Year in Review 2020 - 2021


Our Student Demographics

  • 39% White | 33% Black | 17% Latinx
  • 10% Asian | 1% Native American
  • 65% Female | 32% Male
  • 47% Administrator | 27% FT Faculty | 17% Pt Faculty
  • 5% 4-Year Administrator | 2% K-12 | 2% Industry

95% Retention of Cohort 1 & 2 Students
60 students are enrolled in the program

Welcome to NJCU, Cohort 3

This dynamic group of community college professionals is excited to begin their doctoral journey. At their first summer institute, they shared their areas of passion and commitment to equity and social justice. They are already beginning to explore problems of practice which will set the stage for their dissertation work.

Bernadette Schery, Adrian Novio, Fatimah Broxton, Doreen Pontius-Molos, Frank Gioia, Jason Rodriquez, Krista Quinn, Joseph Falco, Leslie Boon, Ledawn Hall, Marie Kropp, Lloyd Cutkelvin, Monica Medrano, Mayda Gonzalez-Bosch, Rong Carrie Xiao, Regina Drake, Royal Mainor, Jennifer Miller, Jude Fleurismond.

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Cohort 2 Begins Experiential Learning

A special thank you to our community college partners who are hosting our doctoral students. During this year-long experiential learning program, teams of doctoral students will serve as thought partners and develop resources for their experiential learning site.

The community college leadership students will be gathering data on community college baccalaureate programs from state agencies and community colleges in all 50 states using website searches, document review, interviews and focus groups, and other descriptive methods.

  • Our students at Bucks County Community College will research the CRLA’s peer educator training guidelines and develop a training program that builds upon our current framework and aligns with the standards set forth by CRLA.
  • Camden County College recently launched a President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the community college leadership students will assist committees aimed at improving social justice and advocacy on campus.
  • This project is to create assessment plans, including program learning outcomes, assessment instruments, and a schedule of assessment, for programs in County College of Morris's Center for Workforce Development.
  • The community college leadership students will conduct research to assist with Mercer County Community College’s reaccreditation cycle with Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • The community college leadership students will assist the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council and its task forces with their work towards achieving the newly established strategic goal addressing equitable and inclusive excellence by providing research and assessment support.
  • NASPA Region II is evaluating its services to community college members and the students will conduct research and make recommendations on ways to engage community college partners.
  • Rowan College at Burlington County was awarded a Title III grant and our students will research best practices in momentum year, low income and minority male retention, first-year and orientation programs, and faculty development.
  • Sussex County Community College will be conducting research and assisting the college with completing an application for accreditation by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
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Engaged in Dissertations: Evaluating Programs

Cohort 1 students are entering their final year. We are so proud of how much our students have accomplished during a short time and in the midst of a pandemic. A special congratulations to students who have defended their dissertation proposals:

Erika Carlson, Kathleen Carr, Donna-Marie Gardner, Christine Genthe, Amy Hankins, Shadiquah Hordge, Martine Howard, and Fathia Richardson

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Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Shugart and Dr. Linda Garcia

NJCU Continues To Provide Free Professional Development To Community College Sector

The third annual Community College Showcase was held virtually over two days, June 22 and June 23, 2021. The event featured keynote opening and closing addresses by Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Shugart and Dr. Linda Garcia.


  • 28 Breakout Sessions | 2 Networking Sessions, Watch session recordings
  • More than half of the attendees were new to the conference this year.
  • 100% satisfaction

Who attended?
Community college champions from 35 states
22% Staff | 46% Faculty
21% Administration | 11% Other

Bringing Professionals Together For Meaningful Conversations

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Dr. Carlos Nevarez, Dr. J. Luke Wood, Dr. Vanessa Akhtar
  • Reframing Institutional Practices (January 26, 2021) with Dr. Carlos Nevarez and Dr. J. Luke Wood
  • Accelerating Change in Uncertain Times (March 17, 2021) with Dr. Vanessa Akhtar


  • 95% of attendees would recommend the events to a colleague
  • 94% of attendees were satisfied with the overall experience
  • Participants like networking with colleagues from across the country

NJCU hosted two Community College Virtual Forums in 2021. These virtual convenings were designed to bring community college professionals together for meaningful conversations around timely topics. The format begins with a keynote, followed by breakouts to discuss the topic with colleagues from across the country. The first virtual forum in January featured Carlos Nevarez, Ph.D. and J. Luke Wood, Ph.D. who discussed reframing institutional practices. The March event centered around Accelerating Change in Uncertain Times, presented by Dr. Vanessa Akhtar, director at Kotter.

Welcome New Full-Time Faculty, Michael Sparrow to NJCU

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"Dr. Sparrow uses real-world scenarios to teach. He gives great, down-to-earth, advice which is very practical and useful. His courses make me think about how I handle certain situations and have made me realize there is not always one solution." -Cohort 1 Student

Dr. Michael Sparrow has served in faculty and higher education administration for more than fifteen years. Mike got his start in higher education in classrooms around the Philadelphia area, teaching history courses at the University of Delaware, Rowan University, and Montgomery County Community College. Mike later transitioned into administration, starting as the Student-Veteran Services Coordinator at Ocean County College. Following OCC, Mike served as the Director of the Academic Success Center at Immaculata University. Eager to return to his Lehigh Valley and community college roots, Mike accepted a position at Northampton Community College, first as the Director of the Learning Center and then as the Associate Dean of Academic Success. Mike concluded his career at NCC as the Dean of Enrollment Management and Retention.

Mike’s research interests include academic success initiatives, student learning, student onboarding/orientation, student-veterans, and enrollment/retention strategies. He has published and presented at numerous regional and national conferences on many of these topics. Before his career in higher education, Mike served eight years in the United States Navy and completed two combat deployments. Mike is a product of a community college himself, starting at Northampton Community College before completing an A.B. in history and government and law from Lafayette College. Mike also holds a M.A. in American History from the University of Delaware, a M.S.L. in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Northeastern University.

Part-Time Affiliate Faculty Bring Expertise to the Classroom

We are excited to welcome a diverse group of community college leaders as affiliate faculty. Affiliate faculty are teaching courses, serving as mentors, and serving on dissertation committees. During the past year, the following faculty have taught in our program.

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Dr. Tadé Ayeni, Dr. Nicole Baird, Dr. Michele Campagna, Dr. Demond Hargrove
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Dr. Carlos Morales, Dr. Linda Scherr, Dr. Christopher Shults, Dr. Dekia Smith, Dr. Shantell Strickland-Davis

Visit our website to learn more about all of our affiliate faculty.

Five Students Have Articles Accepted For Publication

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This year five of our students published articles in Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)'s Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice.

Chris Genthe and Christine Harrington - "Low Completion Rates of Latinx Community College Students."

Amy Hankins and Christine Harrington - "Lack of High- Quality, Frequent Feedback Contributes to Low Success Rates for Community College Students."

Martine Howard and Christine Harrington - "Essential Factors of a 15 to Finish Campaign: Increasing On-Time Completion Rates for Community College Students."

Floyd Jeter and John Melendez - "Too Few Black Male Educators."

Fathia Richardson and Christine Harrington - "Single Mother Students are Lacking Sufficient Support to Persist to Graduation in Community Colleges."

Students Engaged in Scholarship

Our program encourages all students to publish in peer-reviewed journals, public scholarship outlets, and present their research at regional and national conferences.

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John Melendez, Ph.D., faculty and Floyd Jeter, Cohort 1 Student, presented on Why Role Models and Mentors Matter at the New Jersey Future Educators Association.

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Our New Jersey City University faculty, students, and advisory board members were honored to give a 2-hour workshop on the program evaluation dissertation at Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) convening in 2020.

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Jonathan Weisbrod

Congratulations to Jonathan Weisbrod, Cohort 1 student, on his latest publication! A discrete/continuous time resource competition model and its implications.

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An article entitled An Approach to an Online EdD in Community College Leadership, co-authored by faculty and students was accepted for publication in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Impacting Education Journal. Congratulations Christine Harrington, AnnMarie Hughes, Kimberlee Hooper, Eric Scott Klein, John Melendez, Faraz Siddique, and Ellen Wasserman.

Read the full article here

Congratulate Our Students In New Professional Positions

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Erika Carlson, Cohort 1 student, Senior Director for Data Strategy, for the New York Jobs CEO Council, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the economic prosperity of low-income New Yorkers.

Chris Genthe, Cohort 1 student, has recently been hired as a full-time Nutrition Instructor in the Department of Biology at Hinds Community College.

Derrick Perkins, Cohort 2 student, promotion to Director of Student Transition Success Programs at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Yeurys Pujols, Cohort 2 student, was named the first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Hudson County Community College.

Sanjay Ramdath, Cohort 2 student, named Acting Vice President of Enrollment Management at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Aqsa Sheikh, Cohort 2 student, full-time Biology College Lecturer II for Elearning and Learning Enterprise at Ocean County College.

Faculty Focus

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Dr. Harrington Publishes New Book
Congratulations to Christine Harrington, faculty, on the publication of her latest book Keeping Us Engaged: Student Perspectives (and Research-Based Strategies) on What Works and Why, which she co-wrote with 50 students including two doctoral students- Amy Hankins and Shadiquah Hordge.

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Affiliate Faculty Crystal Quillen Recognized For Excellent Teaching
Congratulations Crystal Quillen, one of our affiliate faculty, for being awarded the Excellence in Full-time Teaching Award recipient at Middlesex College!

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Dr. Harrington Promoted
Congratulations to Christine Harrington for being promoted to full professor!

Dr. Harrington Hits The Road With Presentations
The 2020-2021 school year has been busy for Dr. Harrington! She had numerous speaking engagements, including in-person events at Purdue University Fort Wayne and St. Charles Community College in Missouri.


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Conference Presentations
Faculty have been busy presenting at national conferences. Christine Harrington, John Melendez, and Michael Sparrow presented at the League for Innovation in the Community College conference on Practitioners as Scholars: The Why and How of Public Scholarship and did a keynote presentation, Leading through Partnership, at The New England Transfer Association conference.

Advisory Board Achievements

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Dr. Eric Friedman Becomes 8th President of Bergen Community College
Congratulations Eric Friedman, advisory board member, on being appointed President of Bergen Community College!

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Dr. Campagna Serving on Middle States Commission
Congratulations Dr. Michele Campagna, one of our affiliate faculty and new advisory board members on being asked to serve as a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education! You will be fabulous in this role!

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Dr. Paula Pando Recognized
The Dana B. Hamel award has been presented to advisory board member, Dr. Paula Pando. Named for the Virginia Community College System’s founding Chancellor, it is the highest award that the VCCS bestows on an individual or group to recognize an extraordinary accomplishment or deed that advances the mission of the VCCS.

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Debra Bragg Selected As Fellow At New America
Congratulations to Debra Bragg, advisory board member, on becoming a Fellow at New America!

Dr. Bragg also published a chapter in New Directions for Community Colleges on ways to close the equity transfer gap. Thanks for doing this important research and work!

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Dr. Carlos Nevarez & J. Luke Wood Publish Vol. 2
Congratulations to Carlos Nevarez, one of our advisory board members, and J. Luke Wood, PhD on their latest publication! Ten years ago Dr. Carlos Nevarez and Dr. J. Luke Wood wrote the book titled, Community College Leadership and Administration: Theory, Practice, and Change.

It became the top textbook in preparing community college leaders and has sold well over two thousand copies. It has also been adopted by a number of American Association of Community College leadership programs in their efforts to prepare the next generation of community college leaders. Now, ten years later, their second volume is out, featuring a revised titled, enhanced content, and a new look. We use their book in our program!

Experts Share Insight And Knowledge

Throughout the year students attended presentations and engaged in with community college experts to enhance their research skills, develop their cultural competence, gain leadership insight, and network.

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Tadé Ayeni, Ed.D., Assistant Professor & Director of the Office of Diversity & Equity at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine; Micki Caskey, Ph.D., Professor Emerita at Portland State University; Jeff Crumpley, Director of Operations at The Center for Community College Student Engagement; Dan Cullinan, Senior Associate, Postsecondary Education at MDRC; Dr. Gregory DeSantis, VP of Student Success and Academic Initiatives, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
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Dr. Mark Erickson, President of Northampton Community College; Dr. Yolanda Farmer, Senior Vice President of Student Development at Joliet Junior College; Dr. Linda Garcia, Executive Director at The Center for Community College Student Engagement; Sue Giancola, Senior Associate Director, Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP), University of Delaware; Dr. Chris Hakala, Director of The Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship at Springfield College
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Angel Jones, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Dr. Larry Nespoli, past president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Dr. Theresa Orosz, assistant dean in the Division of Arts and Sciences at Middlesex Community College; Dr. Tisha Paredes, Assistant VP of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment at Old Dominion University; Dr. Crystal Quillen, Assistant Professor, Middlesex County College
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Dr. Anajli Thanawala, Educator and Consultant for higher education grants; Dr. Jianping Wang, President of Mercer County Community College; Cynthia Wilson, Vice President, Learning, and Chief Impact Officer League for Innovation in the Community College

Ed.D. in Community College Leadership

Advisory Board welcomes four new members

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Please join us in welcoming Donna Breault, our newly appointed dean for the College of Education at New Jersey City University, to our advisory board! She has worked in higher education for over 20 years, serving in various faculty and administrator roles, including teaching in and supporting educational leadership doctoral programs.
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We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Michele Campagna, Assistant Dean, Learning Initiatives & Student Success at Westchester Community College as a member of New Jersey City University's Ed.D. in Community College Leadership Program's Advisory Board!
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We are thrilled to welcome David Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Camden County College, to our Advisory Board! Dr. Edwards has more than three decades of higher education service in both the baccalaureate and community college sector.
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We are excited to welcome Dekia Smith, Ed.D., LPC, Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention at Bucks County Community College to New Jersey City University's Ed.D. in Community College Leadership program's Advisory Board!

The role of the advisory board is to provide guidance and feedback to program coordinators on current issues and trends in the community college sector. The advisory board collaborates with university faculty, staff, students, and administration to facilitate external engagement, providing guidance and advice, and supporting and advocating for the doctoral program in Community College Leadership. NJCU is thrilled to have community college leaders and experts from across the nation on the advisory board for the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership.

Advisory Board Members:
Karen L. Archambault, Debra D. Bragg, Donna Breault, Michele Campagna, Elizabeth Cox Brand, Greg DeSantis, David Edwards, Yolanda Farmer, Eric Friedman, Demond Hargrove, Samuel Hirsch, Hana Lahr, Mark McCormick, Anthony Munroe, Lawrence A. Nespoli, Carlos Nevarez, Paula Pando, Christopher W. Shults, Bette M. Simmons, Dekia Smith, David Stout

Student Perspectives

"The community college leadership program has been a wonderfully challenging experience which has pushed me outside my comfort zone and motivated me to challenge myself in ways I never thought I would be challenged." Nancy Nemorin, Cohort 1

“Community College Leadership has been a great program so far. This program is bnot limited to education majors only. People from any professional background are welcome equally and they can all contribute greatly towards their educational milestones.” Faraz Siddique, Cohort 2

“I was looking for a Doctoral program, but the demands and responsibilities of my job did not allow me to commit, that was until I came across this community college leadership program that is specifically designed for community college professionals, just like me. After 15 years of not being a student, you often second guess yourself about going back, but this program allows you to jump right in." Yeurys Pujols, Cohort 2


LINKEDIN Hits 1900 Followers

LinkedIn is one of the ways we are connecting with community college professionals across the nation, showcasing our work to prospective students, and sharing the accomplishments of our faculty and students.


Join Us at an Upcoming Information Session to Learn More

We know that starting a doctorate is a big decision. Our information sessions will get you the information you need to know prior to continuing your educational journey. We'll cover expectations of the program, what to expect in your classes, the dissertation process, and provide the opportunity to hear from current students in the program about their experience. We hope you'll join us! Use the button below to register.


Want To Be a Part of Cohort 4?
The Ed.D. in Community College Leadership is a practice-focused 55-credit cohort-based online program designed to be completed by working professionals in 3 years.

What makes NJCU different?

  • Practice-focused approach. Coursework and dissertation are based on the scholarly-practitioner model, meaning the application of theory and research is emphasized.
  • Mentoring and experiential learning. Students engage with mentors in the field and gain meaningful project-based learning experiences in the community college setting.
  • High-levels of support with a program evaluation dissertation. Students receive individual guidance as they identify a problem of practice and evaluate a program, practice, or policy.
  • Online, cohort-based approach. Engaging asynchronous learning experiences combined with occasional live online sessions.