Meet Pam Carter (PLSP-ECMC Foundation fellow)

Meet Pam Carter, dean of business & technology at Community College of Philadelphia. Carter’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?

I have held leadership positions in higher education for the past eight years, and this year has been like no other — given the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and heightened awareness of racial issues in the U.S. right now. In response, the leadership skills I am most focused on are resilience, empathy and the ability to execute in this environment. In addition to the leadership skill-building aspects of the program, I am fortunate to have a wonderful program mentor, who supports strengthening my skills in these areas.

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 serve as a dean at a community college, where most students are eligible for Pell Grants; approximately 72% are minority students, and 21% are enrolled in CTE programs. Most programs in the division I lead are CTE programs. Having worked primarily at research institutions in the past, my goals include learning more about Perkins funding, strategies for CTE student recruitment, successfully promoting CTE programs, and building partnerships with business and industry that benefit community college students. These areas strongly influence our ability to effectively support potential and current CTE students as they work toward career success.

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

I love postsecondary education for the opportunities it provides people, from all walks of life, to support and enhance their lives, as well as to support the civic and talent needs of a community.

However, to effectively fulfill these roles, postsecondary education must not only remain current, but focused on the future. This is not possible without continual professional development for postsecondary leaders that enables:

  1. Depth where expertise facilitates meeting current and future needs
  2. Breadth to support systems thinking and leveraging interconnections inherent in our work
  3. Exploration to promote entrepreneurial problem-solving approaches

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.