MHCC gets a ‘Head Start’ on app development: January board meeting

The MHCC District Board of Education meets twice monthly to approve college policies and discuss school changes.

Below are the need-to-knows and action plans from the Jan. 17 meeting.

Mt. Hood approves a “ground-breaking” App development program

A new app developing program that could make Mt. Hood a national leader was unanimously approved by the board.

This new Mobile Application Development and Marketing degree will be an associates degree in Business Management.

According to staff representative Andy Wong, this new program is “cutting-edge” and MHCC would be the first school in Oregon to develop it.

Although the college would not represent Apple Inc., the program would start with iOS app development and will be Apple-certified. As a school in the forefront of app development and combining it with a business strategy program, Mt. Hood expects a sizable increase in enrollment and post college career paths.

“It’s blossoming, and we can be a leader of the industry,” said Rodney Barker, MHCC dean of business, computer information systems, and social science.

A few app developing classes were offered and wait-listed this Winter Term, but the actual program is not planned to start until next year.

More in-depth information will be printed in a future issue of the Advocate.

Mt. Hood presidential candidate profile released

The results from the community survey have been used to create a candidate profile. As President Debbie Derr’s June retirement approaches, the formal Search Committee is anxious to find a worthy replacement after her five-year run.

The new presidential candidate profile includes a history of Mt. Hood, and challenges and opportunities, ideal characteristics, and qualifications for any applicants. The full profile can be found at along with a page for updates on the searching and hiring process.

“Today’s Head Start children are tomorrow’s MHCC students.”

At the Jan. 17 meeting, Head Start representatives gave a program update, discussing the opening of three new locations and attendance struggles.

Head Start is MHCC’s child development and family support services for children ages 3-5. The service is available to low-income households or families who meet eligibility requirements and live in East Multnomah County, outside the Portland Public School district.

Because of transportation issues and illness, daily attendance has fluctuated this school year. This creates a stress on finances because there is an attendance minimum in order to receive federal grants.

Board Vice Chair Diane McKeel acknowledged that transportation has been a problem for Head Start participants, as it is for many MHCC students.

Meantime, Head Start continues to accept new applications. More information about locations and contacts is on the school website at:

Board knocks heads over supporting Measure 101

During the Jan. 17 meeting, the board voted to endorse Oregon Ballot Measure 101 in a 5-2 vote. The two naysayers were adamant about their opposition: board members Jim Zordich and Michael Calcagno disagree with the Measure, because of the tax impact on students, each said. Both said they support health care programs, but this measure didn’t meet their standards. For more discussion on the meaning and impact of Measure 101, see the Advocate editorial on Page 2.

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