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Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges Profiles

Mary HensleyMary HensleyBlinn College

Part of the Blinn College District, Blinn College is a public two-year institution in Brenham, Texas. More than a century old, Blinn boasts the highest transfer rate (49%) to four-year institutions in Texas. Blinn students go on to attend schools such as Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, and the University of Houston. “This honor symbolizes Blinn’s continued commitment to its core values, including collaboration, diversity, excellence, and respect,” says Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley. “We are honored to accept this recognition and to continue to provide faculty, staff, and students a welcoming environment where they can grow and achieve.”

Broward College

In Southeast Florida and part of the Florida College System, Broward College is a public institution established in 1959. Under its current name since 2008, the college has three campuses and additional partnerships around Broward County. It serves approximately 63,000 students annually with nearly 5,000 part-time and full-time faculty and staff. “Broward College and the work we do is a vital pathway for advancing people from all backgrounds,” says President Gregory Adam Haile. “Our commitment is to continue to attract the best and brightest professionals eager to improve the lives of our residents through post-secondary education.”

Central Carolina Technical College

Established in 1962, Central Carolina Technical College is part of the South Carolina Technical College System. The college offers associate degrees, diploma programs, and certificates for workforce development and preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions. “At Central Carolina, we work hard to emphasize and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything we do for our students, faculty, staff, and communities,” says Misty Hatfield, vice president of institutional advancement. “It is an honor to receive this national recognition as it showcases our focus on workplace diversity.”

Chemeketa Community College

In Salem, Ore., Chemeketa Community College is a public institution with a main campus and three education centers. Here, the commitment to racial equity is a fundamental principle. Chemeketa’s Center for Business and Industry houses a Small Business Development Center, which offers classes and programs for local companies. “We are humbled and honored to be recognized,” says President Dr. Jessica Howard. “Chemeketa strives to create a workplace culture that is focused on student success and that reflects the college’s strongly held values of equity and diversity.”

Community College of Allegheny County

This is a repeat honor for Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), a public community college in Pennsylvania with four campuses serving more than 40,000 students. It offers associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. “CCAC employees have one common goal, to support the success of students with compassion and enthusiasm,” says Kimberly A. Manigault, vice president for human resources. “Employees take pride in creating a diverse, caring and innovative learning environment for students. Additionally, we promote a spirit of civility and collaboration amongst employees at the college, which makes work both meaningful and enjoyable.”

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Again recognized, Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is part of the Florida College System, serving approximately 52,000 students and offering several bachelor’s degree programs. It boasts a 95% success rate of either job placement or transfer to a four-year institution. “At FSCJ, we are working hard to emphasize and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in everything we do for our students, faculty, staff and this community,” says President Dr. John Avendano. “We know that a diverse team that takes pride in their work and feels valued, respected and supported in their role, while also being representative of the students we serve, is critical to our student and institutional success.”

GateWay Community College

GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Ariz., established in 1968, is part of Maricopa Community Colleges. GateWay’s motto is “Real Students. Real Success.” “This recognition is evidence of our employees’ hard work and dedication to creating a culture of well-being and belonging on our campus that impacts both our students and each other,” says Interim President Dr. Amy Diaz. “GateWay has embraced the lessons learned from working through the pandemic, creating flexible work and learning schedules to accommodate our employees’ interests and students’ needs.”Gregory HaileGregory Haile

Gateway Technical College (Wis.)

Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wis., has the motto, “Your Future. Our Priority.” As part of the Wisconsin Technical College System serving over 20,000 students, Gateway offers associate degrees in 47 fields and 179 diplomas and certifications. “Gateway strengthens its mission through core values of respect and dignity for faculty, professional staff, administration and students,” says President Dr. Bryan D. Albrecht. “Our commitment to enhancing workplace culture is the driving force that strengthens our collective vision for the continued success of all whom we serve.”

Harrisburg Area Community College

This is the fourth such recognition for Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), founded in 1964. Boasting one of the oldest community colleges in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg serves approximately 17,000 degree-seeking students and more than 8,300 remedial and workforce development students. “HACC embraces this recognition as confirmation of our ongoing commitment to create an atmosphere of diversity, inclusion, and belonging that affirms, celebrates and supports all members of our HACC community,” says Dr. John J. Sygielski, president and CEO.

Hudson County Community College

In Jersey City, N.J., Hudson County Community College opened its doors in 1974. The public college offers both associate degrees and certificate programs that range from addictions counseling to baking and pastry. “All members of our community share a commitment to two overarching priorities: diversity, equity, and inclusion and student success,” says President Dr. Christopher M. Reber. “A college is defined by its people. Our students have coined the phrase, ‘Hudson Is Home’ because they feel a sense of family, engagement, caring and respect in their experiences with HCCC’s diverse and student-centered faculty and staff.”

Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., is known as the nation’s first public community college. It offers associate degree programs and certificates and helps students explore various career pathways. The college is seeking a new president to replace President Dr. Judy Mitchell, who will retire on Aug. 31. In a video titled “Why Is JJC a Great Place to Work?” the workplace is described as creative. “You feel like you belong, you have value, and you know exactly how you fit in and what you can do for the college,” says Helen Nakos, manager of the bookstore and auxiliary support service in the business and auxiliary services department.

Pierpont Community & Technical College

Pierpont Community & Technical College (PCTC) is a public institution serving 13 counties in North Central West Virginia. Pierpont offers more than 40 associate degree programs, skill sets, and certificates. The emphasis is workforce development and other career enhancement courses. It also offers customized workplace trainings for local businesses. “When you walk on Pierpont Community & Technical College’s campus, one of the first things you notice is the students, faculty, and staff’s infectious spirit,” Interim President Dr. Anthony Hancock stated in his welcome message on the Pierpont website. “A spirit that stimulates a student-centric teaching and learning environment — a transformative learning experience that delivers on the premise that knowledge is a powerful remedy during uncertain times.”

Falecia WilliamsFalecia WilliamsPrince George’s Community College

In Largo, Md., and serving people from both Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C., Prince George’s Community College’s leaders describe it as a place where anyone can achieve their professional, educational, and personal goals. “Our community continues to use the momentum ushered in by the pandemic to inform our work beyond the crisis in a powerful, collaborative way,” says President Dr. Falecia D. Williams. “Employees are ready for change, and the college is, too. We realize that embracing the evolving dynamic of the employer-employee partnership is a win-win — for our faculty and staff and also for our students who are at the heart of all that we do.”

Lorain County Community College

Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in Elyria, Ohio, part of the University System of Ohio, offers associate degrees and certificates as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees through partnerships with universities. “LCCC is a special place because of the dedicated, passionate and talented faculty and staff who serve our students and community every day,” says President Dr. Marcia J. Ballinger. “Through a culture of care for those we serve and for each other, LCCC changes the lives of students and helps our community thrive.”

Malcolm X College

This is a repeat honor for Malcolm X College, which is part of City Colleges of Chicago. Careers in healthcare are at the forefront as the college works with healthcare and industry partners to provide students with career-oriented education. “We are proud of the faculty and staff who successfully endeavor to make Malcolm X College an inviting place to work and to learn,” says President Dr. David A. Sanders. “Every day we aspire to make Malcolm X warm and inviting; a place conducive not only to learning but to growth, development and fulfillment. This recognition will help us continue to strive for excellence as we challenge ourselves, our students and our impact every day.”

McLennan Community College

McLennan Community College, which serves more than 9,000 students, is one of two community colleges in Waco, Texas. The mission is to provide a path for students whether their goal is to earn an associate degree, transfer to a four-year institution or get a certificate to jump-start their career. “At McLennan Community College, diversity, equity and inclusion are not just words,” says President Dr. Johnette McKown. “Our values encourage our employees and students to ensure our thoughts and actions reflect our desire that everyone feels a sense of belonging. Our commitment is to create an environment where our entire campus community reflects our beliefs of celebrating diversity, embracing equity and incorporating inclusion into our fabric.”

Northeast Lakeview College

Founded in 2007, Northeast Lakeview College is again recognized for its vibrant workplace. The  public community college is part of the Alamo Colleges District in Texas. It offers associate degree programs and continuing education and promotes engagement in civic activities and organizations while encouraging participation in cultural and enrichment programs. “Northeast Lakeview College prides itself in creating an inviting and inclusive environment,” says President Dr. Veronica Garcia. “A great team makes a difference. Our dedicated administration, faculty and staff embrace our college value of collaboration as we strive to meet the needs of the diverse community that we serve.”

Northwest Vista College

Northwest Vista College, part of the Alamo Colleges District in Texas, is a repeat honoree. Established in 1995, enrollment tops 17,000 with students pursuing associate degrees and technical certifications. “Over the past two years, Northwest Vista College and faculty and staff have strived to rise above the challenges of the pandemic and its many impacts,” says President Dr. Ric Baser. “The NVC community has engaged in strategic initiatives that address enrollment, retention, diversity, equity, and social justice issues to create opportunities for performance excellence.” 

Renton Technical College

Established in 1941, Renton Technical College (RTC) in Washington State offers associate degrees and certificates in numerous fields as well as bachelor’s degrees in information technology. In recent years, there have been specific efforts to diversify college leadership, faculty and staff to better reflect the college’s diverse student body. It provides ongoing training, workshops, and support to employees. “Equity and inclusion are foundational to the community and culture of RTC,” says President Dr. Kevin McCarthy, who retires in late June. Incoming President Dr. Yoshiko Harden will be the first woman and first person of color to hold this position.

San Antonio College

Part of the Alamo Colleges District, San Antonio College encourages students to “Find Your Passion.” Described as having a university-like feel, it serves about 20,000 students each semester. It received the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. “We are honored that our efforts to make San Antonio College an ideal place to work have been recognized,” says President Dr. Robert Vela. “We are committed to diversity and excellence in faculty and staff, which is key to making our students successful in their academic careers.”

Dr. Rowena TomanengDr. Rowena TomanengSan Jose City College

Founded in 1921, San Jose City College (SJCC) is a public community college in San Jose, Calif. The college offers associate degree programs and certificates; innovative workforce development, which includes several strategic partnerships; online distance learning; and clear pathways to transfer to a four-year institution. “This is recognition of SJCC’s deep commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” says President Dr. Rowena M. Tomaneng. “We are a dual designed minority serving institution (Hispanic serving and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander serving) striving to create inclusive learning and working environments for our students and employees.”

South Arkansas Community College

A public community college in El Dorado, Ark., South Arkansas Community College provides educational programs, workforce development, civic and cultural enrichment and support services to students and residents. Dr. Bentley E. Wallace became president of the college in February 2020, and in 2021, he launched the President’s Task Force for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We are continuing with target professional development at all levels in the organization,” says Wallace. “To serve our students and our community best, we must fully understand our role and influence on all people, particularly historically underserved populations.”

St. Philip’s College

Part of the Alamo Colleges District, St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, is a historically Black public community college, the westernmost historically Black institution in the U.S. Its mission is to empower its diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. “Collectively, we come to work with an attitude of being a ‘difference maker’ in the lives of our students,” says President Dr. Adena Williams Loston. “These past 18 months gave us an opportunity to demonstrate how much we valued our workforce and their resiliency. This demonstration of caring for our employees caused us to launch our ‘We Care’ campaign. I believe this has contributed greatly to garnering us this recognition.”

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) was established in 1966. It is part of the Florida College System and serves over 20,000 students. Tallahassee offers pathway programs to several four-year institutions in the area, including Florida State University and Florida A&M University. “It has been my vision since I became president to ensure TCC is an employer of choice,” says Dr. Jim Murdaugh. “We have the best people on our team, who work hard each and every day for our students, so we want to be the best organization we can for them.”

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