President concludes community listening tour

MCCC’s new president, Kojo Quartey, finished his presidential tour to reach out to the community earlier this week.

Dr. Quartey stopped at six different library branches in Monroe County to listen to suggestions, comments, and concerns, and to make residents aware of the benefits of the community college.

“It was very positive and informative. I haven’t encountered any major criticisms or challenges during the tour,” Quartey said.

The new president said that what was important about doing this tour was to listen to community residents, and to get a pulse on the community’s thoughts.

“Community is our middle name,” Quartey said. “If we aren’t listening to and serving the community, then we are not doing our job.”

Quartey stressed the importance of an education; he says that education is the cure for poverty.

One major concern residents had during the presidential tour was how the community college is serving the underserved.

Quartey said that he is taking this into consideration. but also raised the point that MCCC is already attempting to reach out to the underserved members of the community.

MCCC’s new president said that he tutors every Tuesday at the Author Leslow Community Center on the east side of Monroe. He tutors children from 1st – 6th grades in basic math and reading.

He also said that MCCC provided computer software upgrades to the Learning Bank, where adults can go to complete their GED.

“We have five students who successfully completed their GED, passed the COMPASS test, and are enrolled to start college next semester,” Quartey said.

Another issue the new president noticed was the fact that most students and parents are not aware of the financial aid opportunities, such as grants, loans, and scholarships.

In response to this concern, Quartey told residents that MCCC offers a college goal day, where incoming students can bring their parents and fill out financial aid requests.

The third stop on the presidential tour was in Bedford, where community residents were concerned with accessibility, and fearful of the Whitman Center closing.

Quartey made it clear that the Whitman Center is not only remaining open, but will be revitalized, and resuscitated.

The president plans on offering more classes on Whitman campus and offering more online courses.

Other concerns throughout the tour were offering more classes for senior citizens, more collaboration with local high schools, and enrollment.

Kojo Quartey emphasized that the tour was a success, and that the residents who attended were all positive.

“It was constructive criticism, not destructive,” he said.