Surrounded by photos of loved ones, DCCC Provost Dr. Ginny Carter says she believes in opening doors to education and has no regrets about her career paths.
Photo by Victoria Shieler
By Victoria Shieler
Dr. Virginia Carter Ed,D., is not one to miss a day of work as she sits behind her desk surrounded by stacks of paperwork and photographs of her loved ones including her two pet horses Clipper and Gator.
Carter’s office is fully decorated with several mementos such as little figurines of horses and plaques commemorating her accomplishments at Temple University, where she served as Senior Associate Dean before coming to DCCC.
Dressed in a black well-tailored suit, Carter seems to be a woman of power.
So it is not surprise that for the past 10 years, Carter has been provost at DCCC.
The bulk of Carter’s day consists of spending time with students, coming up with different ways to provide support to faculty and tackling big assignments such as enhancing partnerships with universities. Carter is also responsible for handling and dealing with any problems the university might face.
According to Carter, her most difficult challenges are resolving obstacles that come up when the College has a mission of educating multiple communities. The problems vary from policy issues to procedures or a unique situation.
Carter faces difficult problems from time to time where it can take long to have grant agreement on a new program.
“A lot of what I do is think with faculty and administration about the college and our day-to- day- operations and how we can possibly do them in a more efficient or successful fashion,” Carter says.
Even before starting her career in the 1970’s at Bucks County Community College, Carter says she always had an interest in pursuing education.
“I was born in the 50’s and back then you had less choice for careers,” Carter says. “And for me I looked at my family. My father was an engineer and my brothers were also studying to become engineers. My mother and all of her sisters were teachers. So I started off college as a math and English major. I loved them both and I think I decided that teaching would be a good choice for me so I did a double major.”
After graduating, Carter got her first job with BCCC as an assistant to the director of student life.
“I was the only female administrator at that time and I was young,” Carter says. “There was a time when the men wouldn’t feel comfortable telling me things because I was a woman.”
Although Carter admits she did feel out of place being the only female, she continued to move forward and focus on what was important.
“I really enjoyed my job,” she says. “Bucks County was growing at the time and there were no two days the same. It was really about education and I felt like I was contributing in some way.”
After her experience at BCCC, Carter worked for nearly 26 years at Temple University, in positions ranging from Dean of Temple’s Ambler campus to acting director of Temple University.
“Temple afforded me the opportunity to have numerous different types of positions,” Carter says. “One of the best things Temple did for me was to help me see a university from an overall perspective. I didn’t just see marketing, admissions, and the creation of curriculum. I saw how they all connected and so for that I will always be exceedingly grateful to Temple.”
Eventually Carter’s attention turned to DCCC, where she was impressed by the dedication and drive faculty had to make sure every student succeeds.
“I came to DCCC because the faculty seemed passionate about serving the students.” Carter says.
Since being a part of DCCC, Carter has been responsible for many positive changes to improve student success. For instance, a recent partnership with Drexel University has been set up to further help students go through the transfer process more efficiently.
“We will now have three degree completions on this campus,” Carter says. “Students will complete their associate’s degree and then they have the choice of going on for business, computer security, and allied health. We even have a joint degree with Drexel in nursing where by students are completing their RN and BSN all in three years.”
After Carter retires at the end of this semester, she plans on spending her retirement by enjoying one of her passions which is training and riding horses.
“One of the things I absolutely love doing is working with horses,” Carter says. “The thought has occurred to me to train a young horse again. I have two horses at the moment. I love riding and I love to work on the farm.”
Because of her dedication to higher education, Carter believes she couldn’t imagine not being a part of the education system.
“Since I was 21, I have only worked full time in higher education,” Carter says. “I will stay somewhat involved, whether that’s teaching a graduate course or working with a university to develop new curriculum. But I would love the opportunity to just spend some time quietly and see what it is I might like to do that has no boundaries.”
Dr. Lana deRuyter, a colleague of Carter’s, has been working side by side with the provost since she came here 10 years ago.
“She has an amazing work ethic,” deRuyter says. “She is extremely intelligent, and has the student’s best interest. The college is losing an amazing provost.”
Carter says she has nothing but positive things to say when she looks back on her career and reflect on her journey.
“I’m not a person who tends to look back,” Carter says. “One of my challenges in life is to try to live in the moment and be in the moment. I think from my perspective I have had a great career. It was important to me to feel passionate about what I do. And working at DCCC as well as Temple University was about access and opportunity. I’ve always been part of public institutions and that has been by choice. I believe in public education. I believe in providing opportunities for some who might not even have dreamt of what they could do. I believe in opening doors, and my career path has allowed me to do that.”