About Us

About Us

Wheelhouse Leadership: Debbie Travis, Susanna Cooper,  and Michal Kurlaender.

The mission of Wheelhouse is to support and resource current and future leaders in the California Community Colleges system. The strength of that leadership is essential to the success of the California economy and to the state’s culture of broad opportunity for a diverse population. Our focus is twofold:

Leadership development and support. Our institutes deliver professional and peer learning for district chancellors and college presidents that is transformational in nature, tailored to current needs, and developed with the California context in mind.

Actionable research. We conduct, translate and disseminate timely, relevant, rigorous, third-party research to inform practice policy development for Community College leaders and state and local policymakers.

Where once college leaders and policymakers had to look out of state for these resources, Wheelhouse develops and delivers them here in California. 


  • University of California, Davis
  • Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (California Community College Chancellor’s Office)
  • College Futures Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The James Irvine Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences

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