SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Not only is Southern Maine Community College welcoming a new freshman class this fall, it is also welcoming a new president.
Dr. Ronald Cantor assumed his new duties on August 22, a week before the fall semester of classes was set to begin. Cantor previously served as Associate Vice President and Dean at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York.
NEWS CENTER's Lee Nelson recently spoke to Cantor about his transition to SMCC.
Cantor said he is excited to be joining SMCC at a time when it is experiencing such rapid growth. With an enrollment of more than 7,000 students and about 40 degree programs, SMCC is the largest school in Maine's community college system.
Cantor said the affordability of community colleges has made them an increasingly popular option as the economic downturn drags on. But even as enrollment grows, state aid has shrunk. Cantor said SMCC is dealing the cutbacks by becoming more cost efficient.
Even with the influx of new students, overcrowding is not a problem at SMCC. The school has more than enough room to spare now that a new Midcoast campus has opened at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. It focuses on technical disciplines such as heavy equipment, health care, composites, aviation and advanced manufacturing.
The Brunswick campus currently consists of two buildings with three more slated to open once renovations are complete in time for a grand opening next year. Twelve courses are being offered at the existing facilities. But Cantor said the curriculum will grow as the campus grows.
Cantor has two young daughters. He said he is happy to be raising them in a college environment where such a high premium is placed on the value of education.
To learn more about the opportunities available at SMCC, click here for a link to the college website.