New Year, New Semester

New Year, New Semester

Dear TCC Community,

Welcome to spring 2021! I have to admit, like so many of you I was eager to start a new year. 2020 was one of the most challenging years in recent memory, though I recognize that the changing of a calendar does not mean adversity is behind us.

We must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff against the spread of COVID-19. The safety of our campus community remains our number one priority. We will keep the protocols we have had in place the last two semesters as they have worked well, and we hope our students will continue to prioritize their education, whether it is in-person or virtually.

We must also be mindful of our role in promoting democracy. Freedom of speech and civil debate are two of the greatest hallmarks of any higher education institution. I join with our local, state and national leaders in condemning the violence that took place in our nation’s capital this week and subsequent loss of life. What happened should be a reminder to us all to never take our freedoms for granted. We must endeavor to renew our commitment to our republic, to forge new bonds that prioritize compromise over conflict and civility over lawlessness. This is not just for our own benefit, but for all future generations.

And there’s no better time than the present. Spring is a time for renewal. For many of our students, this season also represents a time of celebration as they complete their academic year, and even for some, their degree program.

Academically, we are starting this semester on a high note. The success of our students this past fall semester despite all the many challenges thrown their way was tremendous – the overall pass rate increased over the prior fall by nearly 3%, and the first-time-in-college (FTIC) cohort pass rate increased by 8.6%. What a remarkable testament to not only the resilience and perseverance of our students, but also to the hard work of our faculty and staff in implementing virtual coursework, embedded support services and a more purposeful focus on eliminating any unnecessary barriers to our students achieving their goals.

As a result of the pandemic we have reimagined the environment here at TCC, from physical spaces to technology that facilitates learning. We are creating a more intentional experience designed to make the college student-ready and not making the student college-ready. I am excited to see what the next few months will bring.

Let’s make this a great semester!

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