Vice President, Student Development, Moraine Valley Community College
Palos Hills, Illinois
Office Representing: Student Affairs
Normah Salleh-Barone was appointed vice president of Student Development at Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) in April 2010. Salleh-Barone earned her Ph.D. degree in educational administration and her master's degree in education from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo) and was a recipient of the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Award. She received her bachelor's degree in education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She began her career teaching English as a Second Language and coordinating instructional programs at the Educational Opportunity Center at SUNY-Buffalo. She served at SUNY-Buffalo for 10 years before serving as the director of multicultural student affairs at MVCC in 2000. After completing her doctoral studies, she was appointed as the dean of students and as the assistant vice president of academic and student affairs at McHenry County College (MCC) in Crystal Lake, Illinois in 2005-2010.
How did you first get interested in or involved in higher education issues?
"I first became interested in equity issues in higher education during my employment at the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at SUNY-Buffalo, serving low-income, first-generation, and immigrant students who were planning to pursue higher education," Salleh-Barone said. "Teaching at EOC made me realize that a segment of America had limited knowledge and resources to access higher education. This was also the period when President Ronald Reagan made changes to the welfare system that resulted in further hardship on the students I was teaching. When I became the director of multicultural student affairs at MVCC, I observed underrepresented groups struggling to continue their education as they had limited understanding of what their responsibilities are to maintain their eligibility to access state and federal funding. As the vice president for student development at MVCC, my team and I have been able to create and implement programs to support students receiving financial aid in maintaining their funding needed for their college completion, and to reduce the attrition rate of students who rely on financial aid. A current project I am working with my team is to review our Loan Default Management plan and policy, and researching effective practices."
Why did you apply to be a part of the Forward50? What drew you to this opportunity?
"In all my roles in higher education, I have been a champion for low-income, first-generation, underrepresented, and immigrant students, and the importance of reviewing programs, services, and policies to support college completion," Salleh-Barone said. "I have worked with the college's team to address access to higher education, what affordable higher education means for students and families, and what community colleges need to do to work with parents and students on shared responsibilities for their students to succeed. I am excited to share effective practices that have been implemented at MVCC to support the retention and completion rates at my institution, and I know that I will be learning from others ways to strengthen our existing programs."
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