Metropolitan Community College formally introduced Tyjaun Lee, Ph.D., to the Greater Kansas City community as the president of the MCC-Penn Valley campus on Oct. 26. A reception for Lee was followed by a special unveiling of the campus’ new Student Success Center.
Lee, who has more than 20 years of progressive experience in higher education, started at MCC-Penn Valley in August. She came to MCC from Maryland, where she had served as vice president for student affairs at Prince George’s Community College since 2009.
“What these next few days, weeks and months will bring — I am filled with so much anticipation and joy for what’s to come and I am thankful for what I have learned thus far,” Lee said at the event.
Watch more from the President’s Reception in this short video:
Lee’s arrival coincided with the completion of the MCC-Penn Valley Student Success Center, which was achieved through the renovation of 31,000 square feet of existing space at the campus. The SSC, on the second floor of Campus Center, provides collaborative learning spaces for students studying together or in tutoring sessions, plus space for faculty to hold office hours or class meetings. The SSC is connected to the library, which enables students to easily check out learning materials and take them to a comfortable spot to explore. The facility has ample seating, study tables, classrooms, private study rooms, computers and even snacks to keep students focused on their studies.
“We’ve had 6,251 visits in the Student Success Center (since the start of the semester),” Lee said. “There can be 50 to 70 students here in the Student Success Center, working collaboratively in groups, getting tutoring, working with their faculty members or participating in a session.”
Student government president Caitlin Mountjoy described the SSC as her best friend.
“Last year, the Student Success Center was kind of small and a little bit awkward. You would have to walk through one study room to get to another and that would sometimes result in productivity from the students being interrupted, but now we have this big new Student Success Center, which is very large and welcoming,” said Mountjoy.
Watch more from the SSC opening in this short video:
Dr. Kimberly Beatty, chancellor of MCC, said, “We are excited to have Dr. Lee with us and to demonstrate how the new center will benefit our students and contribute to their success.”
Lee said she looks forward “to what we will accomplish together as the Penn Valley campus, because our institution is on the move.”
Click any photo to see it larger.
The Student Success Center was made possible by four notable donors: Marion and Henry Bloch Foundation, Follett Corp., David Beals III Charitable Trust (Bank of America Trustee), and the Sunderland Foundation, in partnership with the Metropolitan Community College Foundation.
For the full gallery of photos, click here for the Facebook album.
More about Dr. Lee
Dr. Lee replaced Joe Seabrooks, Ed.D., who left the College in July 2016 for a community college presidency in Dallas.
Before working at Prince George’s Community College, Dr. Lee served as associate vice president for enrollment management and student services at Tidewater Community College in Virginia and as director of counseling at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, where earlier she was national director of the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA). Throughout her career, she has taught at least one course a quarter and has been involved in curriculum development for master’s and doctoral level programs.
Dr. Lee holds three degrees from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio: a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies; a master’s degree in education; and a doctor of philosophy in educational leadership, with an emphasis on higher education administration.