SAN ANTONIO, April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The future of community colleges is dependent on the foundation set by the leaders of yesterday and today. Through their innovative leadership, Robert "Bob" Barringer and Michael McCall have helped to usher community colleges into the modern age and to prepare them for the future. They will be recognized with the national Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) at the 95th AACC Annual Convention on Saturday, April 18 at the event's opening session.
"Bob and Mike both have the ability to meet the current needs of a college and to anticipate future needs," said Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC. "It's a rare talent, and one that continues to benefit the institutions they once served."
During his nearly five decades working in education, Bob Barringer has served as the permanent president at three community colleges and as interim president at 13 institutions. Barringer's experience has given him a keen understanding of how to be a leader—and how to spot leadership potential.
Barringer served as president of Catonsville Community College—now Community College of Baltimore County—in Maryland from 1968 to 1980. Under his leadership, the college became the first in the state to offer customized training for industry.
During his many shorter stints as interim president, Barringer was able to affect positive change and help provide stability during the search for a permanent president. His ability to quickly assess a situation allowed him to lead colleges through tenuous times. He also helped staff and faculty nurture their leadership skills through mentorship, and by linking them to opportunities where they could be successful.
In 1990, Barringer established Gold Hill Associates, a community college presidential search firm. He has aided in the selection of more than 100 presidents and chancellors across the country. He is a leading matchmaker for colleges and presidents.
Michael McCall is the founding president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). During his 15 years with KCTCS, the system grew to be the largest provider of postsecondary education in the Commonwealth. McCall was responsible for merging the 28 community and technical colleges into 16 individually accredited comprehensive community colleges, which now serve more than 92,000 students at 70 locations in 700 credit programs.
Understanding the need for online, anywhere, and anytime education, McCall launched the virtual learning initiative, KCTCS Online. It is completely learner-centered and allows for access to higher education 24/7, 365 days a year. KCTCS is the leading provider of online education in Kentucky, offering more than 77 online credentials.
KCTCS now serves nearly half of all undergraduate college students in the state. The system also serves more than 5,000 businesses and trains more than 52,000 employees annually. McCall ensured that Kentucky's community and technical colleges are a major gateway to postsecondary education for all residents.
As the voice of the nation's community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for 13 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC's nearly 1,200 member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.
SOURCE American Association of Community Colleges