By Litho Freeman
Over the summer months while most students were taking it easy, the administrative forces of Tri-C were at work looking for a way to consistently improve the college, to that end, Dr. Craig Foltin, former Mayor of the city of Lorain and the man who brought the Barnes and Noble bookstore to Tri-C, was named the new Vice President of Access, Learning, and Success.
Foltin comes in with over seven years experience as the Tri-C’s chief financial officer and was head of the college’s new strategic plan that is being put forth to improve student success. The plan has six main focus areas and was set in place to help Tri-C acknowledge where the college can improve, “its just bringing together a lot of what we are already doing at the college” says Foltin.
The new strategic plan includes interest areas such as the workforce division and allowing certificate holders to move on to an Associates degree much easier than before. Foltin says the college is working towards grouping majors under larger “umbrellas” so the navigation through the field of classes is easier for the student. The strategic plan is underlined with the statement “Sharpening Focus” each focus area is laid out and followed by ways to monitor the progress and success toward each goal.
He also spoke about equity in outcomes. “We have been doing a great job in increasing the number of graduates, number of students retaining,” says Foltin. “The students getting through developmental math and English is also increasing, all our metrics are on the raise, except it’s not happen within all the populations in our college community.”
Foltin says that the college can only go so far in increasing student success without reaching those populations, specifically the African American, Hispanic, and older student population.
On two of tri-c’s minority-majority campuses (Metro and eastern) he says there is an emphasis on improving the equity and outcome of those populations through greater support and mentoring programs such as the African American and Hispanic student councils. “Heck six months ago nobody knew our gap was widening”, Foltin states showing that the college recognizes it’s issues and now that those issues are in light, they will be addressed.
As the new strategic plan is being set in place, the best thing students can do to help themself is to talk to somebody, go to counseling and go into the individual offices that may help you best and try to make connections here at the college.
As administration monitors the success rates of the plan and classes begin to get heavy this fall semester, Foltin states, “We haven’t formulated and finished the map, but we do know what we have to do better and have some work to do.”