CCC president to visit Page to listen

Hopes to learn what community wants

“If they could have any wish for their community college, what would they like to see?”

That is the overriding question for Page residents interested in attending a “listening session” with Coconino Community College President Colleen A. Smith on Monday, Oct. 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. at CCC Page in Room A1. Food will be served at this free event.

“We are proud of the ‘community’ in Coconino Community College, and our mission is to serve all our communities,” Smith said. “We will be reaching out and listening and finding out what kind of educational programs our communities say they need.”

So far, Smith and Kerry Blume, who is working with CCC to enhance community engagement, have participated in three other listening sessions with community members in the county, and more are planned in the near future. Blume has worked in nonprofit leadership for more than 30 years and is the former president and chief executive officer of United Way of Northern Arizona.

“Dr. Smith is very interested in how the college can best serve the community,” Blume said. “And she wants to hear from the communities so that CCC can continue to develop, improve and ensure educational paths that meet the needs of our communities as best as possible.”

After getting input from the wide diversity of communities, Smith will then work with the CCC District Governing Board on next steps.

“From the feedback, CCC can begin to shape strategic and program development goals,” Blume said.

Of the other listening sessions, Blume said that residents have been engaged and have shared either their own experiences or their children’s experiences with the community college. 

At this point, the president has heard from residents about certificate programs, the trades, programs that transition students into four-year universities and lifelong learning opportunities. 

At the Oct. 30 listening session in Page, residents who attend will receive welcoming comments from President Smith, and then Blume will lead a discussion about what community members see as priorities for the community college as it pertains to Page residents.

Smith’s intent is to steer the college in right direction in terms of the Page community’s educational needs and what Page residents hope for from their community college. 

The visit is Smith’s way of getting to know the full spectrum of the diversity of our communities — the good, the bad and the ugly.

“We are only asking that people attend and share their perspectives,” Smith said.

CCC Page is located at 475 S. Lake Powell Blvd., right next to the Page Public Library.

Any community groups in Page interested in hosting a listening session with Smith and Blume can do so by contacting April Sandoval at (928) 226-4217, or [email protected]

Larry Hendricks is the public relations coordinator for CCC.