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MACC Makes Progress

Moberly Area Community College is moving forward, literally at DSL speed. The growth in every area of the College is exceptional. Enrollment is at an all-time high and enrollment in MACC’s online programs is continuing to experience double-digit increases. With a reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission looming in the fall, MACC is confident the College is positioned for yet another break-thru year. A look at 2010’s progress gives some perspective to the current outlook.

In June, MACC hosted its first annual Art on the Block festival on the College’s Main Campus front lawn. The event was a huge success with much community support. Art on the Block focused on creating art of all kinds from sidewalk chalk and pottery to spray-painting an old truck and making musical instruments to recycled art and screen-printing. This year’s event promises to be much of the same fun, music, food and art.

After much publicity and excitement, students, community members, faculty and staff commemorated the opening of the new MACC - Columbia Higher Education Center location in the Parkade Center on September 2 last year. Enrollment has been increasing steadily since the site opened in 1999. When classes began meeting in three different locations across Columbia to accommodate the growth, it was time to move to a larger facility. With this move, all students, faculty and staff are under one roof in the new 37,000 square foot Center which has 11 classrooms, three science labs, five computer labs, a student commons, a bookstore, three conference rooms and staff offices. The site now houses over 2,000 students.

MACC welcomed two new Board of Trustees members in 2010, Jim Cooksey and John Cochran, after longtime board members Don Schaffer and Dr. Robert Tompson retired. MACC is grateful for their many years of service.

Professor of Sociology, Matt Crist, was honored with the Missouri Community College Association Mel Aytes Faculty Innovation Award. Matt began his teaching career at MACC in the fall of 2000. He quickly established a strong reputation among both students and faculty for being an innovative and successful instructor. An early adopter of instructional technology, Professor Crist helped pioneer the design and delivery of distance learning courses at MACC, including ITV, online courses and hybrid courses. His utilization of instructional technology has been a model for other faculty. He has found innovative methods to assess learning through projects involving the latest technology. He strives to make his online courses as engaging and interactive as his ground courses, utilizing different software to its fullest capacity to achieve this goal. Professor Crist’s standard of excellence in instructional technologies has raised the bar of instruction and student learning MACC.

MACC joined the Missouri Health Professions Consortium (MHPC), which allowed the College to offer the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program. The OTA program prepares students to work under the supervision of Registered Occupational Therapists. Assistants work with people of all ages who, because of physical, developmental, social or emotional deficits need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives. In December, MACC graduated its first OTA class with a 100% placement into OTA jobs. This makes a successful start to another program providing jobs in high-demand occupations to Missourians.

The Kate Stamper Whilhite Library was opened in 1983, as an important part of the then new Fine Arts Wing of MACC’s Main Building in Moberly. The library had not been updated since, so in order to expand capabilities to accommodate modern technology, a much-needed renovation began in 2009. The facility has taken on an entirely new personality. The circulation area has been enlarged as well as the computer lab with more computers, laptop stations, new color printers and scanners. In an effort accommodate the increasing student population, more study rooms have been added. In addition to physical improvements, the library has recently acquired 3,500 e-books, which will be of great use to online students along with a full Allied Health database.

MACC became a member of SEED (Sustainability Education and Economic Development) in 2010 through the American Association of Community Colleges. As a member of SEED, MACC will strive to develop and engage in education and training supportive of sustainability. This includes supporting green job training and sustainability practices, informing students, and engaging the community and green industry partners to create linkages between education and regional employment. The College will practice energy efficiency and prepare pathways to green employment wherever possible.

MACC was a recipient of the Governor’s Training for Tomorrow Grant, which was an initiative to get Missourians trained and working quickly in high-demand fields. Through Training for Tomorrow, Gov. Nixon awarded more than $696,000 to expand several high-demand programs at MACC, including the college's bridge program at its Kirksville Higher Education Center for Licensed Practical Nurses to become Registered Nurses; Intermediate Emergency Medical Technician training; Certified Phlebotomist training; Certified Nursing Assistant training; Microsoft Office Specialist certification; and American Welding Society certification. The College is using those funds to purchase new equipment for these programs; hire additional faculty members; and expand enrollment by offering programs at multiple locations.

As a direct result of the Training for Tomorrow grant, the Accelerated Associate Degree Nursing program expanded to Kirksville and was granted approval by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education. The first class will begin in August.

MACC’s Allied Health programs also benefitted from the estate of Marie Frances (Wegs) O’Keefe, which designated over one million dollars to be used for construction of an Allied Health Building as part of the Main Campus in Moberly. Ms. O’Keefe was a 1930 graduate of MACC. She was married to Francis “Mickey” O’Keefe, and they owned O’Keefe Distributing Company. She also served as the Moberly Deputy Circuit Clerk. The gift will allow the Allied Health Department to have an even greater presence in MACC’s service area in the future.

MACC also received a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant from the US Department of Commerce. MACC applied for the grant along with six other community colleges and the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The federal department awarded Missouri $4,978,977 in grant funds. MACC received $492,340 from the grant and is required to provide $165,405 in matching funds or in-kind support. These funds are being used to provide public access to computer resources through Public Computer Centers located at education sites throughout the College’s service region. To accomplish this, the College has created computer labs, mobile laptop labs and kiosks and enhanced its broadband access. MACC has also created a program called, “Discover Technology” which offers free basic computer classes to anyone in the MACC service region. The courses are listed on the College website and cover everything from how to use a keyboard to basic Microsoft programs to programming your Smartphone.

MACC is excited about the changes occurring almost daily in its service region and is ready to meet the challenges they bring. After over 80 years, Moberly Area Community College is still providing a quality education to Mid-Missourians and equipping them to succeed in their careers.

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