VGCC President back in the Classroom
As president of Vance-Granville Community College, Dr. Stelfanie Williams juggles multiple responsibilities. For the fall 2014 semester, she added another one: teaching a class of 25 College Transfer students. The president recently completed her first stint as an adjunct instructor at VGCC.
Williams taught an eight-week, one-credit-hour “College Transfer Success” course on the college’s Main Campus. Like many VGCC courses, it was a “hybrid” class, meaning that in addition to meeting in the classroom once each week, students also completed coursework online. The course is designed to provide students with information and strategies to help them develop clear academic and professional goals beyond the community college experience. By the end of the course, each student had to submit to Williams his or her own academic plan to transition successfully to a four-year university or a career.
Having the president of the college for a teacher was “an incredible experience,” said student Brandon Young of Oxford. “At the start of the course, it was easy to feel intimidated, but not only were students put at ease by the amazing flexibility and sensitivity of Dr. Williams’s teaching style, they were also exposed to many opportunities,” Young said. He felt that the class benefitted from such first-hand experience with the college’s administration, and he applauded the president for “leading by example” by teaching a course.
The president also welcomed guest speakers to give her students other perspectives on their educational options, including Denettia Shaw, assistant director of transfer services at North Carolina Central University. Shaw started her own higher education at a North Carolina community college before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at NCCU. Other guest speakers during the course included VGCC Assistant Director of Financial Aid Jeremy Lambert and Director of Academic and Career Assessment Linda Fletcher.
Williams, who became the sixth president of VGCC in 2012, began her community college career as an instructor. Returning to the ranks of the faculty was a new opportunity for the president to personally carry out VGCC’s mission of educating, inspiring and supporting a diverse community of learners.
“What occurs in the classroom is at the heart of what we do as a community college,” Williams said. “It was a privilege for me to interact with our students as their instructor and to do my part to prepare them to take the next steps in their educational journeys.”
Above: Dr. Stelfanie Williams (standing) talks with students in her College Transfer Success class. (VGCC photo)