CCQ Begins

CCQ Begins

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

History of the Community College of Qatar

Judith M. L. Hansen, Ph.D.
CCQ Founding Dean

The Community College of Qatar (CCQ) was launched in 2010 under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Minister of Education and Higher Education and Secretary General of the Supreme Education Council and the Supreme Education Council (SEC) to address educational and labor market needs necessary to meet the 2030 Qatar National Vision.  Qatar embarked on the community college initiative to provide students with both critical job training and solid collegiate studies to pursue either further university study or career in the growing Qatar industry upon graduation. CCQ provided access to higher education, a home for students transitioning from secondary school to college/university/workforce and key innovations that suited the educational ethos of Qatar. 
As the Qatar National Vision 2030 was approved by Emiri Decision (44) for the year 2008, a new need arose for Qatari citizens to gain the best higher education possible to build the State of Qatar for global economic success.  Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser appointed a Steering Committee to review higher education opportunities for a professional Qatari workforce into the future that would close the gap between high school graduation and university entry and increase post-secondary training opportunities to meet new Qatari workforce needs.   The Steering Committee, which became known as the Community College Steering Committee, membership included:
 Prof. Ibrahim Saleh Alnaimi, Chair
Chair, Outstanding Schools Oversight Committee (OSOC), SEC
                     Dr. Abdulla Bin Ali Al Thani, Vice President for Education, Qatar Foundation
Dr. Ahmed Mojahid Omar Hasnah, Associate Vice President for Higher Education, Qatar Foundation      
Dr. Chuck Thorpe, Dean, Carnegie Mellon University, Education City
                     Dr. Miles Lovelace, Director, Academic Bridge Program, Qatar Foundation           
Dr. Khalid Al Ali, Director, Foundation Unit, University of Qatar
Mr. Abdulla A. Aziz Al Sahlawi, Manager, Corporate Training, Qatar Petroleum   
Mr. Mohammed Saleh Al Mannai, Acting Director, Higher Education Institute (HEI), SEC
                     Dr. Richard Leete, Director, Social Affairs Department, GSDP      
Dr. Harald Jorch, President, College of North Atlantic Qatar
                     Dr. Abdulmajid  Abdulghani, Director, Research, Policy & Strategic Planning, SEC

Through 2008 and 2009, the Community College Steering Committee reviewed global models of higher education and training, selecting the American Community College model with over 1200 colleges world-wide to adapt for Qatar post-secondary needs.  The title ‘Community College of Qatar’ was approved by the Steering Committee and SEC.  The CCQ Vision, Mission and Goals were proposed by the Steering Committee and approved by the SEC:
College Vision
The Community College of Qatar shall be a leading educational institute providing higher education and diverse opportunities for lifelong learning. The Community College of Qatar shall provide a healthy learning environment inspiring student success and promoting active participation and effective service to the community.
College Mission
To respond effectively to the education and training needs of the Qatari community. To work in partnership with the community tin order to meet the evolving needs of the nation as it strives to realize the goal of thee Qatar National Vision 2030. To provide access to quality programs to students seeking to pursue their higher education studies.
College Goals
  • Providing a wide range of higher education programs responsive to the needs of individuals and stakeholders.
  • Nourishing flexible learning options and strategies resulting in constantly evolving programs and services in higher education, lifelong learning, workforce training and community services.
  • Providing education in a culturally rich and socially responsible environment.
  • Ensuring quality services and programs.
  • Expanding the use of learning technologies by teachers and students.

Potential CCQ launch dates were set for September 2009, February 2010 and September 2010.  To assure a successful college launch, the CCQ Steering Committee recommended that an American Community College be selected to assist with academic requirements.  Contacts with internationally-recognized colleges and invitation for proposals commenced October 2009.  The Steering Committee set guidelines for ‘partner college’ selection and interviewed finalist candidates. 

While interviewing partner colleges, the CCQ Steering Committee anticipated about 300 students in the first CCQ class, larger than Education City Universities and the first Qatar University classes, and sought a location to launch the college. Several options for the first CCQ campus were reviewed and a new building on C-Ring Road was recommended for remodel. His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud approved the new college site and the Supreme Education Council Shared Services tendered architectural services for remodel of the building. 

Under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud, Minister of Education and Higher Education and Secretary General of the SEC; search for a CCQ Dean was announced December 2009.  Candidates for the position of Dean were interviewed February 2010. 

His Excellency selected Dr. Judith M. L. Hansen as Founding  Dean of CCQ.  Dr.Hansen arrived in Doha 28 March 2010 to commence work on the six-month community college launch plan, community college services agreement, community college architectural plans and community college structure with the small Community College team of professionals supporting the Steering Committee work.    The Community College model of university transfer, workforce and professional update higher educational opportunities guided Dr. Judith Hansen's leadership toward CCQ launch.

The Community College of Qatar was officially announced by His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud at a press conference 10 May 2010. 

The CCQ Steering Committee completed deliberation of community college partners and recommended Houston Community College (HCC) to His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud.   The CCQ Services Agreement with HCC was signed by His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud and HCC Chancellor Dr. Mary Spangler on 17 May 2010 in Doha. 

To assure effective college launch, the Community College Team of local employees was established in April 2009 under the leadership of Drs. Hansen and Ibrahim. The CCQ Team selected a launch date of 26 September 2010 following evaluation of required college preparation with Supreme Education Council  professionals and assessment of Ramadan and Eid al Fitr requirements.  The CCQ Team expanded offices, advertised for first local employees and began work with SEC Shared Services professionals on architectural plans for the new college.  Media and Branding companies tendered through SEC Communications began meeting with the CCQ Team.   

Concerned about identifying CCQ students, Dean Hansen met with SEC Communications to establish an on-line application process. Dr. Hansen introduced the on-line CCQ application process to Doha high school counselors at an SEC  Higher Education Institute  (HEI) press conference 19 May 2011 with Dr. Ibrahim Al Naimi. By 25 May 2010 over 200 students had applied for CCQ entry. By 1 June 2010 over 1000 students had applied for CCQ entry.

CCQ planning connected to HCC through weekly teleconferences with HCC, visits of HCC professionals to Doha and a visit of Dean Hansen to Houston to meet with potential seconded professionals.  A key collaborative decision during the first month of CCQ planning was to use the ACT COMPASS ESL placement test to assess student applicant English and academic ability.  

Qatar University (QU) volunteered use of university testing centers and professionals for CCQ placement testing  Dr. Hansen began work with the QU Foundation Program professionals to assure effective testing of the first CCQ students.  Dates in June and July were selected for testing CCQ applicants, after the QU semester was complete.   Over 1500 of the 2000 first CCQ applicants successfully completed ACT COMPASS placement tests in June and July 2010.

Following successful on-line applications for CCQ, the SEC HEI invited CCQ to present college information at the HEI College Fair 16 June 2010.  The same week, CCQ seconded administrators from HCC arrived in Doha.

During the HEI College Fair over 1000 new students signed up at the CCQ booth for the first CCQ semester, totaling over 2000 applicants.  All applicants were invited to register for the first student placement testing scheduled for the last two weeks in June and first week in July.  To ease the test registration process, students were invited to register for the ACT COMPASS ESL test at QU Foundation offices.  On the morning of placement test registration, students stood in line to register for the test beginning at 6:00 a.m., reportedly jostling each other to be the first in the door. Due to the large number of registrants, 1500 student applicants were registered for placement testing.    Over 90% of the registered CCQ placement testers  were greeted by Dr. Judith Hansen at the women’s test site and Dr. Abdulnassir Al Tamimi at the men’s test site  administered by  QU test professionals.

Through June, July and August 2010 the CCQ Team, which now included seconded administrators, continued to work with His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud on college structure; SEC Shared Services on architectural tender, SEC Shared Services on equipment and furniture orders; SEC Information Technology (IT) on technical equipment; SEC Communications on branding and media; HCC on textbooks, library books and curriculum and QU on placement test scores. 

Qatar legal and society needs lead to many decisions key to CCQ launch. By Qatar law, CCQ was to be governed by Qatar.  It was decided by the CCQ Team to offer only college preparatory English and university transfer courses in the first year due to equipment required for technical/workforce training and limited classroom space.  In consultation with His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud, only Qatari students with the top placement scores were invited to enroll in the first CCQ semester.  

 The CCQ-HCC Services Agreement outlined positions to be hired by HCC and seconded to CCQ in the first year.  HCC advertised, screened and interviewed candidates for positions that met the need for English preparation (English as a Second Language/ESL) and college transfer coursework instruction and leadership planned for the first year. Some ESL positions were substituted for workforce positions originally included in the Agreements based on curriculum decisions and applicant placement scores.   CCQ advertised for local positions and received over 1000 applications for the 15 positions advertised.   CCQ began to work with SEC Shared Services to plan for housing and immigration for over 40 seconded employees arriving from America in July, August and September 2010. 

In consultation with Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud, an alternative campus site for college launch was selected due to partitioning processes required for the C-Ring building.  Plans began for partitioning a building in West Bay originally designed to teach kindergarten teachers, in addition to the partitioning process at the C-Ring building.  The two buildings became known as the West Bay Campus and the C-Ring Campus.

 Most important, it was announced by His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud that CCQ would be launched with men and women in a separate classroom environments.  Plans for partitioning the West Bay launch campus to provide for gender separation and more furniture were developed.    

Through July, August and Ramadan, the first CCQ students were invited to bring their credentials to the SEC building.  CCQ officials called over 1000 student applicants to make sure they provided required application documents for the first CCQ class and were informed of the first CCQ Student Orientations beginning September 19.

CCQ seconded employees, in addition to the first seconded administrators who had arrived in June, began to arrive in August and assisted with set-up in the West Bay campus.  Since the decision to launch the college in a separate gender environment had been made during Ramadan and the launch had been very fast, extra furniture was still arriving and no workers had been hired to assist with campus set-up.  CCQ professionals received special permission to work through the Eid Al Fitr national holiday to get ready for the first CCQ students.

 Two weeks before the first CCQ Student Orientation, His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud invited CCQ professionals to an Iftar dinner at the Diplomatic Club.  The week before Student Orientation, His Excellency toured the West Bay Campus with college professionals.  The West Bay campus still did not have enough desks for the classrooms or chairs for all of the desks.  Empty computer boxes still littered the staff parking lot and the student parking lot was still gravel.  However, everyone, including His Excellency, was pleased with the ability for the CCQ Team to meet the launch deadlines set six months earlier.

 During the week of 19 September 2010, the first CCQ students arrived with parents for Orientation lead CCQ Student Services and greeted by Dr. Ibrahim Alnaimi and Dr. Judith Hansen.  Orientations were scheduled by gender and by class of college preparation. 

On 26 September 2010 304 CCQ students arrived for the first CCQ classes.  30 students, one class of women and one class of men, were enrolled in college-level classes with the intent to graduate in two years with successful completion of classes. 

 During October 2010 men’s and women’s student senate elections were held following a week of campaigning.  The first student senates set bylaws, invited the first clubs and planned the first National Day celebration.  

Students continued to apply for CCQ entry through the first semester. Seventeen percent (17%) of the first semester full-time students and over 2/3 of CCQ applicants were employed or working full time, seeking classes in the evening. 

The first CCQ semester ended in December 2010. Over 80 % of the first semester students registered were retained to the next semester.  

To accommodate the large waiting lists, CCQ invited 425 students to enroll for second semester beginning 9 January 2011, including those students who successfully completed the first semester.   C-Ring Campus partitioning completion was anticipated before January 2011, therefore, second semester students were invited to enroll day and evening, depending on their choice and at the West Bay Campus (men) or C-Ring Campus (women). 

 Following significant consideration, the SEC selected the official CCQ logo in December 2010.
To honor the launch of CCQ, His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud announced a CCQ Grand Opening for 17 January 2011 and appointed a CCQ Grand Opening Committee chaired by Dr. Judith Hansen and Dr. Ibrahim Al Naimi to plan the event.   Sub-committees were set to assure an honorable event.

 As the C-Ring Campus neared completion through December 2010, the CCQ Grand Opening was scheduled for the C-Ring Campus.  Paving, auditorium staging, audio visual mounting, and furniture staging were completed during the first week of second semester to compliment the event and comply with requirements determined by offices of His Excellency and Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser.  

 The SEC approved the CCQ Structure with a Board of Trustees and President in governance of the college on 9 January 2011.

His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud hosted the successful CCQ Grand Opening at which Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and Dr. George Boggs, American Association of Community Colleges President/CEO spoke.   Qatar, Gulf and American guests attended the ceremony that began with unveiling the dedication plaque.  Following formal opening in the CCQ auditorium, His Excellency presented Her Highness with a crystal CCQ logo.  Her Highness toured the C-Ring campus with selected guests.  Students hosted tours for remaining.  Additional presentations continued at the West Bay campus in the afternoon. 

Through the first year, CCQ continued to grow.   The first CCQ Annual Report to His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud included launch of the college, hire of all local and seconded employees, recruitment and enrollment of over 500 students,  preparation and scheduling of classes on two campuses for day and evening students and submission  of the first CCQ budget of QR 290,000,000.

 The student government officers selected in the first semester expanded student activities to include Student Ambassadors, Football Clubs, Business Clubs, and Photography Clubs with the assistance of Student Services professionals.   College administration with Dr. Judith Hansen surveyed students for improvement suggestions, for which the Student Government lead solutions.

 Dr. Ibrahim chaired the West Bay Science Laboratories Committee with CCQ and SEC professionals and Strategic Planning Committee. Both plans were presented to the SEC for approval and tender.  Dr. Judith Hansen presented a plan for a CCQ main campus to the SEC Shared Services. 

CCQ applications continued to increase at the on-line sign-up site and at each campus through the first year of the college.  The college resumed testing students on the ACT CAAP ESL placement test, now at the C-Ring and West Bay Campus computer labs set up for placement testing.   By the end of the second semester, more than 2600 students had been tested with over 1000 applicants still on the waiting list.  Therefore CCQ planned to double enrollment for the second year and invite a total of 750 students, including those students successfully completing the first year.  Again in the second semester, over 80% of the students successfully completed and enrolled in summer stating that they wished to complete their CCQ Degree as soon as possible.

 Two new annual student events, Sponsorship Luncheon and Scholarship and Awards Banquet, were initiated in the first CCQ Summer Semester.   Only a few CCQ students had been sponsored by ministries and corporations in the first year.  However, the increasing number of employed students initiated the first Sponsorship Luncheon June 2011. New Sponsors and Sponsorship process was established for September 2011.  The Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet honored top academic and service students nominated by CCQ faculty and staff members and with top grade point averages in July 2011.

 College Curriculum Committee, Professional Development Committee and Faculty Senate were initiated by Dean Hansen during July 2011.  Members of initial steering committees were nominated by peers for each leadership group.  By-laws were set up for each through CCQ second year.

By the first semester of the second year, over 100 CCQ employees; 62 seconded, 21 Qatari and 19 local non-Qatari; provided educational services to 673 students enrolled.

Following approval of CCQ structure by His Excellency Mr. Saad Al Mahmoud and the Supreme Education Council, the Interim CCQ Board of Trustees was established in June 2010 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser.  The Interim Board of Trustees met for the first time 20 June 2011.  The members of the Interim CCQ Board of Trustees:
                Professor Dr. Sheikha Al Misnad, Chair; President Qatar University
                Dr. Hanan Arahim, Secretary
                Dr. Abdulla Bin Ali Al Thani, Vice President for Education, Qatar Foundation
                Dr.  Mark Weichold, Dean, Texas A & M University Qatar, Education City
                Dr. Everett Dennis, Dean, Northwestern University Qatar, Education City
                Mr. Scott Hill, Consultant, Supreme Education Council
                Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Al Naimi
 The Interim CCQ Board of Trustees embraced the governance challenges of Policies and Procedures, Accreditation, Growth Management, College Structure, College Curriculum, and College Articulation through the CCQ second year. 

 State of Qatar confirmed the Community College of Qatar with the Emiri Decree No. (52) issued 04 October 2011 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Al Thani, Emir of the State if Qatar. 

Consistent wiith the Emiri Decree law, Founding Dean Dr. Judith Hansen facilitated transfer of CCQ leadership transfer in the second year to Qatar professionals. 

1 comment:

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