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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

President Poindexter opens up about pre-SCC experience

City College Interim President Michael Poindexter. April 7, 2016. Emily Peterson, Staff Photographer. |
City College Interim President Michael Poindexter. April 7, 2016. Emily Peterson, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]

“Learners come first.”

That motto perfectly summarizes Michael Poindexter’s education ideology. He says it is the foundation from which his ideas on education and helping students originate from.

“It means the students come first but I like to expand it a bit more,” explains Poindexter, City College’s interim president since early in the year. “I think we all are learners. We are a community of learners, meaning every faculty member, every administrator, every staff is learning how to do our jobs better. We are learning every day how to make students more successful.”

While Poindexter has only been serving in his present position since Feb. 3, he has been with City College since 2007 as vice president of Student Services. He has over 25 years of administrative experience in both two- and four-year institutions.

“I think I’ve worked in every category at [an] institution, from universities to smaller colleges,” says Poindexter. “I’ve been in work study clear up to vice chancellor at [a] university.”

Poindexter says that all his previous jobs at other educational institutions have helped him learn to provide leadership at City College.

“For example, I was in New York for 9/11. I’ve been at institutions with budget and enrollment [crises],” Poindexter says. “But I’ve also been at institutions that have helped students get noticed for the excellent work they are doing, and also worked with institutions that received recognition for setting guidelines for students graduating in a timely manner.”

With knowledge from his previous jobs, Poindexter says City College is poised for a great future. He says he knows the strengths of City College inside and out and wants to push forward to make the school known as a leader among colleges throughout the nation. He aims for City College to be a place that other campuses look to.

“Our strengths are that we are willing to take risks and above all we are working on how we can help students be successful,” Poindexter says.

City College is currently working to introduce new technology, processes and strategies based on the district office’s direction, according to Poindexter.
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“City College has taken the lead on the majority of those types of activities coming out of the district office. We’re providing the leadership for the rest of the district,” Poindexter says. “We are always looking for ways to help our students be successful here at this institution. We have a constant we-can-do-it type effort among our faculty, staff and administration.”

One of Poindexter’s biggest goals is to streamline students’ education, he says. He would like for students to have an agenda and goals upon entering City College. He would like to see them strive to move on from the college as quickly as possible.

“We want to make it so in every single major, there is a clear path so a student knows what they must do to enter the institution and leave the institution in a timely matter,” said Poindexter.

Poindexter also works very closely with the Achieving the Dream community college program.

Achieving the Dream is “a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success,” according to its website. It aims to help “more than 4 million community college students have a better economic opportunity and achieve their dreams.”

Poindexter says he found inspiration for the program while he worked at community colleges in Denver.

“We improved completion and graduation rates, how colleges operate with everyone being on the same page and moving in the same direction,” Poindexter says.

Poindexter says Achieving the Dream is “about getting student though, changing policies to help student get through, and maintaining high expectations.”

With all of Poindexter’s experience and knowledge helping him to lead City College, he says he sees great things in the future.

“My goal is for City College to be the best institution in the nation,” Poindexter says. “For our students to excel and be the best when competing with other students, be the best faculty. With all that in place, that will lead to students being the best they can be.”

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