Glenn Jackson: Newly announced Director of High School Initiatives

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Glenn Jackson, former director of the Dropout Re-Engagement Program and Interim director of High School Programs, has officially been announced as the Director of High School Initiatives. Jackson was deemed suitable for the position by Ana Blackstad, dean of Student Services, and Ata Karim, vice president of Student Services, through a selective interview process. The position was open for all who wanted the chance to apply.

Now, Jackson is in charge of the Dropout Re-Engagement Program, designed for students ages 16-21 to work towards either their high school diploma or an associate’s degree; the Summer Enrichment Program, where students under the age of 18 are able to take college courses; and now High School Initiatives, where he will form relationships with high schools in the area, encourage students to come to BC, and prepare high school students for college.

Prior to being given the title of director of High School Initiatives, Jackson was predominantly working as the Dropout Re-Engagement Program director and as the interim director of High School Programs. Although that was Jackson’s most recent position, he has worked at Bellevue College for the past 18 years, starting when he attended BC as a student. Jackson started in student cafes, worked in childcare on campus, and eventually worked his way up through the departments to where he is now.

“I definitely think that working in [so] many departments …has given him an advantage that not many other people think about,” said Blackstad. “He can think college-wide instead of just department centric. He understands that we are all linked together somehow.”

Blackstad, who has been at BC for the past year, claimed that Jackson was the Interim High School Programs director when her time at BC started. “When he took on the interim role, he also accepted the Running Start piece.” Blackstad added, “If you didn’t already know that he was new to that position, you would’ve never known. He really knows the ins and outs of what he’s doing.”

For now, Jackson’s goals focus around helping high school students get an idea of what college life is really like.

“What I would like to do is create more pathways for students who don’t necessarily function in the true way of high school,” said Jackson. “Whether they can’t keep up academically, socially or emotionally. It’s very tough at that crossroads of your life.”

Outside of that, Jackson wants to tighten up systems that are already in place within his departments. Not only does he hope to expand the Running Start program, but he also wants to help high school students avoid stressing about class sizes and the possibility of not having taken the appropriate  prerequisite classes.

When it came down to who was right for the position, Blackstad had a number of reasons why Jackson was the right choice:

“Glenn has a depth of knowledge about both the Running Start aspect as well as the CEO program. Not just because he’s worked at Bellevue for a long time, but because he really prides himself on knowing the laws and statutes […] making sure we are running correctly. He also makes sure that the programs are designed to make students successful.”

Now being the director of three different programs, Jackson stated that he will “definitely be a lot busier” and will be working towards getting more support from other departments on campus as far as helping support high school students.

“Some people feel they’re too young to be on this campus, and we want to help them with that,” Jackson said. “We want to show them that they’ll be on a campus with different genders, sexual orientations, and ages.”

According to Blackstad, Jackson knows “everybody on campus,” so anybody that wants a campus connection should get in contact with him.

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