Welcome back to America’s leading higher education podcast! This is The EdUp Experience President Series Episode #72. In this episode, sponsored by MDT Marketing, we welcome Dr. Michael A. Baston President at Rockland Community College. Michael talks to us about the equitable realities of some communities, including financial fragility and lack of access to high wage and high opportunity jobs. This is why community colleges can be the colleges of first choice - to build bridges for students to further their education action and economic value. Michael says the caste system of higher ed must be addressed. Some consider community college to be “the 13th grade”, which is an uninformed and antiquated view of the work of community colleges. Finally Michael challenges all of us to take steps beyond statements when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This episode is FIRE!
Dr. Michael A. Baston is the 7th President of Rockland Community College. A national leader who helps develop comprehensive supports that foster college completion, Dr. Baston’s work has been featured on MSNBC, and in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, The Community College Times, and Black Enterprise Magazine. Additionally, he’s a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens and The Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.
Dr. Baston was a member of the inaugural class of Aspen Institute Presidential Fellows for Community College Excellence where he explored systemic issues affecting the educational access pipeline and student success. As a national Guided Pathways coach for American Association of Community Colleges, he is noted for his work with college leadership teams around the nation, helping them integrate student success initiatives to advance college completion. Dr. Baston is the incoming Co-Chair of Jobs For The Future’s Policy Leadership Trust, a Commissioner of American Association of Community College’s Commission on Institutional Infrastructure and Transformation and member of the National Advisory Board of Center for Community College Student Engagement
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