St. Louis Community College has nearly completed a top-down reorganization roughly a year in the making, designed to make the institution more student friendly, while also consolidating some of it’s back-office operations currently spread across its four campuses.
In many ways, St. Louis Community College’s campuses at Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood have traditionally operated as separate institutions.
For the most part, when classes start this fall, the school will be operating under the “one-college” model — essentially four campuses acting as branches of the same tree, rather than as separate trees.
The idea is that instead of each campus having unique admissions protocols, there will be one, centralized process.
The restructuring comes as St. Louis Community College tries to stem a 25-year enrollment drop, caused partly by a drop in the area’s number of young people ages 15 to 24.
It’s a model that Chancellor Jeff Pittman says should make things simpler for students.
“Before, when we had that structure, it kind of led to individual approaches, especially in how our programming was delivered,” he said. “Our trustees wanted to go in a different direction.”
Current students likely won’t see much of a difference. Instead, applying, enrolling and registering for courses will be a more streamlined process for incoming students.
“What we did is get rid some of the inconsistencies,” Pittman said. “When our campuses were acting independently, the admissions process at Florissant Valley was different than the process at Forest Park. It created a lot of confusion.”
The new model is also expected to make things simpler as St. Louis Community College develops its online degree programs. Expanding online offerings is a common way schools seek to cast a wider net and boost enrollment. “Instead of four separate business administration programs, we’ll have one,” Pittman said.
In reorganizing the college’s operations, St. Louis Community College has made a number of personnel changes. Former duties handled by campus presidents and vice presidents for academic affairs, will be handled by new hires operating as provosts.
Provosts generally serve as the chief academic officers at colleges and universities. The role of a provost typically involves control over internal operations, academic success and student experience.
In higher education circles, provosts are known as the executives that free up chancellors and presidents to handle outside affairs, including fundraising, lobbying and managing relations with a board.
New hires at St. Louis Community College include:
• Elizabeth Gassel Perkins, provost at Florissant Valley, effective Aug. 1. Perkins previously was interim vice president of academic affairs at Darton College in Albany, Ga.
• Larry D. Johnson Jr. provost at Forest Park, effective June 20. Johnson previously served as associate dean of academic affairs at Broward College south campus in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
• Carol Lupardus, provost at Meramec, effective immediately. Lupardus previously served as vice president of academic affairs at SLCC’s Florissant Valley campus.
• Michael Dreith, associate provost at Wildwood. Dreith previously served as president of John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill.