Vladimir Cruz | Editor-in-Chief
The search for the Vice President has ended. Joyce Coleman has officially started on January 23, 2017, as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services.
Joyce Coleman has tremendous amount of experience in higher education. Coleman went to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Graduating with her bachelor’s degree in criminology within three years.
After some time, Coleman decided to go back to school and get her master’s degree. She explains, “At some point I decided I wanted more than just a good job, I wanted to make a difference in the world, but to do that I needed a master’s degree.” Coleman worked hard, and earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston. “Since that time it’s been the best decision I ever made,” Coleman adds.
Coleman has many visions on how she wants to help improve student lives here at Century. She explains that, ultimately, her main goal as Vice President is to, “be available for students, work on student retention, and to make sure we have an equity literate campus that supports students”
“I’m always excited about finding new ways to help students figure out what they want to do and be successful. I want to really build upon what we are currently doing to add some more resources to support students.”
While discussing ways to find a solution to having students here at Century College finish their intended major, Coleman explains that one way to fix that is to have students, “identify what they want to be for the next 4 or 5 years early on in the semester so that way they aren’t wasting their time taking classes they don’t need.”
Coleman elaborates with, “I want to build on our career resource center so when students don’t know what they want to be can go there and get some assistance and assessments and even do some job shadowing.”
Coleman adds that, “if students had the opportunity to do job shadowing they can figure out what they really want to be quicker because it’s only two or three days, as oppose to an internship. An internship means you have to commit to all these hours and sometimes students have jobs, family, and school, so they can’t commit to volunteer to be an intern, but you can find a few days for job shadowing.”
Any busy college student can relate to that to some degree. Coleman also indicates, “When students know what they want to do, they’re more focused, and they tend to stay. If students are unsure of what they want to do for their career they are more likely to drop out.”
For some students, having trouble deciding what they want to major in is only half the battle. Many times, students may find themselves having to choose between a job or to attend school.
Coleman emphasizes, “I really have a focus on people who live in poverty because I know that when you live in poverty one of the best ways out, is to get an education. When you do that you not only change your life, but the lives of your family for generations to come.”
“In America, we make poor folks feel ashamed, and that’s wrong. You don’t have to be ashamed to be poor.” Coleman adds.
Another huge goal Vice President Coleman wants is to strongly endorse is equity among all students. Coleman points out that, “A lot of colleges will talk about equity, but they don’t walk their talk, they just talk; when I worked at colleges and they didn’t walk their talk, I’m like ‘bye Felisha’ I have to go. Life is to short, I need to be able to make a difference.”
“You have to decide what’s important to you, to me, it’s always about equity. It’s always about making sure that students who are historically marginalized who haven’t been accepted to college, are accepted and have the resources they need to be successful,” Coleman emphasizes.
Students who just graduate automatically assume that a college won’t offer any extra support. Not with Century College, or Vice President Coleman. She asserts that, “just because you graduate from here or get a certificate, I’m not about kicking you out of the nest. You’re still attached to us. We want to help you to get that job in your field, or get you to the college of your choice. We don’t want to get rid of you.”
Having good advisors plays a big role for students who think they don’t have anyone to talk to, or ask for any type of extra support. Coleman states that, “I think it’s so important students have someone on campus they can relate to, someone they can call by name. [Century] has embedded advising, which is why I love it here.”
Vice President Coleman comments, “I came to Century College because this college has a focus on equity, the number one goal is to eliminate the racial achievement gap. This is where I wanted to be after knowing that Century walks their talk.”
“I feel like all my life I’ve been on a journey to find a destination where I wasn’t the only person saying ‘what about diversity, what about equity.’ Here we are all focused on eliminating the academic achievement gap for historically marginalized students, and help students be successful.”
Vice President Joyce Coleman wants all students here at Century College to know that, “my door is always open. On my business card I have my cellphone number because I am about students, I always say if you have a problem, text me. I will help you find the resources if you need. Students are at the focus of what I do.”
Don’t be shy and give our new Vice President a warm welcome in office W1480.