Carolyn Grubbs Williams Leadership Development Institute

In keeping with its mission, NCBAA presents the Nineteenth Annual Leadership Development Institute for African American Mid-Level Administrators. The Institute prepares African Americans in community colleges for leadership roles to insure that the pipeline to executive-level positions is fluid.

NCBAA is committed to delivering an exemplary leadership development program for African Americans in community colleges so as to enhance their leadership skills and provide opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Target Audience

The targeted audience for the institute includes deans, faculty, supervisors, and others in community college administrative/leadership positions. A limited number of individuals transitioning into the community college system may be accepted.


All sessions are facilitated by distinguished community college leaders. Benefits include networking opportunities with African American leaders and Lakin participants, research opportunities, and complimentary membership to NCBBA and its regional affiliates


NCBAA will select a group of 20-25 individuals serving in community college administrative and leadership positions to participate in the 2023 Carolyn Grubbs Williams Leadership Development Institute.

Institute applications are closed as of September 15, 2023.
You will be notified of your acceptance status within 7 days of receipt of a complete application. Registration fees are due no later than October 1, 2023.

Please email [email protected] with questions.


The Mary E. Coleman Scholarship and the Dr. Marian C. Shivers Leadership Scholarship ($2,000) will be awarded to participants who are employed in a community college and meet all other requirements as specified on each scholarship application form. Applicants may apply for only one of the scholarships.

Each scholarship will cover the cost of registration for 2023.

The criteria for each scholarship are:

Dr. Marian Shivers

  • demonstrates an understanding of the community college mission and the students it serves
  • exemplary service in the community college setting
  • 5-10 years of progressive advancement toward leadership positions in community college
  • the need for financial assistance
Apply Here

Mary Coleman

  • demonstrates an understanding of the community college mission and the students it serves
  • exemplary service in the community college setting
  • at least 3 years of progressive advancement toward leadership positions in community college
  • the need for financial assistance
Apply Here

Institute Details


The institute will be held in Kansas City, Missouri from Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 4:00 pm to Friday, October 20, 2023, at 1:00 pm.

Participants selected for LDI will be completely immersed in leadership activities, including some evenings, for the entire week. An interactive approach will be utilized to facilitate focused dialogue on community college issues pertaining to leadership, ethics, diversity and inclusiveness, global awareness, technology, and institutional change and development. Additionally, all sessions are deliberate and purposeful so as to develop and enhance leadership skills for the present and future.


The institute fee is $2,000 for NCBAA Members and $2,500 for non-members.

This fee covers materials, Sunday opening reception, breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday, and the evening banquet. Participants must provide own transportation, hotel and other meal expenses. All sessions are held at the hotel venue to reduce cost to participants. NCBAA member institutions will receive a 10% discount for each participant.


The curriculum is based on the AACC Competencies for Community College Leaders (Third Edition, 2018). These competencies include organizational strategy, institutional finance, research, fundraising, resource management, communication, collaboration, and community college advocacy.

Scholars’  Testimonials

  • The Dr. Carolyn Grubbs Williams Institute is right on time. I was supposed to be here to connect with midlevel administrators and college presidents from all over the world. This experience was outstanding.

  • The Dr. Carolyn Grubbs Williams Leadership Development Institute is a game changer.

  • Always will be remembered as a remarkable time in my life and career. Thank you to everyone at NCBAA who made it possible, a completely captivating week.

  • This was such a powerful experience. I am leaving much stronger than when I arrived. I know that I am a leader, I am not the box, I am all the crayons. Content was broad and discussion was interactive and inner reflective.


  • I feel the components of this institute were outstanding. Great content that was vibrant and to the point. I truly appreciated the candor of all the presenters during the conference. Thank you for your time and wealth of knowledge.

  • Dr. Shivers is the glue that holds all of us together. I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of this great institute.

  • It was powerful to see a group of professionals so intentional about a cause. Amazing

  • Change Cultivated – I am truly a changed professional after attending LDI. I am inspired, driven and destined for greatness, I’m excited about my next opportunity and grateful for the knowledge imparted on me

  • An awesome experience every Black educator in higher education should experience.

  • The overall conference was amazing, The NCBAA Institute is a leadership experience that will forever transform minds and lives to all those who have the privilege to be a scholar.

  • The truth in Leadership for blacks in higher education/ community colleges.

  • Gained a more comprehensive understanding of the leadership challenges African American leaders in higher education face; gained a new professional learning and support network w/African American colleagues.

  • An impactful experience that will reverberate for years to come as I grow and contribute to the world of higher education, particularly the diverse & inclusive arena of community colleges.

  • The speakers were incredible and the information was very powerful. The NCBAA LDI is a life-changing experience. The opportunity to dialogue in an open, honest environment has given me a new perspective on the role of a college president.

  • LDI has been one of the most valuable professional development opportunities that I have experienced in my career. I am grateful to every speaker who took the time to share their wisdom and insight. I am committed to using everything that I have learned to help other staff and students to do important work of helping all students to reach their academic, career and professional goals. Thank you!

  • This week has been a life changing experience. Before this week, I was ready to leave higher education because of the struggles of being a black leader in this arena. This week has given me the strength, tools, love and support to continue in the fight of being a champion for our people.

  • Each day was full of wonderful information! Be prepared for a personal & professional transformation!

  • LDI provided the foundation, structure, support and resources needed in order to prepare me for the next level of my professional career in community college leadership

  • If you want to prepare for community college leadership, no other experience will ready you like the Williams LDI.


Research on leadership preparation has been provided by two LDI Scholars as indicated below. Opportunities for scholarly research are encouraged by NCBAA.

  • Lemon, N. (2017) Search for a community college president: a single site case study.
  • Beatty, K. (2011). Empowering black women to lead: A phenomenological study examining the role of the NCBAA Institute in the development of midlevel community college administrators.
  • Lemons, K. (2007). Are leadership preparation programs delivering on their promises? An evaluation of a mid-level administrator’s leadership institute.

Our Commitment

The NCBAA Leadership Institute for African American Midlevel Administrators is committed to:

  • Improving career and professional development opportunities for African-American midlevel administrators in community colleges.
  • Developing collaborative relationships with higher educational entities, nationally and internationally, that share common goals for the professional development and upward mobility of its staff.
  • Networking to maximize the upward mobility of African-Americans in community colleges including administrators, faculty, staff and others transitioning to community colleges.
  • Ensuring the articulation of positions on issues affecting African-Americans in the formulation of policy and decision-making