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Middlesex County College Vice President Receives Spirit Award

karen_haysThe New Jersey Council of County Colleges presented a 2012 Community College Spirit Award to Dr. Karen Hays, vice president for academic and student affairs at Middlesex County College. The award, for her work on the Big Ideas Project, was presented during the council’s annual Trustee Conference in June. She was one of 14 community college administrators honored.

The Big Ideas Project is the collective effort of all 19 New Jersey community colleges to improve student success.

Dr. Hays worked with Dr. Eileen Abel, senior vice president for academic affairs at Raritan Valley Community College, to develop a plan to revamp developmental education statewide. They looked at trends and best practices nationally and developed the paper to improve student success in developmental courses.

“We hope this will allow students to transfer into college-credit courses quicker and in greater numbers, increasing their opportunities for graduation,” Dr. Hays said.

Helen Albright, the council’s vice chair, lauded the awardees.

Since its inauguration in 1993, the Community College Spirit Award has been an honor bestowed to those who embody the community college spirit – perseverance, dedication and excellence,” she said. “Our awardees have been hard at work this year providing statewide leadership and energy on the following eight initiatives designed to improve student success and ensure that community colleges are sustainable for generations to come: Transforming Developmental Education; Aligning Expectations Between K-12 and Community Colleges; Creating Student Success Data; Promoting Adjunct Faculty Development; Expanding Joint Purchasing Practices; Building Academic Consortia; Building Alternate Learning Delivery Systems; and Using Core Student Learning Outcomes and Common Assessment Tools.”

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government. The Council is also the state coordinating organization for all community colleges in New Jersey.