The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 22, 2013

Hellmich says he's ready to make SCC a household word

NORTH MANKATO — If South Central College president candidate David Hellmich seemed familiar with the school Friday, it’s because the Kentucky college administrator has walked those halls before.

Hellmich was dean of instruction at SCC’s Faribault campus from 2000-2006 before becoming vice president of academics at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington.

On Friday he met in North Mankato with presidential search committee members as the third of three semifinalists to visit SCC’s two campuses.

“I’m ready for it ... I love the college,” he said in answer to a question about why he wants to return to SCC.

He said his readiness stems from a “depth and breadth of experience” he’s garnered in an academic career that has included teaching and administration stints at two-year and four-year schools and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Florida.

Hellmich said he became a staunch proponent of community and technical college education when he taught at his first junior college in Florida, where his mentor was a man instrumental in establishing that state’s junior college system.

“I knew then I wanted to have a career as a junior college educator,” he told committee members.

His vision if selected president: “That every single student in our service area considers us as a really good option and looks at South Central College as a first place to turn.”

Hellmich said at the 14,000-student Bluegrass Community and Technical College he oversees an array of community stakeholder partnerships.

The college’s partnership with the city’s K-12 school systems includes the college’s “adoption” of a nearby middle school, where leadership skills are taught to advanced students and afternoon tutoring sessions are provided.

Also, a group of high school students is bused to campus, where they take their high school classes in the morning and college classes in the afternoon.

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