Conference On Community College Excellence Gathers for “Reflecting on the Dream”

  Feature, News   •

On Friday, February 22, educators from BCC and other community colleges in The City University of New York came to our campus for the sixth annual Conference on Community College Excellence. The day of presentations and panels was an opportunity for the attendees to learn, listen, discuss and network with their colleagues, while considering the conference theme of “Reflecting on the Promise.”

“What is the promise?” BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe asked in his opening remarks in Meister Hall’s Schwendler Auditorium. “It’s our mission and our vision. We’ve put that in action through our Strategic Plan.”

“One of the basic promises we made to all of our students is access,” added the President. “We’re going to open up our gates to you — your color, your race, where you are from, doesn’t matter. I think we’ve done that very well.”

President Isekenegbe’s welcome was followed by the Conference’s keynote address given by Dr. Tiffany Jones (seen above), director of the higher education policy team at The Education Trust, where she promotes legislation to improve access, affordability and success for low-income students and students of color.

Dr. Jones spoke of the challenges of establishing free community college for all, the goal of the Obama Administration’s 2016 “America’s Promise” grants initiative, which also inspired this year’s conference theme.

“Community colleges obviously have immense value in the system of higher education for students and families like my own,” Dr. Jones observed after her address. “When we are designing policies using phrases like ‘college promise,’ we have to make good on that.”

After the speeches came 19 different sessions on topics ranging from “Using Game-Based Learning to Promote Active Learning among Community College Students” to “Engaging Adult Online Learners” to “Bringing Accelerated Learning Programs to High School Students,” with breakfast, lunch and a concluding reception for all the participants to exchange their thoughts on the daylong brainstorming — and take what they learned back to their classrooms.

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