We are Experts on Community Colleges

Cynthia Heelan was President at Colorado Mountain College from July, 1993 to November, 2002; over a period of 30 years she served as an associate dean and as a vice president of community colleges in Minnesota.  She is a Past Chair for the American Association of Community College Board of Directors and past Board member of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Accrediting Association, the Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium Board, the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University; Past Chair of the Colorado Literacy Commission, and the Minnesota Association of Continuing Adult Education, and member of numerous state, regional and local boards and advisory groups.  She currently serves as board chair for Battery Dance Company of New York City.  She is co-author along with Dr. Gail Mellow of the book:  Minding the Dream:  Process and Practice in the American Community College

Associates have a combined history of 150 years of community college experience.



Community colleges are the only distinctly American form of higher education. They have an explicit and implicit commitment to access, community development, and social justice. Not only do community colleges educate almost half of all undergraduates; they disproportionately educate students from racial or ethnic minorities. On average, community college students are older, poorer, more likely to be part-time and working, and more likely to be the first member of their family in college. Despite these powerful demographics, few social advocates understand the pivotal role of community colleges in creating a fair and equitable society. Mellow and Heelan, 2008

Be a More Creative and Effective Community College

Colleges experience pressure to be creative, productive and effective.  Too many organizations do not understand that the most important thing they can do to be more creative, productive and effective is to unleash the truth hidden at the bottom of the hearts of faculty and staff members.  This unleashing can be initiated by simply providing opportunities for people to sort through those things most important to them and then dialogue about them with their colleagues. 

This staff development experience combines information presentation with real-life experiences of the kind of dialogue that can enhance college-wide communication, creativity and effectiveness.

Advocate More and Continuously Improve Results

We help your college understand major issues today in implementing the mission of the community college.  We support your college staff with information that helps them be good advocates for this important movement, and at the same time explore ways to become even more effective in their work.  We examine education as a public good, diversity, pedagogy, transfer, developmental studies, governance, accountability and many more issues of primary importance to community colleges.