1 year ago by Scott Hardy
Lechtenberg, Baggett named to lead area
John Wood Community College recently reorganized its Student Services area to enhance retention and degree completion among its 1,800 students.
To allow for the expansion of services, JWCC President Mike Elbe recommended changes in the duties for several existing staff members, approved by the College’s Board of Trustees in June.
“Our reorganization is about improving students’ success by using our resources the most efficient way possible,” Mike Elbe, JWCC president said. “We are refocusing the efforts of existing staff on key drivers of student success. Students need to have a successful start through the enrollment and financial aid process and continue that success in the classrooms and student activities at JWCC. When we have the right people providing the right support at the right time, that’s when students can develop personally and professionally to achieve success, whether that means transferring to a four-year school or beginning a career.”
JWCC was recently ranked in the top 10 percent of community colleges nationwide based on student success indicators. Elbe says the reorganization is an effort to improve that ranking.
“We will always look for ways to improve students’ success,” Elbe said. “These changes better focus our staff resources on the key indicators that help students complete a degree or develop professional skills for a career. We want to be the very best at what we do, which means constantly reviewing of our processes, resources and results.”
The Student Services administrative structure will consist of two deans directing distinct functions instead of one vice president overseeing the entire area. Two existing employees have been tapped to lead the two functions of Student Services. Both will report directly to Elbe.
Melanie Lechtenberg serves as dean of enrollment services and Cody Baggett has been appointed dean of students.
Lechtenberg became dean of enrollment services in 2012 in addition to serving as director of financial aid, a role she assumed in 2006. She oversees the recruitment, admission, enrollment services and financial aid activities at JWCC.
Prior to joining JWCC, Lechtenberg worked for 10 years as associate vice president for university advancement and director of annual fund at Quincy University. She previously served as director of grants and resources for QU. Lechtenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in business administration from QU.
Baggett will oversee advising, retention, records, registration, student support services, student life and athletics. He will become the College’s student services officer to represent Illinois Community College Board and JWCC Board of Trustee meetings. He will continue to serve as JWCC’s registrar.
Baggett began his career at JWCC as an academic and career advisor in 2008. He was promoted to director of career and advising services in 2009 and assumed registrar duties in 2012. Baggett earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from Culver-Stockton College and a master’s degree in business administration from William Woods University.
Michelle Wright has been promoted to assist Baggett with registrar duties. She will serve as coordinator of records and registration and take on more responsibility regarding student academic records, institutional grading and faculty outreach.
Wright joined JWCC in 2012 as in enrollment services as records and registration specialist. Prior to her work at JWCC, she was a business development agent with Adams Telephone Co-Operative. Wright holds an associate degree in business management from JWCC.
To strengthen the connection between JWCC advisors and faculty members to help support and retain students through degree completion, the College has created student advising and retention office.
Andrew Happekotte has been promoted as director of the new area, and will lead all advising and retention efforts for the College.
Happekotte joined JWCC as an admissions advisor in 2011 and appointed manager of career and advising services in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln College.