Monday, April 29, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: Values – Students

Our fifth and final core value is:

“We believe every STUDENT matters:  Students invest in Vol State to meet their individual needs; we are responsible for helping them realize their potential.”

This is really our primary core value.  We hold the other four in order to fulfill this one.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been privileged to attend events where I heard from two current students and one alumna.  At the Vol-E Ball in Livingston, a Livingston Academy dual enrollment student talked about how the college courses he has taken assisted him in receiving a scholarship to Vanderbilt University.  Another current, freshman college student talked about her aspirations to be a nurse.  At the Educate a Woman luncheon on this past Friday, I heard from a graduate who has gone on to receive her bachelor’s degree, find a career, and begin a graduate program.  Informally, I hear from students and alumni every day that express the difference Vol State has made in their lives.  These testimonials drive home to me that students are why we exist.

In our day to day efforts we can become so fixated on our task that we forget our real purpose – to help students realize their potential.
  • Our task may be to balance the budget, but our purpose is to be fiscally responsible so that the resources are available for students.
  • Our task may be to complete forms and enter data, but our purpose is to help students meet requirements.
  • Our task may be to clean and maintain buildings and grounds, but our purpose is to provide a safe, hygienic, and attractive place for students.
  • Our task may be to deliver scholarly information, but our purpose is to teach students.
  • Our task may be to lead departments, divisions, or the college but our purpose is to make decisions and plans that lead to student success.
The theme we have chosen for the humanities building capital campaign is “The Power of Possibility.”  Just after choosing this theme, an article appeared in the MiCTA Learning Abstracts that offered the role of community colleges is to help students become their “best possible selves.”

Many students come to us with definite goals in mind.  Some are fuzzier about the future and some have no idea why they are here.  But all expect something in return for their investment of time, effort, and money.  Our goal, our purpose is to help them become their best possible selves.

Student Success is Job One!

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

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