Meet Brett Richardson, manager of career and technical education, partnerships and processes, at St. Louis Community College. Richardson’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?
The leadership skills that I hope to develop as part of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation include developing a better sense of empathy, listening and collaboration.
Postsecondary educators work with a diverse population of students, and it is important to meet students where they are, and to appreciate their stories and backgrounds. With the challenges of COVID-19, it is now more important than ever to become good listeners. Collaboration is important as we maintain systems undergoing rapid change.
This program has provided numerous opportunities to collaborate with leaders inside and outside of postsecondary education.
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?
This program will better equip me to support CTE students, particularly underserved groups, toward career success through many professional development activities, such as webinars and listening sessions. Al Long, Jr., one of our classmates, invited fellows to participate in a webinar on the potential learning gaps of underserved student groups during COVID-19. This was a powerful session that really got to the crux of some of the challenges that minority students face. This program opened the door so that I could learn in a new setting. This was one of the most authentic professional development experiences I have ever had.
In your opinion, what are the most important elements of professional development for postsecondary leaders?
I believe that the most important elements of professional development for postsecondary leaders involve activities that engage us to better understand our students and the unique experiences they share. Part of building a resilient postsecondary experience in CTE is developing a better appreciation of our students. We need to better understand their needs, wants and desires, especially those from underserved populations. We can accomplish this by building on leaderships skills, such as empathy, listening and collaboration.
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.