Two from Lee named TSC Leadership Fellows

Scott Bennett and Kelli Forde-Spiers
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Scott Bennett, Kelli Forde-Spiers to Represent College

Two of Lee College's rising stars have been named fellows in the Texas Success Center's (TSC) new Texas Leadership Academy for Student Success. Scott Bennett, associate vice president of Student Services and Kelli Forde-Spiers, executive director basic needs & Title V grant project will collaborate with fellow educators from across the state on strategies to improve student success outcomes. More specifically, the Leadership Academy will align closely with Lee College's work to implement Talent Strong Texas Pathways reforms.

"Being accepted into the TSC Leadership Academy signifies that Lee College values my leadership contributions and potential," said Bennett. "This recognition is deeply meaningful to me, and I am grateful for this opportunity."

Forde-Spiers added, "For me, the Texas Leadership Academy is an opportunity to strengthen my leadership skills and self-confidence to make positive transformational change at Lee College."

As fellows of Cohort 1, Bennett and Forde-Spiers will participate in series of in-person and virtual workshops over the next year which are focused on further developing community college leaders. They will follow a curriculum from the Aspen Institute for College Excellence that emphasizes an understanding of student success and change management.

The following content sessions include:

  • The Essential Roles of Leadership in Student Success
  • Keeping Students' End Goals in Mind
  • The Student Experience
  • Leadership Traits to Drive Change
  • Managing and Advancing Institutional Change
  • Effective External Partnerships & the Leadership Journey

Bennett and Forde-Spiers will connect with other TSC Leadership Fellows through project development and round table discussions — allowing them to learn from colleagues at Texas community colleges similar in size to Lee College.

"Scott and Kelli have proven, through their respective positions at the college, that they possess the critical skills and knowledge in order to build upon the incredible work they are already doing with our students," said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College president. "They are tremendous leaders, and I am certain they will represent our institution well."

According to the TSC Leadership Academy website, The National Center for Inquiry & Improvement is leading this project with colleagues at the Aspen College Excellence Program and the Success Center for Ohio's Community Colleges.

"The Texas Leadership Academy is a crucial investment in the future of Texas as it prepares community college leaders with the tools and knowledge they need to enhance student success and support workforce development across the state," said Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, executive director, Texas Success Center. "We appreciate the philanthropic support from our education partners at Ascendium, ECMC and the Kresge Foundation for developing a program that will pay dividends for generations to come."