Honor Society CEO Appointed to CCCSE Advisory Board

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Jackson, MS – Phi Theta Kappa CEO Dr. Rod Risley has been appointed by Dr. Kay McClenney, Director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, to serve on the organization’s National Advisory Board.

Dr. Rod Risley, CEO, Phi Theta Kappa

According to Dr. McClenney, Dr. Risley will serve a three-year term on the Board, which will convene May 29-30 in Austin, Texas.

In 2008, The University of Texas' College of Education established the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) — formerly known as the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) — as the umbrella organization for survey research, focus group work, and related services for community and technical colleges interested in improving educational quality through strengthened student engagement and student success. The Center operates as a research and service initiative of the Community College Leadership Program.

The National Advisory Board for CCCSE is composed of community college leaders and outstanding researchers from across the U.S. and provides strategic and policy guidance for the Center’s work.

“There exists, I believe, the potential for remarkably impactful synergy in the work of Dr. McClenney and the CCCSE staff and the work of Phi Theta Kappa. Ours will be a partnership that I believe will have substantial impact in the work to increase student success,” Dr. Risley said. “They have the research that demonstrates what works in terms of helping students succeed, and Phi Theta Kappa has the largest international network of students and advisors who will serve as practitioners — to translate their research into highly impactful practices.”

In 2010 Dr. Risley, along with CEOs from the five leading national organizations in the community college arena – including the Center for Community College Student Engagement, American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, National Institute for Staff and Organization Development, and the League for Innovation — made history by collectively signing an agreement, Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action, committing to increase the number of community college students completing a degree or credential by five million by 2020. He conceived the development of C4 — The Community College Completion Corps — students helping student complete, and participated in the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges.

Dr. Risley recently served on the 36-member Blue Ribbon 21st-Century Commission in April of 2011. Composed of higher education, business, policy and philanthropy leaders, the Commission was charged with mapping a bold new direction for the future of community colleges. He was also appointed to the National Implementation Team Steering Committee and to two of nine implementation teams charged with developing strategies to help community colleges adopt the  Commission’s recommendations and promising practices. Dr. Risley will serve as Co-Chair of the Faculty Engagement and College-wide Leadership Team and as a member of the College Completion Team.

A recipient of AACC’s Distinguished Alumnus and National Leadership Awards, Dr. Risley also serves on the AACC Commission for Academic and Student Development. In addition, he served two terms as Chairman of the Mississippi Humanities Council.

A graduate of San Jacinto College in Texas and former National President of Phi Theta Kappa, Dr. Risley also earned a BBA from Sam Houston State University, an MBA from Millsaps College, and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. A frequent commencement speaker, he has been awarded numerous honorary degrees. 

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.