Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), was elected Secretary of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Education (ACE) at its annual meeting in March. The term is for one year, March 2015 to March 2016.
ACE serves as the national advocacy organization for institutions of higher education. It is the only organization of its kind that represents presidents from all sectors of higher education: both two and four-year institutions. In its advocacy role, ACE works at the federal level to keep policy makers informed about key issues affecting higher education, such as the effect of recent changes to Pell grant funding. In addition, ACE represents higher education on legal issues and federal court cases. It ensures that its members are fully informed of changes to higher education policy and trends facing higher education in the future.
“It is a great honor and opportunity to hold this position,” said McCallin. “There are many changes happening at the federal level that dramatically affect our students. It is critical to help influence policy changes for the benefit of our students and to stay informed on critical issues that affect our operational policies. Being a member of ACE gives higher education the kind of information needed to make informed decisions and the chance to offer input.”
McCallin has been president of CCCS for over ten years. In that time, she oversaw several important changes to how community colleges serve their students. Under her leadership, the process for students transferring to four-year institutions has been streamlined to assure certainty in transfer so that students can take their freshman and sophomore years at community colleges and then seamlessly transfer to a four-year institution, saving thousands of dollars in receiving their Bachelor’s Degree. Additionally, seeing a gap in career programs not offered by four-year institutions, CCCS initiated legislation to gain the authority to offer bachelor’s of applied science four-year degrees in areas where no program exists now. This legislation allows students to earn their associate’s degree, stay at the community college, and complete their four-year degree in a program that is best suited to their needs.
CCCS comprises the state’s largest system of higher education serving more than 151,000 students annually. It oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.