3 presidents guided HCC

September 10, 2006|by CANDICE BOSELY
(Page 3 of 3)

Not everyone approved of the name change.

"Many people still refer to it as HJC," Shea said. "And they refer to it as HJC with great affection."

Polls taken of the staff and in the community at the time reflected support for the new name. Still, it took five years to make the change, with the name HCC officially taking effect on July 1, 1998.

A bright future for the college is likely, Shea said.

"I think it'll continue for the next 60 years serving the community in positive ways," said Shea, who now lives in Bradenton, Fla.

His biggest endorsement of the college might just be this: "Both of my sons (Tim and Patrick) are graduates of the college," Shea said.

Altieri boosts enrollment

After a nationwide search for a new administrative head, Guy Altieri took over as HCC's president in 2002. He had been working as the executive vice president of a larger community college in Ann Arbor, Mich.

HCC's potential for growth attracted him to the region and the job enabled him to be closer to family. He was born and raised in New Jersey.

"This was sort of coming home in a way," Altieri said.

The school is now at all-time high levels for enrollment, with more than 5,000 credit students annually and more than 9,000 in continuing education noncredit programs. It has more than 630 employees. Its budget of $29 million is its largest and its 316 acres makes it the largest community college in Maryland in terms of physical land size, Altieri said.

"And many of us would add, the most beautiful campus," Altieri said, noting the school's 44 gardens.

When Altieri started, HCC offered 37 programs of study. That number now tops 100, with some being related programs. When Altieri first started, for example, one nursing program was available that would provide students with an associate degree. Now students can take a 15-week nursing assistant program, a one-year LPN program or a lengthier RN program.

Continuing education courses in nursing and other fields also are a priority, Altieri said.

In the future, Altieri said, he believes enrollment will continue to grow and the college will play a bigger role in the region's economic development.

The college recently received $1.65 million in federal funding to expand its truck-driving program. It also plans to use another $1.3 million to add a biotechnology addition consisting of seven biotech labs to its Technical Innovation Center, which is a business incubator.

Future plans likely include keeping the college's technology up-to-date as well as capital improvement projects.

The career programs building will be renovated and Altieri said he hopes a loop road circling the campus will be finished, allowing for a second entrance and exit point somewhere near the amphitheater.

Other academic buildings are expected to be renovated and connected, Altieri said.

He said he's most proud of the expansion of academic programs and the increase in enrollment.

"We believe strongly in student success and community success and believe that goes hand in hand," Altieri said.

The college's foundation has reached nearly $7 million, with the bulk used to fund scholarships for students who would not otherwise be able to attend college.

"I hope there's a day where every student who wants to come here can come here," Altieri said.

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