Calhoun’s Smith Graduates from Community College Fellows ProgramDecember 9, 2019
Dr. Denny Smith, Calhoun Community College Director of Testing & Assessment, recently completed The Community College Policy Fellows Program (CPFP). He was one of 14 Alabama community college administrators to complete the program along with 13 Mississippi community college administrators.
The CPFP is a 10-month professional development initiative jointly sponsored by the Mississippi Community College Board and the Alabama Community College System and directed by Tyson Elbert of AdvocacyBuild, LLC. The curriculum focuses on four national program pillars: policy, leadership, networking, and advocacy. Comparative elements of both state systems are highlighted throughout the program year as well.
“This program provides community college officials the opportunity to advocate for policy initiatives that help best serve our students” Smith said. “I appreciate my supervisor Dr. Wilson, Vice President of Student Services and Dr. Burke, Calhoun Interim President, allowing me the opportunity to be part of this outstanding program.”
The initial meeting of the CPFP took place in January. Participants met once a month thereafter at community colleges in Alabama and Mississippi to discuss state and national education policies to determine the areas in which they would like to concentrate their efforts.
The 2019 Mississippi and Alabama CPFP cohorts focused on three policy issues/requests: (1) Protection of the Federal Pell Grant program, particularly max-Pell and the Pell surplus. They also requested students be able to use Pell for short-term certificate programs. (2) Second-chance Pell, specifically the passage
of the REAL Act, which currently has bipartisan support. (3) New funding commitments ($150 million) for the Strengthening Community College Training Grants (SCCTG) to build on the success of the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants (TAACCCT) program.