Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston was recently elected to serve on the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors, with her three-year term beginning July 1.
Eggleston will be one of 32 community college representatives serving on the AACC board of directors. The board acts on behalf of AACC institutional members to create and maintain a vision for the association and to determine and ensure it is adhering to appropriate standards of performance.
As a newly elected AACC board member, Eggleston says she “looks forward to advancing key national strategic initiatives to help the more than 1,100 member community colleges to serve better their students and achieve greater success outcomes.”
Eggleston has previously served AACC in multiple capacities, including with the Commission on College Readiness, Commission on Leadership and Professional Development, Commission on Communications and Marketing and the AACC 21st Century Initiative Implementation Team 9: Faculty Engagement and Leadership Development.
Each year following its annual August board meeting, AACC solicits nominations for board seats from CEOs and presidents of institutional members. In November, the Committee on Directors and Membership Services reviews the nominations and develops the slate, which is approved by the board. Election ballots are then sent to AACC member CEOs in February to vote on the board nominees. Upon development of the slate, AACC received 19 letters of recommendation from community college representatives nationwide in support of Eggleston’s nomination to the board of directors.
“[Eggleston’s] previous and continuing service on AACC commissions, the Baldrige Foundation board, multiple chambers of commerce and the North Texas Community College Consortium are well-documented and noteworthy,” wrote Brookhaven College president Thom Chesney in his letter of recommendation to AACC. “I would add to that the deep and caring commitment she has given to employee development at Richland College by creating career pathways and support for her team members to excel at every level.”
As the primary advocacy organization for community colleges in the U.S., AACC represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students. The association promotes community colleges through five strategic action areas: recognition and advocacy for community colleges; student access, learning and success; community college leadership development; economic and workforce development; and global and intercultural education.
For additional information about AACC, visit aacc.nche.edu.
Richland College and its president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., were honored by Richardson mayor Paul Voelker during his Jan. 31 State of the City address as examples of the quality of education available locally in the Richardson area.
“[Eggleston] was one of 19 campus executives in the U.S. awarded last year’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from Phi Theta Kappa, the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year colleges,” said Voelker. “The award recognizes educators who advance the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service.”
This distinguished higher education award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.
Along with Eggleston, Richland College was also recognized for being awarded more than $2 million in workforce training grants to support Richardson-based companies RealPage and Associa in delivering training programs to their employees. In addition, in support of Richardson’s “Telecom Corridor” legacy, Richland was credited for its exceptional science, technology, engineering, digital arts and math (STEAM) programs, particularly its partnership with Girls Inc. for an annual summer camp focused on young women to encourage them to pursue careers in robotics, digital arts and other STEAM-based programs. Also mentioned was Richland College’s vital role in college degree completion through its focused work with local primary and secondary school students and its dual credit course delivery in local high schools, which was expanded last year to include a study abroad program in China.
Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., and Dallas County Community College District chancellor Joe D. May, Ed.D., are joining President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden and hundreds of other college presidents and higher education leaders in Washington, D.C., today to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
The White House College Opportunity Day of Action will support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders and nonprofits to support students across the country to help the nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.
“Richland College is well-positioned to be a part of such an ambitious initiative to assist greater numbers of students in their educational pursuits toward degree completion and well-paying jobs,” said Eggleston.
To be a part of this event, Richland College committed to expanding its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Center to reach more than 4,000 students during the next three to five years with proven programs to increase STEM success.
Richland College was able to create the STEM Center by leveraging community partnerships and external resources. Initially partnering with the University of Texas at Dallas as a sub-recipient of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the National Science Foundation, Richland College has fully funded its STEM Center to advance STEM-graduate completion.
Richland College’s STEM Center prepares students for work in a competitive science and technology-based economy and establishes well-defined student career pathways. It provides support and guidance to students pursuing STEM careers, with a special emphasis on women and historically underserved populations with fewer resources. STEM advisors provide recruitment of and focus on new-to-college students who indicate a desire to pursue STEM careers. Using this advising process, students identify and follow a clear, direct career pathway with multiple points of advisor contact, mentoring and scholarship opportunities.
“Our STEM advisors and faculty are an invaluable resource to students pursuing STEM degrees,” Eggleston said. “Through them, the students are able to navigate their college experience with greater focus, allowing for a seamless transition to university transfer and excellent job opportunities.”
To attain its goal of reaching more than 4,000 students during the next three to five years, Richland College will establish additional focused career pathway opportunities with universities that include research, design and practice-based experiences. It will also expand its summer Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Camp designed to serve 8th grade girls in underserved and under-resourced populations in a community partnership with Girls, Inc. The camp is designed and taught by Richland’s STEAM faculty, who are women and minority women, providing role models for young women at a critical age in their aspirational direction.
Participants in the White House College Opportunity Day of Action were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative or increasing the number of college graduates in the STEM fields.
The President will announce new steps on how his administration is helping to support these actions, including $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and it will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action that took place Jan. 14, 2014.
Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, as compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 per year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and completion.