Reflecting on a successful year at Dawson Community College

Thursday, December 20, 2018
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Guest Column

During this holiday season, we at Dawson Community College pause to give thanks to you, the citizens of Glendive and Dawson County. We are mindful of our community’s contributions, aim to be good stewards of these resources, and are truly grateful for your unwavering support.

DCC has had a very successful year. During the past two years, enrollment has increased 44 percent! As enrollment grows, so do education opportunities. New programs such as Rural Organization Employee Management and Technical Skills align with existing classes to offer expanded options for students. To meet growing demand, the Welding program expanded this past year, and in 2019, the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement program will celebrate its 50th year. These are but a partial list of the many opportunities available on campus and online.

This past year, the Dawson College Foundation awarded 48 scholarships totaling $63,000. An additional $53,000 has been pledged this year to support concurrent enrollment at area high schools. This support helps offset the cost of tuition and has a tremendous impact in the lives of our students.

Dawson Promise is an exciting new opportunity to serve students who are homeless or are aging out of foster care. The College is uniquely poised to help this population navigate the transition out of high school through assistance with financial aid packages and employment opportunities while earning an associate’s degree. None of this would be possible without the support of this great community.

The value of a community college education is increasingly appreciated by students and their parents for its affordability and quality of education. DCC faculty are invested in their students’ success. DCC graduates have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to either directly enter the workforce or transfer to another institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Students who choose to transfer to four-year colleges and universities are able to do so seamlessly and often find themselves ahead of their peers at their transfer institution due to the quality of education at DCC.

I look forward to the upcoming legislative session. During the last session, we were tasked with lowering the cost of education. Due to the hard work of every employee at the College, we’re proud to have achieved great results in a short amount of time. I’m eager to share our story with legislators and other officials in Helena.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to DCC faculty and staff, the Board of Trustees, the Dawson College Foundation, and to all of the citizens of Glendive and Dawson County for a wonderful, successful year. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

Scott R. Mickelsen is the president of Dawson Community College.