RCC Student Named to VCCS Chancellor Transition Team

Rappahannock Community College Student Appointed to VCCS Chancellor Transition Team

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) recently created a team to support the smooth transition for the incoming Chancellor, Dr. David Doré. The team includes members from across the state representing colleges, system office employees, and students, and was organized to provide opportunities for Doré to understand the structure and function, opportunities, successes and challenges of the Commonwealth’s community colleges.

The only student on the team is Latesha Washington, a student at RCC. “I was excited to say yes to this opportunity,” said Washington. “I’m the only student and I get to represent RCC and the rural area.” Washington is a full-time student, single mother, and works full time. At RCC, she is a member of TRiO Student Support Services, a federally-funded program that helps guide first-generation college students through the educational process. Washington is also a Virginia Banking Fellow, a program sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.

“RCC is proud to have Latesha represent us and the student experience,” said Dr. Shannon Kennedy, RCC President. “She has a unique opportunity to convey the issues, opportunities, and barriers to education and training in a rural area; and she characterizes our student body—first-gen college student, single parent, working and going to school. Her input to the transition team should be welcomed.”

According to the VCCS, the transition team is tasked with providing Doré opportunities to tour and meet with members of each college in the VCCS by the end of the spring semester. “My role is to give a student’s perspective on various subjects the Chancellor should know about,” said Washington. “For example, the team wanted to know if it would be better for students and faculty to meet the Chancellor together. My response as a student was ‘no’ because students aren’t always comfortable giving honest answers and opinions when faculty are present.”

“I also have made recommendations on things that could make the student experience better,” she added. “Such as opportunities to travel to conferences and meet peers at other colleges.”

Since January, the team has been meeting weekly in the virtual environment. Washington says they have a lot to do before April 1, the Chancellor’s first day with the VCCS. But she says it’s been a great experience. Washington plans to transfer to an online program and continue her studies in psychology and social work after getting her Associate degree at RCC this year.