BY AMANDA ALLER
Dr. Anthony Iacono, former associate dean for developmental education and full-time professor of history at Indian River State College in Florida, shared his goals for the future of County College of Morris and his passion for creating a more substantial student success rate at a town hall meeting Wednesday, Sept. 14 among students, faculty and staff.
Iacono spoke of seeing more internships, service learning, success stories, of what sets CCM apart from other community colleges and why enrolling could open the door to opportunity.
Having only been at CCM a short amount of time, Iacono said things were going well “The first few weeks have been absolutely wonderful and principally what I’ve spent my time here doing, mostly on the campus and in the community, is meeting people and finding out what they do,” Iacono said. “What they think we do really well and what they think we could do even better, that’s been the bulk of it.”
Iacono said he likes to ask students to share the best parts of CCM, as well as the most challenging parts.
“The number one answer that I hear is that the professors are the very best part, but also the most challenging part,” Iacono said. “I think [this] is a perfect answer because they should be challenging you and engaging you and it’s really important that by the time you graduate, you’re able to say, ‘I earned my degree.’ Earning it means you got real experience, real knowledge, a great skill set, and you know how to think about things more critically and creatively and then communicate them well.”
Iacono is pushing for education that extends beyond the classroom.
“Really great critical things obviously are going to happen in the classroom and I’m really proud of the instruction that we offer there,” Iacono said. “But a really nice addition to your education is when you’re working out in the community, because it gets you to think about your future and your career.” “I’d like to see those kinds of opportunities expand enormously and I’d like to see our faculty have more opportunities as well,” Iacono said.
“CCM is not like other schools, I think it’s remarkable,” Iacono said.
Iacono shared some CCM based statistics, noting that 70 percent of the faculty here have terminal degrees, meaning either doctorates or masters. More than 60 percent are involved in research or engaged practice.
“If you look nationally and sit down and look at all the data, the faculty here is very, very unique,” Iacono said.
Iacono had nothing but positive words to share about his co-workers.
“I get to work with really intelligent, creative people, who are doing neat things with their lives which is really energizing,” Iacono said. “I’m very lucky to do what I do and to have great people to do that with every day.”