Experiential Learning in Action: Empowering Equity-Minded and Entrepreneurial Leaders

Students in the inaugural cohort of the University of Texas College of Education Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership program recently experienced a unique learning opportunity that modeled real-world practice. Richard Rhodes, president and CEO of Austin Community College and professor of practice for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP), tasked students taking his Economics and Finance Policy course with researching a relevant legislative topic in higher education finance and economics and were required to prepare a persuasive legislative proposal supported by factual data and the effective use of visual graphics.

The students presented their proposal in a mock house committee hearing format. Texas State Representative Richard Raymond from Laredo served as chair.  Jacob Fraire, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, served as co-committee chair. The remaining committee members, all of whom serve on as faculty members for the Executive Ed.D. program, were Mark Milliron, former WGU chancellor and co-founder and chief learning officer of Civitas Learning; Molly Beth Malcolm, executive vice president of campus operations and public affairs at Austin Community College; and Harrison Keller, state of Texas Commissioner of Higher Education.