Meet the President
Dr. Donald Generals, a resourceful administrator and recognized advocate for community colleges providing an affordable means for students to achieve academic and career success, is the sixth President of Community College of Philadelphia. He began his tenure on July 1, 2014.
An educator and seasoned researcher, Dr. Generals is an expert on the roots of the progressive education movement in America. This concept is advanced by leading educators who believe schools must be effective agencies of a democratic society. In 2013, Dr. Generals authored a book titled, Booker T. Washington: The Architect of Progressive Education. As he is drawn to the democratic mission of community colleges, he said, “Our mission demands that we pursue strategies that enable our students to achieve their goals, with the understanding that their successes serve the best interest of our economy and our community.”
A native of Paterson, N.J., Dr. Generals previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, N.J. In that capacity, he led the development of new academic programs and the college's Education Master Plan, including an expanded mission for its Trenton campus. He also increased the programming and course offerings of the college's online instructional programs (MercerOnLine); developed its Study Abroad program; implemented an extensive redesign of its developmental education and ESL programs; and created a mini-grant program that enables faculty to design progressive educational initiatives. In New Jersey, he led the statewide effort to redesign the community college sector's General Education curriculum.
In partnership with Quad Learning, Dr. Generals introduced and implemented the American Honors Program to provide honors courses and a national transfer network to highly motivated, exceptional Mercer students seeking to enroll in top four-year colleges and universities.
Previously, Dr. Generals served as Provost at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City from 2003 to 2008, where he developed and supervised all associate degree and certificate programs. From 2000 to 2003, he was Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y. He initiated and led the development and adoption of that college's Core Educational Values; led the development of two new degree programs; and served as Acting President whenever necessary. Between 1984 and 2000, Dr. Generals worked at Passaic County Community College, serving as the Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs there beginning in 1995.
Dr. Generals has been officially appointed to the Philadelphia Works Board for a two-year term from September 1, 2014 through September 1, 2016. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Association of Community College Trustees Advisory Committee of Presidents, a member of the Commission on Global Education of the American Association of Community Colleges, and a member of the boards of Campus Philly and the Free Library of Philadelphia. He has been active in numerous professional and service organizations, including: the New Jersey Academic Affairs Affinity Group, as chair; the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, as a Board member since 2010; the College Board, Middle States Regional Council; and the Paterson Board of Education, as a former Commissioner.
A veteran teacher and student-centric administrator, he has been a featured speaker on behalf of community colleges for nearly 20 years, including a presentation to the College Board Middle States Forum titled, "Rising to the Challenge: Supporting Student Success and College Completion at Democracy's Colleges;" and earlier, another titled, "New Jersey's Developmental Education Initiative: Focusing on Student Success."
Dr. Generals earned his Ed.D. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Rutgers University after earning both his M.A. in Urban Education/Community Service and his B.A. in Political Science at William Paterson College. Additionally, he earned certificates in administrative leadership and educational management at Cornell and Harvard universities.