Extending his congratulations and appreciation to the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) and its members for their outstanding accomplishments, Gov. Nixon proclaimed today Missouri Community College Awareness Day around the state. The Missouri Community College Association—the state’s largest higher education advocacy organization—is joining its twelve member colleges in sponsoring the day to acknowledge community college faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees who train Missourians for 21st century careers.
Some two dozen state legislators and various higher education officials joined in the fun as well, showing support by being photographed in blue MCCA “I Belong” T-shirts. As Missouri continues to see steady growth in the number of jobs that require a high-quality degree or certificate, community colleges are viewed by many as the key to Missouri’s sustained economic progress and quality of life, especially in a competitive global economy.
“Missouri’s community colleges share a common mission to provide quality, affordable education to all citizens,” said Debbie Goodall, MCCA’s Presidents/Chancellors Council chair and president of Metropolitan Community College’s Business & Technology Campus. “Shrinking state and federal support make it imperative that we maximize every resource and opportunity for Missourians seeking the skills necessary to participate in and contribute to a vibrant state economy.”
In 2010, Nixon announced the “Big Goal” of increasing the percentage of working-age adults in Missouri with postsecondary degrees and certificates to 60 percent by 2020. Community colleges are essential partners in the work of making progress toward that goal, Nixon stated in the proclamation.
MCCA is the catalyst for innovative partnerships like the MoHealthWINs initiative that is training Missourians for the growing health services and health sciences industry, as well as progressive ideas like stackable certificates and credit for prior learning that enhance how adults learn vital occupational skills. This past week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that MCCA would be leading another program to train Missourians in key industry sectors, MoManufacturingWINs.
MCCA Executive Director Zora Mulligan praised community college staff for their hard work and results, and used the occasion to encourage MCCA members to share their experiences: “Your stories are going to be the cornerstones of our continuing message as we fight to make sure community colleges get their fair share of state support.”
Mulligan directed interested parties to MCCA’s website, www.mccatoday.org, and the Association’s Twitter feed for information about state and local events, and to see pictures of Missouri Community College Awareness Day celebrants.
The Missouri Community College Association is a statewide organization through which Missouri’s community colleges work together to advance common agendas. MCCA provides advocacy, education, information, and networking opportunities in service of the state’s 5,700 community college faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees. Photo submitted by Dana Kelchner.