The board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges has appointed Southwest Tennessee Community College President Tracy D. Hall to the association's Commission on Economic and Workforce Development. Her three-year term runs from July 1 of this year to June 30, 2022.
The Commission works with public and private sector partners and member colleges to provide assistance and identify strategies to improve student achievement and success by closing the skills gap needed to meet regional labor market needs. The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges, representing 1,051 two-year community colleges, and is governed by a 32-member board of directors.
Dr. Hall will work with community college presidents across the country to examine ways to close the American skills gaps by sharply focusing career and technical education on preparing students with the knowledge and skills required for existing and future jobs in regional and global economies. She will share her insights and provide leadership to enhance the role of community colleges in building high-quality programs and services that support regional and national economic growth.
“I am honored to be appointed. This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that we are serving the needs of business and industry by remaining abreast of current economic development trends and issues,” she said.
Dr. Hall began her tenure at Southwest, Tennessee's second-largest community college, in July 2015. She has transformed the College, setting new standards and procedures that have brought a significant increase in student enrollment, retention rates and number of Associate degrees awarded. Her focus on workforce development and fostering student success, coupled with the College’s strategic alignment with the national Achieving the Dream Network, has earned Southwest high marks in the April 2019 Tennessee Higher Education Commission performance funding scorecard. The College earned 90 of 100 points on the Student Learning & Engagement and Student Access & Success scales, a 22 percent increase over last year. The College’s overall graduate placement rate is 97 percent with 88 percent working in their field of study.
Dr. Hall says she looks forward to networking with other community college leaders to learn more about how they are working with leaders in their respective communities to address workforce and economic development challenges. “This appointment not only shines a national spotlight on Southwest but more importantly, allows us to contribute to the national discussion on workforce and economic development, a critically important conversation in higher education and our country today.”
Community college presidents across Tennessee last fall elected Dr. Hall to serve as the Tennessee Board of Regents Presidents’ Council 2019 president. She has more than 18 years of academic leadership. Prior to her arrival at Southwest, she served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.
Southwest Tennessee Community College is a member institution of The College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Southwest is a comprehensive, multicultural, public, open-access, Memphis-based college that provides citizens with an effective teaching and learning environment designed to raise educational levels, enhance economic development and enrich personal lives. The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 100,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s nearly 1,000 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.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.