Connie Watjen, the new dean for Douglasville and Paulding since May 26, plans to improve the campuses by providing better customer service and helping students realize how beneficial college is.
Watjen hopes to dispel common misconceptions regarding college that can discourage prospective students. She wants to raise awareness that college can be a warm personal experience and that students don’t have to leave home to receive a quality education.
Watjen enjoys her position and loves getting to meet new people at Georgia Highlands and in the local communities. She has been encouraged by positive community relations and praises Paulding County for embracing the local campus.
Watjen said she has learned how much hard work goes into getting students into school. She also said her appreciation for how hard the staff works continues to grow.
She expressed great optimism about Georgia Highlands’ growth and retention rates, but she still wants to improve the current numbers and not lose any students.
Watjen had previously achieved success in the corporate world working at AT&T and Coca-Cola. While she was doing well at these companies, she didn’t enjoy what she was doing.
Watjen went back to school to pursue her true calling, leaving her safe corporate job to pursue her master’s degree from Kennesaw State University.
Watjen started teaching English at Georgia Highlands in 2008 and loved it from the start.
She became a learning support instructor for English and worked to help improve the English learning support program.
Watjen has encountered a few new challenges in her recent transition from teacher to campus dean. Serving as dean to two campuses, Watjen’s commute has been the hardest part to get used to.