Published June 3, 2020
The Dodge City Community College (DC3) Board of Trustees approved a proposal for the creation of a new assistant (or associate) vice president of online and outreach learning at its May 27 meeting.
Under the general direction of the vice president of academic affairs, this new position will provide leadership and management for departments and initiatives that enhance technology-based learning, which includes the college’s distance and online programs.
“This position will include Internet-based online courses and hybrid courses,” Dr. Jane Holwerda, DC3 Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “It will also include development of online and open educational resources as instructional design and technology program support. Depending on the candidate’s experience and qualifications, he or she will be either an assistant or an associate vice president.”
Holwerda said the creation of the new position falls squarely in line with the college’s strategic plan, which seeks to address student recruitment and retention, course offerings, programs, services and community needs.
“Our strategic plan specifically mentions growing our online offerings, and President Nolte has been a strong advocate of online education as well,” Holwerda said.
Another factor that helped DC3 see the need for the new position was the college’s transition to online classes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, she said.
“I do think that the COVID situation, and our response to it, showed that we are really well positioned to make that leap,” Holwerda said. “A majority of our faculty teach online and in person, and this transition helped us see that we already have a lot of the infrastructure in place that we need. Of course, it also helped us to identify our gaps.”
Although DC3 is beginning to grow its online offerings, Holwerda said there are no plans to replace traditional on-campus instruction. In fact, she said the college is currently in the hiring process for English, psychology and chemistry face-to-face instructors.
“I think in the past there has been a concern here that one day full-time faculty would be replaced by an online adjunct corps, but I definitely don’t see that as a plan right now,” she said.
Holwerda said the college intends to fill the new vice president position by late summer. And one of his or her first tasks will be to evaluate DC3’s existing online classes.
“The person who comes into this position will have had recent teaching experience online, and will be familiar with current technologies,” she said. “We use video conferencing and other instructional support, and this person will be charged with combining these into a successful online learning experience.”
By Lance Ziesch