As vice president of the Texas Success Center, housed at the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), Cynthia Ferrell supports the implementation and scaling of student success strategies and policies for the 50 community college districts in Texas.
Prior to joining the Texas Success Center, Cynthia served as director of Student Success Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as national director of leadership coaching for Achieving the Dream, director of the Board of Trustees Institute, director of Gulf Coast Partners Achieving Student Success, and UT director of the Governance Institute for Student Success. In these roles, she provided training and ongoing support for community college trustees, chancellors, presidents, and leadership teams to implement data-informed policies and practices to improve the success of all students.
Formerly the director of the Texas Developmental Education State Policy Initiative, Cynthia supported strategies jointly developed by TACC and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to scale successful innovations statewide and establish policy supports to improve developmental student success.
She earned a Ph.D. in higher educational administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.
As director of the Texas Success Center, Kristi Short manages the implementation of the Texas Pathways strategic plan, coordinates statewide convenings, documents and reports the center’s work, and supports the center’s knowledge development and communications strategies.
Previously, Kristi served 12 years at Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina as a faculty member, program coordinator, grant manager, and unit director. From 2012 to 2017, Kristi led the implementation of guided pathways at GTCC, the lead institution for Completion by Design in North Carolina. Kristi also managed articulation agreements for the college and served on the board of directors of the statewide College Transfer Program Association. At GTCC, Kristi established the Center for Academic Engagement, which unified tutoring, supplemental instruction, and student success courses, and expanded non-academic supports including an on-campus food pantry, transportation assistance, and emergency loans.
Kristi earned baccalaureate and master’s degrees in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an education specialist degree in higher education and doctor of education degree in educational leadership from Appalachian State University.
As research associate, Kristina supports the knowledge development strategy of the Texas Success Center by conducting both quantitative and qualitative research and producing materials to share learnings with the field.
Kristina began her career as a high school math teacher before transitioning to the community college ten years ago. She is currently an associate professor at Austin Community College on leave to pursue her Ph.D. In addition to teaching at ACC, she served as assistant dean of academic courses, developmental math advisor, and campus math contact with the aim of improving the student experience in mathematics.
Kristina earned a baccalaureate degree in Mathematics from Georgetown University and a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from New York University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin.