As Director of Human Resources at Northeastern Technical College, Christi Meggs spent over 22 years in healthcare human resources before making the switch to higher education. She enjoys helping others grow in their leadership skills by providing meaningful professional development and working with student athletes so that they can successfully transfer to a four-year university or join the workforce. Growing her own leadership abilities is how she strives to accomplish these goals: “I just want to be better tomorrow than I am today so that I can serve our students, employees, and college better.”
What would you say is the biggest misconception about the CCLA program?
I think some people mistake CCLA for the Leadership Academy, an internal professional development program. Both are excellent programs, but CCLA requires more of a time commitment. Not only did I spend a little time almost every weeknight reading or completing discussions or other assignments for the classes, but I also spent dedicated time every Saturday and Sunday completing larger assignments like papers or projects. With the right encouragement, support, and resources – especially from NETC President Dr. Kyle Wagner – I was able to manage my time wisely and grow both personally and professionally. CCLA was challenging but doable.
How has participation in the CCLA cohort made you a better human resources director?
The knowledge I gained from the courses and my fellow students has not only broadened my understanding of higher education but has also allowed me to better implement and sustain initiatives at NETC. For instance, I used content from the “Transforming South Carolina’s Destiny” videos that we watched in our first course to develop an internal professional development class. I have also used discussion questions, projects, readings, and other resources from the CCLA program throughout NETC’s leadership and college-wide professional development sessions.
Participation in CCLA also expanded my professional network. I met some key System Office employees that I probably would not have gotten to know otherwise. I still stay in contact with several members of my cohort. And since I have continued my education at USC by pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs, I still have the same adviser and some of the same instructors who were part of my CCLA program.
And have you grown as a leader outside of your immediate role as human resources director?
Yes. Since being enrolled in the CCLA program, I have been able to take on some new responsibilities at NETC. I am now over the Athletics Administration and the Safety Committee. I greatly enjoy working with student athletes and am interested in student engagement. I also love the operations aspect of business and have interest in learning more in those areas. I still have a lot to learn about higher ed!
You have a word of advice for prospective CCLA members about the application process, correct?
Yes. Because I attended USC as an undergrad, I had to provide legal documents showing my name change, including a certified copy of my birth certificate to confirm my in-state residency. That process was not always easy to navigate. Fortunately, communications from the System Office were timely and clear, and it was very easy to move forward from the college and System Office side.