SPRINGFIELD, Mass.Springfield Technical Community College faculty and staff gathered for Professional Day on Jan. 18 as they prepared to start the spring 2024 semester.

The day featured a keynote speech from Javon Brame, an educator who is optimization engagement manager for the higher education consulting firm CampusWorks, Inc. He presented an address titled “Crafting Excellence: A Blueprint for a Student-Ready College Focused on Retention, Belonging, and Equity.”

He spoke to faculty and staff in the gym of Scibelli Hall about STCC’s strategic goals that will carry the institution into 2028.

“When I was shaping my comments, I wanted to make sure that we looked back to these. These should always be guiding the direction that you want to go as an institution,” he said. “In my experience, the remarkable aspects of this college are often its openness to engage in exciting and challenging discussion about the future.”

Brame said he was excited about MassReconnect, a program for Massachusetts residents 25 and older to earn an associate degree or certificate for free at STCC or any other public community college in the state. The program, he said, keeps education accessible and affordable to a broad range of students.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. John B. Cook, president of STCC, noted that enrollment is up 18 percent compared to the same time last year. He said MassReconnect has made a positive impact on STCC and other community colleges and is looking forward to a strong 2024 year.

The morning included remarks from Dr. Christopher Thuot, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Darcey Kemp, Vice President of Student Affairs.

Faculty and staff were able to choose among a variety of breakout sessions that fell under four categories: teaching and learning, leadership and policy, belonging and professional growth.

During one of the sessions, Professor Brian Candido spoke about the success of Supplemental Instruction at STCC. His SI students spoke about their teaching styles and impact on fellow students as well as how the program has helped them professionally.

Examples of other sessions included a talk about STCC’s new portal and a discussion of student wrap around services.

About Springfield Technical Community College

STCC, the Commonwealth’s only technical community college, continues the pioneering legacy of the Springfield Armory with comprehensive and technical education in manufacturingSTEMhealthcarebusiness, social services, and the liberal arts. STCC’s highly regarded workforcecertificatedegree, and transfer programs are the most affordable in Springfield and provide unequaled opportunity for the vitality of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1967, the college – a designated Hispanic Serving Institution – seeks to close achievement gaps among students who traditionally face societal barriers. STCC supports students as they transform their lives through intellectual, cultural, and economic engagement while becoming thoughtful, committed and socially responsible graduates.