NCCCFA 2013 Keynote: The Future of Community Colleges with Dr. Anita Brown-Graham

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The Future of Community Colleges

This morning’s keynote: The future of community colleges was interesting, but found difficulty bringing motivation. In her defense, Dr. Anita Brown-Graham is the director of the NCSU (North Carolina State University) Institute for Emerging Issues. The problem here really boils down to preaching to the converted. The REAL problem is that Dr. Stephen Scott and the rest of Wake Tech Community College’s administrative staff have been seeing this, telling us about it, preparing our faculty for this, and training us on how to deal with and be prepared for this… every single year I’ve worked here since 2005.

YES, we know about the rise in LMS (learning management systems) and the importance of keeping materials online and confidential for students. YES, we know about the conflagration of smartphones and mobile devices and how this will affect our classrooms. YES, we have been made aware of the possibility of a BYOD (brig your own device) classroom situation. YES, we know and have been experimenting with the rise of social media and how it will affect our classes. YES, we have been prepared for higher numbers of online, out of state online, and overseas online students. YES, we are ready and anticipatory of the rise in technology in the classroom and abroad, and YES we ARE prepared for our students to step from our classes to 4-year institutions and colleges.

In short, I was disappointed by the talk, because it seemed less about leading our students into the future, and more about getting us prepared for the present… even though we had already been prepared by initiatives started years back.