MIDDLESEX COUNTY – Metuchen resident Karen Hays, vice president for academic and student affairs at Middlesex County College, was named Woman of the Year at the Central Jersey Women in Business Dinner on Nov. 9.
The Women in Business Awards, sponsored by Magic 98.3/Greater Media, honored 10 central Jersey women in areas such as Mentor of the Year, Woman in the Workplace, New Business, Contribution to the Community, and Rising Star, in addition to the Woman of the Year honor.
Dr. Hays joined Middlesex County College in 2005 and has a profound impact on the growth and success of the College. She oversees four divisions and 46 departments, and played a leadership role in developing 15 new degree and certificate programs, including the nursing program, which is in collaboration with Raritan Bay Medical Center. She was also integral in the creation of the Biotechnology program, which now includes a state-of-the-art biotechnology lab. She led efforts to examine and adjust the college’s general education program to align it with statewide goals. She initiated a reorganization of both the academic and student services areas.
Dr. Hays led the development of the college’s Honors Program; the CARE Center, which assists adults returning to college; the Learning Center, which provides a centralized location for tutoring students and providing support services in developmental English, reading and math; and the new Student Government Association. She initiated and developed the First Year Experience office, which provides a revamped and more personalized orientation process for new students. She also developed the Summer Bridge Program, which allows students whose test scores indicate they need to take remedial classes in the fall to take an intensive summer program, that, if passed, permits them to go directly into credit classes.
One major initiative that Dr. Hays spearheaded was the assessment program. This requires academic and service areas to examine what they are doing and how it is benefiting students. She has presented workshops on assessment at professional conferences.
Prior to joining Middlesex, Dr. Hays worked as a faculty member and administrator at Miami Dade College in Florida. In addition to her doctorate from the University of Texas, she holds an Associate’s Degree from Miami Dade, a Bachelor’s from the University of Florida, and a Master’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University
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