Our Achieving the Dream (AtD) Coaches, Dr. Mary Fifield and Dr. Trudy Bers, will make their first visit to ICC on Dec. 4 and 5. All employees will have the opportunity to meet the coaches during two all-campus meetings, and the Strategic Planning Teams will meet separately with the coaches as well.
Mary Fifield served as President at two community colleges spanning 20 years: Bunker Hill Community College in Boston (BHCC) and Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in Pennsylvania. During her tenure at each institution, each college was selected as the national recipient for achievement of equity and opportunity for persons of color and women by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Her 45 year community college service includes experience as Academic Vice-President, Dean of Instruction, Department Chair and faculty member.
Her strengths include institutional transformation, financial management and strategic planning. She has led massive assessments and revamping of college finances, the physical plant, human resources, organizational structures and the teaching and learning process. Her accomplishments include the creation of highly effective cyclical strategic planning processes involving both public and private sector interests in conjunction with faculty, staff and students.
Dr. Fifield is a former member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Association of Community Colleges (AACC). She has served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Leadership Transition Team for Higher Education as well as on the Commonwealth’s Workforce Investment Board. She has extensive experience with accreditation standards: first serving as evaluator in the areas of organizational development and institutional effectiveness for the North Central, Middle States and New England accrediting bodies and later as one of the 18 Commissioners of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) responsible for validating standard compliance of colleges and universities in New England.
Her record of public service, publications and presentations is extensive and includes a filmed CNN interview which aired on “Your Money” several times. She has given testimony before numerous state and federal legislative committees including representing AACC at the Spelling’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education.
She holds a B.A. from Clarke College, an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. Currently, Dr. Fifield, President Emerita of BHCC, works with other colleges aspiring to increase student success and completion as an Achieving the Dream Leadership Coach.
She was formerly the Executive Director of Research, Curriculum and Planning at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. She is a Data Coach for eight Achieving the Dream colleges; a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission regional accrediting association; a faculty member in the University of Maryland University College doctor of management in community college leadership program; program evaluator for a Kresge Foundation grant at Governors State University in Illinois; and Title III evaluator for Lawrence University in Wisconsin.
Her research interests include the community college, the assessment of student learning outcomes, and the effective presentation and use of data. She has been president of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, the National Community College Council for Research and Planning and the Illinois Association for Institutional Research, and is former chair of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative Executive Committee. She has published more than more than fifty articles in professional journals, edited or co-edited four issues of New Directions for Community Colleges, co-authored two AIR online professional development courses, and made more than fifty presentations at professional conferences.
Bers earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, an A.M. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana.