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Who we are

Led by the North Carolina State University Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research and the University of Maryland Global Campus Program in Community College Policy and Administration, the Community College Practitioner-Research-Policy Exchange is a first-of-its-kind, national community college initiative that will work with key national partners to build a two-way loop between practitioners and researchers to deliver empirical findings useful to practitioners in the field. With assistance from the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, Achieving the Dream, and others, this project will:

  1. Develop a first-of-its-kind practitioner-defined national community college research agenda.
  2. Disseminate research findings in practitioner consumable formats that will promote research-informed policies and best practices at community colleges throughout the country.



Our Partners

Managing Partners

As managing partners for this project, the University of Maryland Global Campus Program in Community College Policy and Administration and the North Carolina State University Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research will provide staff and administrative support plus overall coordination among the other partners.


National Council of State Directors – The state directors of community colleges will work with presidents in their states to identify research that is most needed to better inform the decision making of community college leaders. These efforts will annually produce a nationally informed research agenda that can be widely shared with the research community to address the needs of community college practitioners and policymakers.

Achieving the Dream – ATD will provide access to the presidents of its member colleges to supplement the research agenda identified by the state directors, develop research briefs that will be very consumable and actionable in the field, and provide assistance in disseminating these research briefs. ATD will also offer opportunities to present findings at its learning events and at DREAM, its annual flagship conference.

Affiliate Partners

Aspen Institute – The Aspen Institute offers both a New Presidents Fellowship and a Rising Presidents Fellowship. We will seek the insights of the Aspen fellows on which research topics to include in the Practice-Research-Policy Exchange.

CCRC – We hope to build on the leadership and infrastructure that CCRC has provided for the past 20+ years by similarly building and promoting strong practitioner-researcher collaborations through this effort.

JFF – JFF launched a Policy Leadership Trust in 2015 to seek evidence, expertise, and insights of postsecondary practitioners to influence the direction of state and federal policy. We will seek appropriate collaborations with the Policy Leadership Trust, including its recently launched State Policy Roadmap for an Equitable Economic Recovery.