09 Oct

Housatonic Community College President Reflects on First Six Months

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Dr. Broadie has worked at four-year public and private colleges as well as two-year community colleges. However, it is the latter that he feels offers the most opportunities for him to have a positive impact on students and the region.

"Community colleges do a variety of things for a wide variety of students,” said Dr. Broadie, who took over the helm of the college April 3. “Housatonic serves those from the spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds including differences in educational preparation, age, ethnicity, work history, academic achievement, veteran status and so on. That’s the reward of working for a community college,” he said. “Our overall goal is to support and assist students to meet their individual goals, whether to prepare academically to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program, or to develop skills for the workforce.”

HCC students are a source of pride for him and he notes those who continue their studies seeking a degree, including four of this year’s Housatonic graduates who were accepted for fall of 2015 at the prestigious Mount Holyoke College.

"The four Housatonic students will take their place beside top students from 47 states and 78 countries,” Dr. Broadie said. “This reflects everything that is right about Housatonic. It’s a testimony to the students themselves and to the faculty and staff who guided them as they sharpened their focus to excel academically.”

President Broadie knows what it takes to make a community college successful. “You have to realize that the students in your service area depend on you for the education they need to build the future they want. We have to assure them that here they will find the high academic standards necessary for them to gain the knowledge they need to pursue their careers and life goals. It is here that they develop the thirst for learning and begin to realize their dreams. Those students who continue their studies after graduating from HCC earn degrees in many areas including the sciences, business, technology, engineering, and visual/graphic arts. They are this country’s future.”

He added, “We must also provide for those students who want to enter the workforce well-trained and with enhanced skills and abilities. We know that area employers look to us as a source of qualified employees and we are intent on fulfilling those needs.

“To rise to the challenge, we determine the educational needs of our students and provide the programs and courses to meet those needs.”

HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program is a prime example. The one-year certificate program offered by HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center prepares interested students for entry-level positions in the field. “With manufacturing re-energized both nationally and in Connecticut, the college offers a solution to satisfy the needs for today’s manufacturers’ workforce,” he said. “This year, 37 students graduated from the program; all 37 are employed in the field. This is an excellent indication of the quality of preparation and the demand for HCC’s manufacturing students.”

Housatonic offers a robust list of degree and certificate programs designed to facilitate career goals and/or transfer. These areas include business and finance, computer technologies, criminal justice, early childhood education, general studies, human services, liberal arts and sciences, engineering and environmental science, psychology, theater, and visual/graphic arts. The faculty are highly qualified with real-world experience in their areas of expertise. The college also offers ample support services to assist students. The primary focus of the college’s faculty and staff is helping students achieve success.

Aware of current trends in all educational areas, HCC is developing programs that will prepare students for degrees and careers in sports management, biomolecular technology, and STEAM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) fields. Additionally the college is placing emphasis on experiential learning and internships to ensure that students have real-world experience and practical knowledge to complement their classroom learning.

A hurdle that many students face is acquiring the financial resources needed to take advantage of the educational opportunities at HCC. The college is moving to address this issue.

“While federal financial aid enables many degree-seeking students to pursue their course of study, it doesn’t help everyone who needs help,” Dr. Broadie said. “The Housatonic Community College Foundation offers needed financial assistance to students beyond that provided by federal financial aid. The Foundation is diligent in pursuing its mission to assist HCC students with the means to obtain the education needed to reach their goals.”

During his first months at Housatonic, Dr. Broadie has spent significant time in the community, meeting with potential students to hear about their goals, their education and training needs, and determine how the college best serves them.

“Housatonic Community College has been, and will continue to be, the premier community resource for education, training, community service, and quality of life enrichment. I saw what an impact Housatonic has on the lives of our students when we proudly conferred degrees and certificates upon 601 graduates in May. It was a pleasure to share the moment with the faculty and staff who were instrumental in helping the students reach this life-changing milestone. I am driven by the academic focus and culture of care and support that runs throughout the college, resulting in goal attainment and student success.”

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