A Recap of AACC’s Fall 2013 Meeting

by Andrea Hanstein
Fullerton College
Fullerton, CA

As an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), NCMPR has a spot on the Communications and Marketing Commission. The committee of approximately 25 presidents meets twice a year, once at the AACC national convention in April, and again at the AACC fall meeting in Washington, D.C.

This was my third commission meeting and I have to admit, the meetings have been surprisingly fun and enriching. After all, how often do we as communications professionals have the opportunity to sit in a room full of college presidents and hear exactly what they are thinking? The good news is they think highly of NCMPR and what we do.

After a brief legislative update from David Baime, AACC’s senior vice president of government relations and policy, we spent a fair amount of time discussing communication strategies related to “Reclaiming the Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future,” a report authored by the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges. The report examines the challenges and opportunities facing this fasting-growing sector of higher education. Nine “Implementation Teams” have been created to help carry out the recommendations of the report, and AACC is launching a campaign to promote it. Look for more information in AACC’s regular column in Counsel, “On The National Front.”

On the second day of meetings, I was given an opportunity to make a presentation to the group. Due to popular demand, I focused on “Why Presidents Should be on Social Media.” We spent more than an hour discussing the basics (they seem especially perplexed by Twitter), and I personally walked several presidents through the set-up process. It was refreshing to see that, by and large, they understand the importance of social media and are willing to learn.

The presentation was so successful that AACC has asked the NCMPR Executive Board about creating a social media lab during the AACC national convention in April. The lab will consist of short, hands-on sessions for attendees, ranging from setting up an account to developing strategies. Executive Director Debbie Halsey and I are currently in discussions with the AACC communications team and will let you know the outcome.

Sadly, this was my last meeting as a member of the marketing commission. Vice President Ron Taber will take my place at the next meeting, and I’m confident he will serve us well. It has truly been a pleasure representing all of you, and I’m excited about the opportunities for more partnerships between NCMPR and AACC.

As president of NCMPR, Andrea Hanstein has represented NCMPR on AACC’s Communications and Marketing Commission. She is director of campus communications at Fullerton College in California.

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