Meet Brittney Baptiste Williams (PLSP-ECMC Foundation fellow)

Meet Brittney Baptiste Williams, assistant executive director for career & technical education at Louisiana Community & Technical Colleges. Baptiste Williams’s interview appears as part of a spotlight series on 2020–21 fellows in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.

What leadership skills do you hope to develop as part of the Postsecond­ary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation?

As a fellow of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation, I hope to develop confidence, communication and change-management skills. Assignments are designed to maximize those skills.

First, the professional development plan emphasizes personal growth, which will allow me to own my education, expertise and experience. Second, the monthly webinars, blog posts and presentations provide opportunities to practice effective written, oral and interpersonal communication, allowing me to effectively convey messages to diverse groups. Third, the institutional improvement plan inspires me to be a change agent — able to recognize, respond to and manage organizational change.

How do you anticipate your participation in the program will better equip you to support career and technical edu­cation (CTE) students, particularly underserved groups, toward career success?

I anticipate my participation within the PSLP–ECMC Foundation will strengthen my experience and better equip me in my role in the state’s CTE office. I have a unique opportunity to influence policies that may ensure equitable access and opportunities for CTE students, including underserved groups.

This program will allow me access to a diverse network of fellows whose shared experiences contribute meaning and understanding to CTE. Each fellow has experiences that shape how they engage students. By sharing those experiences, we will collectively create a database of tools to utilize to support CTE student success.

In your opinion, what are the most important elements of professional development for postsecondary leaders?

The most important elements of professional development are self-awareness, diversity and inclusion, advocacy, and collaboration. Leaders must understand their own strengths, weaknesses and biases because those influence behavior patterns and decision-making. Diversity and inclusion may reduce bias and foster collaboration among team members. It’s imperative resources are available to aid in that engagement.

Interactions with underserved population groups shaped my desire to influence CTE at the local level, and also to build a blueprint for student success at the state level. My positive outlook, enthusiasm, and my experience in the PSLP–ECMC Foundation will assist with this goal.

Learn more about the PLSP–ECMC Foundation.

The Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation presents a yearlong professional development experience. The program is intended to develop the organizational leadership and management skills of postsecondary CTE professionals, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of underserved populations. Applications for the third cohort accepted Oct. 1–Dec. 15.