HCC's Presidential Search
Howard Community College (HCC) is actively seeking its next president. The current president, Dr. Kathleen Hetherington, will retire October 1, 2021, after 14 years as president and 22 years of highly distinguished service to the college. An advocate for community colleges, Dr. Hetherington is the fourth president in the college’s history and the first to have graduated from a community college. The new president will be invited to assume office after October 1, 2021.
HCC is the leading college choice for students and families in Howard County, Maryland. Founded by the Board of Education of Howard County, HCC was formally authorized by the Howard County Commissioners and approved by the State of Maryland in 1966. In October 1970, Howard Community College welcomed 594 students to its one-building campus. Now, more than 50 years later, HCC continues to provide the same quality higher education to more than 26,000 students.
A public community college, HCC is located in the heart of Columbia, a diverse and vibrant community founded on the ideal of becoming “a garden for growing people.” HCC offers associate degree and certificate programs to more than 14,000 credit students annually, leading to transfer to four-year colleges or to immediate employment upon graduation. Approximately 43 percent of all Howard County undergraduates attend HCC, and the college outperforms its four-year university competitors in drawing recent graduates from the public school system. Additionally, over 12,000 students take noncredit courses for professional development or personal enrichment.
The president reports to a seven-member board of trustees, the college’s legal governing body, whose members are appointed by the governor of Maryland. While the board has decision-making authority, it values the input of the college through a defined process of shared governance.
HCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college underwent its reaccreditation site visit in March 2021. The college received reaccreditation in June 2021.
Over its 50-year history, HCC has honed its commitment to a student-centered mission of providing pathways to success. With a dedication to continuous quality and process improvement, faculty and staff strive for excellence in service to students, colleagues, and the community. A 2019 winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for education, HCC has systematically focused on its strategic goals of student success, completion, and lifelong learning; organizational excellence; and building and sustaining partnerships. As a result, HCC has achieved remarkable results in closing achievement gaps, increasing completion, and preparing students for the workforce.