Since its founding in 1928, East Central Community College (ECCC) has enjoyed a rich tradition of excellence. However, while knowledge of and pride in the past may serve as characteristics of a successful organization, they cannot, by themselves, sustain its future. Therefore, a community college, like all other organizations and institutions, must build upon the foundation of the past while envisioning and planning for the future.
Upon being named the eighth president of ECCC, my immediate goal was to engage the institution in an ambitious strategic planning process, not only to address current challenges and identify potential changes, but to shape and guide our future. This inclusive and comprehensive process involved all stakeholders in planning for the future of our College—faculty and staff, students, alumni, and members of communities in Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, and Winston counties. We received significant input throughout this collaborative process that reflects what employees, students, employers, alumni, and citizens want and need from ECCC, both now and in the future. We used that feedback to create 2020 Vision.
While 2020 Vision reflects the culmination of a shared vision for the future of ECCC, it will not remain a static document. As our College and our communities evolve in the years to come, the plan will require modifications as we anticipate and respond to the changing needs of growing communities. However, the adoption and implementation of this initial framework is an important first step in establishing the expectation that ECCC will continue to build upon its history of excellence and serve as a dynamic contributor to the post-secondary educational and training opportunities in east central Mississippi.
We could not have completed this process without the contributions of so many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members who have given unselfishly of their time and energy during this “visioning” journey. I am confident that contributors will find several recommendations in 2020 Vision related to the ideas that they shared with us. Using their input, we have clarified our vision and mission statements, established core values, defined institutional commitments, and developed action plans that will be the main focus of our future efforts to enrich and transform lives through quality educational programs and services offered the EC Way—Excellence with Class.
In many ways, the completion of this planning process is simply a beginning. Much hard work lies ahead in order for us to achieve our bold vision and fulfill our fundamental mission as an institution.