Event Recap

BHCC Annual Retreat Centers on The Student Experience

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) faculty and staff along with some BHCC students gathered on Friday, October 2, 2019, to visualize the BHCC Student Experience and explore the ways in which the College supports persistence, retention and success of its students.


Arlene Vallie, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, welcomed faculty and staff before inviting them to participate in “The BHCC Game of Life,” an activity demonstrating the multitude of successes and challenges that students encounter on their path to degree completion that set the stage for the day. “Today, we’ll look at data,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “That data will tell stories and lead the path to solutions.”

“We’re in a very different enrollment environment than we were five or ten years ago,” said James F. Canniff, Provost and Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs, as he discussed the College’s place in the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) self-study and accreditation process. “Over the next five years, one of our goals will be that our institution has a sense of self of where we are, and where we’re going.”

Maria Puente, Professor, Behavioral Science Department, who is heading the 2020 Self-Study Writing Team provided an updated on the process, titled “Transformations to Advance Equity.” “Equity has defined this institution,” she said, highlighting initiatives implemented over the last ten years including the College’s Early College program, workforce readiness programs, curricular reforms and overhaul of admissions processes. “All of these transformations have impacted our institutional effectiveness, but there is always more work to be done. We need to understand our student voices better, expand these initiatives, and create assessment plans in order to be successful in student retention and completion.”

The afternoon program continued with group activities focused on measuring the College’s collective progress and setting collective next steps. Faculty and staff heard from students who shared their personal experiences at the College offering solutions and recommendations that would improve the student experience and impact retention.