Community colleges play a key role in the post-secondary education landscape. From skills training to preparing students for four-year colleges, community colleges serve critical functions - and they've seen enormous growth among fast-growing minority populations. Yet the reputation of community colleges hasn't kept up with the reality. Going forward, how can community colleges continue to improve - and what can they do to ensure that their reputations keep pace with their contributions?
Join National Journal in Miami, Florida for the second event in the Next America Series. This event will bring together government officials, educators, administrators, students and other experts to explore the important roles community colleges serve in the educational landscape. We'll examine how community colleges are preparing its students for the working world, improving transfer rates to traditional college programs and how students are accessing financing to enable their studies.
Malou C. Harrison is the president of Miami Dade College's North Campus and also oversees MDC-West. She has served MDC in various capacities since 1989, including as dean of students, chief of staff to the College president and adjunct professor of English for academic purposes. Prior to her tenure at MDC, she served as a student services administrator at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is completing a doctorate in community college leadership at Walden University and has shared her expertise as co-author of scholarly articles in the League for Innovation in the Community College's Student Services Dialogues: Community College Case Studies to Consider, as well as the Association of American College and Universities' (AAC&U) Peer Review: Models for Student success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap.
Davis Jenkins is a lead member of a team managing a suite of studies funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on community college student success.
Jenkins leads CCRC’s involvement in Completion by Design. As part of this and related projects, he is leading a team conducting analyses and designing data analytics and tools for use by colleges and state agencies in developing strategies to improve student progression and success. He is also project lead for an evaluation of Achieving the Dream (in partnership with MDRC), and of Washington State’s Student Achievement Initiative (in partnership with the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy).
In addition, he coordinates state relationships and partnerships work for the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and the Economy (CAPSEE).
Jenkins holds a PhD in Public Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA from Princeton University. He has more than 30 years of experience as a researcher, evaluator, consultant, and program manager on projects related to education for employment in the United States and abroad.
One of the originators of the “career pathways” concept, Jenkins advises states, colleges, workforce boards and other groups on aligning public resources for education, workforce, and economic development to support educational and economic advancement for individuals and to better address regional labor force needs.
Richard D. Kahlenberg
Richard D. Kahlenberg is a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, where he writes about education, equal opportunity, and civil rights. He is the author of four books.
Dr. Jim Murdaugh was named the sixth president of Tallahassee Community College on October 18, 2010.
His personal vision is to make Tallahassee Community College the college of choice for students who come here, the employer of choice for faculty and staff, and the partner of choice in the community.
He is quite active in the community, serving on a number of boards as an executive committee and board member on the Greater Tallahassee/Leon County Chamber of Commerce, executive committee and board member on the Leon County Economic Development Council, Governor on the board of the Leon County Research and Development Authority, board member on the United Way of the Big Bend, board member on the region’s Workforce Plus! board, and board member on Florida’s Great Northwest.
At the state level, Jim was elected to the board of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities (FACU) and asked to chair the FACU Legislative Agenda Committee for 2012-2013. He is a member of the Economic Club of Florida and serves as a board member of the Florida Chamber Foundation. In 2012, Florida Trend listed Jim among Florida’s Newsmakers of the Year.
He has been recognized for his leadership by a number of organizations, being selected in 2005 by the North Florida Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration for its distinguished leadership award, 2012 Leader of the Year by Leadership Tallahassee, and having been inducted into the Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Hall of Fame in 2011.
Jim Murdaugh holds bachelors and masters degrees in criminology and a doctorate in public administration from Florida State University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Florida Executive Class VII and the prestigious Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at the age of 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities. An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
Marco Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. His committee assignments currently include Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; Intelligence; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He and his wife, Jeanette, have four young children and live in West Miami.