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.
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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.
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!
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.
Register for the 2023 Community Colleges Institute
The 2023 Institute will focus on the future of the Community College Student Affairs profession using as its framework and theme- Community Colleges as Engines of Economic and Social Mobility. We realize that community colleges’ roles, in part, are to provide access, education and skills enhancement to diverse learners often left out of the traditional academic arena, and to respond to the needs of the community. Today’s student seeks out community colleges as a pathway to university study, entrance to the workforce or as a pathway to upward economic and/or social mobility. A student who is served well by community colleges has a roughly two-thirds chance of making it into the top 20% in terms of earnings, and therefore opportunity. Our job in community colleges is to learn who our current students are, what they need to become a credential earner as well as what they need to be successful professionals, citizens and neighbors.
The 2023 CCI Learning Outcomes
- Preparing Our Students for Tomorrow’s Workforce Using GPS as a Framework
- Re-engaging with Basic Needs, Mental Health and Wellness
- Telling the Community College Story
Learn more about the 2023 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. Were you unable to join us last month for our January NCC Online about doctoral degrees? Check out the recording of our panel discussing the differences and similarities between a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in higher education. Our panelists, future Dr. Christina Barrios, future Dr. Marlonda “Mar” Taylor, Dr. Amy Sellers, and Dr. Katy Launius, shared their personal experiences and answered questions from attendees.
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.
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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)
CCD Professional Spotlight
- Dr. Magdalena H. de la Teja earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. degree from the UT School of Law.
- Career: From February 2009 through August 2017, Dr. de la Teja served as the Vice President for Student Development Services at Tarrant County College (TCC), Northeast Campus. She was a teacher in Brownsville, served as Dean of Student Services at Austin Community College, practiced law with the Texas Legislature, and was an administrator at UT Austin.
- In 2021, she began working as a Subject Matter Expert consultant with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit in NYC. JED’s mission is to protect the emotional health and wellbeing and prevent suicide of our nation’s teens and young adults.
- Leadership: NASPA (professional home of student affairs) -- founding chair of the Community Colleges Division (CCD), founding chair of the CCD Latinx/a/o Task Force, service on the NASPA Board of Directors, NASPA Foundation Board, and faculty member of the inaugural Escaleras Institute. She received the NASPA 2023 John L. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar of the Profession Award and named a NASPA Pillar of the Profession in 2014. She is a Past President of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. She was faculty for the Inaugural TACHE Career & Leadership Development Institute and received the 2020 & 2021 Mentor of the Year Award.
- She is a graduate of the inaugural 2013 class of the American Council on Education (ACE) Spectrum Executive Leadership Program.
- Recognition for Service: She was recognized in 2017 with the NASPA Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community Outstanding Student Affairs Officer Award and in 2016 with the Phi Theta Kappa Regional and International Award for her service as a college administrator.
- Publications: Dr. de la Teja is an author via NASPA, ACPA, Routledge, and other entities on various issues, including student diversity, equity, leadership, access, learning, and success and has presented on these and other topics at state and national conferences. She is a coauthor of Learning and Leading in an Age of Transformation, a 2022 DIO Press (NYC) book. In 2021 she was interviewed by Global Connections Television about her work on Master Capacity Builder transformational leadership, the focus of the book.
- Family: Dr. de la Teja is married to Dr. Jesus Francisco de la Teja (inaugural Texas State Historian) and has a son, Eduardo Catarino (grandsons Cru Francisco and Kai Joseph), and daughter, Julia Evangelina. She enjoys consulting/mentoring/coaching, traveling in all seven continents, reading, writing, cooking, learning French, hiking, birdwatching, playing tennis, and an active lifestyle caring for the grandkids. A special interest is communicating in sign language with her sister Teodora Hernandez who is deaf and lives with them.
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.
Community Colleges Division Awards
2023 Community Colleges Division National Awards
2023 NASPA Community Colleges Research & Scholarship Award
Dr. Melissa Abeyta is a mother, partner, daughter, and first-generation scholar. Her significant research revolves around using an anti-deficit lens to explore the disparities formerly incarcerated and carceral system-impacted minoritized students encounter while attempting to achieve positive educational outcomes in postsecondary education. Specifically, she examines how formerly incarcerated Latino students have shed their carceral identities and transformed them into educational identities yet still experience deleterious institutional stigmatization as they navigate new norms. Her research uses multiple levels of analysis to understand how higher education policies, programs, and services support formerly incarcerated and system-impacted students.
Dr. Abeyta is a 3x San Diego State University alumnae earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, an M.A. in Postsecondary Educational Leadership specializing in Student Affairs, and B.A. in Communication and Chicana/o Studies. She was also a transfer student who earned her A.A. degree from Southwestern College. Dr. Abeyta is assistant professor in the organization and school leadership department in the college of education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX
2023 NASPA Community Colleges Professional Award
Dr. Edward F. Martinez
As a proud first-generation college student, Dr. Edward F. Martinez has substantial administrative, academic, and program development experience in higher education and a history of holding several national leadership positions in Student Affairs. Dr. Martinez has worked in the field of student affairs for 29 years, and throughout that time, he has had the privilege of serving in a number of key leadership positions at numerous institutions.
Dr. Martinez is presently employed with Suffolk County Community College, the largest multi-campus community college in the SUNY System, where he serves as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Campus Senior Student Affairs Officer. An advocate for student access, he has purposefully built bridges between student and academic affairs, resulting in great student experiences. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from Dominican University, a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Development from Long Island University, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Dowling College. Your 2023 NASPA Community Colleges Professional award winner, Eddie Martinez.
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.
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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!