MECC Presidential Search
To be considered for the initial screening, please submit your application materials by March 6, 2017.
Here are the key dates for the search for a new president for Mountain Empire Community College:
- Initial screening begins: March 6, 2017
- State-level interviews in Richmond: March 30th and 31st, 2017
- Interviews at the community college: Late April - Early May 2017
- Chancellor announces new president: May 2017
MOUNTAIN EMPIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ABOUT MOUNTAIN EMPIRE
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) invites applications and nominations for the presidency of Mountain Empire Community College (MECC). Founded in 1972, MECC has a rich history of providing academic, technical, and workforce training as well as cultural enrichment to our service region population and beyond. The College is situated on 95.5 beautiful acres in Big Stone Gap, Virginia located in the scenic coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains. The college serves the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton. Home to more than 100,000 residents, the region is recognized for its unique culture including, music, craft and outdoor recreation opportunities as well as its rich natural resources. The state theater of Virginia, access to the Appalachian Trail and several large lake and river systems, as well as the internationally recognized Bristol Motor Speedway, are located within a short drive from the College.
The College serves approximately 3,800 credit students (1,745 FTE) and more than 1,000 non-credit students annually and is the largest provider of higher education and workforce development training and services in the region. Over 68% of the area’s residents enrolled in higher education attended MECC in 2015-16 including 35% of area high school graduates. The College is financially healthy with an operating budget of approximately $14.5 million and its educational foundation holds more than $20M in restricted and unrestricted assets.
With the retirement of Dr. Scott Hamilton after seven years of outstanding service as president, MECC is seeking its next president. The College seeks an accomplished, goal-oriented, visionary leader who is forward-thinking and capable of reasoning beyond existing boundaries and limitations. Several priorities and key characteristics have been identified for the next president: the perspective or ability to a) demonstrate appreciation and affection for rural life and culture; b) possess a welcoming personality with a willingness to make personal connections with stakeholders and the community; c) exhibit the desire to take a leadership role in the workforce and economic development goals of the region; d) bring fresh ideas and forethought to bear in advancing regional goals; and e) balance a healthy respect for tradition with the ability to seize opportunities for the future.
Qualifications for President
To accomplish the above, qualified candidates must have an earned doctorate and demonstrated successful senior executive experience at the highest levels. Previous experience must include significant responsibility for programs, budgets, personnel, facilities and other appropriate administrative duties. The successful candidate must have proven leadership abilities along with excellent communications skills, a strong belief in a collaborative administrative style, as well as, a servant leadership perspective. He or she must have an understanding of the mission and goals of a comprehensive community college in the 21st Century, along with a clear commitment to instruction, student success, generating revenues, and community involvement. He or she must be able to develop a broad vision for the College along with possessing the skills and energy needed for implementation. Demonstrated ability to work with business, industry, government and the community at large is required.
Application Information: The search will remain open until the position is filled; however, to be considered for the initial screening, candidates should submit application materials by March 6, 2017. Information about the college, its community, the position, and application procedures can be found at http://www.vccs.edu/careers/mecc-presidential-search/.
A complete application packet will include a cover letter, résumé/CV, and a one-page statement of leadership philosophy. The leadership statement should address the applicant’s perspective on strategic risk-taking, making change, and how to fund and grow programs for the future. The salary range for this position is $140,241 - $210,959; the VCCS also offers a competitive benefits and perquisites package. Questions may be directed to 804-819-4685.
MOUNTAIN EMPIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ABOUT MOUNTAIN EMPIRE
The Virginia Community College System provides programs and courses of instruction through the associate degree level, including career/technical education, college transfer education, general education and workforce development. With 23 colleges located on 40 campuses throughout the state, Virginia’s community colleges provide access to high quality higher educational opportunities and workforce training for over 225,000 credit students and nearly 175,000 non-credit students annually. The Virginia Community College System aims to become a model institution for diversity and invites multicultural professionals from all backgrounds to contribute to its aspiration for building an inclusive community where everyone is given equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) serves approximately 3,800 credit students (1,745 FTE) and more than 1,000 noncredit students annually. The College’s service region includes one city (Norton) and four counties (Dickenson, Lee, Scott, and Wise) in rural southwestern Virginia. Mountain Empire Community College’s mission is to provide quality higher education and workforce training programs and services that are financially and geographically accessible and meet individual, business, and community needs. Founded in 1972, MECC has a rich history of providing academic, technical, and workforce training as well as cultural enrichment to our service region population and beyond.
The College is the largest provider of higher education and workforce development training and services in the region. Of the service region’s residents enrolled in a college or university in 2015-16, 68% attended MECC; 35% of the service region’s spring 2015 high school graduates were enrolled at MECC in fall 2015. The area’s 100,000 residents have high rates of poverty (23.3% vs. 11.2% statewide in 2015) and unemployment (7.15% vs. 4.0% statewide in November 2016). MECC consistently ranks first among the twenty-three institutions in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in the percent of total headcount receiving financial aid.
The region served by MECC has low educational attainment rates. A quarter of the adult population does not have a high school diploma, and only 13% hold a bachelor’s degree (versus 35.2% statewide). Southwest Virginia is also characterized by an aging population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the portion of the population in the MECC service region aged 55 years and older (30.7%) is significantly higher than state or national levels (24.1% and 24.9%, respectively).
With the retirement of Dr. Scott Hamilton after seven years of outstanding service as president, MECC is seeking its next president. The College seeks an accomplished, strong, goal-oriented, visionary leader who is forward-thinking and capable of “thinking outside of the box.” MECC has a number of strengths, including the dedication of its employees, its student-focused culture, and the beauty of its campus. The College is viewed as an asset to its service region, with several unique attributes that a new president can build upon. Two key College functions contribute to this designation: economic development and community outreach. The College is recognized as an economic driver within the region by providing academic and workforce training programs that are responsive to the needs of local employers. Likewise, the College’s efforts to preserve the region’s culture through its community outreach programs (Home Crafts Day, Mountain Music School, and others) are important and noteworthy qualities. Several priorities and key characteristics have been identified for the next president: the perspective or ability to a) demonstrate appreciation and affection for rural life and culture; b) possess a welcoming personality with a willingness to make personal connections with stakeholders and the community; c) exhibit the desire to take a leadership role in the workforce and economic development goals of the region; d) bring fresh ideas and forethought to bear in advancing regional goals; and e) balance a healthy respect for tradition with the ability to seize opportunities for the future. The development of new academic and workforce programs to attract students to meet the needs of the region’s changing economy has been identified by The Local College Board and community as an area of potential growth or emphasis. MECC’s role in identifying, utilizing and promoting emerging technologies is vital, and increased engagement across all sectors is needed.
In the pursuit of academic excellence and industrial certification attainment, Mountain Empire Community College employs an excellent academic and technical program faculty with approximately 40 full time positions supported by more than 120 administrative and classified staff members and more than 100 adjunct faculty. The faculty and staff offer a wide range of educational, career, and personal experiences that motivate and inspire students to achieve their educational goals.
MECC is supported by an active and dedicated staff that makes our educational vision a reality. The College employs an estimated 65 full-time staff members and wage employees whose focus is to provide a welcoming campus atmosphere that encourages students to strive for success and educational growth. Many of the staff are long -time area residents and have invested their entire professional lives in the College and take great pride in its accomplishments.
Students and Student Life
MECC enjoys a diverse population of students that add value and depth to the college experience. More than two-thirds of the College’s students are 24 years of age or younger; 40% are enrolled in career and technical programs; 44% of MECC students are enrolled full-time. The student population is 61% female and 39% male. Less than 5% of the College’s enrollment are minority students. MECC’s dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to earn college credit through on-campus, online, and high-school based courses, comprises approximately 25.2% of the College’s total enrollment.
MECC recognizes more than a dozen active student clubs and organizations on campus, including the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and Student Diplomat leadership development program. The College features several outreach programs that have profound positive impacts on our student population. MECC’s Great Expectations program serves students who have been or are currently being served by foster care with a successful transition to adulthood. The College’s High School Career Coach program advises and assists high school students with career planning, admissions, and financial aid and scholarship applications. MECC students also have the opportunity to travel abroad through an annual college-sponsored international trip as well as participate in many local and regional events through the MECC’s Student Activities office.
MECC is a leader among the nation’s colleges and universities in serving military-related students. The College has consistently been named as one of the top military friendly schools in Virginia and is included on the Military Friendly Schools® list recognizing the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country embracing America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
MECC is a comprehensive community college that offers learning opportunities in academic, career and technical fields, personal enrichment, and preparation for transfer to baccalaureate study. The College aspires to be an academic leader in creating and sustaining a learning environment that meets the highest expectations for effective teaching and successful learning through highly qualified and inspiring faculty and staff deeply focused on student success. MECC delivers more than 100 associate degrees and certificates across three academic divisions, with a main campus in Big Stone Gap and satellite class sites throughout the region. Approximately ten of the College’s academic programs are nationally accredited.
The College offers a robust schedule of classes in a wide variety of lengths and formats to meet the needs of its students. In 2015-16, more than 2,000 students enrolled in at least one distance education course, and 25% of students were enrolled in only online courses. MECC provides web, hybrid, and Electronic Learning Institute (ELI) correspondence course options to meet the needs of our diverse population of non-traditional students.
MECC’s Center for Workforce Development provides state-of-the-art workforce training and services to individuals, businesses, industries, and government agencies. As an active member of the community, the Center for Workforce Development collaborates with regional employers on an ongoing basis to maintain a competitive workforce in today’s global economy.
To support the goals of business and industry, the Center provides customized job training offered at MECC or the client’s site, as well as open enrollment courses for professional and personal development. Credit, non-credit, and distance education courses promote life-long learning and economic development in the southwest Virginia region.
The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at MECC offers free business consulting, affordable training courses, and personal referrals to local resources, guidance, insights, and connections to help businesses succeed.
Many community and continuing education programs are provided in response to the needs and interests of individuals or organizations within the service region. The Center cooperates with public agencies, civic groups, community organizations, business and industry, and other educational institutions to provide educational services for a greater number of people. Individuals in need of Continuing Education Units or CEUs will find a wide variety of options available through the Center. Basic types of programming are offered: customized training, job skill assessments, continuing education/lifelong learning, quick-start training, seminars, and a variety of on-going training institutes.
MECC’s Wampler Library provides materials and services which support not only the educational programs of the College but also provide broad exposure to various disciplines, cultures, and ways of understanding. The library houses over 67,000 print and 42,000 electronic book volumes; 90 print and 27,000 electronic magazine, journal, and newspaper issues; and 9,400 reels of microfilm. In addition, the library provides access to the electronic research databases licensed by the VCCS and the Library of Virginia, as well as to the vast electronic resources of VIVA (The Virtual Library of Virginia).
All library collections are accessible online at www.mecc.edu/library. There are 33 public access computers in the library which are provided for conducting research and for completing self-paced instruction, classroom assignments, or personal projects. Enrolled students can access online library resources from off campus via the Internet.
The library staff provides circulation, reference, and interlibrary loan services, as well as technical assistance with the computers and computer software. The library staff also provides information literacy instruction for using the library’s collections and services for research. Books, magazine articles, or other materials, which are not owned by the Wampler Library can usually be obtained through interlibrary loan. All interlibrary loans are free; the library pays any charges for them.
Budget and Finance
MECC is financially healthy with an operating budget of approximately $14.5 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year; the predominant sources of income are student tuition and state appropriations. In addition, the College expects to disburse more than $786,000 in COMA financial aid to students this year. The College’s local funds consist of student fees, auxiliary operations, and support from localities.
MECC’s facilities include 8 individual instructional and support facilities with over 184,000 square feet. The College is situated on 95.5 beautiful acres in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains. MECC has recently implemented a new nursing simulation lab that brings state-of-art instructional training to heath science students across disciplines. MECC completed a full-scale renovation of one of the College’s primary instructional buildings in 2015, with hopes to renovate additional facilities in the future.
MECC’s service area—the counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton —is located in the scenic coalfields of southwestern Virginia. Home to more than 100,000 residents, the region is recognized for its unique culture including, music, craft and outdoor recreation opportunities as well as its rich natural resources. The region is served by one major airport and a network of interstate highways. The state theater of Virginia, access to the Appalachian Trail and several large lake and river systems, as well as the internationally recognized Bristol Motor Speedway, are located within a short drive from the College. Richmond, the state capital, is 6 hours travel time by car.
MECC hosts a number of public and community events in its theater space, the Goodloe Center. Two major college-sponsored public events are held on campus annually – the Home Craft Days Festival, a 45-year tradition during the third weekend in October which brings more than 20,000 visitors to the campus to experience traditional music, crafts, and cultural demonstrations; and Mountain Music School, a one-week workshop allowing students ages 10 to 100 the opportunity to learn traditional old-time music on an stringed instrument of their choice.
The Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) Foundation was established in 1982, ten years after students from Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton entered Mountain Empire Community College for the first time. The MECC Foundation’s mission is to foster and promote growth, progress, and the general welfare of Mountain Empire Community College. Since its inception, the highest priority of the MECC Foundation has been providing scholarships and other financial assistance to enable more MECC students to achieve their educational dreams. The MECC Foundation distributed almost $3.1 million in student scholarships between 1987 and 2014. Over the years, the MECC Foundation has also provided financial support for facility enhancements, academic programs, professional development for college personnel, as well as other cultural and humanities programs that benefit students and the community. The MECC Foundation annually sponsors the John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, which brings acclaimed regional and national authors to the MECC campus for free literary programming and recognition of local writers.
To advance the College’s mission, the Foundation launched The Building for the Future campaign in 2013, raising $9.5 million to assist in providing a state-of-the-art academic environment for students, scholarship support, and funds to support the College’s strategic priorities, including scholarships, expanded support for student success and outreach programs, and new investment in academic programs that had the potential for diversifying and strengthening the local economy. To date, the MECC Foundation holds more than $20M in restricted and unrestricted assets.
Grants & Sponsored Programs
MECC advances its vision with a progressive grants development program. The College is a leader in partnering with a variety of agencies, employers, and with other educational institutions to secure grant funding for projects that support shared goals. Currently, the College oversees the administration of $2.7 million annually in federal, state, and local grant funds including $400,000 from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission for student financial assistance.
MECC, a part of the Virginia Community College System, is approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and by the Virginia Community College System. The associate degree curricula of the College have also been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The College is authorized by the Veterans Administration to certify students to receive veterans’ benefits and is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services for students who receive Social Security and Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The Nursing program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The Practical Nursing and Nursing Assistant programs are approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing. The Emergency Medical Services Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The Phlebotomy program is approved by the National Phlebotomy Association.
The President of the College reports to the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System and is also advised by a local college board. The president’s senior staff consists of three vice presidents (VPs for Finance & Administrative Services, Academic & Student Services, and Institutional Advancement).
Qualifications for President
Qualified candidates must have an earned doctorate and demonstrated successful senior executive experience at the highest levels. Previous experience must include significant responsibility for programs, budgets, personnel, facilities and other appropriate administrative duties. The successful candidate must have proven leadership abilities along with excellent communications skills, a strong belief in a collaborative administrative style, as well as, a servant leadership perspective. He or she must have an understanding of the mission and goals of a comprehensive community college in the 21st Century, along with a clear commitment to instruction, student success, generating revenues, and community involvement. He or she must be able to develop a broad vision for the College along with possessing the skills and energy needed for implementation. Demonstrated ability to work with business, industry, government and the community at large is required.