My Ultimate Responsibility: To Empower MIAT Faculty and Staff to Support Our Students in the Best Possible Way Every Day
By Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President
The timing of the opportunity to join MIAT College of Technology as president of our Canton campus near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport was perfect. That was almost three years ago. Helping MIAT to grow and flourish is exciting to me, and I have embraced this leadership opportunity wholeheartedly. My ultimate responsibility is to ensure that our graduates are able to be successful in their field. I do this in a variety of ways, but most importantly by managing and supporting the day to day operations of the campus and creating an environment that allows our faculty, staff, and students to flourish.
So, what’s my background and why am I here?
Prior to this role at MIAT, I had been a campus president since 2008 in Illinois and Wisconsin — which accounted for about half of my 20 years of experience in career education training. While I’ve been a Midwesterner for most of my adult life, living and working in Michigan now and for the foreseeable future is a priority for me. I love this school, and I love this state. Fundamentally, I am here to ensure that our faculty and staff are fully engaged and empowered to deliver the training our students want and deserve. Upon completion of their certificate or associate degree programs, our graduates are properly equipped to land a well-paying job in any of these industry sectors: aviation, power generation, wind energy, oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, and commercial and residential heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.
What have we accomplished in these last several years?
- First and foremost, our enrollment is increasing – with a growth rate of about 40 percent at our Canton campus and a graduation rate that meets our accreditation standards. We serve a population of hundreds of students located in Michigan. Access to knowledgeable and caring staff and instructors begins even before enrollment. Our admissions staff does an excellent job of providing information to our potential students to ensure mutual fit. Preliminary interviews usually go about 90 minutes. Ensuring that we are the right fit for the student is critically important. Since our programs are offered in the mornings and evenings throughout the calendar year, we work to ensure each student is ready for the commitment involved in being successful here. Some of our students even work full-time while in school.
- We welcome tours of our 125,000 square-foot facility, which is extremely impressive. We also invite prospective students and their family members to interact with faculty and enrolled students, to ask questions and understand their experience.
- Also, I am proud to report that MIAT has solidified and expanded mutually beneficial partnerships with major corporations such as Delta, Sky West, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and many national and local energy and heating and cooling companies. We are working to create potential registered apprenticeship programs with some of our partners. Ultimately, what each of these partnerships means for our students is access to potential employment in their industry. Employers are excited to work with MIAT, and we are fostering relationships to ensure that the gap in the industries are filled with our qualified graduates.
- We are gearing up now for a very active late Summer/early Fall Program Start. We are hosting a series of “meet and greet” activities and housing coordination events for about 150 new students. These orientation events enable our students to become familiar with each other, their future instructors, graduates of our programs and others who will become part of their network during and after their MIAT experience.
These are just a few highlights for now. I will be writing a blog entry on a regular basis to share my views, insights and perspectives on behalf of MIAT. At a time that is convenient for you, please follow this link to a short video interview that I conducted with MIAT Canton campus staff member DeAndre Calloway last year.
I am honored to work with MIAT College of Technology, and I’m incredibly proud of our graduates who work nationwide as leaders in their industry.