Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season many people have said to me, "I don't know how you do it." As many of you know, I have two elementary sons involved in hockey. So in addition to the regular activities and tasks that come with preparing for the holidays, we have been traveling for hockey tournaments around the state this month.

I find that reconciling my expectations for the holidays helps me enjoy the season much more. For gifts, I streamline as much as possible and get books or itunes gift cards for all my nieces and nephews. I make only one special holiday treat on December weekends that I am home rather than trying to juggle ingredients for 15 or more different recipes. I decorate my house Thanksgiving weekend and call it good. All my decorations didn't get up this year and I have accepted this reality.

The best thing I have done over the years to save time and energy is to create a grocery list that I keep in a special journal with all of my holiday recipes and family memories. This time of year I just pull it out and I don't even need to think about what I need because I already know I am going to cook over the break. Oddly, my grocery list includes sauerkraut, dried yellow peas, fish, and lima beans for the Hicswa family Valia (also spelled Wigilia) tradition that my husband's grandparents celebrated as children in Poland. Part of the tradition includes bestowing wishes for the new year. My wish for you is that you have balance in your days so that you have time to enjoy the sunrise, savor moments with the children in your lives, and find joy in the interactions you have with the people around you.

Best wishes for a most wonderful holiday season!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the Road Again

Mark Kitchen and I are traveling to Worland today for our final legislative visit before the session. After today we will have met with all of our Big Horn Basin legislators. They are all very supportive of Northwest College.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top 10 Reasons For Completing Community College

  1. You'll earn more! Students who complete their associate degree or certificate can expect to earn about $500,000 more in a lifetime than a high school graduate.1
  2. You'll be prepared! When you are job-hunting, a college credential will always give you an edge.2
  3. Unemployment for community college graduates is typically 30 percent lower than for high school grads.3
  4. You'll encounter fewer barriers to transfer! You'll save time and money by not having to repeat courses or take courses you did not know you needed.4
  5. You'll help reverse a national trend in the declining number of college graduates.5
  6. You'll open doors for your children. Children of college graduates are more likely to graduate themselves.5
  7. You and your family's health will improve. Research links greater educational attainment to longer life, healthful eating, exercising and avoiding risk factors.6
  8. You will be more likely to promote environmental sustainability.5
  9. You'll be more likely to volunteer, vote, contribute to charity, serve on boards and run for office.5
  10. You'll be an educated, prepared and higher-paid employee, providing support.5
Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in their chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate.

And that's exactly what students at Northwest College are promising to do - signing a mass pledge to complete their associate degrees or certificates before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market. Administrators, faculty and staff will be committing to do whatever they can to facilitate completion of student credentials.

This week, students will gather to sign a completion pledge, part of a national community college movement called C4. The event is being hosted by the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Learn more at about the C4 initiative:

Please come to one of the events below to sign the C4 banner and pledge cards as a commitment to your pursuit of graduation!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 - DeWitt Student Center

      11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
      4:30-6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - Hinckley Library Lobby

      2:30-4:30 p.m.

Friday, December 12th, 2014 - Trapper Basketball Game

      5:30-9:00 p.m.

Stefani Hicswa, Ph.D.
Northwest College

  • 1Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2010
  • 2Rosenberg McKay, D. "How Often Do People Change Careers?" Guide to Career Planning since 1997 (2006)
  • 3Internationally, College Graduates Fared Better During Recession, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2010
  • 4The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, American Association of Community Colleges, The National Articulation and Transfer Network
  • 5With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, A Public Agenda Report for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 6Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pathways for Students

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC to particpate in a conversation on building relationships to develop more seamless education pathways for students. I was honored to have been invited by AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus (pictured with me below).

AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus and NWC President Stefani Hicswa

An article on the panel was featured in the December 3rd edition of the Community College Daily, titled Connecting on Student Pathways.