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Center for Community College Leadership

East Tennessee State University

Center for Community College Leadership



The Center for Community College Leadership at East Tennessee State University brings a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the complex issues that face post-secondary education, particularly those in regard to community colleges.  In addition to conducting research projects focusing on the needs of community colleges and analyzing state and regional policies, the center offers professional development, continuing education and training programs that reflect the needs and priorities of community college leaders. This includes a graduate certificate in community college leadership, which accepted its first cohort of students in 2016 fall.  The 15-hour credit program prepares individuals for community college leadership positions by focusing on the knowledge, training and skills necessary for those roles. The program is designed to professionally equip both current and potential community college leaders with up-to-date skills needed to effectively and efficiently function in instructional or administrative community college leadership positions.

At ETSU Community College Leadership, we recognize the critical need for a redesigned training framework that incorporates systems of support, professional development, technology, and a new culture of evidence amidst serious contemporary challenges in the new era.

This new vision is grounded in the 3 Rs: “reinvent institutional roles, redesign students’ educational experiences, and reset the system.” The ETSU Center for Community College Leadership is provides leadership training and support to accomplish these goals.


The mission of the ETSU Center for Community College Leadership is to bring a multidisciplinary perspective to the complex issues that face post-secondary education, especially with regards to the community college and contemporary leadership. A compelling reason for establishing the center was to increase the number of well-prepared individuals for leadership at Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and other colleges across the nation.

Located in the Clemmer College, the center aims to be the preeminent source in Tennessee (as articulated by Tennessee Board of Regents – TBR) and the Southeast for community college leadership development, providing multi-fold purposes:

  • Provide community college leaders with knowledge, training, and practical experience in dealing with legal, financial, policy, and administrative issues that are important to the community college environment in the new era
  • Provide awareness related to recent trends and current initiatives within the community college landscape
  • Foster a broad span of accessible professional development, continuing education, and training programs that reflect needs and priorities articulated by community college leaders
  • Disseminate empirical research findings related to the community college experience, student success, access, affordability, accountability, unique organizational models, and leadership development that supports organizational development and succession planning practices within community colleges
  • A locus for state and regional policy analysis, research, and public dialogue that serves the needs of community college leadership, boards, and the general public.
  • Serve as a resource to institutions and individuals devoted to providing pre-baccalaureate educational programs; as well as an advocate for the formulation of local, state, regional and national policies related to community colleges
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