Collin College’s All College Day reaffirmed the district’s student-centered focus and touched on plans provide an even more welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff.

An annual event held prior to the start of the fall semester, All College Day serves as an information and motivation session for the college’s faculty and staff. This year’s All College Day was Aug. 12 at the Allen Event Center.

Many of this year’s All College Day presentations shared a common theme of creating welcoming spaces throughout the district.

Student Life staff and volunteers slingshot shirts into the All College Day crowd as a way to get them excited.

Student Life staff and volunteers slingshot shirts into the All College Day crowd as a way to get them excited.

The day started with reenactment of the district’s new mandatory orientation program, a literal welcome for incoming students. Developed in the spring and summer of this year, about 1,000 students have attended the orientation in person, while 3,300 have taken it online.

The high-energy presentation, performed primarily by students, was designed to engage students and get them invested in their futures at Collin College by teaching them about registration, advising, a little Collin history and tips to get the most out of their time at the college.

Next, the district at large welcomed LaTonya Pate of Barnes & Noble College. Pate will oversee the college’s bookstores, a switch that was made in late summer. Pate and her regional manager took some time to explain the benefits of BN College to students and faculty, including price matching and textbook adoption opportunities. You can read more about the change to BN College here.

Later in the day, District President Dr. Neil Matkin would return to the idea of providing a welcoming environment during a presentation on Collin College’s new master plan and strategic plan, noting that the district has a vision to “Deliver a brighter future for our students and our communities.” To that end, Dr. Matkin provided an overview of the district’s plans for the near future, including programmatic changes and additions, as well as proposals for new facilities to meet new programming needs.

Dr. Matkin said the district is working closely with community partners, opening up dialogue with those communities and studying the growing educational needs of the district’s service area.

“We can’t deliver a brighter future unless we have some concept of what our students and communities consider a brighter future to be,” he said.

Dr. Matkin expanded on previous announcements of a new campus in Wylie and educational centers in Celina and Farmersville. He believes the new facilities will make educational attainment easier for potential students in those areas by reducing the hurdle of travel time, one which he has personally noticed since moving to the area last year.

He talked about plans to improve traffic flow and parking at the district’s campuses to make them more accessible for students and about long-term plans to make the campuses layouts more inviting. And he noted the addition of intramural sports and more campus events in an effort to make the college a place where students want to be, even out of the classroom.

“The longer our students stay on campus, the more engaged they are and the more likely they are to stay with us and finish a degree,” he said.

Dr. Matkin praised the work the district administration has done in streamlining student intake, making it easier to become a student in the district. He also reaffirmed the college’s commitment to veterans and to making their transition to their post-service lives as successful as possible.

The district also plans to extend more opportunities to high school students through expanded dual-credit, while simultaneously seeking out ways to provide more workforce training for professionals in a corporate college setting.

“We are doing these things and adding these facilities to create a welcoming environment for all,” Dr. Matkin said, including community members along with students, faculty and staff.