Dean of Distance Learning

Job description

Dean of Distance Learning
at South Texas College

South Texas College, a comprehensive, multi-campus public community college in the Rio Grande Valley, has launched a national search for the Dean of Distance Learning. The Search Committee invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for this administrator who will lead the College's fast-growing online programs.

See complete information on this opportunity in the Search Profile at

The Opportunity
Founded in 1993, South Texas College (STC) serves more than 32,000 students across five state-of-the-art campuses, two Higher Education Centers, and one virtual campus. The largest and fastest growing higher educational institution south of San Antonio, STC offers 121 associate and baccalaureate degree programs and certifications, as well as continuing, professional, and workforce education programs and Dual Credit courses for eligible high school students.

More than 70 percent of the students are the first in their families to attend college, and more than 95 percent of the students are Hispanic. The Dual Credit program represents nearly 40 percent of the total enrollment and has served over 100,000 high school students since 2000.

Shirley A. Reed, MBA, Ed.D., is the founding president of STC. A highly respected college administrator, Dr. Reed brought two decades of experience in higher education to the presidency, previously having served as Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services at Northland Pioneer College in Arizona.

Her passion for providing educational opportunities is evident in all that has been accomplished by the College over the past 25 years. STC has transformed not only the lives of its students and graduates, but also the entire Rio Grande Valley.

STC has long been recognized as a catalyst for regional economic prosperity and social mobility for its service area in Hidalgo and Starr counties. Since the creation of South Texas College in 1993, the unemployment rate in its two-county district has dropped significantly from 24.1 percent to 7.9 percent for Hidalgo County, and from 40.3 percent to 13.0 percent for Starr County, as of August 2015. Additionally, the population below the poverty level has dropped from 41.5 percent to 34.8 percent for Hidalgo County, and from 59.6 percent to 39.2 percent in Starr County.

A first-generation college graduate herself, Dr. Reed credits her student experience at a community college for transforming her life. She knows the power that an education provides students and continually seeks innovative and new means of connecting with teenagers to seniors to prepare them for the future they envision for themselves.

STC's Distance Education Program is one of those connections. The program has been a model for colleges across the state and nation. Currently 20 associate degrees, eight certificates, and all four bachelor programs are available online. Approximately 25 percent of the student enrollment takes at least one class online.

South Texas College Online offers students much more than access to over 241 unique online courses and full online library services. Students also can complete registration; receive advising, tutoring, and counseling; take tests; and access payment services, financial aid, the bookstore, and much more. It is possible for students to earn their degrees without ever setting foot on a STC campus.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an academic leader who is committed to serving students and passionate about their success.

The Position
The Dean of Distance Learning reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. As the senior administrator for the department, the Dean provides the vision, leadership, planning, operational management, and evaluation of all instructional components of Distance Learning for the College.

The Dean develops support for online, hybrid, and web-enhanced online courses, as well as services for the STC Online Campus. This administrator facilitates collaborations with Distance Learning constituents, both internal and external, to grow distance learning education capacity.

The Dean will create a culture that supports distance and online delivery through policy development and constituent collaborations. The Dean will participate in institution-wide planning in support of the mission and goals of the College, meeting the needs of a diverse student population and creating a learning environment where all the students have the opportunity to succeed.


  • Develops an overarching vision and strategies for growing distance education and expanding the development of online educational programs that offer substantive value for global learners.
  • Provides direction to the institution's distance education policies and procedures that ensures quality online education and meeting of accreditation standards.
  • Recommends for hire, supervises, trains, and evaluates the Director of Distance Learning and oversees the Distance Learning Department staff.
  • Creates and administers a learning environment that fosters student success.
  • Collaborates with College stakeholders to improve retention of online students and enhance support of changing needs of online students.
  • Promotes the online programs in STC's service area and beyond by developing strategic marketing plan.
  • In collaboration with Student Affairs division, leads the recruitment efforts and identifies online educational opportunities to partner with non-traditional students, military/veterans, working professionals, and international students.
  • Develops plans for continuous improvement of the College's Distance Learning initiatives.
  • Provides leadership, planning, coordination, and management for the Online campus and the Distance Learning department.
  • Identifies areas in need of improvement to maintain and increase the success of the online program.
  • Ensures compliance of the instructional components of distance learning with the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS), Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and other accrediting agencies.
  • Ensures compliance with all state and federal regulations, including but not limited to, State Authorization procedures in other states.
  • Reviews, develops, and administers the institution's Distance Learning plan, policies, and procedures as appropriate.
  • Coordinates with the office of the Vice President for Information Services, Planning, Performance, and Strategic Initiatives to ensure the effective operation of the technology components for Distance Learning and recommends technological improvements and purchases for inclusion in the Instructional Technology Plan (ITP).
  • Coordinates student support services, including admissions, advising, financial aid, and testing for the Online Campus.
  • Ensures sound fiscal management of the Distance Learning Department.
  • Oversees the development of Institutional Effectiveness Plan.
  • Represents Distance Learning at administrative and executive-level meetings.

    A master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required; a doctoral degree is preferred. Candidate must have at least five years of progressive administrative and/or supervisory experience in instructional technology and/or distance learning with increasing levels of responsibility.

    Teaching experience in online delivery is required; experience in a higher education institution is preferred.

    Other requirements include:
  • Excellent oral, written, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong computer skills with knowledge of Microsoft Office including, but not limited to, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, the Windows environment, and internet research skills
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of applications, instructional software, technology, networking, and distance learning hardware
  • Demonstrated knowledge in providing technology training sessions
  • Familiarity with the College's programs, policies, procedures, and academic standards
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects that require demonstrated leadership ability
  • Ability to analyze situations quickly and objectively and to determine proper course of action
  • Team player with the ability to collaborate with all college departments, functions, and other support services
  • Ability to adapt to constant change and periods of fast-paced, high-intensity work situations
  • Ability to work evenings and/or weekends as needed; wiling to travel throughout the college district using own means of reliable transportation
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with a diverse, multi-cultural college population
  • Demonstrated commitment to achieving STC's vision and mission
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals
  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from students, faculty, staff, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community
  • Ability to effectively present information to top management, faculty, public groups, and/or Boards of Trustees
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions
  • Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables
  • A valid Texas driver's license and proof of liability insurance

    All applicants are subject to a national criminal background check under South Texas College policy. Because this is a security sensitive position, finalists will have a federal background check.

    South Texas College
    For the past 26 years, South Texas College has fulfilled its mission of being a public institution of higher education that provides educational opportunities through excellence in teaching and learning, workforce development, cultural enrichment, community service, and regional and global collaborations. The College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and its offerings are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency.

    The College has four academic divisions: Business & Technology, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Math & Science, and Nursing and Allied Health. Associate degrees are offered in a variety of liberal arts, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing, and allied health fields of study. Additionally, STC is the only community college in the State of Texas to offer four baccalaureate degrees.

    More than 2,700 faculty and staff members serve the college's six campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus. Committed to student success, the faculty provide not only knowledge and expertise in the classroom, but also serve as mentors to their students.
    South Texas College is a model of collaboration with public schools and has one of the largest dual enrollment programs in the state of Texas. A variety of dual enrollment programs have been instituted, including six academies, drop-out recovery programs and other unique initiatives with 24 school districts, and over 78 high school sites throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties.

    In addition, South Texas College leads the nation in the number of Early College High School partnerships developed with area Independent School Districts. This includes 29 Early College High Schools and two Career and Technical Early College High Schools.

    Visit South Texas College's website at

    Rio Grande Valley, Texas
    South Texas College is located in two counties within the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), the southernmost tip of South Texas. Residents of Hidalgo and Starr counties enjoy warm sub-tropical breezes and family-friendly communities, complemented by the charms of Historic Old Mexico.

    Whether looking for an established neighborhood or a more urban setting, the area offers outstanding affordable housing along with quality public and private schools and great parks and recreational venues. Shopping, fine and casual dining, and arts and cultural opportunities are available. Also, there is not a personal state income tax.

    South Padre Island and Gulf Coast beaches are only a short drive away. For bird watchers, the area is a renowned birding destination.

    The area often earns accolades and high rankings on national “Best of” lists. Among its many rankings in 2018, the City of McAllen in Hidalgo County was named #34 in Best American Small Cities by Resonance Consultancy and among the Best For Frugal Retirees by Smart Assets.

    Nominations and Application Process
    Confidential inquiries are welcomed; nominations are invited.
  • To Apply - Application packet must include: a) Letter of interest, b) Current curriculum vitae, and c)At least five references with full contact and e-mail information and must include references at each place of employment within the past 10 years. (References will not be contacted without the applicant's consent.)
  • Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to [email protected] by October 1, 2019, for best consideration. The application process will remain open until the position is filled.
  • Submit nominations to [email protected] with complete contact and e-mail information on the individual being nominated.

    Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, are assisting STC with this search.

    South Texas College is an equal education and equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. As an equal education institution and equal opportunity employer, the College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

    Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting
    515 Mulberry Street, Suite 200, Macon, Georgia 31201
    (478) 330-6222 |

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    Job No:
    Posted: 8/15/2019
    Application Due: 10/14/2019
    Work Type: