NASPA Online Learning Community

Improving Praxis at Community Colleges Through Research

Improving Praxis at Community Colleges Through Research

Includes a Live Web Event on 04/30/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

Much of the research on higher education is situated within four-year university settings. The research on community college is often conducted by faculty, who work at four-year institutions but have an interest in community colleges. While this research is beneficial for improving praxis at community colleges, practitioners who work in community college settings can provide unique perspectives on the type of research that is needed and have the opportunity to implement evidence-based recommendations at their own institutions.

Recognizing the need for more practitioner-driven research in the community college setting, this webinar highlights insights from three community college leaders and recent recipients of a an education doctorate (Ed.D.). Our speakers will share how conducting research through their doctoral program informed their praxis, focusing in particular on the impact their own dissertation research had on their institutions.

Learning Outcomes: 

After viewing this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the value of practitioner-driven research in the community college setting
  • Discover the potential of practice-focused dissertations
  • Identify opportunities for evidence-based decision-making at community colleges

Gudrun Nyunt

Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator

Northern Illinois University

Dr. Gudrun Nyunt is an assistant professor and program coordinator of the higher education and student affairs programs at Northern Illinois University. She teaches courses in the Master’s of higher education and student affairs, the Ed.D. in higher education administration, and the Community College Leadership Ed.D. programs. Her research interests focus on employment in higher education, student mobility, and student, staff, and faculty well-being.

Eric Agee

Athletic Director/Health and Physical Education Instructor

Lawson State Community College

Dr. Eric Agee Jr. is a 2022 graduate of the NIU's Ed.D. of High Education: Community College Leadership program. He is a native of Birmingham, AL, and currently works as the Athletic Director/Health and Physical Education Instructor at Lawson State Community College. Located in Southwest Birmingham, Lawson State Community College is 1 of 12 two-year HBCUs in the U.S. His dissertation title was "We Made It. Now what? A Qualitative Case Study Exploring How the Transition of Black Men to a Historically Black Community College is Influenced by Orientation 101”. 

Jacob Cushing

Director of Student Recruitment and Onboarding

College of Lake County

Dr. Jacob Cushing is currently the Director of Student Recruitment and Onboarding at the College of Lake County. With over a decade of dedication to higher education access and inclusion, he has consistently aimed to enhance the educational experience for both domestic and international students. His scholarly pursuits are rooted in amplifying international student success initiatives, with a specific focus on strategic acculturative support models. Dr. Cushing holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in Education from Truman State University, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Community College Leadership from Northern Illinois University. Dr. Cushing's academic background, extensive international travel, and experience living and working abroad have equipped him with unique insights and perspectives that have enriched his professional contributions and further underscores his commitment to fostering an environment of inclusivity, innovation, and excellence.

Kimberly Hollingsworth


Olive-Harvey College

Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth serves as president of Olive-Harvey College, one of City Colleges of Chicago, located on Chicago’s far South Side. Dr. Hollingsworth has over 25 years of experience in higher education. She is passionate about serving underrepresented student populations, which has led her to work in community college settings. Her current institution, Olive-Harvey College, serves thousands of students annually in their pursuit of a certificate, degree, high school equivalency, or to learn English as a second language. Dr. Hollingsworth has participated in and helped lead 2 HLC reaffirmation visits, has successfully written grant proposals totaling over $10M, has developed strong and sustainable shared governance models while at the City Colleges of Chicago, and is known for her experience in strategic planning and strategic enrollment management. 

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