One of the magical aspects of working at a community college is connecting with an endlessly diverse population of students and staff coming together with the common goal of opening doors to new opportunities.
When I left my job at a community college in Illinois to become director of CASE’s Center for Community College Advancement in 2016, I never imagined I would find a similar experience working with community colleges instead of at a community college. Now, I look forward to meeting advancement professionals and learning about their professional journeys, what keeps them engaged, and what keeps them up at night.
Patterns of success and needs emerge through those connections: A community college alumna reaches out for information on alumni giving for her doctoral research. A chief advancement officer seeks advice from aspirational peers on taking her team to the next level. A foundation director—newly arrived from the four-year sector—looks to connect with others on how to manage and prioritize the exhaustive bulleted list of expectations that college leadership handed her upon arrival. A communications specialist shares an advocacy campaign he developed for local and regional government to promote the value of community colleges and their multifaceted role in the physical, economic, and social recovery of the country even as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc.