According to one college president, helping students find a job post-graduation is “outdated”
The current model of bringing students to Clark State Community College’s campus and then helping them find a career or four-year college is outdated, President Jo Alice Blondin said.
Rather the school must do more to engage and attract new students, she said in an exclusive interview with the Springfield News-Sun to discuss her first year in office.
“No longer do we count noses on campus,” Blondin said. “We now need to make sure that we’re enrolling those students, but we also want to make sure that at the end of the journey they earn a degree.”
Clark State is a top employer in Springfield with 622 total workers, including full-time staff, adjunct faculty and tutors. It has an annual budget of more than $29 million.
Blondin took over leading the college in July last year, filling the position left open when longtime former president Karen Rafinski retired. Blondin had previously served as chancellor of the Ozark Campus at Arkansas Tech University.
The community college has crafted a new strategic plan in Blondin’s first year, developed a new precision agriculture program and become active in numerous community organizations.
“It really has been a whirlwind but I have the energy to do it,” Blondin said. “I’m a social person, I love getting out there and meeting people, developing relationships and making connections.”
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