Tonya Nelson named executive dean at Southwest Colorado Community College, hopes to expand culinary arts program

The Durango Herald November 2, 2015

Tonya Nelson named executive dean at Southwest Colorado CC

The new executive dean of Southwest Colorado Community College
hopes to expand the school’s culinary arts program and fire academy.

Tonya Nelson, a native of the Four Corners, started as the head of SCCC
Monday after leaving her position as the director of quality improvement
and the career center at San Juan Community College in Farmington.
She is originally from northeast Arizona.

Nelson is replacing Norm Jones, who left at the position at the end of July
to become a consultant.

She will lead the SCCC campuses in Durango and Mancos, which are
part of the Pueblo Community College system.

The local community college is one of a few regional schools offering a
culinary arts program and firefighter training, and she sees that as an

She hopes to build partnerships within the community to help expand the
already­ popular programs, but she needs time to identify possible

Increasing student enrollment and improving retention are also goals.
“We are hoping, definitely, to expand our student growth, as well as our
programs,” she said.

Nelson also plans to review the school’s general education assessments
to make sure the classes are meeting the student’s needs and preparing
them to transfer to four­-year institutions, she said.
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