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HCC president drafts strategic goals list

October 07, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Community College President Guy Altieri has drafted a list of strategic goals he thinks will help the college fulfill his vision of its role as a "learning institution dedicated to student and community success."

Altieri's plan includes offering more educational opportunities for local high school students, and new and expanded health care, technology and education programs to help meet a growing need in the community and beyond for nurses, computer technicians and educators, he said.

Altieri is working with Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan and officials from the University System of Maryland to pave a smoother transition for students from high schools to community colleges and four-year colleges or universities, he said.

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Altieri said he and Morgan agree there is an opportunity for more collaboration between the community college and public schools.

He plans to work closely with public school educators to improve the college's dual enrollment and early release programs, in which high school students take college classes. He also welcomes discussions with high school students and their parents, he said.

"My vision is that the community college should be a place where some high school students come to before they graduate and others come to after they graduate," he said.

Altieri plans to expand credit and certification computer technology course offerings at HCC to meet the increasing need for computer technicians locally and elsewhere, he said.

Altieri also advocates increasing health education training offerings at HCC, in part to help meet the increased personnel needs of a new Washington County Hospital, he said.

The Washington County Health System - the hospital's parent company - is considering building a new hospital.

Hospital search committee members are in the process of selecting a preferred site so health system officials can get a better handle on the estimated costs and determine whether a new hospital is affordable, Health System President and CEO James Hamill said.

Search committee members are considering 230 acres of agricultural land just east of Hagerstown Community College near Robinwood Medical Center, Allegheny Energy's 450-acre Friendship Technology Park off Interstate 70 and a two-block section of downtown Hagerstown.

Altieri hopes the land near the college will be selected because a hospital close to the campus would create an ideal health care training situation for students, he said.

"It would create a wonderful synergy for the community ... and open up more opportunities to train people for health care jobs," Altieri said.

HCC can also play a bigger role in teacher education, he said.

The college last year began offering education credit courses that provide would-be teachers with classes they need to begin fulfilling their four-year degree goals. Altieri plans to launch a certification program for the teaching assistants who are also in demand in the county and beyond.

Students interested in teaching careers could earn their certificates to become teaching assistants and/or their associate of science degree in education before transferring to a four-year college or university to earn their bachelor's degrees, Altieri said.

"My vision is that we're going to have that complete ladder here," he said. "I think we have a tremendous future in educational teaching."

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