Twenty-one aspiring leaders from the CONNECT institutions, Bridgewater State University, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College, and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, complete the Key Talent Leadership Program. 

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The CONNECT Key Talent Leadership Program was created and launched this year to provide professional development opportunities for talented employees at its member institutions. CONNECT, a consortium of five public higher education institutions in southeastern Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Bridgewater State University; Bristol Community College; Cape Cod Community College; and Massasoit Community College) leveraged the resources of the member institutions to provide a cost-effective and robust program designed to specifically address the professional development needs of its high-performing employees exhibiting the potential for growth into leadership roles.

Selected through a competitive process at each member institution, this inaugural class is comprised of twenty-one aspiring college leaders. Over the course of the seven-month program, the class has engaged in a comprehensive professional learning series on leadership in higher education that included discussions and role-playing activities designed to enhance participants’ leadership skills. Facilitated by Breakthrough Collaboration of Natick, MA, participants will leave the program better prepared to succeed as leaders at their respective institutions.

“My experience with CONNECT Leadership has been nothing but positive, educational, and inspirational,” said participant Christine McCarey, dean of enrollment management and advising services at Cape Cod Community College. “The value of each session is progressive and provides a broad oversight for managing and leading a team… What I enjoyed most was that sessions really made me think and step outside my comfort zone as a manager to explore my ability to lead effectively and efficiently.”

Katie Spavento, assistant director of admissions at Bristol Community College and Key Talent Leadership Program participant said, “I feel truly honored that BCC selected to invest in me this year, through sponsoring my participation in KTLP. It is an opportunity that will never be forgotten-I’m confident the content I’ve learned will guide me into and through the next phases of my career”.

A highlight of the program was a visit by Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland to the final session of the program on Friday, April 3. Commissioner Freeland joined senior leaders from each CONNECT institution in a discussion of leadership paths, styles, and practices in higher education. Commissioner Freeland, who will retire this June after a career in higher education spanning more than 40 years, offered thoughtful and insightful reflections on his own journey and growth as a leader throughout his career.

If you would like additional information about the Key Talent Leadership Program, or any of the CONNECT Partnership’s other initiatives, please contact Stacey A. Kaminski, Ed.D, executive director of CONNECT, at 508-531-1437 or via email to stacey.kaminski@connectsemass.org.