Considered a national thought leader amplifying the role community colleges play in redefining educational success, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide reform efforts, and developing executive leadership teams, Dr. Michael A. Baston has led Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York as its president since 2017. Under Dr. Baston’s leadership, he helped RCC launch a Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, a new guided pathway influenced academic school model, Career and English Skills Academies to address middle-skills workforce needs, and he secured $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institution awards, the largest grants in RCC history. Dr. Baston’s Steps Beyond Statements Initiative has helped to signal specific steps educational institutions can take to foster inclusive excellence. Dr. Baston is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens and the Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.
The Education Design Lab’s Designers in Residence program is an 11-month opportunity for leaders to collaborate with the Lab in co-creating the future role of colleges in their communities.
The 2021 cohort will bring together a design team of 12 visionary thinkers and doers from postsecondary institutions to evolve and strengthen the role of colleges to be regional change agents to close economic and racial opportunity gaps.