By Artur Agaronyan
Montgomery College is changing. A task force led by Dr. Donald Pearl has been formed and charged with executing and designing a restructuring of the college. The resulting plan promises a ‘fluid connection’ between all three campuses of MC, higher graduation rates, higher academic success rates and greater overall success of the college, explains Acting Dean of Humanities, Joan Naake. The plan explores Montgomery College in the year 2020. Execution of the plan is set to be integrated into the 2013-2014 academic year.
The MC2020 plan, as it’s called, lists many goals. The plan promises ‘higher graduation rates’, ‘[infused] career pathway thinking’ and ‘economic and community outreach’ among other goals. The plan is spearheaded by Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College. In the State of the College Address on April 10th, Pollard acknowledged the questions and friction around the plan, but highlighted the importance of it’s completion.
One of the first implementations of the plan is cancellation of late registration for classes. Professor Anthony, an English Professor at the Germantown Campus, explained “The reasoning for doing away with late registration is students who register late usually don’t do well in those classes. But how is this change beneficial for students? As an english professor, I see that students sometimes need academic support from counselors and advisors rather than exclusion from class. Also, how would this affect students who change their schedule because of information they didn’t have before?”
The plan’s roots are uncertain as well; “I couldn’t tell you what prompted this plan because I don’t know myself.” Professor Anthony said. “While the goals outlined in the plan are good for the college, some of them are already met so what is the purpose of making these changes again?” asked Professor Harry Zarin.
Another initiative of the 2020 plan is restructuring of administrative positions on the campuses, Dean Naake explains. Currently, administrative positions are located close to the relative faculty. Under the proposed models for enacting the plan’s goals, deans of specific faculty might operate at different campuses from the respective faculty, Professor Anthony said. Professor Anthony explained further “While I appreciate the positive effects of e-mail and telecommunication, there is little substitute for real interaction. If there is an issue that requires administrative action, I can resolve it because administration is close. Similarly, students who need help in their classes or have a question can talk to me with little difficulty from scheduling. Under the proposed models, this communication might be lost. This element is an advantage of a community college. Professors don’t research, so they are available to their students.”
Michael Rusnak, an MC student, has a similar perspective, “Having Professor Zarin on campus is a good thing. I appreciate his availability. If he had to work at different campuses, it would be more difficult for us to talk.” he said. Professor Zarin explained further “While the plan has it’s benefits, I have a few questions about it’s execution. But my opinion is irrelevant. At the end of the day, I will be teaching my students.”