Rhodes State College Announces Newest Graduating Fellows from Ohio Leadership Academy for Student Success

Two leaders at Rhodes State College have graduated as fellows of the newest class of the Ohio Leadership Academy for Student Success.
The academy, sponsored by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, is the first of its kind in the nation to gather mid-level faculty and staff for a year of training, exchanging ideas, and immersion in how to promote student success.
The OACC created the academy in 2019 to reverse mid-level management turnover by strengthening internal advancement pipelines within the state’s 23 community colleges. Michigan, New York, and Texas are among the states now replicating Ohio’s initiative.
The president of each of Ohio’s community colleges nominated two employees as fellows. The fellows then met in person six times throughout the year for two-day meetings and worked on group projects between sessions. The sessions focused specifically on evidence-based strategies for student success, including Ohio’s higher education policy landscape and aspects of a presidential leadership curriculum provided by the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute, one of the program's partners.
The academy was funded by several national organizations, ensuring that colleges had minimal expenses to participate. 
Graduating as fellows from Rhodes State College are Kitt Horn, Dean, K-12 Partnerships, and Ann DeAngelo, Senior Student Navigator, K-12 Partnerships. 
“States committed to improving student success must support college leaders at all levels of higher education institutions,” said Dr. Cynthia Spiers, President of Rhodes State College. 
“The OACC leadership academy is an outstanding example of a program that nurtures and advances these leaders in the name of helping students reach their potential. Kitt and Ann are two outstanding employees of Rhodes State who are focused on the success of our students. These are the types of individuals who should be provided the opportunity to advance in their roles,” added Spiers.
The leadership academy brings together people with different higher ed roles to allow a deeper understanding of how parts of each school mesh to create student success models, said Laura Rittner, executive director of the OACC’s Success Center for Ohio Community Colleges.
“The new fellows have learned how to implement transformational changes in their colleges that allow the best chances for students to both succeed and excel in their academic pursuits,” Rittner said.
Supporting and mentoring talented higher ed administrators is crucial at a time when workers with job-ready degrees are needed in in-demand fields such as healthcare and nursing, business, teaching, and information technology. This demand is also increasing as Ohio welcomes dynamic new companies in the electric vehicle battery, semiconductor, and cloud storage sectors.
The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions that work to advance community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development.  For more information, please visit www.OhioCommunityColleges.org.