We all have objects of value in our lives. Whether those objects have personal, monetary or even sentimental value, the value is important. So what is value and why would I be concerned about value at Johnston Community College?
Value is certainly anything we hold dear. It wells up in our hearts as appreciation, things we cherish, high esteem, honor, laud, respect or worth.
Value is also the price or cost of something. JCC’s tuition is indeed a value in that 12 credit hours currently cost about $960 per semester compared to $4,300 per semester at N.C. State University. Recently, Value Colleges ranked JCC a Top 50 Best Value Community College based on the college’s graduation and transfer rates, mid-level salary for graduates and actual tuition.
JCC is an organization to be valued for all the reasons above but more so for making differences in people’s lives.
For the past two weeks, I have observed faculty returning from summer break, energized and preparing to make differences in students’ lives. Our conversations have centered on “Living the Dream” so others can as well.
It is a safe bet that faculty and staff at JCC are living the dream. They are thrilled to be wearing the blue and silver gray and showing Jaguar spirit both on and off campus. Several have told me they wear their name badges in public, not because they forgot to remove them, but because they enjoy representing JCC and answering the questions the name badges solicit. They appreciate the chance to add value, provide an exemplary experience and, ultimately, change the world by making a difference in someone’s life.
In addition to providing exemplary learning opportunities, JCC is orchestrating a plan that will continue to add value to the lives of students, community residents and employees of the college. Value-added objectives include creating a Student Success Center, enhancing marketing of the college in tandem with recruitment and retention and concentrating on becoming a place in which participants can be proud to work and learn.
The Student Success Center will be a central location in which career services will help us align programs with job demands, provide students with current labor-market information and follow through on what happens after graduation. The center will support our tying services to students’ end goals, a major component of student success.
A revitalized marketing agenda brings with it a clear, concise and consistent message identifying what sets JCC apart from all the rest. We are one college – focused on student success, transforming lives and being the preferred choice for education and training. But as one faculty member told me, if we want to be the preferred choice, we have to look like it. And so, with actions such as increased security, parking lot and sidewalk repair, building facelifts, robust information technology, expanding athletics, landscaping and adding color throughout our facilities, we are taking steps to be a place in which we all can be proud.
It is said you don’t know the real value of something until it is gone. We are working hard to make sure JCC stays. You are too valuable to us to do otherwise.
David N. Johnson is president of Johnston Community College.