2020-2021 Annual Report ‘Montco For All’ highlights ‘A Year of Learning’

By Eric Devlin
The Montgomery County Community College 2020-2021 Annual Report "Montco For All" highlights the "Year of Learning" featuring the inauguration of its sixth president, pandemic recovery efforts, commitments to social justice programming and more.

The Montgomery County Community College 2020-2021 Annual Report "Montco For All" highlights the "Year of Learning" featuring the inauguration of its sixth president, pandemic recovery efforts, commitments to social justice programming and more.

Montgomery County Community College recently published its digital 2020-2021 Annual Report “Montco For All.”  The report highlights the “Year of Learning” that included the inauguration of its sixth president, MCCC’s ongoing recovery efforts during the pandemic and economic and social injustices, and several new projects, programs and initiatives on the horizon.

“The 2020-2021 Annual Report is an encapsulation of the collective work that we’ve done throughout this academic year, not only operationally but strategically, with various investments in our teaching and learning and our recovery as we return to our campuses,” said MCCC President Dr. Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez. “It also highlights some of the extraordinary investments made to our Foundation this year, including a $3 million gift to establish the Baker Center of Excellence, as well as other high-profile grants that we received this past year. Lastly, it features the recovery from the pandemic and promotes our vision for the 2021-2022 school year, which is our ‘Year of Outcomes.’”

During the 2020-2021 school year, MCCC celebrated Dr. Bastecki-Perez’s inauguration as its sixth president. MCCC held an inauguration ceremony in April 2021 for Dr. Bastecki-Perez, who served as MCCC’s interim president from July 2019 until her appointment in May 2020. In her speech, she promised to foster an inclusive recovery that promotes economic and social mobility and improves generational wealth. A first-generation college graduate and leader in higher education for more than 30 years, Dr. Bastecki-Perez said she intends to “inspire, lead and transform” during her tenure as president.

The annual report also highlights the many ways MCCC has continued to respond to the pandemic as well as economic and social injustices. The College initiated hybrid and flex course options to give students the flexibility to learn in a way that works best for them. It served as the County’s first mass vaccination center, hosted blood drives, served as a ballot drop box location and polling place on Election Day and continued host vaccine clinics on both Blue Bell and Pottstown Campuses. Further, the Montco Recovery Tuition Assistance Program aimed at helping those who’d lost jobs due to the pandemic was extended through summer 2022. During this time, MCCC established the President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Social Justice to ensure the College’s policies are equity minded, inclusive and culturally responsive.

Also, MCCC’s comprehensive approach ensures students had the support they needed during this challenging year. Through its wellness programming, the MCCC established a partnership with Talkspace to provide free online therapy to students, which starting in June 2021 includes two live video sessions. Similarly, a partnership with the PA Benefits Center through Benefits Data Trust, provides personalized one-on-one assistance to MCCC students and families, so they can learn about their eligibility and apply for multiple benefits during one easy application process for essential services like food, housing and child care.

Lastly, the report features several new programs, initiatives and projects MCCC has in the pipeline to continue to meet the needs of the future. MCCC received a $3 million gift from Ken Baker, the largest in its history, to establish the Baker Center of Excellence for Employee Ownership and Business Transformation, which will promote workforce development and support regional businesses and their growth and employee training.

In addition, to usher in the 25th anniversary of the opening of Pottstown Campus, MCCC will open a Challenger Learning Center, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, in early 2022 to inspire students to learn more about the far reaches of space through science, technology, engineering and math-based programming. Other projects coming to Pottstown Campus include the conversion of a parking lot at North Hall, 16 W. High Street, into green space for rain gardens and live learning laboratories, and renovations at South Hall, 101 College Drive.

At Blue Bell Campus, improvements were made to the Veterans Resource Center, while construction is underway on the renovation to the Science Center Theater. In addition, plans call for the construction of a new Hospitality Institute in the former campus bookstore building. 

“The ‘Year of Learning’ taught us many lessons, and we have grown as an institution and individuals,” said Dr. Bastecki-Perez. “During this time of economic recovery, Montco continues to prepare our students for careers today and in the future as the College remains focused on how we can meet the evolving needs of our communities, because Montco is for all. I am enormously proud of the work the Montco Family has accomplished this past academic year, and look forward to continuing to share the great work for the year ahead.”