Economic Advice from the PCRI Board

September 1, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Dr. Algie Gatewood is not only president of the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College, he is also a member of PCRI’s Board of Directors.  He has served on PRCI’s board for three years and as campus president for over six years.  Dr. Gatewood was attracted to PCRI because of the core mission of providing decent housing to low to moderate income families.

“If people are worried about housing, they aren’t going to do well.  Everybody is entitled to a decent place to live.  It’s important for me to see all sectors of society succeed.”

As campus president, Dr. Gatewood strives to expand PCC’s “open door” enrollment policy.  “We want to provide greater access to under-represented groups, especially those who are from communities of color, those who speak English as a second language, those with disabilities, and those who are economically disenfranchised.”

As a campus of the community, Dr. Gatewood refers to his vision as a “Chautauqua.”  He goes on to explain that PCC Cascade Campus is not just a place for learning; it is a meeting place, a place for dialogue and discussion, an aid to facing challenges, and a network that can link us to new opportunities.  In short, he sees Cascade Campus as a beacon of hope in our area and an institution people look to in order to improve their lives.

Dr. Gatewood’s hope for anyone enrolled at PCC is “to increase their ability to earn a decent salary, find careers and have good lives.”  He knows that in order to succeed in the job market with the economy the way it is, education is key.  He says PCC Cascade can educate and prepare students for a new economy by providing education in information and technology, as well as the services provided by the Middle College Program and the Margaret Carter Skill Center.

Dr. Gatewood expressed several challenges as well.  PCC Cascade Campus is serving more students with less money. When they completed the current fiscal year that ended on June 30th, 2010, the campus had the highest enrollment in the history of the college with 20,091 unduplicated students who had attended classes on PCC Cascade campus.

“The challenge is: how do you keep the cost of tuition and fees affordable so the Open Door [open access and open enrollment] does not become a Closed Door.”

Another challenge the college faces is related to parking—”a great opportunity for co-existence between the college, residents in the community and business organizations exists, an opportunity to work together.”

PCRI and PCC Cascade campus share the same goals when it comes to helping you, as residents of PCRI.  We want to see every family continue to improve and keep in step with changes and advancements in employment as well as other facets of your life.  As Dr. Gatewood jokingly says, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I like to keep one in my back pocket as well.”

Prior to serving at Portland Community College, Gatewood was the Director of Health, Education and Welfare and Assistant Director of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, under jurisdiction of the University of North Carolina system, from 1997 to 2004. He received his Ed.D. from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1994.

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