PDCCC’s first student leadership conference includes 300 students and a surprise for Chancellor DuBois
Submitted by Wendy Harrison, Public Relations Specialist Paul D. Camp Community College
A free event proved exceptionally successful as nearly 300 area students gathered at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Center to learn more about achieving their educational goals.
Students Transitioning through Education Programs Successfully (STEPS) organized and led the first Annual Student Leadership Conference, themed “Engage. Educate. Empower,” in late October.
The STEPS program was created in 2012 as a response to the Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s College Success Coach Initiative. The conference was made possible by the Excellence in Education (EIE) award funding and the STEPS program. The STEPS team was awarded a $5,000 first-place prize during the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS) New Horizons Conference 2017 held in Roanoke in April for their project—a model based on research and facts to use when helping underserved students.
Sessions were designed to assist community college students from the surrounding area, and dual enrollment and potential dual enrollment high school students in the college’s service region. The region encompasses the cities of Franklin and Suffolk, and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.
“We help students be successful and stay on track in their academic endeavors, but that is only part of our focus,” explained College Success Coach Laura Clark. “We take a holistic approach to addressing the needs of underserved students.”
The morning began with optional pre-conference mentoring sessions led by PDCCC’s Men with A Purpose (MAP) and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin and Virginia Community Colleges’ Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois provided welcome/opening remarks, respectively.
An unsuspecting DuBois received a surprise award kept under wraps until the right moment. The STEPS team presented a plaque honoring DuBois as a “Champion for Student Success” for his creation of an initiative that continues to positively affect students and their families across the state.
PDCCC Alumni Ellis “Trey” Cofield III of Franklin and LaQuisa McGlone of Suffolk delivered testimonials and spoke of their academic paths that began at PDCCC.
Founder, President and CEO of The Leadership & Learning Institute Dr. Adolph Brown, who has earned multiple degrees from the College of William and Mary, made a presentation focused on developing habits helpful to students in staying on point. The keynote speaker addressed overcoming negative and emotional issues as they affect one’s outlook and decisions.
Other topics covered were leadership and a team-building activity with Upward Bound Director Travis Parker; entrepreneurship with Franklin Southampton Economic President and CEO Amanda Jarratt; and civic engagement with faculty member Wendy Miller-Edwards.
“We created a student-centered learning experience to help students develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting daily activities to their long-term goals, and to support them in building skills,” said College Success Coach Dr. Sandra Walker.
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