By Linda Cicoira — The Eastern Shore Community College has a three-year plan that will protect the school’s independence, prioritize the students, and provide tools to meet the needs of the Eastern Shore, according to a recent letter ESCC Board Chairman Jeff Holland sent to faculty, staff, board members, and school supporters.
The plan includes bringing classes to Chincoteague and Cape Charles and offering classes at times that align with Star Transit’s schedule. Classes for working students with limited access to internet and transportation will also be available.
The college will be reassessed by the Virginia Community College System in 2022, the plan states. At that time, ESCC will either prove it can stand on its own or it will be consolidated with another state community college.
Hiring a new permanent school president appears to be a move for independence as an interim president has been in place for more than a year. However, the task of consolidating services is included in the first year of the plan.
For 2019, cost-saving measures associated with consolidating administrative functions with another school will be identified and made “resulting in reduced annual administrative personnel costs without sacrificing the quality of teaching and learning,” the plan states.
Opportunities to consolidate “select student services while maintaining support structures necessary for student success” is also included for this year. Workers schedules will be adjusted to “ensure campus operating hours seven days a week and evenings” this year. Staff assignments will also be modified “to ensure appropriate coverage of administrative and student services.” Development of a plan “to adequately fund faculty and staff professional development, including succession planning” is also part of the plan.
Next year, the college will look into expanding its relationship with Virginia Tech and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). More collaboration with local public secondary schools and Broadwater Academy will be made “to identify shared challenges and possible efficiencies through partnership” including “shared facilities and faculty,” the plan states.
ESCC will also look at the “feasibility of on-campus dual enrollment college academies.”
This year a plan is in works to develop the college’s role as “the hub for community engagement” with implementation in 2020 and 2021.
Grants will continue to be pursued “to support academic and workforce training programs and to promote post-secondary access and success.”
Starting this year, the college plans to “establish ongoing internship and apprenticeship programs with key regional industries and employers, including but not limited to: healthcare, hospitality, chicken production —Tysons and Perdue, aquaculture, agriculture, and aerospace.”
Online training for general education courses with other community colleges will be implemented and academic and workforce programs will be set to meet community needs.
Programs will be added and discontinued also according to greatest need, the plan states. Equipment sharing for CDL training and mobile labs will also be established.
The school plans to ask regional employers to identify workforce solutions and demands.
The college foundation will provide money upfront and reimbursements for bridge-tunnel tolls when needed this year. The school plans to develop a mentor program in 2020.