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Presidents’ Academy

Support for executive leadership within North Carolina community colleges remains a centerpiece of the Belk Center’s work. Since its inception in 2019, the Presidents’ Academy has offered programming and professional learning opportunities that encourage collaboration, unify leadership development and advance student success outcomes by bringing critical knowledge and resources from national organizations to address issues in North Carolina.

In partnership with the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents (NCACCP), we continue to offer professional learning opportunities that align with presidents’ goals and needs. Recent iterations of the “Critical Conversations” series included two interactive sessions on the role of presidential leadership in elevating excellence in teaching and learning, and an additional session focused on best practices of 150 institutions considered for the biannual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

2021-2022 Critical Conversations

  • The Aspen Prize: Identifying and Learning from Exceptional Colleges (April 2022). The session featured insights from the executive director and the senior program manager of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. The Belk Center provided benchmarking data for participants to compare their institutional progress with the top 150 community colleges eligible for the Aspen Prize.

“North Carolina’s community colleges are essential to fostering economic mobility and developing talent in every part of the state. To advance those goals, North Carolina community colleges and their leaders are doing really important work to improve student success. They are fortunate to have a unique partner in the Belk Center, which provides essential research and professional development opportunities to strengthen outcomes of students while in college and after they graduate.”

~ Joshua Wyner – Vice President, Aspen Institute & Executive Director, Aspen College Excellence Program

  • Leading Improvement in Teaching and Learning: Institutionalizing Systems and Practices for Sustained Improvement (January 2022). At this gathering, presidents considered ways to institutionalize systems and practices that make teaching and learning improvements sustainable. It explored how strategic finance and effective data use in particular can support teaching and learning reforms.
  • Leading Improvement in Teaching and Learning: Engaging Faculty Innovators (October 2021). This critical conversation addressed how to leverage dedicated and innovative faculty by positioning them at the center of teaching reforms. It included a focus on faculty hiring, onboarding, promotions and professional development.