Formerly the senior vice president of instruction at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC, Dr. Sprinkle holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a master’s in clinical psychology from Western Carolina University, a bachelor’s from North Carolina State University and an associate degree from Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, NC.
He succeeds Charlie White who retired this year after more than 40 years with the Virginia Community College System.
1. What is your top priority as president of WCC?
My top priority is to ensure that we maintain a high level of quality in all aspects of the college. This includes quality instruction and services across curriculum, non-credit, student services, workforce development, and work environment for our faculty and staff.
2. What are some of the biggest and most immediate challenges facing WCC?
First and foremost, I suspect that one issue on everyone’s mind at the college and on the board is reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The college is up for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2016. We all know that while this is extremely important; it is a time intensive process.
WCC is also going through a period of transition in leadership and personnel, and one of the administration’s goals will be to establish an atmosphere of stability and continuity during this period of transition.
And of course, all of us in the VCCS are working hard to address the goal of Complete 2021. Relatedly, along with that goal, WCC will be looking to strengthen and expand its Workforce Development services and capacity.
3. What solutions work best, in your opinion, in getting remedial students on the right path to academic success and ultimately toward college completion?
I believe it is about relationships. One of the greatest assets I have seen at WCC is the level of care and concern that our faculty and staff have for our students. I believe that this personal commitment and connection is a contributing factor to our students’ academic success and ultimate completion.
4. WCC is one of more than a dozen of Virginia’s Community Colleges situated in the Rural Horseshoe. How do you plan to go about increasing educational attainment?
We will certainly continue to provide career coaches to students in all of our high schools, offering advising and services that promote completion; likewise, we will continue the support services offered to foster youth through Great Expectations initiative. We will also need to identify ways in which we can work closely with Mount Rogers Regional Adult Education to provide community-based opportunities for those who need access in the community.
5. Please tell us three things about yourself that would be of interest to our readers.
1) I believe in a service model of leadership, and I also believe that creating a positive and collaborative work environment will lead to a high quality of service delivery for our students.
2) My wife and I just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We have two sons: John, age 26, who works as a software engineer, and Nic, age 25, who recently completed a master’s degree in communication and will be teaching this fall as an adjunct faculty member at a public university and at a community college in North Carolina. Nic will also be working with EMS beginning this fall.
3) During my earlier career, prior to transitioning to the community college, I worked in community mental health as a staff psychologist with a variety of different age groups, populations, and settings.
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