Community Colleges Division

Supporting the Profession Community Colleges Division

The NASPA Community Colleges Division (CCD) is a vibrant and engaging home for community college professionals. The CCD examines issues relevant to community college institutions and professionals and hosts a variety of professional development opportunities. The Division provides thought leadership to NASPA through advocacy for community colleges.

We at NASPA want to make sure that you are getting the information you need from the NASPA Community College Division. Add the Community College Divsion to your NASPA Profile! This ensures you receive emails, updates and publications from the divsion. 

Director's Welcome

Hello, Colleagues—

Welcome to your professional home as a community college professional.  I am Richard Monroe, the Student Engagement Manager for Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri.  I am extremely honored to serve you as the NASPA Community Colleges Division Director. The NASPA Community Colleges Division (CCD) is your home for professional development opportunities and resources that support our Community College professionals locally and beyond.  Whether you are a new, mid-level, or seasoned higher education professional, no matter your professional walk, we are dedicated to assisting you in navigating the community college atmosphere.  We strive to use our platform to serve and empower you as community college professionals.

Our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion is embedded into our foundation and expressed through our voices.  We are enthusiastic about sharing this voice through professional development and engagement opportunities as part of your growth and development as Community College Professionals through various webinars, educational opportunities, and our yearly Community College Institute.  The CCD board is made up of individuals who are committed to serve you from new professionals to senior student affairs officers, as well as regional representatives, members of our Latinx/a/o Task Force, and representatives from our Latinx/a/o Task Force. As a board, we intend to keep researching, educating, and equipping you with the knowledge you need to be ready to assist other professionals as we navigate the effects that societal trends and challenges have on us personally and professionally and draw attention to those topics in the community.

In appreciation, 

Richard Monroe, CCD Director


Over the course of NASPA's 100-year existence, the Association has worked to incorporate all branches of higher education. A NASPA Community and Two-Year Colleges Network was established in 1989. The Network evolved into the Knowledge Community for Community and Two-Year Colleges in 2001. In order to explore the future of the Community and Two-Year Colleges constituency within NASPA, Dr. Gwen Dungy, then the organization's executive director, gathered representatives from that Knowledge Community as well as others in Austin, Texas, in January 2006. Dr. Maggie de la Teja, former National Chair of the Community and Two-Year Colleges Network and former At-Large Representative of the Knowledge Community, was chosen to be the National Chair of the newly formed Community and Two-Year Colleges Advisory Board at that milestone organizational meeting.

The NASPA Board of Directors authorized the creation of the new Community and Two-Year Colleges Division in March 2007 during the national conference, and Dr. de la Teja was approved as its first chair thereafter. The NASPA Board of Directors approved a further name change to the Community Colleges Division after March 2008. Since then, NASPA and the CCD have partnered in promoting the collaboration of professional staff with higher education experts in a variety of fields to learn how to support students, faculty, and staff as well as in keeping the field of student affairs innovative and inclusive of the needs of all types of community.


The Community Colleges Division seeks to provide a space for community college professionals to connect with one another while providing scholarship, advocacy, and engagement. We provide a venue for discussion, research, and the distribution of information about community colleges. The goals for the Community Colleges Division are to:

  • Explore the impact of national issues in a community college context
  • Identify and support the role of community colleges in providing student services and programming with diminishing resources
  • Engage in and inform the profession about new research and practices regarding community college students and professionals
  • Empower colleagues as they explore pathways and possibilities offered by community colleges

The Division welcomes the participation of any individual who either works at or has an interest in community colleges, and it offers a platform for discussion, learning, and innovation. We aspire to make the Community Colleges Division a place for graduate students, faculty, and student affairs professionals to connect and share knowledge and experience.

We at NASPA want to make sure that you are getting the information you need from the NASPA Community Colleges Division. Find out how to get connected!

CCD Fall Webinar Series

Check out the recorded CCD Fall Webinar Series for four high-content, scholarly webinars highlighting the work and support of community college students, faculty, and staff. The Webinar Series allows you and your teams to engage in high-quality, convenient professional development focused specifically on community college hot topics. This series can be purchased as a package or individually with the option to attend on-demand. The package option must be purchased in one transaction; single webinar transactions will not be refunded to purchase the package. All webinars are 60 minutes in length and will have the opportunity for Q&A. On-demand access will be available for 365 days. See below for each webinar’s details. 

Purchase the webinars for your professional development or host a learning opportunity for your department or team. Purchased webinars will be embedded in your Dashboard on the NASPA Online Learning Community. Prices for the webinar options are as follows: 

Four Webinar Package

$149 (member; a $316 value)

$299 (non-member; a $716 value)

Single Webinar

$79 (member)

$179 (non-member)

Learn More About Each Webinar

Webinar 1: Revisiting “Charting the Future of Student Affairs”: A Panel Discussion

Revisiting “Charting the Future of Student Affairs”: A Panel Discussion

Includes a Live Web Event Recorded on 09/26/2023

In March 2022, the Compass Report entitled Charting the Future of Student Affairs was released with five strategic imperatives for student affairs leaders to consider. This panel discusses the imperatives and how they have impacted their practice as leaders at their institution. Panel incudes: Mayra Olivares-Ureta, PhD; Will Bowlin, PhD; Gillian McKight-Tutein EdD; Edward F. Martinez, EdD.

Webinar 2: Student Affairs’ Role in Guided Pathways: Reimagining Student Onboarding with the Ask Connect Inspire Plan (ACIP) Framework

Student Affairs’ Role in Guided Pathways: Reimagining Student Onboarding with the Ask Connect Inspire Plan (ACIP) Framework

IIncludes a Live Web Event Recorded on 10/27/2023

Are you seeking innovative ways to transform your student onboarding process and create an exceptional experience for your incoming students? Join us for an engaging and insightful workshop on harnessing the power of the ACIP Framework to reimagine student onboarding and set the stage for success for community college students. Featuring: Hana Lahr, PhD; Shelitha Williams, EdD.

Webinar 3: How to Use Current Data Systems and Predictive Analytics to Improve Student Success

How to Use Current Data Systems and Predictive Analytics to Improve Student Success

Includes a Live Web Event Recorded on 11/29/2023 at 2:00 PM (EST)

More data is not always the answer to improving student success. We will be exploring how existing data can be utilized to improve success, many times without the student asking for help. Featuring: President Mordecai Brownlee, EdD; William J. Dixon, EdD. 

Webinar 4: Preparing for Tough Conversations and How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

Preparing for Tough Conversations and How to Get the Best Out of Your Team

Includes a Live Web Event recorded on 12/06/2023

President Emeritus Timothy A. Alvarez, Ph.D., will offer strategies for having crucial conversations with staff. With over 34 years of experience in Student Affairs and Presidential leadership roles in community colleges, Dr. Alvarez will share insight on having crucial and sometimes challenging conversations in the workplace while demonstrating compassion and grace.



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Signature Initiatives

Community Colleges Institute

The Community Colleges Institute is a pre-conference workshop at the NASPA Annual Conference that allows staff and faculty to learn from and engage with one another on a variety of critical issues affecting student affairs professionals in the community college setting. The CCI provides community college professionals an opportunity to gather for 1.5 days for deep discussion on issues they can relate to.

The conference will be held March 9-10, 2024 in the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building (900 Pine Street, Seattle, WA, 98101) and the Hyatt Regency Seattle (808 Howell Street, Seattle, WA, 98101). Sleeping rooms will be available in surrounding hotels within walking distance of the Summit Building and the Hyatt. For more information on the NASPA Annual Conference, housing, and registration, please click here. 

2024 Themes & Learning Outcomes

Disrupt, Innovate, and Transform: Community Colleges and the Future of Higher Education

Higher education continues to undergo a historical transition resulting from many recent events in the world and our country. These changes impact the structures, traditions, practices, and people within all higher education institutions. Moreover, societal ills that were not always predominant issues confronted by college leaders are now widely recognized as complications to students' retention and overall success. Personal and institutional commitments to address these modern issues require personnel seeking solutions to help students thrive and graduate. To a considerable extent, community colleges have already been responsive to this work. To expand it on a larger scale, however, community colleges must embrace new methodologies, programs, and services. They also have a duty to explore progressive pedagogies, novel approaches to technological use, and collaborative initiatives that enhance accessibility and the student experience. 

With these issues in mind, the 2024 CCI will include and invite interactive, thought-provoking sessions that explore how community colleges can prosper amid the ever-changing educational landscape. CCI participants will have opportunities to engage in inclusive dialogue and develop ideas that will ensure that community colleges remain dynamic and effective contributors to higher education's evolution.  

2024 CCI Learning Outcomes

  1. Innovative practices/resources that aid digital access, online learning, or other technologically based outcomes
  2. Disruptive approaches that enhance student equity
  3. Transformative support services and institutional initiatives designed to improve student retention, completion rates, and/or personal growth and development  

Presenters with accepted proposals must register for the Community College Institute and pay registration fees. Presenters will be notified of their program status by November 2023.

Register for the 2024 Community Colleges Institute 

Community Colleges Online Series (NCC Online)

The Community Colleges Online Series (NCC Online) occurs quarterly each year. These free online learning opportunities are designed to provide timely and cutting-edge professional development for student affairs practitioners at community colleges in an accessible, engaging format. A subset of Community Colleges Division Board members identifies the topics for the year each summer and then works to select content experts and panelists for the webcast. Our most recent NCC Online was the Community Colleges Divison Annual General Business Meeting. Together we will reflected on our accomplishments in 2022 and forecasted upcoming plans for 2023 and beyond!

Latinx/a/o Task Force

The Latinx/a/o Task Force to advance Latino student affairs professionals at community colleges seeks to advance current and aspiring student affairs professionals of Latino descent who work or wish to work in community colleges. The mission of the NASPA Community Colleges Division Latinx/a/o Task Force is to execute its plan, with an association-wide impact, to advance Latinos in the profession of student affairs who aspire to or currently work in community colleges If you are interested in potential opportunities to participate on the LTF, visit their web page for contact information and volunteer opportunities. For more information about joining the Latinx/a/o Task Force, contact Tania Velazquez at [email protected]

Community Colleges Division Awards

2024 Community Colleges Division National Awards 

NASPA Community College Professional Award

This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to NASPA and/or the profession in relation to community colleges. 

Dr. Edna Jones Miller

Dr. Edna Jones Miller is a passionate higher education professional who has earned several awards recognizing her work for over 17 years. With a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate, she is a three-time graduate of the University of South Florida (USF). Professionally, Edna has served in several positions at Hillsborough Community College, USF, and Valencia College in staff, teaching, and administrative roles. Her transition from Tampa to Orlando was marked by her role as the inaugural Dean of Students for the Valencia College Downtown Campus – a shared campus with the University of Central Florida (UCF). As the lead Valencia Student Affairs administrator, she helped to lead the development and implementation of an innovative partnership with UCF to offer a unique student experience that is said to be the first of its kind in the nation.
Given her track record with leading innovation, Edna has been tapped for another inaugural venture as the Dean of Enrollment Management and Partnerships at Valencia College. She supports the College’s bold and ambitious strategic goals to ensure access and reduce barriers to higher education. She leads the College’s outreach and recruitment efforts, enrollment management, and transfer initiatives.

NASPA Research and Scholarship Community College Award

This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in relation to community college research or scholarship.

Dr. Erin Doran

Dr. Erin Doran is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at Iowa State University where she teaches master’s and doctoral courses on community college leadership, equity in higher education, the history of higher education, and qualitative research methods. Her research agenda encompasses three areas: Latina/e/o/x student success; community colleges; faculty professional development; and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Dr. Doran’s work has been published in various academic journals including The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Community College Review, and Race Ethnicity and Education

CCD Professional Spotlight

Dr. Claudia Mercado, Senior Director of College and University Partnerships, Partnership for College Completion

Dr. Claudia Mercado (named preferred) is a scholar practitioner who serves as the Senior Director of College and University Partnerships at the Partnership for College Completion, a non profit which advances solutions to address historic inequities in our higher education system. Dr. Mercado has also served as the Associate Provost for Student Affairs at Harper College, a community college in Palatine, IL, and was awarded the Community College Professional Award by NASPA in 2022. Dr. Mercado’s work is addressing student basic needs, increasing student completion, reducing equity gaps and increasing students' sense of belonging through intentional engagement. In 2019, Dr. Mercado was named an Aspen Presidential Fellow, developing leadership competencies to lead community colleges. Dr. Mercado teaches in Chicago at Northeastern Illinois Universities Goodwin College of Education, Higher Education Administration program and also for the University of Maryland Global Campus Doctorate in Community College Policy and Administration. Dr. Mercado has been involved in numerous national, state, and regional presentations, and is active with NASPA Knowledge Communities such as the Community College Division- Latino Task Force and the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community.  Dr. Mercado is a contributing author in various books and remains committed to research impacting community colleges and student equity. Dr. Mercado earned a MS and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas and a BA in English from Missouri State University.

Community Colleges Division Milestones

  • A NASPA Community and Two-Year College Network was established in 1989
  • In 2001, the NASPA Community and Two-Year College Network evolved into a Knowledge Community 
  • In 2006,  the Knowledge Community evolved into a Community and Two-Year Colleges Advisory Board 
  • The NASPA Board of Directors authorized the name change to Community and Two-Year Colleges Division in March 2007 
  • The CCD hosted a Community College Institute (annual conference pre-conference) for the first time, 2007
  • The NASPA Board of Directors approved a further name change to Community Colleges Division after March 2008
  • NCC On-Line was initiated which provided free call-in opportunities for community college professionals. Offered quarterly, these sixty-minute sessions include a presentation on a specific topic, materials, and time for questions and answers, 2011
  • Establishment of Regional Award and National Community College Professional Award, 2011
  • NASPA Board of Directors approved a new Community College Institutional Fee structure to better encourage institutional memberships, 2012
  • NASPA sponsored for the first time a 3 day CCD board retreat in NYC,  2014
  • The CCD was instrumental in securing access to the CCJRP as part of the overall NASPA membership, 2016
  • The CCD created a Latinx/a/o Task Force (in 2014 at NYC CCD Summit) to address the needs of Latinx students and professionals working at Community Colleges. As a result, a new partnership between the CCD and the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community was born, 2015
  • Developed a CCD regional representative tool kit, 2017
  • Launched a new national CCD Research Award, 2017
  • The CCD established an intentional and direct social media/marketing presence, 2018
  • A CCD special interest NASPA Foundation fund was created, 2019
  • A CCD board leadership and on-boarding manual was developed, 2020
  • The 2020 annual conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic  
  • The 2021 annual conference went virtual for the first time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic   


Community Colleges Division Directors 

2022-2024, Richard Monroe

2020-2022, Edward Martinez

2017-2020, Kimberly Lowry 

2016-2017, Quincy Martin III

2014-2016, Paulette Dalpes

2012-2014, Kathryn Mueller

2010-2012, John Laws

2008-2010, Debbie Kushibab

2007-2008, Magdalena de la Teja (chair)


The Community Colleges Division Board is comprised of a diverse set of community college professionals with a breadth of experience in the field. Through its Board, the Community Colleges Division supports the goals of NASPA by infusing the community college perspective into all NASPA programs, services, and publications.

Get Involved

Interested in Getting Involved?

We welcome the participation of any individual who either works at or has an interest in community colleges and we hope to be the place for discussion, learning, and innovation. We hope to make the Community Colleges Division a space for graduate students, faculty, and student affairs professionals to connect and share knowledge and experience. 

Click the button below to log-in to Volunteer Central and look for opportunities listed under "Community Colleges Division."

If you want to quickly communicate with other members, jump right into the conversation by following us on Twitter. Also, be sure to indicate your interest on hearing more from the CCD in your NASPA profile. These are great ways to seek opportunities for involvement including writing for our blog, serving on selection committees, and submitting research articles!


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