Inaugural NACEP Leadership Academy

September 6, 2018

The inaugural NACEP Leadership Academy kicked off this summer with participants heading to Colorado Mountain College (CMC) in Breckenridge, Colorado for a one-of-a-kind retreat. NACEP established the Leadership Academy this year to provide a select group of emerging leaders in the field with intensive leadership training. Participants explore policy and education trends while honing their leadership and strategic planning skills.

The NACEP Leadership Academy had a great induction retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado in July with a dynamic cohort of 18 dynamic individuals gaining insight into personal leadership skills, such as creative problem-solving and decision-making, strategic planning, as well as analyzing and utilizing data.

Rakhshi Hamid, Director of Center for Secondary Students at Laramie County Community College (WY) and NACEP Membership Committee Chair

During the retreat, participants engaged in two team-building exercises: a nature walk and a cooking class. Jeremy Deem, a CMC history and outdoor education faculty member, led the walk where they learned about the history of Native American communities and the ski resorts in the area, mining practices, and explored natural features of the river valley. Deem helped students rely on one another and at any given point they had to learn to lead and also follow.

One of the participants, Jarred Aslett, Early College Senior Coordinator for Instruction and Academic Affairs at the College of Southern Idaho stated, “I always love gathering with other leaders from this field to discuss best practices, but the most beneficial part for me was identifying our leadership styles and learning how to utilize our strengths. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to continue to develop their skills and knowledge in the ever-changing education landscape.”

Another activity the students participated in was the Colorado Mountain Cooking Challenge. CMC Culinary Faculty member Ian Buchanan trained teams on kitchen management and creative problem-solving techniques, including preparing ingredients, sauces, and dough as they assembled and cooked pizzas and salads for dinner.

Rakhshi Hamid facilitated additional activities where participants evaluated their leadership style and personal patterns of motivation. NACEP Executive Director Adam Lowe shared the history of NACEP and its approaches to strategic planning, and representatives of Eagle County Schools and Colorado Mountain College presented a case study in managing change. Cesar Perez, NACEP Treasurer and Director of North Side Centers & Hispanic Community Liaison at College of Southern Idaho led the group in discussing transformational strategies to achieve equity and fairness in educational outcomes.  He noted: "The work produced at the academy supports NACEP’s mission to provide quality programs for all students to succeed from diverse walks of life.  The academy class is ready to put their actions into place at their respective campuses to promote student success, especially with students who have historically been underrepresented in higher education.  I am excited to see the results of their work in the near future.”

During the course of the year, each participant is paired with a mentor for one-on-one coaching to complete a project related to her or his professional goals. Graduates will be recognized at the NACEP national conference and through other national and regional channels. Aslett continued by stating, “I cannot think of a better opportunity for anyone in concurrent enrollment. I am extremely grateful for the people leading this organization and those that took the time to help us grow as leaders. I look forward to continuing with this program.”

Stay tuned to watch the progress of all our Leadership Academy members:
  • Alice Abernathy, CORE Scholars Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Jacksonville State University (AL)
  • Christina Agvent, Director Strategic Partnerships, Post University (CT)
  • Jarred Aslett, Early College Senior Coordinator, College of Southern Idaho (ID)
  • Melinda Bowman, Director, Running Start & EWU in the High School, Eastern Washington University (WA)
  • Kristin Corkhill, Director, High School Initiatives, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GA)
  • Sandy Cruz, Dual Credit Director, University of Central Missouri (MO)
  • Ashli Dykes, Concurrent Credit Coordinator, University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana (AR)
  • Karla Fennell, Coordinator of Early College Programs, State University of New York at Potsdam (NY)
  • Tharyn Mulberry, Principal, Aspen High School (CO)
  • Jennifer Oliver, College and Career Coach, Hampton City Schools (VA)
  • Laura Padilla-Pater, Coordinator Concurrent Enrollment/ASCENT, Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)
  • Barbara Richardson, Assistant Dean for Outreach, Cochise College (AZ)
  • Susan Ros, Program Coordinator, College Readiness and Dual Credit, College of Lake County (IL)
  • Ray Sandoval, Manager, College and High School Relations, Austin Community College District (TX)
  • Beez Schell, Assistant Dean of Instruction, Aspen Campus, Colorado Mountain College (CO)
  • Annette Staples, Instructional Services Coordinator, Hawkeye Community College (IA)
  • Roz Wick, Strategic Youth Initiatives Coordinator, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Canada)
  • Linda Zanin, Director of Strategic Partnerships, George Washington University (DC)

About the Author

Miranda has her B.A. in Communication from NC State University and her M.S. in Sports Management from Drexel University. Prior to NACEP, Miranda spent time working for The Burlington School as their Director of Communications. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, coaching softball, and watching her nephews grow up. Fun fact, Miranda, and her twin sister Shaina were the first two recruits to sign a softball scholarship at NC State University and were inducted into the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for their contributions and success in the game of softball.