Due to the current situation brought by COVID-19, chancellors, and university presidents are faced with unique challenges. Learn about how they navigate and lead through these difficulties. "Start the Week with Wisdom" is a short form live interview show that aims to be a source of wisdom and strength for many.
For the 16th installment of Weekly Wisdom, Bridget Burns, Executive Director of University Innovation Alliance and Madeline St. Amour from Inside Higher Ed, had a short, inspiring conversation with the Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger.
How Is She Currently Holding Up?
Ms. Ballinger is glad to say that she and the entire campus of Lorain County Community College are holding up exceptionally well during this time of crisis. Currently, they are so focused on the start of the new academic year. During these crazy times brought about by the pandemic, they are working hard with perseverance and grit determination to get ready for the fall semester.
What's it Like to Lead a Community College?
According to Ms. Ballinger, part of their roles as a community college is being that "launchpad" for individuals. She says that it's more about how they serve as the launchpad for their communities' economic recovery. She added that many adults throughout northeast Ohio are high school graduates but don't have enough credentials, whether it's an industry-recognized credential or a degree.
Ms.Ballinger emphasizes that the institution is part of the community solutions provider, even during this pandemic. As a community partner, they want to ensure that they listen to the community's needs and respond efficiently to what needs to be done.
As A Leader, How Is She Navigating And Making Big Decisions Amid The Outbreak?
Ms. Ballingers says that they have been laser-focused on the basic needs of the community. She added that they previously made an integrated, holistic center last year to help deal with students' basic needs. Little did they know that this was going to take an even higher priority prominence today.
Ms. Ballinger recalls that when the pandemic began, she and her team committed that they would not allow a single student to go hungry or attend school without technology. So, they've worked hard to create more opportunities for funding to make these things possible.
For the fall semester's opening, Ms.Ballinger says that their institution will have 80% of their education online. For courses that are laboratory-based and have accreditation requirements, Ms.Ballinger reassures them that they have put all of the COVID-19 preventive protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety.