DENTON (UNT), Texas--The Council for the Study of Community Colleges — a national professional association affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges — will be housed in the Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education at the University of North Texas effective July 1, furthering UNT’s commitment to advancing educational excellence and raising its national profile in the field of community college education.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to help the Council for the Study of Community Colleges move forward with its research goals,” said Dr. Beverly Bower, director of the Bill J. Priest Center who will also become the new executive director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges. “UNT has long been committed to preparing and supporting educators, as the institution began as a teacher’s training college in 1890. Today, UNT is one of the leading universities in the enrollment of transfer students. We have maintained close ties with community colleges, and we are excited about housing this council whose purpose is to further community college research.”
Members of the council — which is coming to UNT from the University of California-Los Angeles — include university-based researchers and community college educators from across the country. The council aims to further develop the education of community college professionals, conduct and distribute research about community colleges, provide research and service to the American Association of Community Colleges and its other affiliated councils, and recognize outstanding service and research related to community college education, among other goals.
“As the largest sector of U.S. higher education, community colleges have taken on significantly greater importance, especially related to the national goal of increasing the number of students completing certificates and degrees,” said Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). “Research about community college issues and performance has grown in importance. As the Council for the Study of Community Colleges moves to UNT’s Bill J. Priest Center, our association is pleased to continue its collaboration with council members to further broader understanding of these vital institutions.”
The Priest Center was selected to house the council because of its mission of engaging in research activities that expand the knowledge of community colleges and because of Bower’s reputation among community college leaders and scholars, said Dr. Brent Cejda, president of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.
“The CSCC board was unanimous in agreement that this relationship with the University of North Texas provides the greatest opportunity for our organization to grow and thrive in the 21st century, and we look forward to the synergy these two organizations can bring together to advance the community college research agenda,” Cejda said.
About the Bill J. Priest Center
The Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education is named in honor of Dr. Bill J. Priest, the founding chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, and is housed in UNT’s College of Education. The Priest Center was created to prepare leaders and teachers for careers in community colleges through support of community college scholarship and instruction provided in the Community College Leadership Graduate Certificate.
About UNT’s College of Education
UNT’s College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teachers’ training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments — counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. The College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year — making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.