Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Dr. Lenore Rodicio to Lead MDC Partnership with Gates Foundation in Completion by Design Project
The evolution of U.S. higher education mirrors the promise of a free society: access and opportunity, not just for a privileged few, but for all. Internationally recognized for just such opportunity and access, MDC is a national leader in student retention, in A.A. transfers to four-year institutions, and in the number of Hispanic and African-American graduates.
Even so, thousands and thousands of our students have left without the certificate or degree such access makes possible. MDC is not alone. More than 37 million adults, ages 25-64, have attended college without completing a degree. In fact, the U.S. has the greatest percentage of higher education participants, but ranks 10th among European and Asian nations in associate and baccalaureate degree completion.
The dire national predictions of a wide gap in available educated workers and of damaged societal structures can be addressed only by dramatically increasing the percentage of associate and baccalaureate degree graduates. If this were not enough to motivate us, we are determined to meet our own firm promise to MDC students: well-being, improved status, employability and dramatically increased earning power, as opposed to only a high school diploma.
Toward this end, MDC has partnered with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Completion by Design (CBD) project. This is an unprecedented opportunity for MDC to create innovative pathways and systems that will significantly increase the percentage of MDC graduates within the next few years.
The planning phase (begun this summer and concluding May 2012) will consist of research, data analyses, consultant resources, training and extensive dialogue. We will explore best practices, including our own, and will work toward a new, national model for completion.
While preliminary efforts are underway, a special collegewide CBD Convocation for all full-time faculty and student services staff will occur on Aug.18, 2011, at Kendall Campus. Campus teams, composed of faculty and student service professionals, will be established on each campus. Surveys, focus groups and a full communication plan will include all of you, as the ideas and approaches are conceived.
To lead this major initiative, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lenore Rodicio as CBD executive director. Dr. Rodicio is currently an academic dean at Kendall Campus and has served as a Wolfson Campus chemistry faculty member and as chair of Natural and Social Sciences at InterAmerican Campus. She is widely respected at the College and is recognized nationally for her innovative leadership.
As the former MDC General Education Committee co-chair and as the current Learning Outcomes Coordinating Council resource member, Dr. Rodicio has been a leader in the development and implementation of the MDC Collegewide Learning Outcomes initiative. She serves as the primary administrator for two developmental mathematics projects: the Carnegie Foundation Statway project (North Campus) and the National Center for Academic Transformation project (Kendall Campus), and is president of the prestigious Association for General and Liberal Studies.
Under her leadership and with your support, I look forward to a stimulating and productive dialogue as we conceive the completion pathways that will assure each MDC student an effective, high-quality and well-supported journey to a certificate or degree. We can and must do no less.