Bevill State Community College met with faculty, staff, and administrators from all five locations on Monday, June 29, to continue the development of a new strategic plan.
The college began this process earlier this year. However, recent statewide developments make the timing of this planning process optimal.
At the close of the regular legislative session, Alabama lawmakers approved a $1.25 billion bond issue for school construction in the largest capital improvement project in more than a decade. The Alabama Community College System has been allotted over $120 million of these funds.
“Bevill State is an integral part of our community,” Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said. “Young people from all over the region can come here and get first-class career training programs that set them up to be competitive in a global job market. It is imperative that these vital programs are appropriately funded, which is why I am proud to have secured significant funding for Bevill State in this year’s budget.”
“I would like to thank representatives Tim Wadsworth, Connie Rowe, Kyle South and Tracy Estes for their support in the House and ensuring that Bevill State receives the essential funding it needs to provide high-quality instruction,” Reed said.
As a result of this funding, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) launched ACCS ASPIRE 2030, a system-wide initiative to inspire community-focused strategic planning for the next 10 years. Through ASPIRE, colleges will apply for funding, provided by the recent bond issue, to improve campus infrastructure and better serve students and their communities. Applications will be submitted only after the colleges each conduct a rigorous self-analysis and thoroughly research the needs of future students and the communities in their service areas.
Local stakeholders and community members will join Bevill State employees and students in this strategic planning process for all areas of the college. Through this collaborative planning process, Bevill State Community College and its partners will identify needs and devise strategies for meeting those needs. They will then develop infrastructure projects to implement those strategies, prioritize those projects, and, finally, submit proposals for funding those projects.
“Bevill State has been encouraged to ‘think big’ when envisioning what our college will look like in 2030. Strategic planning is always vital to the success of an institution, but in light of recent events, being innovative about the future of education when planning is necessary. The college is excited about this process,” stated Dr. Kim Ennis, president of Bevill State Community College. “We are fortunate in Alabama to have leadership that recognizes, prioritizes, and supports education.”
The Legislature also voted to continue funding Bevill State with $300,000 for the Career Pathways Academy program. This program exposes high school sophomores to job opportunities in industry settings. Students learn about new career pathways and industry opportunities through career fairs, exploration camps, internships, and industry training. The opportunity for Bevill State's area high school students was started through grant funds obtained in cooperation with our legislative delegation, especially Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed. Sen. Reed and the delegation continue to be advocates for funding this program.
Additional funding for Bevill State included $100,000 for college-wide maintenance projects, $350,000 for annual mine training program support, and $280,000 for student service projects.