PITTSBURGH—Alex Johnson, PhD, president of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Dr. Johnson and other newly elected members will be certified at the AACC Board meeting April 17 in Seattle and will serve a three-year term beginning July 1.
“As community colleges continue to become more important in training and providing a skilled workforce for the future of our nation, Dr. Johnson’s AACC Board position will give CCAC an opportunity to participate in shaping national policy,” said Thomas Santone, chair of the CCAC Board of Trustees. “We look forward to the opportunity to participate and contribute through him.”
When he began as CCAC’s eighth president in 2008, Dr. Johnson became the first African American in the role. As head of this public institution serving nearly 65,000 students annually, Dr. Johnson is concentrating on seven key initiatives. These include emphasizing the importance of the college’s 10 campuses and centers as part of a one-college whole, focusing on a learning-centered environment and leading the effort to address the region’s workforce and economic development needs.
He is also strengthening CCAC’s commitment to diversity, expanding recognition of the college’s regional impact as college of first choice and focusing on building and updating facilities needed for innovative learning. Finally, Dr. Johnson is working to strengthen the college’s financial position through effective and efficient budget management processes and the expansion of existing and new revenue streams.
He serves on the boards of WQED Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Hill House Association, Campus Compact, KAPPA Education Foundation and Youth Places. He is a member of the Youth Futures Commission and the University of Pittsburgh Workforce Development Policy Committee. Nationally, he serves on the boards of National Campus Compact and the National Advisory Board for the Community College Survey of Student Engagement.
Dr. Johnson has been named a 2008 New Pittsburgh Courier Man of Excellence, Phi Theta Kappa’s President of the Year, a Frank G. Jackson Visionary and Innovator of the Year by the League for Innovation.
Dr. Johnson has published and presented extensively on topics concerning higher education administration. He earned a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree from Lehman College and a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University. He completed the Executive Leadership Institute of the League for Innovation and the Management Development Program at Harvard University. He was an ACE Fellow. He previously served as chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The American Association of Community Colleges has, over four decades, become the leading proponent and the national voice for community colleges. Led by a 32-member board of directors, the association represents almost 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 11 million students. The colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of U.S. higher education, enrolling close to half (46 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates. AACC membership also includes a growing number of international institutions in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.
Headquartered in the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., AACC is the primary advocacy organization for community colleges at the national level and works closely with directors of state offices to inform and affect state policy.
In addition, AACC is a member of “The Six” large, presidentially based associations and collaborates with a wide range of entities within the higher education community to monitor and influence federal policy and to collaborate on issues of common interest. The association has ongoing interaction with key federal departments and agencies including the U.S. departments of Labor, Education, Energy, Homeland Security and Commerce and the National Science Foundation.
The Community College of Allegheny County is the largest institution of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. The college serves 30,000 credit students through 170 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of lifelong learning non-credit and workforce development courses to 35,000 students annually. Incorporating a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend and online courses. With four campuses and six centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.