Two leaders at Zane State College have graduated as fellows of the newest class of the Ohio Leadership Academy for Student Success.
The academy, sponsored by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, is the first of its kind in the nation to gather mid-level faculty and staff for a year of training, exchanging ideas, and immersion in how to promote student success.
The OACC created the academy in 2019 to reverse mid-level management turnover by strengthening internal advancement pipelines within the state’s 23 community colleges. Michigan, New York, and Texas are among the states now replicating Ohio’s initiative.
The president of each of Ohio’s community colleges nominated two employees as fellows. The fellows then met in person six times throughout the year for two-day meetings and worked on group projects between sessions. The sessions, focused specifically on evidence-based strategies for student success, included Ohio’s higher education policy landscape and aspects of a presidential leadership curriculum provided by the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute, one of the program’s partners.
The academy was funded by several national organizations, ensuring that colleges had minimal expenses to participate.
Graduating as fellows from Zane State College are Assistant Professor Helen Rollins and Instructor Emily Stainbrook.
“I applaud Helen and Emily for their willingness to participate and successfully complete this challenging and worthwhile growth opportunity. Through this statewide collaboration, the ability to advance higher ed processes improves by tenfold. The work of this cohort ultimately benefits the students we serve as we all work together to create A Promising Future for Every One,” said Dr. Chad Brown, president of Zane State College.
“The leadership academy brings together people with different higher ed roles to allow a deeper understanding of how parts of each school mesh to create student success models,” said Laura Rittner, executive director of the OACC’s Success Center for Ohio Community Colleges. “The new fellows have learned how to implement transformational changes in their colleges that allow the best chances for students to both succeed and excel in their academic pursuits.”
Supporting and mentoring talented higher ed administrators is crucial at a time when workers with job-ready degrees are needed in in-demand fields such as healthcare and nursing, business, teaching, and information technology. This demand is also increasing as Ohio welcomes dynamic new companies in the electric vehicle battery, semiconductor, and cloud storage sectors.
The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions that work to advance community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development. For more information, please visit www.OhioCommunityColleges.Org.
Photo caption: OACC 2023 Leadership Academy for Student Success cohort with Emily Stainbrook (front row, seated in the first spot from left) and Helen Rollins (second row, standing in the sixth spot from left).