North Carolina’s long-term vitality is largely dependent on the development and growth of a workforce that is highly skilled, as well as the community college system that produces that workforce. As the economy and job markets continue to evolve, demanding a workforce that is credentialed, diverse and fluid in critical thinking, so will the demands on our community colleges. The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research is committed to equipping exceptional community college leaders who address these urgent needs. Our mission and vision statements read:
Mission: The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, at North Carolina State University, develops and sustains exceptional community college leaders who are committed to advancing equitable college access and student success, the social and economic mobility of their colleges’ students, and the economic competitiveness of their regions. The Center provides professional development and research related to current and emerging student success opportunities and challenges facing community college leaders and policymakers in North Carolina and the nation.
Vision: The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research aims to be a nationally recognized model in the creation and sustainment of critical partnerships among community college leaders in advancing equity in student access and success while increasing the attainment of postsecondary credentials of value.
Belk Center Commitment to Equity:
To date, our work has focused on economic mobility, community building, and improving success outcomes for historically underserved populations in higher education, in support of the mission of community colleges and their efforts to uplift their communities. We recognize there is room for continuous improvement in elevating an understanding of and explicitly integrating a focus on racial equity across our existing work. Moving forward, the Belk Center will prioritize the following commitments and work in tandem with communities of color and leaders from diverse backgrounds.
- We commit to racial equity through dismantling the systemic barriers that impede historically underserved populations, especially Black, Latinx, and American Indian students, from achieving their academic, economic, and social success through our evaluation, research, and support for developing the next generation of community college leadership.
- We commit to enabling executive leaders to utilize evidence-based tools and culturally relevant strategies to inform decisions that lead to equitable student success for historically underserved populations, especially for Black, Latinx, and American Indian students.
- We commit to centering the experiences and outcomes of Black, Latinx, and American Indian students in our research and in the preparation of future community college leaders.