2015 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges

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Institution (2-year Public)Chief Executive OfficerLocationClassificationFull-time EnrollmentPart-time EnrollmentInst. TypeFounding Year
Albany Technical CollegeDr. Anthony O. ParkerAlbany, GARural2,9192,695PBI1961
Big Sandy Community & Technical CollegeDr. Charles V. ChrestmanPrestonsburg, KYRural2,706355ALT2003
Central Piedmont CCDr. Tony ZeissCharlotte, NCUrban MultiCampus52,9740PBI1963
Genesee CCDr. James M. SunserBatavia, NYRural3,1783,705PWI1966
Illinois Central CollegeDr. John S. ErwinEast Peoria, ILRural3,6716,625PWI1967
Kilgore CollegeDr. Bill HoldaKilgore, TXRural2,6143,210PWI1935
Lorain County CCDr. Roy A. ChurchElyria, OHUrban Single Campus3,2918,320PWI1963
Luzerne County CCThomas P. LearyNanticoke, PASuburban3,1003,200PWI1967
Mountain View CollegeDr. Robert GarzaDallas, TXUrban Multicampus2,0006,819HSI1970
New Mexico Junior CollegeDr. Steve McCleeryHobbs, NMRural3,5002,500HSI1966
Piedmont Technical CollegeDr. L. Ray BrooksGreenwood, SCRural2,1453,573ALT1966
Seward County CCDr. Duane M. DunnLiberal, KSRural8231,034HSI1967
South Florida State CollegeDr. Thomas C. LeitzelAvon Park, FLRural9581,822PWI1965
Southwest Virginia CCDr. J. Mark EsteppRichlands, VARural1,147889PWI1968
Tallahassee CCDr. Jim MurdaughTallahassee, FLRural7,63811,327PWI1966
Zane State CollegeDr. Paul R. BrownZanesville, OHRural1,0422,967PWI1969


The Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges national study was first commissioned by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2014. The national survey is administered by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at The Ohio State University, which is directed by professor Terrell Stayhorn.

The purpose of this commissioned study was to examine the extent to which diversity and inclusion permeates aspects (e.g., administrative structures, commitments, work environments, staffing practices) of the nation’s community and technical colleges generally and participating NISOC-member institutions specifically.


The Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) is an interdisciplinary research and policy center that promotes the important role postsecondary education plays in global society, especially the vital roles and responsibilities of public higher education. CHEE is committed to improving student success by doing distinctive research, policy analysis and outreach that will help make higher education more accessible, affordable, engaged and all-around excellent.

CHEE’s mission is to become the country’s preeminent higher education research and policy center, solving issues of national significance. In terms of vision, CHEE exists to advance the higher education enterprise through the creation and dissemination of distinctive research that informs policy, strengthens communities and enables student success. For more, go to http://chee.osu.edu.


Educational Excellence: to ensure student access and success.
Research and Innovation: to make high-quality, distinctive contributions
Outreach and Engagement:to cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships.


Initial planning and development of this national study of community colleges began in summer 2014. The survey was adapted from the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs survey. Given the project’s focus on workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment, six initial categories guided the study, including family friendliness, salary/benefits, and professional development opportunities, to name a few.

The final web survey was mounted to a secure server managed by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise via Qualtrics, an online survey software. Using a list provided by NISOD, CHEE staff sent electronic invitations to institutional representatives at hundreds of campuses; electronic invitations included a hyperlink to the website on which the survey was placed.

Participants responded to the survey online, typically requiring 60 minutes to complete the instrument once data were assembled. No incentives were offered to encourage participation and respondents understood that their institutional identity might be released in a special edition of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. The survey launched in late fall 2014 with release of the initial invitations to all NISOD-member institutions; follow-up reminders were sent at two-week intervals, and CHEE staff placed calls to campus presidents/chancellors and NISOD liaisons to call attention to the invitation and encourage their response. Account for bounce-backs and undeliverables, the estimated response rate is 20 percent.


Dr. Terrell Lamont Strayhorn (principal investigator) is a professor of higher education at The Ohio State University, where he is also serves as director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE). Author of eight books, more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, more than 150 papers at international and national conferences and over 200 keynotes, Strayhorn was named one of the top scholars in his field by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2011.

Dr. Derrick L. Tillman-Kelly (project coordinator) is special assistant to the director in CHEE and a recent graduate of the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) graduate program at The Ohio State Univeristy. Author of several journal articles and book chapters, his research interests center on administratice issues, social identities and intersectionality, and presidential derailment.

In addition to the principal investigator and project coordinator, the project benefited from the contributions of other CHEE staff who helped contact administrators, craft institutional profiles and elicit quotations. These include (in alphabetical order): Trevion Henderson, Dr. Royel Johnson, Dr. Joey Kitchen, Tiger Litam, Katy Nash, Amber Samimi, Sondra Shook and Christopher Travers.

Most Promising Place to Work in Community College Profiles

Albany Technical College

Albany Technical College

On paper, Albany Technical College (Albany Tech) only dates back to 2000; however, the actual history of the college goes back to 1961 with the establishment of the Monroe Area Vocational-Technical School. In 1972, Albany Technical Institute was created when the Monroe and Albany Area Vocational-Technical Schools were merged. Today, Albany Tech has adult learning centers in all seven of its service delivery counties.

As a public, postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia, Albany Tech provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce development needs of southwest Georgia.

Guided by the belief that education benefi ts individuals, businesses and the community, Albany Tech is led by Dr. Anthony O. Parker, who became president in 1995. To meet its educational and community mission, Albany Tech employs 92 full-time and 132 part-time faculty members as well as 166 staff members to educate more than 5,600 students in more than 50 areas of study.

-Dr. Anthony O. Parker

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

Big Sandy Community and Technical College

A member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) was founded in 2003 with the consolidation of Prestonsburg Community College and Mayo Technical College. Today, BSCTC is a public, comprehensive educational institution that provides paths to more than 25 associate degrees as well as certificates and diplomas on four campuses in Prestonsburg, Pikeville, Paintsville and Hager Hill.

Guided by the institution of “Empowerment through Learning,” BSCTC is led by Dr. Charles Chrestman, who became the institution’s interim president in January 2015. A seasoned community college president, Chrestman leads BSCTC’s 164 faculty members and 180 staff members in providing quality learning experiences for more than 3,000 students through the use of diverse methods of instructional delivery and associated services. The college seeks to provide an environment that encourages learning; individualism; diversity, cultural and global awareness; civic engagement; professional and intellectual growth; effective communication; and analytical, critical and ethical thinking.

-Dr. Charles V. Chrestman
Interim President

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) was created from the 1963 merger of Mecklenburg College and the Central Industrial Education Center. Since its beginning, CPCC has grown from 23 degree and diploma programs to more than 100 degree, diploma and certifi cate programs today. Charged with meeting the educational needs of Mecklenburg County, CPCC now operates six full-service campuses across the region.

CPCC is led by Dr. Tony Zeiss, who became the institution’s third president in 1992. Guided by seven institutional values (learning, inclusiveness, responsiveness, excellence, integrity, accessibility and innovation), Zeiss leads 375 full-time and 1,200 part-time faculty members and 747 staff members in the creation of positive, nurturing and learning-focused experiences for CPCC’s 52,000 students.

CPCC seeks to be innovative. To this end, it became a member of the League for Innovation in Community Colleges in 1969 and has been identified as one of the top five of the nation’s two-year colleges in teaching excellence. The college is the county’s premier workforce development resource, offering its educational services throughout the area.

-Dr. Tony Zeiss

Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College

Chartered in 1966, Genesee Community College (GCC) welcomed its first class of 378 full-time and 243 part-time students in September 1967. Today, GCC has more than 58 different associate degrees and certificate programs, and continues to develop and implement new academic programs aimed at future careers. To meet an expanding educational need, GCC has a main campus in Batavia and six additional campus centers in the surrounding communities including: Albion and Medina in Orleans County, Dansville and Lima in Livingston County, and Arcade and Warsaw in Wyoming County, in addition to an online campus.

Striving to be the “center of educational excellence and innovation,” GCC is led by Dr. James M. Sunser, who became the college’s fourth president in 2011. In its effort to empower individuals, organizations, and communities to meet the demands of a changing world, Sunser and GCC have six strategic priorities: student readiness and access, student success and completion, faculty and staff success, economic development and impact, college culture, and sustainability.

To meet its mission and educational needs of its nearly 7,000 students, GCC employs 90 full-time and 258 part-time faculty and 301 staff members. Sunser is particularly proud of the rich student diversity of GCC. He shares, “We are delighted by our vibrant, multicultural student community. While Genesee is a rural college, students come from urban, suburban and rural communities across New York State and from more than 25 nations across our globe. This diverse student body enriches us all.” With the strategic goal of faculty and staff success, GCC has adopted policies and procedures to “provide an atmosphere that promotes and supports continuous personal and professional improvement” and “develop programs and processes to promote college-wide collaboration.”

-Dr. James M. Sunser

Illinois Central College

Illinois Central College

Founded in 1967, Illinois Central College (ICC) was started to serve a 10-county district in Central Illinois. As its purpose is “to enable students to reach their educational potential, and to serve as a resource for the educational and cultural needs of the community,” ICC covers 2,322 square miles and serves 38 high schools.

“Through learning, minds change. We believe by changing minds, we can change the world” is the mission statement of ICC. Led by Dr. John S. Erwin, who became the institution’s fourth president in 2001, ICC strives to change the world by following five core values: learning, community, integrity, responsibility and excellence. Specifically, the 182 full-time and 392 part-time faculty members and 591 staff members work with nearly 11,000 students to ensure that ICC is a community that provides opportunity for all members to increase their knowledge and skills, build relationships and trust, take accountability for their actions, and achieve more.

To support its faculty and staff in the work of changing minds, ICC provides a host of employee benefits that ensure that faculty and staff members are having their personal and professional needs met, including personal wellness outlets in addition to a number of family-friendly services.

-Dr. John S. Erwin

Kilgore Collge

Kilgore Collge

Founded in 1935, Kilgore College began as an initiative spearheaded by the superintendent of the local school district. When the college opened, there were 11 faculty members and 229 students. Since its inception, Kilgore has sought to meet the needs of the people of East Texas. Today, Kilgore is a publicly supported, two-year comprehensive community college offering a host of postsecondary educational opportunities.

With a motto of “Emphasis Excellence,” Kilgore is led by Dr. Bill Holda, who has served as president since 1996. Under his leadership, Kilgore continues to promote high quality in all of its operations: teaching and learning which lead to certificates and associate degrees, administrative and educational support services, and public service. To meet the needs of its 20-member school district serve area in northeast Texas, Kilgore employs 254 full- and part-time faculty members and 230 staff members, who serve just more than 5,800 students.

-Dr. Bill Holda

Lorain County Community College

Lorain County Community College

In 1963, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) was granted a charter to serve the higher education needs for Lorain County, Ohio. With a $1.25-million levy provided by the citizens of Lorain County, LCCC held its first classes in 1964. An innovative leader in education, economic, community and cultural development, LCCC serves as a regional catalyst for change through accessible and affordable academic and career-oriented education, lifelong learning, and community partnerships.

Praised by President Barack Obama for its focus on job-training initiatives, LCCC is led by Dr. Roy Church. Under his leadership, LCCC has recommitted to the success of its students. LCCC established its “Our Promise” initiative to “ensure that students can reduce the time and cost required to complete a degree while guaranteeing their quality to the employers in our county.”

Guided by the motto “Real education for a real future,” LCCC’s 127 full-time and 625 part-time staff educate more than 11,600 students annually across a host of associate degree as well as one-year and short-term technical certificate programs in nine areas of interest, including business, computer and information technology, engineering, and social science and human services, to name a few

To provide avenues through which faculty and staff can further support the college’s mission and vision, LCCC has adopted a performance-planning process that seeks to: challenge and empower faculty and staff to accomplish LCCC’s mission and vision, recognize and celebrate talent and performance, and utilize the talent of individuals to strengthen LCCC’s professional development and administrative leadership team, among others. It is this approach to faculty and staff engagement that highlights LCCC as a model in staff human resources issues and support.

-Dr. Roy A. Church

Luzerne County Community College

Luzerne County Community College

Founded in 1967, Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) is a public, two-year comprehensive college for residents of Luzerne County and surrounding areas throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. To fully engage those in the surrounding areas, LCCC has 11 satellite campuses in addition to its main campus in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. Today, LCCC offers more than 1,000 academic, technical and career-training programs. The broad diversity of programs enables students “to pursue an education consistent with their interests and capabilities and education and employment demands.”

The largest college in northeastern Pennsylvania, LCCC is led by Thomas P. Leary, who became the institution’s president in 2008. LCCC strives to “provide excellence in education, foster student success in achievement of goals, and positively impact Luzerne County and the surrounding northeastern Pennsylvania region.”

To that end, LCCC employs 125 full-time and 350 part-time faculty members who work with 250 staff members to meet the educational needs of the residents and business and industry in the Wyoming Valley, including more than 6,300 current credit-earning students.

Beyond its 100 academic programs in education, nursing, criminal justice, business management technology and computer information systems, LCCC offers hundreds of creditfree programs, making it the largest supplier of credit-free education in the area.

-Thomas P. Leary

Mountain View College

Mountain View College

Founded in 1970 to serve the residents of southwest Dallas County, Mountain View College (MVC) is an open-access public community college. The second of seven separately accredited colleges of the Dallas County Community College District, MVC’s service area is comprised of urban, suburban and industrial communities that include the southwest quadrant of the city of Dallas as well as the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville and Grand Prairie.

Guided by a mission of empowering people and transforming communities, MVC is led by Dr. Robert Garza, who began his tenure as the institution’s president on April 15, 2015. MVC is committed to building a diverse and inclusive learning community that promotes students’ success, good stewardship, employee achievement and positive global impact. To that end, 310 faculty members and 435 staff members work collaboratively to ensure such an environment for MVC’s more than 8,800 students.

-Dr. Robert Garza

New Mexico Junior College

New Mexico Junior College

With its first class enrolling in fall 1966, New Mexico Junior College (NMJC) is a comprehensive community college that promotes success through learning. Charged with educating residents of Lea County in the southeastern corner of New Mexico, NMJC provides positive lifelong learning opportunities in its credit and non-credit courses.

Seeking to accomplish its mission by building a culture that values and promotes excellence, effectiveness, responsiveness, access and community involvement, NMJC is led by Dr. Steve McCleery, who became the institution’s president in 1998. Under McCleery’s leadership, NMJC’s 135 faculty members and 90 staff members strive to provide a comprehensive and supportive learning environment for more than 6,000 students.

-Dr. Steve McCleery

Piedmont Technical College

Piedmont Technical College

Founded in 1966 as the eighth Technical Education Center in South Carolina, Piedmont Technical College (PTC) was established to serve Abbeville, Edgefi eld, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties. A member of the South Carolina Technical College and Comprehensive Education System, PTC “transforms lives and strengthens communities by providing opportunities for intellectual and economic growth.”

Now with locations in each of the seven counties it serves, PTC is led by Dr. L. Ray Brooks, who became the institution’s second president in March 2008. Under the leadership of Brooks, PTC seeks “to become a premier community college with a shared commitment to create vibrant learning communities through relentless pursuit of student success and economic prosperity for all stakeholders.”

With the ability to choose from 80 academic programs, PTC’s 346 full- and part-time faculty and 236 staff members offer more than 5,700 students a robust academic experience, intentionally designed to prepare students for success.

-Dr. Steve McCleery

Seward County Community College/Area Technical School

Seward County Community College/Area Technical School

Established in December 1967, Seward County Community College (SCCC) held its fi rst classes in September 1969. Its name was broadened in 2008 following its merger with the Southwest Kansas Area Technical School to Seward County Community College/Area Technical School (SCCC/ATS).

Seeking to provide “access to a variety of higher education program and related services for the improvement and enhancement of each person’s life,” SCCC/ATS is led by Dr. Duane M. Dunn, who has been the institution’s president since 2004. Guided by institutional values of excellence, teamwork, operational integrity, a caring atmosphere, performance accountability and dedication to its mission, SCCC/ATS’s more than 1,850 students are engaged in a quality-learning-centered institution by 165 faculty members and 450 staff members.

In alignment with the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges study, SCCC/ATS’s strategic vision is to address its mission “through a commitment to employee development and effective methods of creating awareness, addressing diversity, advancing technology, assessing student learning, and advocating workforce development.” With regards to employee development, SCCC/ATS seeks to “ensure employee participation in professional development” and “create a culture of empowered employees.”

-Dr. Duane M. Dunn

South Florida State College

South Florida State College

Founded in 1965 as South Florida Junior College, the institution used an empty supermarket as its library and a former hotel as classrooms. South Florida State College (SFSC) now has three campuses and several off-site centers. Although originally founded to serve a two-county region, SFSC now serves the educational needs of three rural, agricultural-based counties in Central Florida: DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties.

Seeking to become “a globally aware academic destination driving regional transformation through innovative collaboration,” SFSC is led by Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, who became the institution’s fourth president in July 2013. Leitzel and his team are guided by seven institutional core values: integrity, service, community, learning, excellence, accountability and responsibility.

Through collaboration of 145 faculty members and 320 staff members, SFSC educates just fewer than 2,800 students annually. Upon learning of SFSC inclusion in the inaugural class of Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges, Leitzel shares, “This recognition confirms a commitment made by our trustees and college leaders to support an inclusive posture in all hiring decisions.”

Since 1992, SFSC has formed innovative partnerships to ensure those served had access to further postsecondary education. Considered to be one of the most comprehensive colleges in Florida, SFSC off ers three bachelor’s degrees, two-year college transfer degrees, career and workforce training, adult basic education, and non-credit personal enrichment programs. It provides cultural enrichment programming through the SFSC Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Florida Art and Culture.

-Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel

Southwest Virginia Community College

Southwest Virginia Community College

Founded in 1968, Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) is located in a geographically remote area of the Appalachian region and primarily serves the residents of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties. SWCC seeks to transform lives, strengthen communities, and inspire excellence as a comprehensive two-year institution that provides quality educational and cultural enrichment opportunities for lifelong learners, the workforce and the community.

A community of educators, who value student-centered learning, student success, excellence, and inclusiveness and collaboration, SWCC is led by Dr. Mark Estepp, who became the institution’s second permanent president in 2007. More than 2,000 students are served by 42 full-time faculty members, 180 parttime faculty members and just less than 200 staff members. SWCC is actively working towards making sure the diversity amongst its faculty and staff reflects that of its student population.

To this end, Estepp shares, “Southwest Virginia Community College is located in a very remote region of southwest Virginia. The college reaches out to our minority communities through scholarships, programming, and events that encourage and welcome all to our campus. We work towards ensuring that our administration, faculty, and staff reflect the diversity of our student population.”

-Dr. J. Mark Estepp

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee Community College

Located just miles from the state capitol, Tallahassee Community College (TCC) was founded in 1966. In addition to its main campus in Tallahassee, TCC has service centers in Gadsen and Wakulla counties as well as in downtown Tallahassee. TCC is led by Dr. Jim Murdaugh, who became the institution’s sixth president in October 2010. He works in partnership with TCC’s 581 faculty members and 887 staff members to serve nearly 19,000 students.

Upon learning of TCC’s selection into the inaugural class of Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges, Murdaugh shares, “TCC is a promising place to work because all of us share a passion for providing hope and life changing opportunities to the incredible diversity of students from around the world who choose to come here.”

As chief executive offi cer of TCC, Murdaugh is guided by nine strategic priorities, at least three of which speak to their selection as a promising place to work: student access, student success and talent. With a strategic emphasis on student access, TCC seeks to provide access that allows students the opportunity to “defi ne and reach their educational and career goals.”

One such initiative in response to this goal is the Black Male Achievers program that focuses on the “importance of the successful completion of their post-secondary education through the practices of academic, social and occupational excellence.”

Further, as a guiding frame for talent, TCC seeks to “hire, develop and retain the best talent for the present and future needs and diversity of the college.” President Murdaugh is proud that one-third of the faculty members identify as ethnic minorities, quickly approaching the college’s student demographics.

-Dr. Jim Murdaugh

Zane State College

Zane State College

Since its founding in 1969 as the Muskingum Area Technical Institute, the college known as Zane State College has changed names and physical locations. Today, Zane State’s main campus is in Zanesville, Ohio, at a location shared with Ohio University Zanesville. In addition, Zane State has a campus in Cambridge, Ohio. With primary responsibility for serving the Muskingum, Guernsey and Noble counties in Ohio, Zane State offers 25 technology programs and is guided by the motto: “Start here. Go Anywhere!”

Zane State is led by Dr. Paul R. Brown, who became the institution’s fi fth president in January 2004. Zane State seeks to build a vibrant community that empowers people, enriches lives and advances the region through education, collaboration and opportunities. This mission is achieved through the collaboration of 214 faculty members and 89 staff members, who serve more than 4,000 students. Brown suggests that “Zane State is a modern college that delivers an experienced-based education provided with a personal touch.”

-Dr. Paul R. Brown


Institution# Full Time Staff# Part Time Staff50%+ Female25%+ Ethnic Minority5%+ LGBT5% Living with Disability5%+ VeteranAverage Salary Entry-LevelAverage Salary Mid-LevelAverage Salary Senior
Albany Technical College10759YESYESN/RN/RNO$45,000$73,000$105,000
Big Sandy Community & Technical College15030N/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/R
Central Piedmont CC747N/RYESYESN/RN/RYES$30,000$58,000$75,000
Genesee CC20596YESNON/RN/RNO$37,895$42,130$84,218
Illinois Central College343248YESNON/RN/RN/R$29,093$54,254$94,368
Kilgore College17456YESNON/RNON/R$33,798$64,563$93,755
Lorain County CC274390YESNON/RN/RN/R$40,677$56,686$102,471
Luzerne County CC20050YESNON/RNON/R$40,000$50,000$80,000
Mountain View College300135YESYESN/RN/RYES$35,000$50,000$75,000
New Mexico Junior College8010NOYESNONOYESN/RN/RN/R
Piedmont Technical College15383N/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/R
Seward County CC195255N/RNON/RN/RN/R$41,918$56,598$101,075
South Florida State College205115YESYESN/RN/RN/R$36,511$58,623$97,581
Southwest Virginia CC81112YESNON/RN/RYES$76,515$85,425$94,336
Tallahassee CC522365YESYESN/RN/RN/R$38,000$77,000$118,000
Zane State College7712YESNONON/RNO$32,939$50,482$92,431


InstitutionChild Care ServicesElder Care ServicesCargiving Leave for AllEducation LeaveContinuing EdFlexible Work SchedulesMentoringStress Reduction Program
Big Sandy Community & Technical CollegeYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES