MCC Designated a National Issues Forums Center

Manchester, CT - December 6, 2011 … Manchester Community College is the first Connecticut-based institution to be designated as a National Issues Forums Center for Public Policy.

The National Issues Forums Institute (NIF) is a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public policy issues. These forums, organized by a variety of organizations, groups and individuals, bring people together to talk about important issues. MCC’s Institute for Community Engagement and Outreach has been certified to moderate, record and frame these public issues discussions in Connecticut.

Endia Decordova, Acting Associate Dean of Institutional Development & Community Engagement, and Rebecca Townsend, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication, attended a National Issues Forum supported by the Kettering Foundation in June.

The Kettering Foundation is an American non-partisan research foundation founded in 1927 by Charles F. Kettering. The foundation publishes books and periodicals, employs research fellows, and organizes (through the National Issues Forums) public forums on policy in order to answer the question: "what does it take for democracy to work as it should?"

MCC’s Institute for Community Engagement and Outreach has trained 24 people as moderators and recorders. To allow participants a chance to experience an NIF deliberative forum, MCC’s Institute for Community Engagement and Outreach conducted its first workshop on September 30 in partnership with Reverend Josh Pawelek of the Unitarian Universalist Society in Manchester on a long-term project about the achievement gap.

The workshop, titled “Success in School, Ready For Life: How Can We Help More Students Graduate from High School?” was facilitated by Townsend and DeCordova. The workshop was attended by 24 participants including college faculty, staff, students and community members.

“I love the idea of having community conversations to engage people in the process of taking responsibility for what happens in schools and in our neighborhoods. The achievement gap is something we’re all responsible for. It’s also something that has an impact on all of us, both in the long-term and the short-term,” stated Polly Painter of Tolland, who participated in the workshop.

The College engages in partnerships with the fifteen communities surrounding its campus and beyond by offering and responding to requests for education, human services, training, programming, service projects and technical assistance designed to enrich the civic and cultural lives of area residents. The college actively partners with businesses and community organizations in order to better understand the need of our constituents, to remain current in our offerings, and to link ourselves to the communities we serve

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.
News Item Posted On: December 09, 2011
For Additional Information Contact: R Dianne K. McHutchison at 860-512-2914