Message from the Executive Director

Dr. Audrey J. JaegerDear Colleagues and Friends,

North Carolina’s 58 community colleges play an essential role in developing a talented, highly skilled workforce in our state’s changing economy. To that end, the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research – originated through the long-standing commitment of the NC State College of Education to serving North Carolina’s community colleges and with generous support from the John M. Belk Endowment – aims to be a nationally recognized model of critical partnership with North Carolina’s community colleges in advancing equity in student access and success and increasing the attainment of postsecondary credentials of value.

Through executive leadership programs, designed in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Achieving the Dream, and with capacity for conducting applied research of relevance, the Belk Center is committed to advancing our community colleges to even higher levels as drivers of North Carolina’s economic prosperity.

To date, our work at the Belk Center has focused on economic mobility, community building, and improving success outcomes for historically and systematically 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. 

We will continue to foster leadership development in college presidents and trustees, educate the next generation of community college executives, and deliver high-caliber, actionable research to guide best practices. As leaders of colleges and the communities that surround them seek to restore their economies and close opportunity gaps, the Belk Center is equipped to support their efforts with resources, expertise, and an enduring commitment to excellence in community college leadership.

We are here to meet the needs of college leaders, at all levels, in their work to develop North Carolina’s workforce by increasing postsecondary credential attainment for our residents. I invite you to engage with us often through our programming, research and other resources.

To learn more about the history of the NC State College of Education’s support for community colleges, as well as the critical work we are doing within the Belk Center, please visit the “What We Do” section of our website. We look forward to working with you.


Audrey J. Jaeger
Executive Director