Housed at the UC Davis School of Education, Wheelhouse supports and cultivates current and future community college leaders through professional development and research.
Leadership Institutes: In February, 2017, Wheelhouse convened its first annual cohort of 21 sitting and aspiring community college presidents and chancellors, bringing them to UC Davis for multiple institutes during the year featuring intensive professional learning and peer support. Learn more about the Leadership Institutes here.
Actionable Research: Wheelhouse conducts, translates and disseminates rigorous, timely and independent research briefs to inform policy development for college leaders, trustees and state policymakers. Download our research briefs:
The UC’s Investment: The University of California has a profound interest in the success and stability of community college leadership, with nearly a third of UC graduates beginning their higher education at a community college. The average tenure of a community college president is just 3.5 years – about half that of their counterparts at four-year universities.
The California Context: California Community Colleges exist in their own particular context, with their own set of opportunities and challenges. In the past, many CEOs have traveled out of state for leadership development. Wheelhouse provides professional learning and support that is tailored to the California context, and available in state.
Before joining Wheelhouse, Ms. Cooper served as an independent consultant and as longtime advisor on pre-K-to-14 education issues for the leader of the California State Senate. In that role, she shaped and shepherded the Pro Tem’s education agenda, provided counsel on education budget matters, and led multi-year campaigns to increase quality pre-kindergarten opportunities for low-income children, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and strengthen high school-post-secondary pathways.
Michal Kurlaender investigates students’ educational pathways, in particular K-12 and postsecondary alignment, and access to and success in postsecondary schooling. She has expertise on alternative pathways to college and college readiness at both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. In addition to working with national data, Kurlaender works closely with administrative data from all three of California’s public higher education sectors–the University of California, the California State University and the California Community College systems.
Betsey Friedmann is a postdoctoral researcher at the California Education Lab and Wheelhouse Center. She received her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in School Organization and Educational Policy from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on issues related to college access and success, including financial aid and transfer pathways from community colleges.
Anna Lawrence comes to Wheelhouse with over 18 years of experience with nonprofits and government agencies. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Anna was an Assistant Program Director for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. There, she did outreach and developed service-learning projects in four states and supported leadership development programming for 18-24 year olds. She has worked in event production, foster care, youth mentoring, education, grantmaking, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer, as well. Anna obtained her M.A.