By Kathleen Hetherington
Part of our series of essays from leaders imagining the future of Columbia.
Jim Rouse would be very proud to see the changes that have occurred at Howard Community College since we opened our doors to students in 1970. While our 50th anniversary is still a few years away, we are proud to join Columbia’s 50th anniversary celebration this year because the idea of having a college for the community was part of the initial plan for Columbia.
Rouse was a visionary, and he always encouraged everyone to think big. At HCC, we have certainly achieved that goal with the wide range of associate degrees, certifications and certificates that we offer. Our mission is “Providing pathways to success,” which is evident by the work of our talented faculty and staff every day. Our focus is on students and ensuring we do everything possible to prepare them for transfer to a four-year university or for work immediately upon graduation.
So will that change 50 years from now? Highly unlikely. Our emphasis is on student success, and that will never change. But many things that have affected colleges and universities over recent years will continue to impact HCC going forward. One of the most powerful changes is the influence of technology. Enter one of the classrooms in our new Science, Engineering, and Technology Building, and you will immediately be impressed by how technology intersects with the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom. Or go into our Health Sciences Building and see how simulated mannequins, which mimic real-life patients and their symptoms, are used to help prepare students to be the best nurses and health science professionals in the region.
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