Meet the President
Dr. Donald Generals, a strong advocate for community colleges, is the sixth president of Community College of Philadelphia. He began his tenure on July 1, 2014.
With a focus on student success, Dr. Generals outlined the strategic direction for the College in his “Impact 2025” vision statement in 2015, and the College is currently one of 30 community colleges in the nation selected as an American Association of Community Colleges Pathways college. The Pathways Institute is committed to redesigning academic programs and student support services essential for student success and degree completion.
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 that capacity, he led the development of new academic programs and the college’s Education Master Plan. In New Jersey, he led the statewide effort to redesign the community college sector’s General Education curriculum.
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., where he led the development of their Core Educational Values and new degree programs. From 1984 to 2000, Dr. Generals worked at Passaic County Community College, where he served as the Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs from 1995 to 2000.
Dr. Generals is a member of the Board of Directors of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. He is also 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 Philadelphia Works, the Urban Affairs Coalition, 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, and he has been a board member of the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges since 2010.
Since arriving in Philadelphia, Dr. Generals has been recognized by The Philadelphia Tribune as one of the Most Influential African Americans, and as an honoree of the Philadelphia Tuskegee Alumni.
Dr. Generals has a national voice on issues related to community colleges through publications and presentations. In April 2017, Dr. Generals joined fellow academic leaders, President John Fry from Drexel University, President and CEO Stephen Klasko from Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, President Amy Gutmann from University of Pennsylvania, and President Richard Englert from Temple University, at “The University and the City,” hosted by The Philadelphia Citizen, a solutions-based news organization, as part of its “Citizen Speaks” series. The panel discussion took place at the Barnes Foundation.
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.