CH@T: CCCC provost spotlights uniqueness of college’s Chatham campus, contributions

Posted 6/13/19

As Chatham County provost, Mark Hall serves as Central Carolina Community College’s executive administrator in Chatham. A North Carolina native, Hall’s life and career path have taken him all …

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CH@T: CCCC provost spotlights uniqueness of college’s Chatham campus, contributions

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As Chatham County provost, Mark Hall serves as Central Carolina Community College’s executive administrator in Chatham. A North Carolina native, Hall’s life and career path have taken him all over the state: he’s lived in Charlotte, Wilmington, Cary, Boone, Raleigh, Sanford, and now Pittsboro. He has a degree in psychology from Appalachian State University and graduate degrees from N.C. State (Master of Arts in English and American Literature; Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Research and Policy Analysis). His career at CCCC began as a part-time adjunct instructor, and his work as a full-time instructor led to a promotion as lead humanities instructor and then to Chatham County Provost — where, among many other duties, he supervises faculty and staff and helps foster partnerships with community organizations, secondary education schools, and county and municipal officials. Hall serves in various positions with a number of civic organizations, including Chatham Hospital, the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, Chatham YMCA, the Siler City Rotary Club and the Chatham Soccer League. He and his wife have three children, all of whom attend Chatham County schools.

Let’s start with CCCC’s Chatham campuses. Can you talk about how Chatham fits within CCCC’s operations and academic plan, the value the college offers to Chatham County and what distinguishes Chatham’s campuses from the other two sites?

Early this fall, the college will have three sites in Chatham County: one in Siler City, one in Pittsboro, and a new one in North Chatham. As with other sites (about 20) across the college’s three-county service area, these Chatham sites help the college serve as a catalyst for individual, community, and economic development through life-long learning. The training and education at the Siler City Center includes Certified Nurse Assistant preparation and other health-sciences courses, high-school degree equivalency programing, adult basic education and English-as-a-second language courses, industrial and artistic welding, ceramic arts, and university-transfer courses for local high school students. The Chatham Main Campus in Pittsboro offers much of this programming, too, but also hosts the College’s Sustainable Agriculture (top 20 nationally-ranked), Sustainable Technologies, Building Construction Technology, Medical Assisting, Culinary Institute, university-transfer programs, and Chatham County School’s early college: Chatham School for Science and Engineering. In the near future, the college will expand its Business Technologies, Engineering Technologies, and trades programming on the on the Chatham Main Campus as the health-sciences programs located there transition to the new Chatham Health Science Center in North Chatham. Additionally, all three Chatham sites serve as locations for short-term training, workforce development, and self-enrichment courses.

What’s ahead for the CCCC Chatham campuses?

Construction of the Chatham Health Sciences Center should be finished early fall 2019, and health-science programming at that location will start soon after completion. The transition of health-science programming to the new building will open space on the Chatham Main Campus in Pittsboro for additional training opportunities. In particular, the college is considering expanding construction trades training and is approved to start Electrical Systems Technology this fall. As the county-supported Chatham Promise program grows and recent high-school graduates take advantage of the quality education the CCCC provides tuition-free, the college will continue expanding technical education as well as university-transfer courses at the Chatham Main Campus to accommodate the increases in enrollment.

Chatham Promise is somewhat new. For those unfamiliar with it, can you shed some light on how the program works?

The College’s Promise Programs will provide — tuition free — training and college courses for qualifying high school graduates. Before the Chatham County Commissioners’ unanimous approval, the Chatham County Promise was endorsed by the Chatham Economic Development Corporation for its potential contribution to workforce development and by the Chatham County Board of Education for the increased educational opportunities it gives students. Because the financial barrier of tuition costs has been removed through the county’s generous support, Chatham County Promise will encourage all students to pursue post-high-school training and education that leads to employment. As a collective effort, Chatham County Promise represents how many groups in this County will work together for the greater good of the County’s residents.

CCCC’s partnerships in Chatham...can you talk about what’s in place, and what’s planned?

CCCC almost has too many partnerships to name them all. That stated, the college could not provide the quality training and education it does without the support of the Chatham County’s commissioners and staff. The college also has a long-standing partnership with Chatham County Schools that has facilitated the exponential increase in high school students taking college classes, lead to the establishment of the system’s early college/innovative high school, and enabled the launch of Chatham Promise. Additionally, the college works closely with Chatham Charter to provide college courses to its juniors and seniors, many of whom earn about a year and a half of college credit before graduating. Regarding economic development, the college works with the Chatham Economic Development Corporation on large and small projects as the source for industry’s workforce development and small business guidance. Additional collaborations involve Chatham Community Library and the Friends of the Library, Chatham Habitat for Humanity, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, Chatham Health Alliance, Council on Aging, Chatham YMCA, Chatham Health Department, and Chatham’s Partnership for Children to name only some.

What’s unique about you and your job and responsibilities at CCCC?

I am unsure what might be unique about me in a diverse and eclectic county like Chatham. Lots of great people live and work in Chatham County, and as a life-long North Carolinian I am grateful to live and work in Chatham County, too. The provost role at CCCC, however, is unique to community colleges. CCCC has two provosts, one for Chatham County and one for Harnett County, who serve as the executive administrators in their respective counties. Working directly for the college president, I work together with the college’s vice presidents to develop and improve programming and operations in Chatham County. We also foster new and established relationships with the college’s external partners to better serve our communities . As a team, CCCC’s executive leadership all work closely with each other to provide the best training and education possible to the College’s entire service area.

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