Community College Advocate

Community College Advocate

As a community college graduate, Dr. Edward J. Leach knows firsthand the critical role community colleges play in providing minority students opportunities for educational advancement. Since 1999, the New York native has served as an advocate for ensuring that the nation’s community colleges expose minorities to digital technology.  
Given that more than 40 percent of all Black undergraduates in American higher education are enrolled in community colleges, it falls on Leach to push his organization, arguably one of the most influential groups serving American community colleges, to focus on minority awareness of technology careers and digital divide issues. 
“My interest is that minority students learn about the full range of opportunities in high technology. Too often, minorities don’t see technology as a field they can pursue,” Leach says.
At the League for Innovation, which is based in Mission Viejo, Calif., Leach manages the group’s annual Conference on Information Technology (CIT). Averaging about 3,500 attendees, the League for Innovation’s CIT is one of the largest conferences devoted to information technology in higher education.
Leach also has had responsibility for managing community college participation in a four-year, $10 million U.S. Department of Education-funded  training program that instructs K-12 classroom teachers on using the Internet in the classroom. The program, which is entitled Alliance+, is expected to reach more than 9,000 teachers in the Cleveland, Miami and Phoenix metropolitan areas by the spring of 2003. Cuyahoga Community College, Miami-Dade Community College and Maricopa Community College are providing the teacher training.
— By Ronald Roach



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