2015 A Great Year For Cleveland State!

2015 A Great Year For Cleveland State!

Bill Seymour
Monday, January 4, 2016 4:10 PM

(Written by Cleveland State President Dr. Bill Seymour, Published in the Cleveland Daily Banner 1/4/15)


As I am about to reach my second anniversary at Cleveland State I cannot help but be a very proud President - proud of our faculty and staff, our administrative team and the accomplishments we have achieved to serve the best community anywhere.  Chief among these accomplishments are every student who achieves their academic goals and every person who is well trained to satisfy the needs of our businesses and industry.

Over the course of these two years I have had many opportunities to speak with community groups across the five counties we serve.  This past year with the completion of our new strategic plan I tell my audience at the conclusion of my remarks to expect something new from Cleveland State - we have new leadership, a new plan and most importantly, we have a new attitude.

We have been very intentional about being a better community partner by remembering to always put the community first.  Our focus is on all five counties we serve with the expectation that each will enjoy the strong relationship we have with Cleveland/Bradley County.  I must tell you that nothing pleases me more than to receive feedback from countless individuals that confirm they notice our efforts and appreciate that exciting things are happening at our college.

As we reach the end of another calendar year I cannot help but look back at the significant accomplishments we have achieved.  Among them are:

Completed the Cleveland State 2020 Community First Plan and put it into action.  This strategic plan, developed with significant community input, will guide the success of the college for the next five years.

Successfully completed the SACSCOC reaffirmation process.  This gold standard approval from our accreditor confirms the quality of our educational programs and the strength of our efforts to complete our mission.

Fully implemented the Tennessee Promise program.  After a great deal of planning and preparation we enrolled the first Tennessee Promise class this past August.  This increased the number of high school students attending CSCC from our service area by 15%, making a college education more accessible for our community.  To celebrate the official start for this new class we were honored to have Governor Bill Haslam on campus to welcome these students.

Achieved the first enrollment increase since 2011.  Bucking a state and national downward trend due to an improving economy the influx of traditional aged students moved the college closer to our 5-year goal of 4,000 students.

All CSCC employees received salary increases this fall ensuring each is now at their target salary in our current compensation plan.

Opened the new Monroe County Center in Vonore, TN.  This new center will focus on providing industrial training and workforce support in the northern section of our service area.

Partnered with the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Tennessee Development District to relocate the Cleveland Career Center to our campus.  The Career Center joins the CSCC Technology Center, the OneSouce Industrial Training Center, the Small Business Development Center and the Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator all in one facility creating one of the most unique workforce development consortia in the country located on a college campus.

Selected by the American Association of Community Colleges as one of 30 colleges in the country for the Bill and Melinda Gates funded Pathways Project.  The training received by CSCC over the next two years will enable the college to be a leader in delivering student success programs and serve as a role model for other colleges.

Established a new Institutional Advancement division of the college headed by Dr. Tommy Wright.  Bringing all external affairs departments together and adding key staff will provide greater support to priority objectives of the college.

Implemented new academic programs and strengthen selected current programs to meet community needs.  New programs included Medical Informatics and Paramedic.  Enhancements were made to our Agriculture, Industrial Technology and Honors Program.

So, what is ahead for the year to come?

In January we will implement a Department of Dynamic Instruction. Under the newly hired Director the department will be responsible for injecting our curriculum with additional innovation, technology and enhanced modes of delivery to strengthen student engagement and success.

We will start the new Cleveland State Advisory Board.  Representatives from each of our five counties along with key staff will establish an on-going vehicle for communication, advise and feedback to enhance our commitment to the ideal of “community first.”

We will reestablish a welding classroom and program on the campus to help meet the demand for qualified welders in our region.

This spring Cleveland State will inaugurate the Community First Awards to honor community individuals who exemplify the ideal of putting community first before self.  These awards will be presented at a new signature event at the end of the Annual Campaign.

Look for the establishment of an "Early College" program this next year - an opportunity for local high school students to complete an Associate Degree while earning their high school diploma.

Join us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Cleveland State.  With a kickoff in late summer our community steering committee will provide special events throughout the school year to honor our history and celebrate our service to this community.

At the same time we will launch the Cleveland State Community First Campaign.  This is the college's first major campaign and will seek $20M over a five year period to support our strategic goals.

As you can see, Cleveland State is gaining a great deal of momentum that will power us toward the level of excellence week seek.  None of this could be possible without the inspiration and support we receive from this community.  On behalf of the Cleveland State family we simply say thank you and wish everyone a Happy New Year!


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway