WCCS gets involved with change

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 9, 2004

For young men and women interested in taking a more active role in their community, a new course is being created at Wallace Community College Selma that can show them how.

The two-year college recently became a partner in a new federally funded program that prepares students to become more involved in community change.

WCCS faculty have joined with five other rural community colleges across the country to create the Rural Leadership for Community Change program.

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With this program, faculty members from all the participating colleges will collaborate on developing teaching techniques and coursework that focuses on community leadership.

Dr. James Mitchell, WCCS president, said the for-credit course will be taught in the college’s business administration department.

Students in the new class will be sharing their ideas, coursework and projects with the other five colleges involved in the program.

This program is funded by the federal Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which supports educational reform projects that serve as national models for the improvement of postsecondary education.

The grant application process is highly competitive, with fewer than 3 percent of applicants receiving grants from FIPSE this year.

The program is designed to give students a better understanding about economic and social issues in their community and increased motivation to become active in civil affairs.

In order to achieve this, the participating colleges will be working closely with Management Development Cooperation, a nonprofit organization assigned to administer the grant.

These other colleges include Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, Texas, New Mexico State University in Carlsbad, N.M., Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Va., Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, N.D., and Southeast Community College in Cumberland, Ky.

Mitchell said a similar course already being taught at WCCS is being adopted to meet grant standards.

The new program is set to be established at WCCS this fall.