February 14 2024

Credo and the Appalachian College Association (ACA) are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to help build the leadership bench within rural higher education across the country. This customized leadership development program kicks off in the fall for aspiring and established cabinet leaders from rural independent institutions with ACA membership and beyond. A focused curriculum will offer leaders from all areas of campus strategy and operations an opportunity to evaluate their own skills, gifts, and calling against the primary leadership needs in today’s rural higher education environment. 

We at Credo are so grateful for our long-standing partnership with the ACA. We share a passion for the role rural colleges and universities play intellectually, economically, and generationally in their regions, and we are excited to support the development of leaders serving in this context.

– Emma Jones, Executive Vice President & Owner at Credo

Equipping Leaders For  Rural Higher Education Challenges  

For nearly a decade, Credo has worked with higher education associations across the country to offer leadership development programs for middle talent, senior-level leaders, and aspiring presidents. The strategic partnership with the ACA extends Credo’s historic connection, service, and reach to rural higher education and builds on two successive Rural Higher Education Institutes where leaders shared research, learning, and strategies around topics such as enrollment, retention, talent recruitment, community partnerships, cross-institutional collaboration, and student success. 

About the ACA


The Appalachian College Association is a non-profit consortium of 33 independent college and universities located in the Appalachian mountains of Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. It provides resources for collaborative programs that exceed what a single campus can accomplish by enhancing its students’ educational experiences and ensuring optimal use of institutional resources.

We are delighted to partner with Credo to offer this opportunity for new and aspiring leaders to develop the skills and insights needed to thrive in the unique landscape of independent rural colleges and universities. We are eager to work with the next generation of campus leaders who will shape the future of these important institutions.

- Beth Rushing, Ph.D., President of Appalachian College Association

Credo looks forward to this expanded strategic partnership with the ACA and creating transformative leadership development opportunities for rural and rural-serving colleges and universities.

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