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North Carolina Reception at the 2022 ACCT Leadership Congress

Posted on: October 25th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

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The annual ACCT Leadership Congress will be held October 26 to 29 in New York City.

For all attending from our state, a special reception for North Carolina registrants will be held on Thursday, October 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Jolson/Cantor Rooms on the 9th floor of the hotel.

For more information or to register for the Leadership Congress, please click here.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: SCC Chair Dr. Ted Thomas

Posted on: September 28th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

Sampson Community College Chair Dr. Ted Thomas

Dr. Ted Thomas is a man who practices what he preaches, both literally and figuratively. Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Warsaw, North Carolina, Thomas has been a lifelong learner himself. “You are never too old to learn,” he says.

Thomas has been involved with the community colleges on a volunteer basis since 2017, when he began serving on the Sampson Community College (SCC) Board of Trustees. However, his first connection with the community colleges was in 1983 when he moved to Clinton and opened a dental practice. Wanting to get involved with the community, he worked for Sampson Community College (SCC) on a contract basis teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the community, traveling to various fire and rescue squads to do so. He also took a few self-improvement courses at SCC.

As a trustee, Thomas has realized the importance of SCC and the community colleges as a whole. He has discovered that “the purpose of the trustee is to make sure the ship is going in the right direction,” he said. “There is work involved when you are a trustee if you want the college to succeed. You don’t want to just occupy a seat.” Part of the success of SCC’s Board of Trustees, says Thomas, is that their trustees do not allow politics to govern their decisions. “We try to do the best for the students and try to be a landmark in the community that we serve,” said Thomas.

Thomas also stresses the importance of new trustees to be involved. “Attend workshops and seminars,” he said. “I learned so much when I was a new trustee at those types of things.” One thing he, himself, was surprised to learn about when he was a new trustee was about funding. He said he kept hearing the acronym “FTE,” but did not know what it meant. (It means full-time equivalent.) He later asked about it and learned that community college funding is based on student enrollment and how many FTEs a school has. “That was an eye opener for me,” says Thomas. FTEs are at the forefront of all community colleges, which is why it is important to have good programs at our schools so students want to attend, said Thomas.

Thomas says community colleges give students the opportunity to get ahead. “The community college has become a lot more than just a place to attend if you don’t want to go to a four-year school,” says Thomas. Personally, Thomas saw this first-hand, when his son attended community college and then had a seamless transition to a four-year college. That is “what really turned on the light for us for what the community colleges can provide.” Community colleges are able to be a bridge to the four-year colleges for those who want to take that path, says Thomas.

For those who do not want to attend a four-year college, Thomas says the community colleges can provide training for important vocations that pay well and that will allow people to provide for their families. A good example of one of these vocations is truck driving. If the truck drivers go on strike, says Thomas, “Your Amazon package would not get there!”

Thomas says the community colleges “should be proud of our mission and our goals that we have. We are a vital part of the education system in North Carolina, and we have to stand up to that.” He says community colleges should not feel separated from the rest of the educational system. They should be proud of what they are able to learn at their community colleges.

In considering the community college system as a whole, Thomas believes that the colleges work well together. However, he says that sometimes colleges seem to be in competition with one another, especially community colleges that neighbor one another. “We must work with the statewide community in order to be as strong as we can,” says Thomas. “It’s always better to work together than against each other.”

Thomas says the challenges SCC faces are the same challenges all other community colleges face—the need for enrollment increases as well as salary increases for staff and faculty. Thomas said he would like to get older adults who may have previously taken classes at SCC back into the classrooms to finish what they have started. He also realizes that Sampson County is a large county, which can create transportation challenges for some. He suggests that SCC partner with the county to help provide transportation for the students. He says we need to ensure we do not lose students to other educational entities.

Thomas is also particularly concerned with the decrease in minority male enrollment at SCC as well as across the state. He says that SCC is looking at this issue and is trying to devise a solution. He thinks the schools need to be more visible in their counties and should consider social media to attract minority males.

Regarding community college faculty and staff pay, Thomas knows some counties are able to provide financial assistance to their community colleges. For that to occur in Sampson County, however, would be an “uphill climb” because of the county’s small tax base. Therefore, he encourages SCC’s trustees to contact legislators and discuss financially supporting community colleges so that colleges can provide the salaries needed to keep their faculty and staff.

At SCC, Thomas is most proud of how well the school works for its students. “We are all family, and families work together,” says Thomas. Thomas says that trustees want feedback from the staff, faculty and students about how they can improve the school. Thomas says that, “Relationships are the key to everything.”

Aside from being a trustee, Thomas maintains a full and active life. A 1975 graduate of North Carolina Central University, Thomas continued his education at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a degree in Medical Technology. After realizing he did not want to spend the rest of his days in a lab, he planned to take a year off from school. Wise counsel from his mother encouraged him not to take off that year, but instead, continue his education. That prompted him to apply to and complete dental school. After dental school, he served in the Navy for three years as a dental officer stationed at Camp Lejeune. He then moved to Clinton in 1983, where he practiced dentistry until 2019.

Prior to his retirement in dentistry, however, after receiving the call to go into ministry in 2006 and after attending Shaw Divinity School, he became the pastor of First Baptist Missionary Church in Warsaw, where he continues to serve. Living out the phrase, “You’re never too old to learn,” Thomas completed his Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies at Knox Theological Seminary in May 2022. Thomas had no desire to let his learning end there, however. He is now enrolled in the doctoral of ministry program at Regent University at Virginia Beach and should complete that degree in three to four years.

Thomas’s hobbies include walking, racquetball, reading, riding bikes, hiking and chess. A little-known fact about Thomas is that about 20 years ago, he almost reached 300 lbs. He now works out about four to five days a week and is careful about what he eats.

Unsure if this will ever occur, Thomas has an interesting item on his bucket list that relates to a hobby he enjoyed for 18 years—piloting a plane. Thomas says he would love to fly through the eye of a hurricane.

Although Dr. Ted Thomas is quite an accomplished gentleman himself, he said his proudest accomplishment is his family and the tight bond they have. And while he knows his family understood why he was not home more during his two boys’ younger years while he was working to get his dental practice off the ground, he said that would be a portion of his life he would relive if he could.

Thomas is also quite proud of his congregation at First Missionary Baptist Church and being a part of SCC and what the college has done for the community. “Do what is right and don’t do it for personal gain,” says Thomas—a statement he seems to have made his mantra.

2022 NCACCT Leadership Seminar Presentations

Posted on: September 14th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The following are the materials from the 2022 NCACCT Leadership Seminar in Asheville:

 

myFutureNC Presentation

 

Financial Considerations Handout

 

North Carolina’s Political Landscape

 

Ethics Training

 

Orientation Presentation

Moseley Architects – CPCC Academic Building Design Workshop Case Study

Posted on: July 21st, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

CPCC Levine Campus Academic Building Design Workshop Case Study

By: Charity Myers, Marketing Coordinator, Moseley Architects

Moseley Architects had the privilege of partnering with Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) to provide advanced planning and subsequent design services for the school’s new Levine Campus Academic Building. This new facility was not a simple academic structure meant to serve a single department. Rather, its purpose was to provide a diverse array of spaces for several different student life and academic needs, all housed within a thoughtfully curated facility. This required connectivity and functionality to be at the forefront of architectural considerations. Through our work in the advanced planning stage, our team gained a thorough understanding of how unique these desired features and their related challenges would be. Thus, when given the opportunity to move forward with design services, a primary objective from the beginning was to employ a workshop process through which every voice was heard and properly reflected in the final design.

Casting a Wide Net

Key project features include a new library, classrooms, offices, computer labs, science and healthcare labs, an academic learning center, a math emporium, and a Barnes & Noble bookstore, with multipurpose lounge and collaboration spaces incorporated throughout. Such a complex undertaking with a diverse group of end-users can easily buckle beneath the weight of a chaotic process. This can potentially result in some design goals being met, while others slip through the cracks. To avoid this pitfall, our team utilized a workshop approach that strategically gathered input from all departments to inform design decisions.

In our workshop strategy, we collaborated with two groups that each served a distinct function. First, determined to gain a thorough understanding of each end user’s precise needs, we sourced feedback from a large, diverse group of departmental representatives to learn about their individual questions, concerns, and desires. One of these representatives was Karen Summers, Dean of Health Sciences at CPCC, who advised: “A lot of people were at the table, but everyone had their input at the end of the day. [The team] had the opportunity to hear concerns from all and incorporate them into everything.”

We then filtered that information through a smaller, more focused group of key decision-makers who were ultimately responsible for steering the project in a concentrated manner. By employing this method, all comments were considered in an organized, effective way without creating confusion and undue stress on the client.

Navigating Challenges

While this workshop method creates a foundation of inclusivity and understanding, it is not without obstacles. Our team encountered two specific challenges over the course of this experience with CPCC. First, given the multifaceted nature of the project, it was vital for us to be sensitive to lags in communication. During the initial idea-mining phase, communication was plentiful—but we had to be mindful of including departmental representatives on a consistent basis throughout the duration of the project. This is not always easy when working with a large group but must be prioritized to maintain the same sense of inclusion cultivated in the early stages.

The second challenge and lesson learned was the importance of providing proper technical training for end users upon project completion. The final Levine Campus Academic Building includes state-of-the-art technology and modernized features—it was therefore important to make sure faculty and staff knew how to fully utilize their new resources, especially after their feedback played such a major role in bringing those elements to fruition.

Designing Solutions

Of course, all of this means very little if the completed facility fails to fulfill client needs. To gauge our success in adequately reflecting the vision expressed to us by workshop participants, we recently followed up with a few representatives for feedback that goes beyond first impressions. According to Melissa Vrana, Executive Director, Performance Facilities and Events, “The final product is great and functions as a multipurpose space . . . everything was incorporated well.” Edith McElroy, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, echoed this sentiment and expressed that she is satisfied with the final design and appreciated that we “looked for alternatives that would please everybody and foster compromise.”

As reflected in this partnership with CPCC, Moseley Architects recognizes the importance of community colleges and the vital role they play in the fabric of their surrounding communities. With this reality in mind, we are committed to employing methods that will not only meet the practical needs of end users but will benefit the area in which a college resides while serving students, faculty, and staff for years to come. In fulfilling those goals, we hope to further exemplify our dedication to enriching lives, designing solutions, and building trust.

Registration is Open for 2022 Leadership Seminar!

Posted on: July 21st, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Registration is now open for the 2022 NCACCT Leadership Seminar, to be held Wednesday September 7 through Friday September 9 in downtown Asheville!

Click here for more information.

FY21-23 State Budget

Posted on: July 20th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

FY 2021-23 State Budget

State-wide Items

Information Technology

Economic Development

Programs

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: NCACCP President Dr. Mark Poarch

Posted on: July 19th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

NCACCP President Dr. Mark Poarch

Having served six years as president at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) and almost a year as president of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP), Dr. Mark Poarch has earned the ability to share great observations and insights about North Carolina community colleges. From his perspective as a community college president, the most valuable trustee is “someone who is committed to the cause [and] serving the community.” He says it is important that a trustee focus on student success, help meet the needs of their communities, be engaged with and support the work of the president and have a trusting relationship with the president to ensure the president is doing his/her job appropriately.

“Good trustees should also be engaged with campus events so they can see the positive impacts they have on students and the community. Someone who can navigate the political landscape of our communities and build relationships with stakeholders is critical.” In short, he says that a good trustee is a champion for the college.

Poarch, himself, has been a champion for community colleges for over 30 years. Prior to becoming a community college employee in 1991 at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC), Poarch received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990 while playing baseball at Western Carolina University (WCU). For approximately one year, he worked at Brevard College as an admissions representative and a recruiter in Florida and Virginia. However, he left Brevard and advanced his career working in the testing center at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC). While there, he worked his way up as the director of testing and later as the director of student records. Simultaneously, he was working on getting his master’s degree in two-year college administration at WCU.

By 2006 and with a master’s degree now under his belt, Poarch was working at CCC&TI. He went on to receive an education specialist degree in 2011 from Appalachian State University (ASU). Until that point, Poarch had never intended to become a community college president. However, with the encouragement and influence of his mentors, he continued his education and received his doctorate from ASU in 2015. At that time, he was the Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI. Then in July 2016, he applied for and became the president of CCC&TI, where he continues to serve.

Poarch, who is a native of the town of Lenoir in Caldwell County, says, “It’s pretty cool working in the same town you grew up in. It makes the work even more special because it gives me the opportunity to give back to a community that gave so much to me growing up.”

Over the course of this past year, Poarch has also served statewide as NCACCP president. To be successful in this demanding role, he quickly learned he had to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously. He has also had to become more organized, especially with his time. Using what he learned at a local level and expanding it to a broader audience has also been important, he says. In turn, he has strengthened his communication skills. “Communication is critical,” he says. Ensuring he includes all appropriate community college stakeholders in his communication while being clear and thorough in his deliverance has been another key to his success as NCACCP president.

Poarch has also learned to more effectively navigate during times of transition. For example, President Stith became the Community College System Office president in January 2021. Six months later, Poarch became the NCACCP president, during which time he has worked on building relationships and trust between the new faces at the State Board, the System Office and presidents who are relatively new to the System. And although he thought Covid-19 would be short-lived, he says the constant challenges it brought to our system were unexpected and unprecedented.

Legislatively, Poarch believes the funding community colleges have received over the past two years has been some of the best we have seen in recent years. He would like to see the community colleges’ three-year legislative plan carried out and, as a result, be able to show community college staff and students they are truly valued. Additionally, he would like the legislature to make sure we are equipped with 21st century technology that will meet the needs of our students. He says we must continue to market the value of our community colleges as a first-rate, first-choice option. That will be important in helping North Carolina reach the myFutureNC attainment goal of having 2 million credentialed workers in the state by 2030.

In considering the future, Poarch says students want flexible learning options. He explains that we must meet the needs of students who are juggling work, family, etc. by providing instruction in various formats, including face-to-face instruction on evenings and weekends. However, there are many challenges that come with that. He says we will have to learn how to best work with our community college, K-12 and university partners. We will also have to continue to work with shifts in population, especially in our rural areas. “Regional partnerships will be critical,” he says. “I think community colleges are going to continue to be a more critical entity in meeting the needs of the workforce in North Carolina. People are continuing to rely on community colleges. We have to have resources to be able to meet those workforce needs if we’re going to be the answer,” says Poarch.

When he is not working, Poarch likes to spend time with his family at the beach or the mountains. He and his wife, Tracy, have been married 30 years this month. They have one son, two daughters and some may be surprised to learn that he also has two grandchildren. Poarch also enjoys hunting, playing golf, and doing landscape work in his yard.

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: Pitt CC Trustee Gloristine Brown

Posted on: April 26th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

Pitt Community College Trustee Gloristine Brown

“I know my calling; my calling is to serve,” says Mayor Gloristine Brown. Brown heeds that calling daily. Beginning in 1999, Brown served as commissioner of the town board of Bethel, North Carolina. Since 2014, she has served as the town’s mayor. She is also on numerous local and statewide boards and committees, is in her sixth year as a Pitt Community College (PCC) trustee and is on the NCACCT Executive Board. Most recently, Mayor Brown announced her candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

In her involvement as a community college trustee, Brown says it was not until after she joined the board that she learned it was her job to support the college president rather than to help manage the college. She said that if a trustee realizes there are concerns at his/her college, then the trustee should talk to the board chair or to the President. “The President is the one who makes the decision about what to do,” she says. One thing Brown quickly learned when she became a trustee was that she needed to be involved in the college to respond to community comments and questions about college activities. She said she likes to be at every committee meeting so she can hear information firsthand.

Brown suggests new trustees stay engaged as much as possible by attending board and committee meetings and by interacting with those who are on campus. She advises to never assume; always ask questions. She also warns that trustees should not make promises or speak negatively about their schools. A trustee, she says, should be the true champion for a college. “People will know if you really care about your college,” says Brown.

Brown sees the important roles community colleges play in our communities and beyond. She understands that for students who want to go to a four-year university, beginning their educational journey at the community college can save students money. She also sees how community colleges can provide one-on-one attention to help students determine what they want to do for a living so they do not waste valuable time and money. “I look at community colleges as being a savior for students,” says Brown.

At PCC, Brown is especially proud of the numerous ways the school helps students continue their education. She is impressed with PCC’s early college program, as well as the school’s reentry program, which works with the county’s sheriff’s department to help those who have been in detention or imprisoned receive education they need to get into the workforce. She is proud of the school’s VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program, whose purpose is to provide mentoring, career guidance and $1,000 per year scholarships to selected Pitt County public high school students. Programs like that, says Brown, provide funding that help students who may otherwise not be able to continue their education.

As for the community college system as a whole, Brown loves the way the colleges work together as a family. She says that even though colleges are in different parts of the state, the goal is the same. “We are all trying to be one voice. Colleges work together; I love that. There is no ‘I’ in team,” says Brown. “We can show the United States that North Carolina is truly the great 58,” she says.

Although she is currently a full-time politician in her mayoral role in Bethel, Brown’s occupational history has included working a bit in the nursing and insurance industries. In fact, if she could do it all over again, she says she would use her calling of service to become a registered nurse. A mother of two now-adult children—a daughter and a son—Brown said that it was her daughter who encouraged her to get her Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and a master’s degree in Public Administration. While she is glad she accomplished these educational goals, she wishes she had received her degrees at an earlier age.

As mayor, one of Brown’s biggest success stories was when she was able to affect the citizens of Bethel in a positive financial way. Brown helped Bethel’s residents reduce their water and sewer bills by an estimated 23 percent. The town partnered with the Greenville Utilities Commission to assume ownership and management of the town’s water and wastewater systems.

Brown is also proud Bethel has a workforce development center that is partnering with PCC and that the town now has a thriving youth center. She said she is pleased that some of the town’s younger citizens want to restore some of the youth programs that Bethel once had. “Seeing community involvement was one of my prayers. That’s what makes a community,” says Brown.

When asked why she wanted to run for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Brown stated that several people approached her about running. After giving it some consideration, she decided she would like to use the same energy she was using to serve her community in Bethel and extend that service to her district. If elected, Brown says she could check running for state office off of her bucket list, as serving at the state (and perhaps later, the federal) level is something she has wanted to do for a while now. Brown wants to serve the rural area of her part of the state by giving her constituents a voice in Raleigh. “It’s not about my agenda. It’s about what is best for the people,” says Brown. “The heart I have for my town is the same I would have for my district.”

With the experience she has gained as a trustee, Brown says if she succeeds in her run for the House of Representatives, she knows she could be a strong voice for community colleges. “I’ve been in the trenches,” she says. “I’m on the inside looking out.” Brown wants to be the person who can emphasize the positive effects community colleges have on our communities and in turn, help community colleges receive the funding they need to be even more effective. If elected, Brown said one of her top priorities would be community colleges. She also said she wants to make sure North Carolina’s citizens have affordable healthcare and jobs in which they are well paid.

In her free time, Brown loves to read, play word games, sing, and, of course, volunteer. “I will give my last if I need to. Children and seniors are my heart,” says Brown.

2022 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar Presentations

Posted on: April 5th, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

The following are the Presentations from the 2022 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar in Raleigh:

Board Decision Making and Relationships

Community College Governance

Derek Steed – Business Partnerships

Ethics Training

Legal Challenges after Covid

Legislative Agenda

Orientation Presentation

Strategic Planning

Spotlight on Community College Leaders: James Sprunt CC Trustee Ed Emory

Posted on: February 21st, 2022 by Caroline Hipple No Comments

Spotlight on Community College Leaders:

James Sprunt Community College Trustee Ed Emory

In his 12th year as a James Sprunt Community College trustee, Ed Emory says he has been (pleasantly) surprised to learn two things since becoming a trustee. First, he has been surprised to learn the depth of the course offerings that our North Carolina community colleges have to offer. Secondly, with the advent of the Career and College Promise program, he has learned that high school students can get college credits and can even graduate with a two-year degree—a fact he shares with high schoolers he encounters.

Retired as the Duplin County Extension Director with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at NC State University, Emory has a background in agriculture and education. Additionally, as Extension Director, Emory led educational programming in agriculture, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences and community development.

Spending his entire career in education, Emory sees the opportunities community colleges can provide to both college-age students as well as to older adults. He also sees how community colleges help sustain local economies by providing continuing education for workforce development. Emory says that while trustees need to work together for statewide funding, they also need to show the individual county governments how much their contributions are appreciated and how essential they are to the success and growth of our community colleges.

Serving as a trustee has given Emory the chance to be involved in selecting a college president, which he believes is a task of the utmost importance. Selecting and supporting a good president results in a growing faculty and staff. That, in turn, supports the students, which as Emory puts it, is “what we’re all about.” Emory has also come to understand that setting policies and providing leadership and support to the president is also an invaluable part of being a trustee.

Emory also commented that he has been glad to be involved with the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees because trustees do not “come to the table” with the complete set of skills of how to be a good trustee. “The Association provides us with the important training we need,” Emory says. He says it teaches trustees about organizational and board development and makes trustees more effective by informing them about state and national issues that relate to community colleges.

Showing community college employees and students that they are valued is an issue of concern for Emory. He says when we look at our employees, we need to focus on how to raise their salaries to increase capacity to serve our students. To show our students they are valued, he says we must first eliminate enrollment barriers so they can be successful. We also must consider diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I don’t think those are just the buzzwords of our time,” says Emory. “We have to make sure every student feels welcome and safe and that they have the resources they need to succeed.” Then, he says, our students will be successful. He says to eliminate barriers, we first must develop relationships with students and parents in elementary, middle, and high school, and make them know what a significant resource the community colleges are–especially now that we have dual enrollment and early college high school. He says it is important to show students they can obtain college credits and that they can save money while doing it.

As a James Sprunt Community College trustee, Emory says he is proud of the family approach his college takes when someone becomes a student there. When students enroll, they become a part of the “James Sprunt Family,” and he appreciates how the school does all it can to ensure their students’ successes. He would love to see the workforce development program continue to grow at James Sprunt as well as see growth in their high school recruitment.

Although Emory officially retired in 2009, that does not mean he has stopped working. He was president of the NC Farm Families organization for three years. He also works part-time for the University of Mount Olive’s agricultural program. There he coordinates the AgPrime Tobacco Trust Fund grant program for farmers in 33 eastern North Carolina counties. He also works with county governments to develop farmland preservation plans.

In his free time, Emory likes anything relating to Wolfpack sports. He also enjoys working on his family’s farm in Carteret County. Emory loves to be with family and friends, and he enjoys being outside. He even started a 25-member golf travel group 32 years ago that is still going strong. The group, who all happen to be from Duplin County, gather annually in Pinehurst.

Emory also loves to travel. He recalled a trip to Eastern Europe about five years ago that he says was his best vacation. Learning about the history and cultures of places he had never thought to visit before was so interesting to Emory. He also recollected the surprise he felt when he visited Cuba shortly after the country’s reopening. Being made aware of all that Cubans had forgone for so long made him feel a compassion for them that he had not expected. Emory’s love of travel is infinite to the point of stating that if anyone says to him, “Let’s go there,” he will say “Yes!” It does not really matter to him where they are going; he just likes to go!

Too humble to really use the word “proud” to define any of his life’s accomplishments, Emory states he truly has had a blessed life. He says he is happy to be involved in a community where he can give back just a portion compared to what has been given to him.

Advice he would share with a new trustee would be analogous to the best advice he ever received from former County Extension Director Lois Britt, which was, “Never stop learning.” His advice to new trustees would be to learn by attending all the board meetings you can, be an active member of the NC Association of Community College Trustees (NCACCT) and if you are able, be involved in the national Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Being active in these groups, he says, provides valuable tools and relationships that will help you be a better trustee.