The Civitas Learning National Advisory Board is comprised of researchers, association leaders, and executives whose expertise has influenced higher education policy and practice across the United States and around the world, and has guided our work from day one. We continue the NAB Conversation Series — an opportunity to learn from these luminaries as we continue our work together to help more, and more diverse students learn well and finish strong — with Dr. William “Bill” Holda, Former President of Kilgore College, a senior statesman working with the legislature of Texas, a powerful liaison working with The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and with the Association of Community College Trustees participating in presidential searches.
He discusses the new ways in which accrediting bodies are looking at data as part of the accreditation process, and how institutions have changed their data cultures in order to meet new requirements.
Dr. Holda also shared his experience with presidential searches, and noted that important traits in candidates for these positions include: The ability to fundraise, to understand student success and student services strategies, and get involved with legislation. No matter what… It will no longer be acceptable to be a president and not be intimate with the details of your student population. You have to know the data.
In terms of overcoming the challenges involved in providing support for students, Dr. Holda mentioned that many institutions cannot double the size of their advising team, so they have to find ways to not only leverage their expertise but scale it so that students can have the support they need. He also discussed pathways, but noted that many institutions have implemented pathways that are not necessarily guided. This means institutions have to look at themselves to ask how they are helping students navigate pathways with their own GPS system.