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Public servant, community college advocate and educational leader Jack Scott left a legacy of reform and refocused the nation’s largest statewide community college system to function more efficiently amid an era of complexity and budgetary challenges.
This weekend, at start of the annual American Association of Community Colleges convention in San Francisco, AACC will honor Scott—who served as chancellor of the California Community Colleges from 2008-12—with its 2013 Leadership Award.
Scott served as the 14th chancellor of California’s two-year college system, leading it through the state’s worst economic crisis. His desire to improve community colleges by making them more transparent and accountable undergirded his efforts.
Scott championed the state’s 2012 Student Success Act, which aims to improve educational outcomes for students and makes community colleges more responsive to student needs and the economy. The act focused colleges on a core mission centered on workforce preparation, certificate and degree attainment, and transfer.
Chancellor Jack Scott says farewell, in his own words (see video, below)
Scott also streamlined links between community colleges and the California State University System. The Associate Degree for Transfer program guarantees that if students follow a designated pathway for an associate degree, they will receive enrollment priority and attain junior standing at a California state university.
Prior to becoming chancellor, Scott served for eight years in the California Senate and for four years in the California Assembly. During his legislative career, he authored 146 bills and spearheaded landmark legislation to assist community colleges and improve the state’s workforce.
From 2000-2008, Scott chaired the state Senate Committee on Education, which considered all legislative measures dealing with K-12 education and the state’s colleges and universities. He chaired the state Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, which oversees nearly half of the state budget.
For his work championing education, Scott was named legislator of the year by many organizations, including the California Federation of Teachers, the Association of California Community College Administrators and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Before he was elected to state office in 1996, Scott served as president of Pasadena City College and later Cypress College. He was dean of instruction at Orange Coast College and a professor and administrator at Pepperdine University.
He is a former president of the Association of California Community College Administrators and a former chair of the Accreditation Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Chancellor Jack Scott says farewell
Photo and video: California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
Copyright ©2014 American Association of Community Colleges