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A message from President Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D.
The acclaimed playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw remarked that progress is impossible without change. Look back at Seattle Central’s five-decade history and you can see this principle at work. Over the years, past leaders made key changes – such as adding new programs that trained people for emerging careers, and adopting new technology to facilitate teaching and learning – to better serve students and the community.
Now, as we embark on the next 50 years, Seattle Central faces serious challenges. The recurrent problem of limited resources has become increasingly dire, jeopardizing our ability to provide affordable and accessible education. The changing nature of Seattle is bringing people to our community with different educational needs.
For our college to make progress and remain relevant, it has become necessary to align more closely with our sister colleges – North Seattle and South Seattle – in the Seattle Colleges District. This is not just about becoming more efficient. It is about leveraging our resources in the most effective and strategic ways possible.
Instead of having four foundations, we will pool our fundraising efforts to leverage the District’s stature in the community. Instead of having three separate registration processes on each campus, we will make it easy for students to take courses at any college they choose. Instead of having three different websites, we will create one platform so students can easily find information. These are just a few examples of the valuable opportunity before us.
Change of this type often elicits concern and fear. Given that Seattle Central is such a recognizable institution in our city, a transition to a more united district has the potential to lessen its position and soften its voice. I can assure you that Seattle Central will always be a strong and vibrant college. Some things will change, but they will make us stronger and more relevant, and improve our ability to educate and train our community’s citizens for the jobs of tomorrow.
Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D.