Give to the Belk Center

Our work is made possible by the generous support of alumni, foundation partners, and friends who share our belief in the power of transformational community college leadership.

Give to the Belk Center

Our work is made possible by the generous support of alumni, foundation partners, and friends who share our belief in the power of transformational community college leadership.

Group photo of Belk Center employees

 

Our Key Priorities

Gifts of all sizes to the Belk Center Fund have an immediate impact by providing resources we can use to advance our key priorities: developing exceptional leaders, anticipating and responding to colleges’ needs, advancing innovative partnerships, and advocating for equity

Developing Exceptional Leaders

We believe that exceptional leaders transform colleges and redefine what’s possible for students.

See how we develop exceptional leaders

Anticipating and Responding to Colleges' Needs

We believe that pairing ongoing collaboration and resources with actionable research inspires colleges to seize opportunities, solve problems, and embrace opportunities for transformation.

See how we meet colleges' needs

Advancing Innovative Partnerships

We believe that the success of our work is rooted in the strength of our partnerships.

Learn more about how we create partnerships

Advocating for Equity

We believe an equitable future is one where colleges promote access, opportunity, and achievement for students while increasing the representation of diverse leaders.

Learn more about our commitment to an equitable future

Developing Exceptional Leaders

We believe that exceptional leaders transform colleges and redefine what’s possible for students. The Belk Center’s programs support community college leaders in all stages of their careers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to prepare for and thrive in their roles. Our award-winning doctoral program in community college leadership is educating a diverse pipeline of aspiring executives to lead their institutions boldly into the future, while the support we provide to new and experienced leaders helps them adapt to meet the evolving needs of their colleges, students, and communities.

Your investments in the Belk Center support:

NC State’s doctoral program in Community College Leadership is producing a diverse pipeline of community college executives and preparing them to tackle modern challenges. Our three-to-four-year, cohort-based program leverages the experience and expertise of sitting community college presidents and College of Education faculty for a course of study that blends theory, research, and best practices. Our practice-oriented curriculum in leadership emphasizes equity, completion, learning and labor market outcomes, equipping graduates to lead transformational change in community colleges with a focus on improved student outcomes. The Belk Center supports excellence in the program by pairing doctoral students with executive mentors, promoting student engagement in relevant and responsive research, and providing students with writing and data coaching to facilitate their progress from dissertation proposal to degree.

The Presidents’ Academy — a partnership between the Belk Center, NC State’s College of Education, the NC Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP), the NC Community College System, Achieving the Dream, and the Aspen Institute’s  College Excellence Program — provides crucial support to North Carolina’s community college presidents and trustees by refocusing leadership and governance on community college excellence and student outcomes. Executive leadership programming began in early 2019 and has been offered in retreat and virtual settings ever since, with the goal of scaffolding learning for presidents and their governing boards around topics identified by the NCACCP. The Belk Center’s coordination encourages collaboration and synergy, enabling presidents to pursue goals that promote student success and trustees to understand and actively support presidents in their efforts.

In partnership with the NC Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP) and EducationNC, the Belk Center is developing a set of accessible, on-demand resources for incoming community college leaders. The first of these, a video series for new presidents and trustees, provides a detailed overview of North Carolina’s community colleges, the programs they offer, and the ways they collaborate with high schools, four-year institutions, and other key partners. In the coming months, this video series will be augmented by a comprehensive orientation program for new leaders (developed and delivered in partnership with NCACCP) to share content expertise from existing college presidents, their NC Community College System Office colleagues, and other critical stakeholders.

 

Anticipating and Responding to Colleges’ Needs

We believe that pairing ongoing collaboration and resources with actionable research inspires colleges to seize opportunities, solve problems, and embrace opportunities for transformation. Guided by a national network of partners, the Belk Center acts as a catalyst for change by setting a research agenda that encourages colleges to consider what’s possible and providing the customized tools and support networks leaders and their teams need to make informed improvements.

Your investments in the Belk Center support:

NC State’s College of Education and the Belk Center host an annual lecture in honor of W. Dallas Herring, whose transformative vision and tireless work culminated in the inception of North Carolina’s community colleges. Each year, exceptional community college leaders from around the country are invited to speak on urgent and emerging topics, framing how their peers can address these issues and proposing solutions that are both practice-based and rooted in research. By focusing on national issues like the transfer student experience and the importance of high-quality teaching and learning and contextualizing them to North Carolina, lecturers lend their voices and insight to the critical conversations around student success already taking place among community colleges across the state and inspire continued action and progress.

 

To directly support the W. Dallas Herring Professorship endowment, please use this link: go.ncsu.edu/dallas-herring-professorship

The Belk Center’s expanded focus on teaching and learning began with the 2018 Dallas Herring Lecture, “The Urgent Case: Centering Teaching and Learning in the Next Generation of Community College Redesign,” delivered by Achieving the Dream President Karen Stout. In response to the lecture, Belk Center researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students worked with Achieving the Dream to conduct six case studies of teaching and learning at community colleges across North Carolina, with the goal of better understanding how colleges support teaching and learning on campus and the professional development opportunities they provide to faculty. These case studies and their findings led to the development of Teaching and Learning Hubs across the state to support full-and part-time faculty and staff educators from North Carolina community colleges in their efforts to build equity in learning and student success.

 

Advancing Innovative Partnerships

We believe that the success of our work is rooted in the strength of our partnerships. The Belk Center works in tandem with college leaders and their teams, the groups and governing bodies that support them, and with like-minded organizations that recognize and center the value of community colleges. Together, we’re building trust and a shared vision of what’s possible in the future, along with a collaborative plan for how to get there.

Your investments in the Belk Center support:

Recognizing the importance of adult learners in helping North Carolina meet its statewide attainment goal, the Belk Center joined forces with myFutureNC, the John M. Belk Endowment, and five North Carolina community colleges in early 2021 to launch NC Reconnect, a pilot project and outreach campaign to engage and enroll students over the age of 25 in their local community colleges. This innovative, cross-sector effort to collaborate around a set of shared goals — reconnecting with adult learners and scaling innovative campus-based practices to better meet their needs — is showing early signs of success, with participating colleges reporting promising trends in adult enrollment over previous years. 

 

Advocating for Equity

We believe an equitable future is one where colleges promote access, opportunity, and achievement for students while increasing the representation of diverse leaders. The Belk Center’s commitment to racial equity involves:

  • Dismantling systemic barriers in higher education
  • Utilizing evidence-based tools and culturally relevant strategies to guide our actions, and 
  • Amplifying the experiences and outcomes of Asian/Asian American, Black, Latin*, and American Indian students and leaders to ensure their voices are heard and understood.

Your investments in the Belk Center support:

The Trailblazer Profiles, part of the Belk Center’s North Carolina Community College System History Project, highlight and celebrate the work of Black, Latin, Asian, and Indigenous leaders in the state’s community college system. Belk Center staff are collecting oral histories of current and former community college presidents and system leaders, transcripts of which are being stored in the UNC Southern Oral History program’s archives. Profiles of each leader are highlighted on the Belk Center’s website, with the goal of celebrating their contributions, centering their stories in the larger narrative of community college excellence in North Carolina, and inspiring the development of a more diverse presidential leadership pipeline.

Give to the Belk Center

Your support helps the Belk Center continue to provide these ongoing programs and develop new and innovative ways to support our community colleges!

Make your donation today!