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CCCCD Announces Staff Change

CCCCD Announces Staff Change

October 11, 2002- Collin County Community College District recently appointed Louisa Kessel as the director of Recruitment and Programs for New Students.

Kessel will be responsible for expanding the college's "dual credit/concurrent enrollment" program, which allows high school students to take college courses during their senior year. The program has been very popular because it shortens the time and cost to finish a baccalaureate degree. Kessel will work to enhance partnerships with the local high schools and solve the problem of affordability of higher education.

She also will coordinate orientation programs for new students, provide student tracking information to high schools and offer general leadership for the staff. The director position became available when the college created a new associate dean of students position to accommodate growth, and Kathrine Swanson, the previous director, was promoted to be the associate dean.

Kessel holds a B.S. in international studies and English and a M.S. in educational administration with special focus on student affairs from Texas A&M University. She joined the CCCCD staff three years ago and worked in Student Life prior to this promotion.

"I have a passion for what I do in the realm of education," she said. "I am looking forward to the new challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead."

Kessel's position also focuses on student retention, a priority issue for higher education in Texas. According to CCCCD President Cary Israel, the college is in the final stages of drafting a strategic plan that will guide the college for the next three years and will continue to shift dollars to high-priority demands, such as student retention and classroom teaching.

The plan is being developed through consensus of community patrons such as CCCCD's "Committee of 100"-an organization of founders and sponsors-along with other stakeholders and key constituencies. The plan will be presented for adoption at the January meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The state of Texas is facing a $5 billion shortfall this legislative session, so higher education officials statewide will face a tough fight for funding. "When resources are scarce, we have to look at reallocating resources in order to maintain our quality educational offerings," said Israel. "The college has been and will continue to review the administrative structure in order to maintain our cost-effectiveness."

Collin County Community College District has experienced an 11 percent increase in enrollment over 2001 and anticipates serving more than 37,000 credit and continuing education students this year. Officials predict that enrollment will continue to grow as displaced workers retool. Israel said many deserving students did not receive scholarships or financial aid this year because the demand outpaced funding, so the college is working to raise funding and operate in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.