Dear Friends and Supporters:
Today's workers need increased levels of education and continuous
professional development over the span of their careers. Enrollment
of adults in the nation's colleges and universities is booming, resulting
in some interesting challenges as institutions try to meet the needs
of these non-traditional students while continuing to effectively
serve the younger set. Broadband Internet access is rapidly expanding
the scope and quality of distance learning opportunities, while for-profit
providers of higher education are multiplying.
In a recent essay, Arthur Levine, the president of Columbia University's
Teachers College, predicted that these and other changes are going
to revolutionize the nation's colleges and universities. "If
colleges and universities respond quickly and creatively to these
new realities they will have an opportunity to be leaders in shaping
the future of education," Levine wrote. "If they do not,
tomorrow will be designed by others - the new providers." We
are fortunate to have a forward-looking chancellor and Board of
Regents who recognize the power of these concepts.
Responding to the challenges presented by the Information Age is
not easy, but I believe Macon State is shaping the future in such
a way that we will be among those that thrive in the 21st century.
Many of the articles in this issue of MSC Today describe how we
are charting our new century direction.
With business partners such as Cox Communications, we are developing
the technological infrastructure to create a world-class electronic
learning environment for the students of Macon State College. The
Cox@MaconState partnership is already providing around-the-clock
high-speed Internet service to students and faculty at discount
rates. Soon it will result in the development of a high-speed data
connection to the MSC Campus network that will allow students to
bypass the Internet altogether and directly connect with online
Another exciting development as Macon State builds for the future
is the upcoming ground-breaking for Phase I of our professional
sciences and conference center, a $16.2 million project. Designed
by the world-renowned John Portman & Associates architectural
firm, the center will be completely wired for information technology
and distance learning and feature state-of-the-art labs for the
natural and physical sciences, as well as for nursing and allied
health. We look forward to sharing this impressive facility with
the Central Georgia community.
One vision of a successful new century college is an institution
that offers degree programs of recognized quality geared toward
jobs created by the Information Age without losing sight of the
value of a liberal arts education. I believe Macon State College
is demonstrating the creativity and flexibility that higher education
will need to maintain that balance in the 21st century. As the Information
Age continues to reshape the way teaching and learning take place,
we intend to remain a leader in charting new directions.
Dr. David A. Bell