a welcoming atmosphere for all branches of prior military service and their supporters. They participate in many community events including the Tallahassee Veteran’s Day parade. .

The Veteran’s Center is a recently opened space dedicated to helping veterans in their transition to college. Everything from academic advising to management training to academic tutoring is offered there. 

A dedicated VA adviser is now available two days a week in the Veteran’s Center to facilitate veterans and dependents with VA benefits, GI Bill programs, work study opportunities and more. 

GI benefits programs are available to all veterans and active duty servicepersons with one-on-one guidance offered to help students identify the best program to fit their educational goals. 

It is our honor to be considered a “veteran friendly” college and to be one of the 250 institutions participating in the 8 Keys to Success. Our College will continue to do everything we can to promote those who have served our country. Their stories of dedication and sacrifice are a constant inspiration.  We owe a great debt to them, greater than we can repay. Our sincerest thanks to them.

Jim 


Moving Forward with an RN-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Jim Murdaugh, President Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It was January 21, 1964 when an official request was made to conduct a survey to determine if there was a need for a two-year junior college in the Leon, Wakulla and Gadsden county area. Two years later, Tallahassee Community College, then known as Tallahassee Junior College, opened its doors.

TCC District Board of Trustees Meeting 10-21-13Yesterday’s Board of Trustees meeting marked another important milestone in our history – I brought to vote and the Board approved a measure to move forward with the development of a proposal for adding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for those who already have an Associate in Science in Nursing. I brought it forward because I believe the timing is compelling and the three objectives we set for ourselves at the beginning of this discussion have been met: 

It is good for our students. 

One of our College’s primary missions has always been to provide a high quality, affordable learning environment. I place great value in that. No degree we offer should be financially inaccessible. Our research shows our College can offer an RN to BSN program with no substantial increase in tuition. With facilities already in place at the Ghazvini Center, virtually no new resources would be needed and start-up costs can remain low. 

We also researched retention rates, licensure rates, optimal class times, degree path – all aspects of the student experience in a new nursing program have been vetted. Finally, we reached out to our current students, alumni and community to see if this is something they wanted. The response was an overwhelming, resounding ‘YES.’ 

It is good for our community. 

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare President and CEO Mark O’Bryant spoke at the meeting yesterday on the value of our graduates at TMH, and how their education, qualifications and confidence in their practice make them preferred hires. However, in three years’ time their hospital’s Nurse Residency Program will require baccalaureate degrees. Regardless of how notable our current grads are, they would have been excluded. I am glad to say we will not be turning our backs on them. 

@GoToTCC Facebook Screenshot on Four-Year DiscussionIn addition to TMH, I was contacted by other local healthcare organizations such as Capital Regional Medical Center, Westminster Oaks and the upcoming VA hospital, and they have expressed similar sentiments. The need is there. They are ready for us to meet it. Of course, I also did not move forward until many discussions and planning meetings were conducted with our University Partners to ensure that our forward momentum would not interfere with their programs’ success. Our goal was always to create growth opportunities, not a competitive environment. 

It is good for our College. 

Relevancy is a priority for any higher education institution.  The writing is on the wall in the Florida College System with 24 of the 28 institutions having already begun adding four-year programs. A paradigm shift is happening. All the same, being at the front of the pack is less important to me than fiscal stewardship so we ran the numbers to make sure a new nursing program would be financially viable. Happily, our research shows that a baccalaureate degree in nursing would bring in significant revenue, a welcome concept in lean budget years. State legislature has also already committed a total of $30 million to expand baccalaureate degrees in Florida, funds we would not have been eligible for without the Board’s decision yesterday. 

Moving this initiative from idea to vote has assured me of just how much our Trustees love our College, something I was already well aware of. We’ve had many good conversations and I respect all sides greatly. 

Now that the decision has been made, the real work begins. At this point, it is premature to talk about changing the name. If our proposal is approved, then we will have to entertain that conversation. We’ve got a lot of t’s to cross and i’s to dot over the coming months and years. However, I fully anticipate this process will go smoother than most would think. Demand-driven initiatives tend to do that, in my experience. All are welcome to leave any comments or questions on my Facebook page at facebook.com/jimmurdaugh, or join us at our next Strategic Plan event on October 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Gadsden County.

Jim​​​


 
 
 
All blogs, embedded media and/or third-party links contained in this site are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tallahassee Community College.​​

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