Meet Kansas City CP Colleen McDermott

After traipsing back and forth, from coast to coast to meet the campus presidents of our health care career college, we’re going to settle down in the middle of the country for this latest issue of “Meet Your Concorde Campus Presidents.” We’re in the nation’s heartland catching up with Colleen McDermott, Campus President (CP) of Concorde Career College’s campus in Kansas City, Mo. for the last 1 ½ years.

As CP in Kansas City, McDermott presides over a thriving health care career college campus that offers eight accelerated health care training programs and has a full range of support programs for its students and alumni.

Today, we learn about McDermott’s two decades of experience in higher education, the adrenaline rush she gets from all the success stories that come out of this health care career college and what she does to come down from that rush and relax.

Let’s meet Concorde – Kansas City Campus President Colleen McDermott.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A CONCORDE CP?

I started 20 years ago in this industry as a Controller for a for-profit college in Minneapolis. I then became the Campus President for Brown College and then Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis (No, I am not a chef; I like to eat out!). I moved to Des Moines, Iowa where I was the Campus President for Kaplan University. I was interim Campus President for Kaplan for two years. I came to work for Concorde five years ago as a Regional Vice President. I was interim Campus President for Concorde in San Diego, Garden Grove and Aurora. I have been the Campus President at the Kansas City campus for 1 ½ years.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A CAMPUS PRESIDENT?

I am proud of what we do and the lives that we change. Students come to orientation and are so excited to learn and are nervous about starting something new. Seeing the transformation while they are in school is fascinating. Graduation day continues to be the best part. Everyone should attend a graduation!

WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THE KANSAS CITY CAMPUS STAND OUT FOR ITS STUDENTS?

We have a very diverse group of students. We are in the inner city. Thus, we have many situations arise. But, these are the students that need to change their lives. The success stories are what we are all about.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN?

Be true to yourself. Listen to others. Lead by example.

WHAT’S A FAVORITE TV SHOW, RECENT MOVIE YOU’VE SEEN OR BOOK YOU’VE READ?

I just read a book called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande. Now, I am reading his book called Complications. He is a surgeon who writes about medical issues.

WHAT IS A HIDDEN TALENT, FAVORITE HOBBY OR LITTLE-KNOWN FACT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am a yoga teacher, and I had 12 years of piano lessons. I do both for balance and relaxation.

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Kontessa Brown | Dental Assisting Graduate

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”

Trenisha Jones | Dental Assistant Graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”

Andrea Nolan | Dental Assistant graduate

“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”

Michelle Cardona | Dental Assistant graduate

“Literally a year-and-a-half ago, I was struggling to make ends meet and barely surviving. Now I have a career, make good money, and life gets better every day. I have recommended friends and family go to Concorde, because in as few as nine months, your life can completely change for the better.”