Provost Roger Ramsammy recently convened a campus forum to bring together faculty and staff to discuss the future of the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
Less than two months into his new job, Ramsammy gathered faculty and staff to collect input and outline plans to build on recent successes at the campus. Those successes include the strong growth over the last five years in the number of students served and the recently opened Parrish Hall, a new academic building devoted mainly to science and technology.
To meet the growing demand for employees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (STEM-H) fields, Ramsammy plans to focus on producing more graduates in those areas.
“Our local businesses have a hard time filling positions in the STEM-H fields and the Manassas Campus is in a great position to train those workers,” he said. “We will strengthen our programs in biotechnology, computer science, automotive and engineering by working with regional businesses to make sure our graduates have the skills employers want. I’m also planning to bring selected allied health programs to the campus so students don’t have to travel out of the area to enroll in those programs.”
Ramsammy says the campus has a critical need for a new building for workforce training and community activities.
“We have a beautiful campus with outstanding facilities but we don’t have a space large enough for indoor community events. In addition, we can’t increase the number of workforce training programs we offer without more space. A new multipurpose building along Sudley Road will solve both those problems and create an inviting gateway to the campus,” he said.
Ramsammy is also encouraging faculty to offer more online courses. “Online learning is the fastest growing sector at NOVA and I want to make sure the Manassas Campus gets a fair share of that growth. Many students require the flexibility of online courses so we must be prepared to educate them wherever they are, even in cyberspace.”
Other initiatives include expanding outreach to businesses and organizations to ensure the college is providing essential programs and services, and adding another entrance/exit to relieve traffic bottlenecks.
Before the forum, campus employees were asked to complete a brief survey. The results indicated most are happy with their working conditions. More than 86 percent of respondents feel there is an environment of collegiality and respect at the campus and approximately 74 percent feel their views and roles are valued. Three-fourths of respondents believe open communication is encouraged and more than 77 percent feel there is a positive climate and environment at the campus. While 49 percent of respondents said they are satisfied with their work space, those who work in shared offices or open cubicles would prefer more privacy. In response, the provost promised to investigate ways to rearrange work spaces.
After the meeting, Ramsammy told the campus, “The forum was all that I hoped for and more. We have much to build on and great accomplishments to make. Working together, I have full confidence that there is no limit to what we can do.”
Ramsammy began his new position Sept. 1, 2012. As chief executive officer for the campus, the provost is responsible for campus management, academic programs and student services.
The Manassas Campus serves more than 9,800 students in credit programs and nearly 2,000 students in noncredit programs annually. With a strong emphasis on technology, the campus has two academic divisions that offer transfer and occupational/technical programs, a comprehensive student development outreach program, and a vigorous workforce development office. Approximately 80 full-time faculty and administrators, 210 adjunct faculty, and 60 staff members work at the campus.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.