The Needs They Are a-Changin': Letter from President Michelle Schutt

March 22, 2023

Change is a powerful tool. With change, we can build better futures for our students, construct stronger communities for us all to thrive in, and forge new relationships with people and organizations.

So, as part of my first year as GCC President, I want to be an agent of positive and progressive change that keeps our college strong, relevant, and integral to the communities we serve. To do this, I have outlined for our community the following five goals for us to frame the future of our work:

  • Address the changing needs of the region with new and relevant programs while enhancing collaboration with community organizations
  • Increase enrollment and ensure students graduate on time, with less debt, and prepared to transfer to a 4-year institution or into the workforce
  • Serve as a regional workforce partner, offering industry recognized credentials in high-demand trades
  • Provide financial and infrastructure stability, allowing GCC to serve our community for another 60 years
  • Be the community's leader in civility, inclusivity and positive change

Having these goals clearly stated will help us continue to foster the positive and progressive changes our students and community need, and there are already several projects under way at GCC to ensure we meet these goals.

To help students graduate on time and with less debt, we are implementing Pathways at GCC, a Guided Pathways approach to curriculum-building to give students clearer paths to success. To meet changing needs of the region, our Workforce Development team is building new programs like IT pathways programming, para educator training, and an HVAC program designed to meet the state's climate and carbon neutral goals. To ensure GCC remains a stable presence in the community, our financial teams are implementing strategies to build healthy reserve funds so we can weather unforeseen financial challenges.

As we continue to change as an institution, we must understand why this is happening: so we can continue to be this community's college. To borrow and alter a lyric by Bob Dylan, "the needs they are a-changin'" in the region.

With every good thought,
Michelle Schutt, Ph.D.