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Jeffery Boyd: You’ll find someone to connect with at RCTC

September 30, 2018

Boyd

Artificial intelligence, driverless cars, bots, avatars … these are just a few of the “operating without human” marvels we hear of currently.

Marvels, all born from the wonders of human ingenuity. As I reflect on my first months as RCTC’s president, what stands out in my mind is that human ingenuity exists every day on our own campus. One of the best features of a community college is the vast amount of diversity experienced. Differences such as generational, ethnic, religious affiliations, family composition, work experiences and more.

Most every day at RCTC, people from ages 8 to 98 are interacting with others from different backgrounds, including with 45 international students representing 22 different countries. All thinking critically, exploring ideas, and forming lifelong relationships.

For many of us, our most enriching relationships were made in college. For me, I met my wife of almost 35 years, Carolyn, in a community college history class. For others, college may be the first time their worldview is challenged, having their minds stretched beyond what they grew up believing. Still others experience interrelating with someone from a different culture for the first time. My pursuit of “intellectual curiosity” began in a community college psychology class; that’s where the light bulb came on for me.

Recently, while welcoming our newest class of nursing students at a ceremonial gathering, I was in awe of the support I witnessed from their family and friends snapping pictures and beaming with pride in support of their loved ones. I know it is that support that will be key to their success. Be it new student welcome day or graduation, there is a constantly witnessed phenomenon of people supporting one another — supporting student success.

RCTC has something for everyone. Our campus is the home of youth sporting events every week. This fall semester, 829 post-secondary enrollment option students from 46 high schools and 62 home schools are experiencing college life while still in high school. Our Learning Is ForEver Program is providing stimulating educational programs for lifelong learners in pursuit of social and personal growth. Add to the mix the more than 5,000 students enrolled in liberal arts and career and technical courses, and it is evident that RCTC is a place where human interactions, diversity and lifelong learning is alive and well.

These dynamic human interactions mirror what I see when meeting with community leaders from DMC, Mayo Clinic, and those working on the Cradle to Career initiative — all working together to support our community’s future. The teaching and learning happening in RCTC classrooms is rich and is preparing the future Rochester workforce to think outside of the box and to value diverse perspectives and ideas.

As Robert G. Thompson states, “The simple truth is that technology is still a poor substitute for human interactions.” I’m proud to be part of our community’s college, carrying out our mission of providing accessible, affordable, quality learning opportunities to a diverse and growing community. Enroll, visit and explore what RCTC has to offer you.

Let’s connect!

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