Senegal a big asset for community college

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Not that we needed any more evidence, but if anyone questioned the wisdom of hiring Dr. Pamela Senegal as Piedmont Community College’s president, those questions should certainly be answered by this week’s news that Senegal is among 25 early-career community college presidents across the country invited to take part in the Aspen Institute’s leadership program for community college leaders.

Senegal has refused to accept the status quo in any part of the college’s role in the community, as an educational institution, as an economic development driver, as an industry partner or in terms of the institution’s daily operations.

She has tackled the college’s challenges, including operating efficiencies and reduced enrollment and she has improved the college on both scores. If it’s possible, she has managed to position the college as a vital part of the business community and she has embraced partnerships with local secondary school systems as a way to provide those students with greater academic opportunities while increasing PCC’s enrollment numbers.

Senegal’s inclusion in the Aspen Institute program will not only serve her well as a place to advance her own knowledge and skills, but it will help all of Person County as she makes contacts with other education leaders from across the country who can share best practices with her that can perhaps be implemented locally to continue the college’s steady improvement.

In any county, there are a handful of institutions that are simply vital to the community’s future. The community college is one of those institutions in Person County and Senegal’s leadership has proven to be critical to the college as it works to fulfill the college’s role as a vital community institution.

We look forward to seeing how she (and we) benefit from the opportunity she has earned with the Aspen Institute. We expect her relationship with the Aspen Institute will help PCC become an even greater value to the people of Person County and we believe her inclusion in that elite group is further evidence of her value to the community.

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