Community Colleges, "Partnerships" and Lichens

Community Colleges, "Partnerships" and Lichens

Some described the relationship as “close.” Others said said the partnership was “intimate.” They were describing the connection between our local NWCCD community colleges and the surrounding “communities.”

However, it may be that the relationship is less partnership and more like, well, lichens. Sheridan Media's Betsy Love explains:


Yes, we are talking about the lichens...you know, the ones that grow on rocks and things. But before we delve into the lives of lichens, here is a little background on the story.

First, the scene. About an hour past twilight on Wednesday at Sheridan College's Downtown Office. The participants: Several dozen or so, tie, suit and smile-clad folks, representing either one of the District's colleges or a local community “partner.” The reason: the AQIP Accreditation Team is in town, doing their much anticipated “quality checkup.” Dr. Laurie Pemberton is one of the two AQIP visitors. Here is the “Cliff Notes” version of what she says makes our college district distinctive and better than many other community colleges:

And, this is, more or less, the same thing everyone said at this social hour-slash-everyone give a pat speech event. Which, you could probably say, is in no way unusual or bad...it was an after work reception remember, and the AQIP “checkup” includes several days of more substantive meetings. However, not everyone was on the “banal bandwagon”:

DR. Jon Connolly, Sheridan College Academics VP—and a trained biologist--says “symbiotic relationship” is actually a more precise description:

While Dr. Connolly may have a more precise and colorful way of describing these macro and micro partnerships. However, he is lacking complete precision. Though I have more training in Google than Biology, I do believe a more accurate term is “mutualism,” a sub-type of symbiosis. Granted, PhD biologists are probably better sources than Wikipedia. So, let's just say we are like lichens and leave it at that.

For Sheridan Media dot com news, this is Betsy Love reporting.
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Friday at 10:45 you can participate in a community conversation with the AQIP team and college reps in the C-Tel Presentation Hall.

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