Looking forward

Welcome back!

I’m always excited at the prospect of a new semester. New goals.  New accomplishments. New opportunities to learn, improve and enhance how we serve our students. I’m ready for the new semester, are you?

Service Week is always a great way to start the semester. It’s a chance for faculty and staff to gear up and get rejuvenated for the semester – can you imagine missing the opening session, the Underwood lecture, division meetings and most importantly, carpet bowling? We had an action packed week – John Cosgrove opened up the week by talking with department chairs, program coordinators and managers about district preparedness for incoming students. Chancellor Myrtle E.B. Dorsey visited the Valley during Opening Session to give greetings and discuss her expectations for the College. 

I have to say, I was really inspired and encouraged by Joe Worth’s David L. Underwood Memorial Lecture, “The Smartest Organism on Earth.” I hope you had the chance to hear his lecture. Dr. Worth was thoughtful and thought provoking, encouraging each of us to reflect on the role we play in making St. Louis Community College a strong, student focused organization.  If you did not get to hear the speech, Mary Caldwell will edit and post it on YouTube within the next few weeks.  Copies will also be available on reserve in all four campus libraries.

Aren’t you excited about our athletic teams? As you know, Florissant Valley will house Men’s Soccer and Women’s Volleyball. Let’s support our teams as the district’s fall sports teams begin a new era in intercollegiate athletics – the soccer home opener is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, against Jefferson College with the volleyball squad opening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, against East Central. 

I hope you’ll stop by the grand opening of St. Louis Community College’s new Center for Workforce Innovation. It takes place from 2:30-5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29. The 32,000-square-foot CWI will serve more than 500 students annually and house some of the college’s newest and most cutting-edge workforce training programs, including several that were targeted in the Training for Tomorrow Initiative, as well as other innovative instructional spaces and a public access computing center. Governor Nixon is planning to join us as we cut the ribbon to open this new facility.  I look forward to seeing you there as we continue to expand the College’s pathway into innovative workforce solutions.

And finally, most of you that follow this blog have kept up with the news on our discussions with Metro and the relocation of campus bus stops. This fall, we’ll conduct a rider study to better serve our student population. As many as 192 buses stop at our campus, and our roads have told the story of all those stops. As the study gets underway, I’ll keep you posted on the outcomes.


  • Enrollment is slightly ahead of last year’s number at this time: 6,952. And demand for financial aid running nearly five percent ahead of last year. We’ll have a better picture of what our student body looks like when the system census is released in the coming weeks.

I’ll leave you with some thoughts that our vice president of student affairs, Laura Sterman, shared about the students entering Florissant Valley: make sure to take special consideration of all the students that come through our doors. The demand for financial aid is increasing every year, with students facing tenuous and extraordinary circumstances before they even get here – but they are here and they are ours. Let’s make sure we give them the tools they need to succeed, even if it is an empathetic ear or a kind word. Our students appreciate those gestures more than you know.

Let’s go forth and continue to do great things this semester!

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