Long-time Fullerton resident and educator, Christine Terry, Provost for the North Orange County Community College District’s (NOCCCD) School of Continuing Education (SCE), will retire on June 30, 2012 after a distinguished 37-year career in higher education. Under her leadership, SCE provides continuing education, community services and economic development programs for children and adults throughout the lifespan and stands as the state’s fourth largest community college-based continuing education program, serving 43,602 students annually.
In a statement to SCE faculty, management and staff, Ms. Terry wrote “I have enjoyed a career with the District that exceeded my highest hopes and I will always be grateful for the many opportunities afforded to me. For 37 years I have been intellectually and professionally challenged while engaged in meaningful work that, I hope, has made a difference in the lives of a diverse group of students.”
As Provost, Ms. Terry successfully led SCE in its first accreditation self-study; developed the first SCE community advisory committee; created and chaired the Data, Reporting, Evaluation, and Accountability Measures (DREAM) Team to address new accountability requirements; and positioned SCE to respond quickly and confidently to budget challenges. Ms. Terry’s priority to serve the entire community led to creating the Lifeskills Education Advancement Program which now coordinates programs for children, adults and seniors.
“There is a certain comfort that all of us feel when we know that things are going to be fine. Chris Terry has provided that comfort to the NOCCCD as she has led the School of Continuing Education,” said NOCCCD Chancellor Ned Doffoney, Ed.D. “To say that she will be missed does not adequately communicate how much we all love, respect and cherish her leadership. As Chancellor, I always counted on her to be the voice of reason in often unreasonable circumstances. I thank her for her support, leadership and friendship.”
Prior to her tenure as Provost, Ms. Terry served as the dean of instruction and student services at the SCE Wilshire Center in Fullerton. For 10 years as dean, Ms. Terry oversaw the Wilshire Center functions including the records and admissions for all of SCE and the remodeling and new construction activities, earning a historical preservation award by Fullerton Heritage in 2009. Previously, Ms. Terry served in the disabled student program at NOCCCD for 26 years as teacher, counselor, coordinator and director where she was instrumental in advocating for independent living, academic, and vocational opportunities and services for adult students with disabilities.
In addition to her Wilshire-related duties, Ms. Terry assisted with the implementation of SCE’s first foundation and venture into the accreditation process. She served on the BANNER implementation team and was proud to be the first school in the District to register students successfully with the new system. Ms. Terry also managed the Partnership for Excellence grant, which allowed the school to invest in information technology, public information/marketing, registrar/records administration, and basic skills instruction, management and classroom support.
A leader in California noncredit education, Ms. Terry participated in the establishment of postsecondary adult education standards, credential evaluation, Title 5 revision, and program review. She served as the president of the NOCCCD District Management Association, participated in the Community College Leadership Development Institute, the Anaheim Workforce Investment Board and holds membership in the Association of California Community College Administrators and the Association of Continuing and Community Education (ACCE). Ms. Terry currently serves on the board of the Florence Crittenton Services for Children and Families and is a member of the Fullerton Rotary. In September 2011, Ms. Terry received the Outstanding Visionary Leadership award from the SCE staff and faculty and in March 2012, Ms. Terry was awarded ACCE’s Visionary Leader and Outstanding Educator award.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Terry grew up in Illinois and moved to New York to attend Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. She transferred to the University of Maryland where she graduated with honors, earning her bachelor’s degree in special/elementary education. Ms. Terry completed 30 graduate units in education at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania State University while teaching her first special education class and opening the first resource room of its kind in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Ms. Terry completed her master’s degree in school administration from the California State University, Fullerton. She holds four credentials in teaching and administration at the K-adult and community college levels.
“Along the way,” said Ms. Terry, “I have had the privilege to work with colleagues who are passionate about education, about access, and about the thrill of possibility. I could not have asked for more.”
Ms. Terry’s fearless leadership, historical perspective, and quiet sense of humor will be missed as she retires on June 30, 2012. The foundation that she laid by personal example of passionate commitment to serve students regardless of their socio-economic status and ability, coupled with determination to turn every challenge into opportunity, will strengthen the community of the North Orange County Community College District for many generations to come.
Ms. Terry noted that she and her husband Vernon, a sculptor/designer who retired from Disney Imagineering, look forward to a more active role in the lives of their five children and seven grandchildren upon her retirement from SCE. The search for a new SCE Provost is in process with the expected start date of July 2, 2012.
A retirement celebration will be held in Ms. Terry’s honor at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Coyote Hills Golf Club, 1440 E. Bastanchury Road in Fullerton; cost is $35 per person. RSVPs must be recieved by May 28, 2012. To be sent an invitation or for more information, contact Julie Schoepf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-808-4674.