Watson Chronicle


Watson College News

WCE Launches Community College Collaborative

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Watson College of Education has launched a new initiative in partnership with community colleges in Eastern North Carolina. The UNCW 3C Collaborative seeks to grow the next generation of community college leaders through collaborative partnerships, professional development and new graduate programs for aspiring community college leaders.

The initiative got underway in May, when Watson welcomed representatives from 25 community colleges to campus for a full-day leadership gathering to present ideas about WCE’s new Community College Leadership Certificate program and explore possibilities for future collaboration.

In September, WCE Dean Van Dempsey and Program Coordinator Denise Henning were invited to present about the UNCW 3C Collaborative to the North Carolina Eastern Region Chief Academic Officers, and they had an opportunity to present to the Brunswick Community College President’s Cabinet in October. Henning and Watson Recruiter Dean Heath also met with more than 100 community college leaders at lunch and learn meetings held at Wayne, Lenoir, Nash, Craven and Brunswick Community Colleges this fall.

“Community college leaders have been very receptive to the 3C Collaborative initiative,” Henning said.

“There are 28 community colleges in the eastern region of the state and all but two are rural. Leaders at these institutions have expressed interest in our new Community College Leadership certificate and in on-site professional development delivered in partnership with UNCW.”

The UNCW 3C Collaborative will offer two pilot professional development summits and an inaugural UNCW 3C conference in 2020. The team is also focused on building partnerships to provide applied learning opportunities for students enrolled in the Community College Leadership certificate program.

Pilot Programs – Spring 2020

Two professional development events will be held in spring 2020 in partnership with Craven, Lenoir and Nash Community Colleges. The Aspiring Leaders’ Summits will use Critical Appreciative Inquiry as a methodology, be rural-focused and have on-site delivery at Nash Community College and Craven Community College at no cost to participants.

Annual Conference – June 2020

Community college leaders will be invited to attend the first annual UNCW 3C Collaborative Conference, June 11-12, 2020. The theme of the event is “Challenging the Paradigm: Collaborative Conference on Best Practices and Future Trends.” The conference, which will feature sessions on topics relevant to NC community college leaders and aspiring leaders, will be held at UNCW.

Community College Leadership Certificate Program

Five students are enrolled in a pilot cohort for a new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program in Community College Leadership that began in August. The 12- credit hour program, offered through the Higher Education program in WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership, is designed for community college administrators and faculty members. Courses focus on teaching and learning at community colleges and provide an overview of the mission, functions and diversity among community college leadership. Organizational management, including policy and budgeting, will also be covered.

The program is offered in a hybrid format that provides flexibility for full-time professionals who may need access to distance education options. 

UNCW is currently accepting applications for the next cohort which begins summer 1 2020. Interested individuals can visit the program website for information or UNCW’s Graduate School to apply.

For more information about the new Community College partnership initiative visit the UNCW 3C website or contact Dr. Henning at henningd@uncw.edu or 910-859-4889.