Our Community, Our College, Our Future strategic planning section header image

Expert insight + dynamic discussion + you

Wednesday, June 23, 1–5 p.m.

Thank you for adding your voice to the critical conversation about the future of your community college. The Future Summit is the signature event in NMC's strategic planning efforts that began earlier this year. As part of the most comprehensive strategic planning process in more than a decade, NMC has collected qualitative and quantitative feedback from hundreds of participants through surveys and about 30 focus groups, workshops and other meetings.

As part of Wednesday's event, over 120 participants listened to four EdTalks on topics key to NMC's continued vitality, delivered by experts in the field, and then broke into groups to discuss each talk in more detail and develop impact statements outlining future opportunities for NMC. These impact statements will help inform and guide the college's Strategic Plan.

Future Summit Agenda

Opening General Session

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • EdTalks
  • Share Insights from the EdTalks, Instructions for EdTalk Breakout Discussions

EdTalk Presentations

  • Dr. Michael A. BastonTopic 1: Educating and Serving Today’s Adult Learner through Alternative Credentials and Accelerated Programs

    Dr. Michael A. Baston, President
    Rockland Community College

    Dr. Michael A. Baston is a national thought leader amplifying the role community colleges play in redefining educational success, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide reform efforts, and developing executive leadership teams. Dr. Baston has led Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, as its president since 2017. Under Dr. Baston’s leadership, he helped RCC launch a Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, a new guided pathway influenced academic school model, Career and English Skills Academies to address middle-skills workforce needs, and secured $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution awards, the largest grants in RCC history. Dr. Baston’s Steps Beyond Statements Initiative has helped to signal specific steps that educational institutions can take to foster inclusive excellence. Dr. Baston is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens, and the Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.

  • Janelle EliasTopic 2: Sustainably Growing Robust Online and Hybrid Programs to Increase Access for All Students

    Janelle Elias, Interim Vice President Strategy, Advancement, and National Division
    Rio Salado College
    Janelle Elias specializes in strategic planning, organizational excellence and change implementation, informed by over 20 years of experience in academic affairs, online education, and information technology innovation. Janelle is the chief strategy officer for Rio Salado College and the chief operating officer for the college’s National Division. Previously, Elias has served in leadership roles such as dean of institutional effectiveness, director of assessment and accreditation, and director of enterprise performance. Elias was an appointed representative to the AZ SARA Council and currently serves as an at large elected member to the WCET Steering Committee. Elias is a first-generation community college graduate, who earned a B.A. in English from Georgia Southern University and an M.A.Ed. in adult education and distance learning from University of Phoenix. She has taught online courses in IT, organizational management, and entrepreneurship since 2006.

  • John David McKeeTopic 3: Innovative Enrollment Strategies to Meet the Evolving Demographics of the 21st Century Community College

    John-David McKee, CEO and co-founder
    Insights and Outcomes (Ins & Outs)
    John-David McKee is a serial entrepreneur, experienced executive and educator passionate about creating solutions that combine data science, market research, technology, strategic marketing, and critical thinking to create innovative solutions to complex issues throughout the student lifecycle. His journey into the business of higher education began when he founded Umatch, Inc., a technology company that focused on identifying prospective students most likely to persist and succeed at a specific institution by analyzing and providing proactive data-driven insights on an aggregate and individual student level around their needs and goals. During this time, he worked with many institutions as well as leading organizations such as the White House and their minority education councils, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (public HBCU’s), SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), and the Department of Education where he consulted with the Under Secretary of Education and other key staff members.

  • Erica James LakeTopic 4: Partnering with Business and Industry to Align Academic Programs with Emerging Labor Market Demands

    Erica James Lake, Director of Corporate Engagement
    University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM)
    Erica James Lake currently serves as President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers comprised of 1600 members. She leads the Board of Directors in envisioning the future of the association and overseeing its current operations and budget. This year, her administration has focused on enhancing Employer Engagement and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Erica is a seasoned student affairs professional who has worked in Career Services for 13 years and other functional areas for 5 additional years. A lifelong learner, Erica is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of South Carolina studying how black college students and recent alumni's involvement in experiential learning influences their early employment outcomes. She received her undergraduate and master degrees from Mississippi State University. Erica currently serves as a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is the Secretary of the UofSC Black Faculty and Staff Association and is a member of the UofSC College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management's Diversity Committee. Erica is a graduate of Leadership Columbia, NACE Management Leadership Institute and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

EdTalk Breakout Sessions

  • Develop and Rank Impact Statements

Closing General Session

  • Reflections from the Future Summit
  • Next Steps in the Strategic Planning Process


To ask questions, or to provide ideas and feedback, please email strategic-planning@nmc.edu.