Risley Named to National Commission on Community College Future

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Dr. Rod A. Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa, has been appointed to the landmark 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.

The commission was created by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Dr. Risley is among 36 appointees, who represent a broad base of expertise in education and other key areas. Members of the commission will scrutinize both challenges and opportunities confronting community colleges, especially in light of President Obama's call for an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates or other credentials by 2020.

While community colleges are seeing record enrollments, they are also experiencing budget cuts that could threaten their historic mission of access. Dr. Risley has frequently called for community colleges and their constituencies to expand their mission toward supporting student success.

Dr. Rod A. Risley

Dr. Rod A. Risley

"I am very proud to represent Phi Theta Kappa and provide a voice for students in these discussions," Dr. Risley said. "Although Phi Theta Kappa members are the high-achieving student leaders within the community college arena, we applaud college programs and resources that support students who are at risk due to economic, academic and social factors."

"Phi Theta Kappa chapters across this nation and around the world are raising awareness of the need for college completion, and working with colleges to implement initiatives leading to student success," he said.

Read AACC's announcement of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges. The first commission meeting will be held August 12 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Risley is a community college graduate and a former National President of Phi Theta Kappa. He has served as Executive Director since 1985. As a longtime advocate for community college students, he has studied, written and spoken extensively on the impact of student engagement on retention and credential and degree completion, and conducted research on the academic and extracurricular performance of community college transfer students.

A signer of Democracy's Colleges Call to Action, Dr. Risley led efforts to establish the Community College Completion Challenge and the Community College Completion Corps.