The Colorado Community College System is governed by a nine-member State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). The Board is unique in the nation, with responsibility for both secondary and post-secondary career and technical education and community college governance. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate for staggered four-year terms. One community college faculty member and one student representative serve in non-voting capacities for one year each.
Statutory Role and Mission
C.R.S. 23-60-201-There is hereby established a state system of community and technical colleges which shall be under the management and jurisdiction of the state board for community colleges and occupational education. The mission of the community colleges shall be to serve Colorado residents who reside in their service areas by offering a broad range of general, personal, career, and technical education programs. Except as provided in section 23-60-211, each college shall be a two-year college. Each community college may offer two-year degree programs with or without academic designation, and, upon approval of the board pursuant to section 23-60-211, may offer technical, career, and workforce development bachelor of applied science degree programs. No college shall impose admission requirements upon any student. The objects of the community and technical colleges shall be to provide educational programs to fill the occupational needs of youth and adults in career and technical fields, two-year transfer educational programs to qualify students for admission to the junior year at other colleges and universities, basic skills, workforce development, and a broad range of personal and career education for adults, and technical, career, and workforce development bachelor of applied science degree programs established pursuant to section 23-60-211, that address the needs of the community within each community college service area.
In July, 2009 the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education met with the college presidents and senior staff and articulated a new vision statement for the community college system. Our vision is that Colorado community colleges are unsurpassed at providing quality educational opportunities for all who aspire to enrich their lives.
The words in this statement were chosen with considerable thought. The words “unsurpassed” and “enrich” were chosen to convey the notion that the community colleges currently do the best job of serving students with a wide range of goals, from attainment of degrees and certificates to tuning up job skills and personal enrichment. These words also express a vision for the future, as our community colleges continue to respond to a dynamic labor market, changing workforce needs, and demographic shifts in Colorado’s population. The Board also sought to encompass the varied constituencies served by community colleges, including high school students in dual enrollment programs, traditional college-age students, and adult learners of all ages.
The word “all” was chosen to convey our open access mission. For community colleges, excellence does not come from being overly selective and keeping students out. Excellence comes from letting students in and then providing them with the best learning environment to enable them to succeed. Our open access mission signifies this excellence.
The word “quality” was deliberately chosen to assure that the education we provide our students is top notch. We know that our students who transfer to other public colleges in Colorado do as well or better than students who start at those institutions. Our students deserve this quality education so that they can be successful in their lives.
Term Expires: 12/31/2020
Dr. Russell J. Meyer held a wide variety of teaching and administrative positions until he retired from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2011. At CSU-Pueblo he served as Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs for five years (including a two-month period in which he was both interim provost and interim president) and as Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for six years. He was also the Chief Academic Officer of the CSU System for the three years prior to his retirement.
Before moving to Colorado, Dr. Meyer was Chair of the Department of English at Emporia (Kansas) State University and, prior to that, at the University of Houston-Downtown. He began his teaching career at the University of Missouri, where he also served as director of both the composition program and of undergraduate studies.
Dr. Meyer has his PhD in English from the University of Minnesota and his BA and MA (both also in English) from Ohio State University. He has published books and articles on English Renaissance literature and on developmental composition.
From 2000 until 2009, Dr. Meyer was a member of the governing board of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy (AUDEM), a consortium of U.S. and Central and Eastern European Universities, founded shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union. AUDEM’s goal is to work with academic institutions in the former Soviet bloc to improve education on both sides of the Atlantic. Dr. Meyer served as the American Vice President of AUDEM for five years and was editor of the organization’s annual publication (Perspectives in Higher Education Reform) for eight years.
Dr. Meyer has served on several community boards, including the Rosemount Museum and Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center (both in Pueblo) and the Kansas Humanities Council.
Term Expires: 12/31/2017
Jean White is an educator, an entrepreneur, and served as Senator for District 8 for 2 years. She was born and raised on a ranch in South Dakota and graduated from South Dakota State University with a BS Degree in Education, and a minor in Fashion Design and Merchandising. After working as a county extension agent in charge of 4-H programs, she taught junior high science and senior high home economics. In 2001 she enrolled in the Interior Design Program at ACC which launched her career as an interior designer.
Jean and her husband, Al, spent 25 years in the ski business as owners and operators of several full service ski shops, a bike shop, and a mountain lodge. They have been married for 34 years, and have two children.
In addition to an active political life, Jean currently owns and operates an interior design company, and serves on the following Councils and Boards:
- Colorado Tourism Office Board
- El Pomar Northwest Regional Council Board
- Tony Grampsas Youth Services Board
- Behavioral Health Transformation Council
- Colorado Extension Advisory Council
- State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education
Term Expires: 12/31/2018
Presley F. Askew was president of Windsor Financial Group, a registered investment advisory company operating in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. After the company was acquired by a unit of American Express, Pres continued to manage Windsor for six years before retiring.
Prior to his time with Windsor Financial Group, Pres was a Zone Vice President overseeing operations in nine western states for Fidelity Union before it was acquired by Allianz’s USA operations.
Preceding his time in business, Pres was the basketball coach and Chairman of the Department of Physical Education at Carroll College (Helena, Mt.) after previously being an assistant basketball coach and teacher at Regis University and Idaho State University.
Since retiring, Pres has served on multiple boards, including the Denver Athletic Club from 1993 to 1996 and from 2010 to 2013. In addition to being president of the DAC board, Pres also was chairman of the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Board to which he was appointed by Governor Ritter in 2007 and served six years. He is also past president of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. Currently Pres is on the New Mexico State University Foundation Board of Directors.
In 2009 Pres was named “Colorado Outstanding Volunteer” and recognized at National Philanthropy Days. In 2010 Pres was the “Distinguished Alumnus” for the College of Education at New Mexico State University.
Pres and his wife, Patti, reside in Wheat Ridge and have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Term Expires: 12/31/2020
Senator Rollie Heath graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin. He then served in the U.S. Army for 23 years, with nine years of active duty and 14 years of reserve service. His extensive private sector career included 17 years in senior management with Johns Manville Corporation. He founded the Rocky Mountain World Trade Center in 1988, and later served on the Gateway Committee that helped educate the Denver metro region about the importance of building Denver International Airport (DIA). He ran as the Democratic Party’s nominee for Governor of Colorado in 2002. He was named one of the Public Education Business Coalition’s (PEBC) 25 Champions of Education in 2008. He was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2008, and was re-elected for another four-year term in 2012. Senator Heath was elected Senate Majority Leader in 2013, and was elected the Assistant Senate Minority Leader in 2014. After being elected to the Senate, he served on the state’s Joint Select Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth in 2008-09, during the depths of the recession. He was named the chair of a state Long-Term Fiscal Stability Commission in 2009, and co-chaired the state’s Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting in 2011. He has served as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Education, Appropriations, and Business, Labor & Technology committees in the Senate. He is married to former Boulder County Commissioner Josie Heath, and the couple has two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.
Term Expires: 12/31/2017
President and CEO, Young Americans Center for Financial Education and Young Americans Bank, Denver, Colorado
Young Americans Center for Financial Education is home to Young Americans Bank, the world’s only bank specifically designed for young people. Young Americans also conducts hands-on lessons in free enterprise, global economics, and entrepreneurship. To date over 440,000 youth have benefited from the programs Young Americans offers.
Martinez joined Young Americans in 1999 and has held several roles including VP/Audit, VP/Young Americans Bank, and Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. He was named President and CEO in November 2007. Martinez is responsible for the oversight of Young Americans Bank and the nonprofit programs of Young Americans Center for Financial Education.
He began his banking career in Colorado in 1990 as an intern at the Norwest Bank of Fort Collins (now Wells Fargo bank) while pursuing a finance degree from Colorado State University. During his two-year internship, he worked in all aspects of commercial bank operations.
Upon graduation from college in 1992, Martinez accepted a position at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver Branch as a bank examiner. His responsibilities included conducting examinations of financial institutions and inspections of bank holding companies to determine financial safety and soundness. He earned the commissioned examiner distinction in 1998.
He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Regis University. His degree emphasis was in computer information systems. Martinez was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to serve on the board of CollegeInvest, Colorado’s 529 College Savings provider. Martinez also serves on the Colorado Nonprofit Association Board of Directors and the University of Denver Bridge Project scholarship committee.
Term Expires: 12/31/2018
On January 1, 1997, Jim assumed the role of President and CEO of GE Johnson Construction Company, a commercial general contractor with annual sales volumes in excess of $400 million headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Before becoming President, Jim served as Vice President in which primary responsibilities included business development and the formation of the Special Projects Division. Jim was born in Wichita, Kansas, however, grew up in Colorado Springs. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science in 1984 from Kansas State University.
Jim is a current board member of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region Foundation Board; Wells Fargo Bank-Colorado Springs Community Board of Directors; Kansas State University Foundation Board of Trustees; Kansas State University College of Engineering Advisory Council; Kansas State University Alumni Association Board of Trustees; Member Young Presidents Organization.
Jim is past board member of the Downtown Partnership Board of Directors; Associated General Contractors-Colorado board member; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; El Pomar Community Health; Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs; Penrose Hospital Foundation Board; Past Chair of the Penrose Foundation Capital Campaign; past member of the Workers Compensation Coalition; past member of the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation; Citizen’s Goals Board Member; and a past member of the Southeast Denver Douglas County Economic Development Council. Jim served as President of Citizen’s Goals in 1994 and was a member of the El Pomar Community Health Center Board of Trustees, serving as President in 1992-1993.
Term Expires: 12/31/2015
Byron McClenney has completed over 52 years as an educator, including almost 33 years as a community college chief executive. He served for 10 years as Director of Student Success Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin which included the role of National Director of Leadership Coaching for Achieving the Dream, and was a senior lecturer at UT. He has served as a consultant to institutions, state higher education systems, state governments, and professional associations in 47 states and internationally.
McClenney was selected as one of the 100 most effective chief executives in higher education (The Chronicle, November, 1986) and as one of the 50 most effective community college leaders (AACJC Journal, June/July 1988). He received the Thomas J. Peters National Leadership Award from the League for Innovation and the University of Texas (1989). The NISOD International Leadership Award was presented in 1996 and the PTK Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction followed in 1998. He accepted the TIAA-CREF 2000 Hesburgh Award to the Community College of Denver where he served for 14 years. In recognition for inspiring significant change in teaching and learning, he received the PBS 2002 O’Banion Prize at the League for Innovation. A career highlight was the presentation of the 2011 AACC Leadership Award.
McClenney’s numerous publications and speaking engagements have focused on student success, institutional effectiveness, developmental education, leadership, strategic planning, and organizational development and transformation. He was active in accreditation work for four decades. All of his degrees were awarded by UT for work completed in the College of Education from which he received the Distinguished Graduate Award (1983).
Term Expires: 12/31/2015
In November 2011 Theresa Pena completed 8½ years of service on the Denver Public School Board of Education, including four years as the Board President. Prior to serving on the school board Theresa worked in the private sector for IBM and US WEST in finance, human resources, audit, operations, and marketing. Before joining the school board Theresa was the business manager for two small businesses, a veterinary practice and a clothing manufacturer, owned by her husband and brother. Currently, Theresa is a Senior Education Fellow for the Colorado Children’s Campaign working on the Integration Project.
Theresa is a Denver native. She earned a BA from Pomona College and a MBA from Cornell University. She has two children in Denver Public Schools and her husband is a veterinary ophthalmologist.
She is a board member of the Denver Scholarship Foundation, the Public Education Business Coalition, the Denver Preschool Program, and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado; she was a member of the Colorado Governor’s P20 Council and the Colorado Higher Education Steering Committee. Theresa formerly served on the Council of Great City Schools, a national coalition of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, Denver Public Schools Retirement System and the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council.
Term Expires: 12/31/2018
Mr. Weil’s consulting practice focuses on developing new financial models to accelerate the growth of highly-effective social programs. Previously he served as the regional Executive Director of College Summit, where he drove 250% growth over two years, thus increasing the number of students from low income communities going to college.
Prior to joining College Summit, he was CEO of Denver Forward, Mayor Hancock’s transition organization, after serving as Governor Ritter’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Initiatives where he was responsible for developing and implementing the Governor’s Colorado Promise agenda. He also served as Chair of the Ritter for Governor Campaign.
He was the founder and President of Rose Biomedical Research and Rose Biomedical Development Corporation. The Rose companies created partnerships to develop, test, and commercialize early-stage medical technologies. Before his years at Rose, he was a policy advisor to former Governor Richard Lamm.
Mr. Weil has served in leadership roles on several Boards of non-profit organizations. He currently serves on the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education which governs 13 colleges.
Mr. Weil received a B.Ph. from Miami University and a M.P.A from George Washington University.
Kelly O’Dell worked as an adjunct instructor for CCCS colleges for more than three years before she was hired as a full-time faculty member at the Community College of Aurora (CCA) in January of 2013.
She currently teaches General Psychology I, Abnormal Psychology, and Social Psychology after previously leading courses on General Psychology II, Human Sexuality, Human Growth and Development, and Child Development.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities at CCA, Kelly has been the Chair of the Academic Affairs Assessment Committee since December of 2013 and has represented CCA’s faculty on the State Faculty Advisory Council for the last two years. She has also been engaged in CCA’s Inclusive Excellence initiative as a faculty mentor.
Kelly has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and Associate degrees in Liberal Arts and Psychology from Casper (Wyo.) College.
Term Expires: 06/30/2018
Rachel Bellinsky is a non-traditional student at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) completing an Associate of General Studies degree. She plans to transfer in the fall of 2018 to Metropolitan State University where she will major in Dance and Social Work. She intends to obtain a Masters in Social Work from MSU at the same time completing her credentials in Dance Movement Therapy. Her goal is to have a career in the mental health field working with a broad range of people including abuse victims, the elderly, and veterans.
Rachel serves as the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) representative for ACC’s Student Government, and was recently elected as the vice-chair for the State Student Advisory Council under the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). She is VP of Special Events for the Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and participates in ACC’s Running Club. Rachel has a work-study position at ACC’s Student Life Office where she enjoys working with students, professors, and faculty.
Originally from the Chicagoland area, in 2014 Rachel and her family moved to Colorado after spending five years living overseas in Israel. As a stay at home mother for many years, she divorced shortly after moving to Colorado. Going through a divorce, starting life over as a single-mom, and beginning college has been challenging for Rachel. While going through these many personal challenges Rachel became a runner for the first time in her life, completing her first half marathon this past May. Through her new-found love of running she volunteers with the organization Girls on the Run, an after-school program that teaches girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident.