Texas Launches the Leadership Academy for Student Success

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Texas Launches the Leadership Academy for Student Success

One of three states to receive funds to build leadership capacity at community colleges.


May 1, 2023 [Austin, TX] – Today, the Texas Success Center announced the first cohort of the Texas Leadership Academy for Student Success. This leadership development program is designed to provide mid-level community college faculty and staff with the critical skills and knowledge to improve student outcomes.

Nationally, community colleges often struggle to attract and retain the talented leaders they need to implement evidence-based reforms that help more students succeed. This project, which is made possible by generous funding from the Ascendium Education Group, the ECMC Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, aims to address this challenge by strengthening the pipeline of leaders within colleges.

Texas is joining New York and Michigan in this project and will lead two cohorts of mid-level practitioners through the year-long curriculum. The first cohort of the Texas Leadership Academy for Student Success is comprised of 40 faculty and staff from 22 community colleges.

"The Texas Leadership Academy is a crucial investment in the future of Texas as it prepares community college leaders with the tools and knowledge they need to enhance student success and support workforce development across the state," said Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, Executive Director of the Texas Success Center. "We appreciate the philanthropic support from our education partners at Ascendium, ECMC and the Kresge Foundation for developing a program that will pay dividends for generations to come.”


The National Center for Inquiry & Improvement is leading this project with colleagues at the Aspen College Excellence Program and the Success Center for Ohio’s Community Colleges. The curriculum for this project draws on Aspen’s Curriculum for Community College Excellence and includes the following content sessions:

  • The Essential Roles of Leadership in Student Success
  • Keeping Students’ End Goals in Mind
  • The Student Experience
  • Leadership Traits to Drive Change
  • Managing and Advancing Institutional Change
  • Effective External Partnerships & the Leadership Journey

The project partners will support the selected states as they replicate Ohio’s successful program over the next three years.

“Many community colleges are working to improve student success, but one of the most common disruptions to their reform efforts is the transition of critical staff members with no one ready to replace them,” said Chris Baldwin, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement. “The Leadership Academy for Student Success is designed to help colleges build a bench of mid-level employees who are adequately prepared to step into vacated leadership roles.”

About Texas Success Center

The Texas Success Center supports Texas community colleges in their efforts to improve student success and direct Texas Pathways —a statewide strategy focused on building capacity for community colleges to design and implement structured academic and career pathways at scale, for all students. For more information, visit https://www.tacc.org/tsc


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