Two TC3 Employees Complete the Inaugural New York State Community College Leadership Academy Program

Two women standing in front of a sign that says "Tompkins Cortland Community College"

Tompkins Cortland Community College today announced that Assistant Provost Anndrea Mathers and Diversity Education & Support Services Program Coordinator Tracey Brunner completed the inaugural New York State Community College Leadership Academy Program. The program focused on timely topics for community college leaders and how to address them. 

Thirty-four fellows—both faculty and staff—from across SUNY’s community colleges participated in the leadership development program designed for emerging leaders to strengthen their critical skills and knowledge to build their campus’s capacity and improve student outcomes. 

“We were allowed to access nationally acclaimed curricula from the Aspen Institute,” said Mathers. “Learning together with other community college leaders was very powerful.” 

“The program helped us better understand our common goals and share ideas to help us get there collaboratively,” said Brunner. 

New York State, along with Ohio, Michigan, and Texas, was selected to launch and scale up leadership development programs for college practitioners through a year-long curriculum from the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. The program is funded by the Ascendium Education Group, the ECMC Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, to strengthen the pipeline of leaders within community colleges who can implement evidence-based reforms that help more students succeed.

The program was organized by the NYS Community College Leadership Academy Advisory Board. TC3 President Amy Kremenek is an advisory board member and a strong proponent for community college leadership development. 

“The mission of community colleges is firmly grounded in the communities we serve, and well-prepared leaders are a must to advance the mission and support student success in these challenging times,” said TC3 President Amy Kremenek.  “I commend Dr. Mathers and Ms. Brunner for their completion of the NYS Community College Leadership Academy Program and would like to extend our profound appreciation to SUNY, the Aspen Institute and the generous funders for making this opportunity available to support community college leaders across our state.” 

“We are very proud of the knowledge and skill of the talented faculty and staff across SUNY's community colleges,” said SUNY Chancellor King. “The New York State Community College Leadership Academy reflects SUNY’s commitment to developing the next generation of leaders who will strengthen our communities, elevate student success, and ensure New York State has a pipeline of talented and visionary leaders.”

Next year’s cohort will include two more TC3 employees, Dean of Student Success and Retention Michelle Nightingale and Assistant Professor Cindy Whitney. 

The National Center for Inquiry & Improvement is leading this national scale-up 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 and 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.