Southwest President appointed to American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Economic and Workforce Development

President Tracy D. 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.

The board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has appointed Southwest Tennessee Community College (Southwest) President Dr. Tracy D. Hall to the Commission on Economic Workforce Development.  Hall’s three-year term runs from July 1, 2019, 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 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,” President Hall said. “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.”

Dr. Hall began her tenure at Southwest, the second-largest community college in Tennessee, in July 2015.  Since her arrival, Dr. Hall 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 Achieving the Dream, has earned Southwest high marks in the April 2019 Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) 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 graduation 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 the state of Tennessee last fall elected Dr. Hall to serve as the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Presidents’ Council 2019 president. Dr. Hall has more than 18 years of academic leadership. Prior to her arrival at Southwest, Dr. Hall served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.  She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri.