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President's Biography

Dr. Kathleen Hetherington is the fourth president of Howard Community College (HCC) and the first to have begun an academic career by earning an associate degree from a community college. Dr. Hetherington, who has over 35 years of progressively responsible community college leadership experience, assumed the presidency of HCC on June 1, 2007.

In 2013, the Governor of Maryland appointed Dr. Hetherington to serve a two-year term on the Maryland Education Council (Education Commission of the States). Dr. Hetherington chairs the Maryland Council of Community College Presidents (MCCCP) and serves as vice president of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC) executive committee.  She is a member of the P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland. Dr. Hetherington recently served on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commission on Communications and Marketing.

Dr. Hetherington has been named three times as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record, thereby achieving recognition in the Circle of Excellence. Most recently, Dr. Hetherington was selected by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) as the recipient of the 2014 Northeast Region Chief Executive Officer Award and was selected from among five regional nominees to win the Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer National Award.  She was a recipient of the 2012 SmartCEO Brava Award, and the 2012 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial President Award. She leads an institution that is nationally recognized for its strong academic programs, innovative approach to instruction, and student support services. HCC enrolls approximately 30,000 credit and noncredit students annually.

Under Dr. Hetherington’s leadership, the college has received numerous accolades including the 2007 U.S. Senate Productivity Award for Organizational Performance Excellence; was a finalist for the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; and was designated by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For” for the last six years.   

Dr. Hetherington serves on various boards and committees including the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and nationally on the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID), which promotes global learning for all students.

Prior to her presidency, Dr. Hetherington served HCC for eight years as vice president of student services, then executive vice president and capital campaign manager, before being appointed president. Previously, she held various positions at the Community College of Philadelphia, including dean of student systems for ten years. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Delaware County Community College.

Dr. Hetherington holds an Ed.D. from Widener University, a M.S. from Villanova University, a B.S.S. from Pennsylvania State University, and an A.A.S. from the Community College of Philadelphia.