The following is a monthly column from Dr. Darrin Hartness that ran in the Lexington Dispatch and the Davie Enterprise for the month of December 2019.
As a lifelong educator, the promise of a new year has always resonated with me. A new year brings endless possibility, hope, and the enduring image of a bright future. If there is one thing we love discussing with students at DCCC, it is the vision for their futures and how we can help them reach their personal and career goals. So as we begin 2020, I wanted to share a glimpse beyond the horizon at Davidson County Community College. We are not only entering a new year, but also a new decade of innovation, community empowerment, and student success.
The upcoming year will mark a transformational time for our students as they discover and develop new skills and work toward their own futures. In addition to our over 40 programs, students will be able to take part in our two brand new programs, Dental Assisting and Sustainable Agriculture. Our faculty and staff have worked extensively with community and business partners to engineer these programs to not only meet the needs of our community, but also provide competitive, cutting-edge skills for students.
We have seen remarkable efforts to prepare students for what lies ahead. That momentum will only pick up speed as the college forges and deepens its connections across the region. This means new pathways for students to continue their education seamlessly. The college will see new apprenticeship opportunities for students to learn the job, on the job, as they get a jump-start on a successful career. I look forward to being part of discussions and developing solutions to address our evolving industry and local business needs. We will continue to build customized, short-term classes and programs to strengthen our economy and workforce.
Then begins the work of thinking of our next generation. We know the power of preparing students early for lifelong learning and success. In the fall of 2020, we will welcome the first cohort of Ignite Davie College Promise students. These students will have the opportunity to earn their credentials, an associates degree, or prepare to transfer to a four-year college or university with little to no cost. With 77 applicants already, and no doubt more to come, this is a life-changing opportunity for students and for a workforce equipped for the future. We will continue to support and sustain Ignite Davie and will look for ways to serve even more students across our service district.
In 2020, together we will witness the ripple effect of DCCC’s continued emphasis on building a strong economy based on preparing highly skilled students who become empowered leaders.
The beginning of the road project for our future Link Campus is scheduled to begin in October 2020. Timber harvesting on a portion of the 185-acre parcel of land across Business 85 from our Davidson campus has begun. We are also developing plans for the future of the 165 acres of land owned by the college on the opposite side of Old Greensboro Road. These two parcels offer five times the amount of space for DCCC to expand in new and existing areas, career paths, workforce development, and space for new educational connections with our school districts and community partners. Our faculty and staff are more than ready to explore and develop these new sites in the upcoming decade.
Though 2019 is in some ways an ending to a decade, we at DCCC are continuing our calling to lift up the citizens and communities of Davidson and Davie counties. As I wrap up my first year as your president, I want to thank you for your support. I have met so many new people and forged new lifelong relationships in 2019. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve you and I look to 2020 with great anticipation and enthusiasm.
Whatever moments and experiences await us, I look forward to embarking on this new journey, year and decade together as a community and as a family. There will be celebrations and challenges, and I cannot wait to see where we go in this new time for the college, our students, and for Davidson and Davie counties. Happy New Year to all!