July 19, 2021

272: Community Colleges & DEI Responsibility -with Dr. Kate Hetherington, President, Howard Community College & Dr. Jackie Elliott, President, Central Arizona College

272: Community Colleges & DEI Responsibility -with Dr. Kate Hetherington, President, Howard Community College & Dr. Jackie Elliott, President, Central Arizona College

Welcome back to America’s leading higher education podcast! In this first episode in our “Innovation & Transformation” series, sponsored by the Alliance for Innovation & Transformation (AFIT), we welcome Dr. Kate Hetherington, President, Howard Community College, &  Dr. Jackie Elliott, President, Central Arizona College! This episode includes our 82nd and 83rd Presidents interviewed in our President Series.

Kate and Jackie discuss DEI initiatives and innovative ideas for community colleges to serve students. Topics include specific programs, the importance of data, the community college stigma, and how bringing equity to low-income and first-gen students can change generational wealth.  These leaders champion the cause of community colleges and the ability to help students thrive now and in the future. 

Dr. Kate Hetherington has served as president of Howard Community College (HCC) in Columbia, Maryland since 2007, leading an institution nationally recognized for its strong academic programs and innovative approaches to instruction. During Kate's tenure as president, HCC has achieved recognition as a “Great College to Work For” from The Chronicle of Higher Education for 12 consecutive years. It also received the 2018 National Equity Award from the Association of Community College Trustees “for its exemplary commitment by a community college governing board and chief executive officer to achieving equity in the administration and delivery of the college’s education, programs and services. The award also honors leadership in setting policies that promote and enhance opportunities for institutional diversity, inclusion, and equity.” In 2019, Howard Community College was named a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner in the category of education. 

Dr. Jackie Elliott is the president of Central Arizona College, which has eight locations throughout Pinal County and enrolls approximately 5,000 students annually. Jackie has more than 36 years of experience working in higher education, specifically administrative and leadership positions at the community college level. In 2020, Central Arizona College won the Bellwether Award for Workforce Development as a result of the innovative partnership between the College and Sundt Construction Company, which is based upon a model created by both entities referred to as C4 (Co-Design, Co-Deliver, Commitment, and Consistently engage). The C4 model has been utilized to help five other community colleges replicate similar successful partnerships.  

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