MONTGOMERY — During its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Dr. Jonathan P. Koh as President of Shelton State Community College. Koh has served in multiple capacities at the college since 2015, and most recently as the college’s Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.
“There is a level of confidence a community has to have in its community college to make a difference in the needs of the businesses, industry and residents who make up a region, and for years Dr. Koh has built and strengthened the relationships that are necessary for Shelton State to be a change agent in the lives of so many individuals,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).
“Dr. Koh knows the college, the communities it serves, K-12, business and industry, and, similar to others throughout the Alabama Community College System, he knows what it takes to continue our mission of making education available for everyone.”
Koh began his career in education at the University of Alabama, where he served as a Research Coordinator for the university’s Education Policy Center between 2012 and 2015. From there, Koh served Shelton State as Director of Grants and Governmental Relations prior to his appointment as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.
Koh has since led several innovative strategies that expand the reach of the college’s 16 technical services and adult education programs, including co-enrollment pathways, nationally recognized work-based learning programs, and on demand incumbent worker training initiatives. He also oversaw the college’s pre-K program, which includes its own set of accreditation standards.
Koh is an alum of the University of Alabama, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Higher Education Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education with a concentration in Higher Education Policy. His dissertation focused on a decade of nationwide trends in public community college finance as it relates to student access and state support for the nation’s two-year institutions.
Born in Mobile and raised throughout the southeastern United States, Dr. Koh comes from a legacy of educators. He is the grandson of a southern, desegregation era high school principal and teacher, son of an elementary teacher and minister, and the husband of an elementary teacher, Ashley.
Shelton State serves more than 4,500 students in the greater Tuscaloosa community. One of six historically black community colleges in Alabama, the college is recognized both locally and nationally as a leader in student services and community experiences. Top programs of study include liberal arts and registered nursing.
The college is host to West Alabama Works’ annual World of Works (WOW) Career & Industry Expo, which grants K-12 students access to the types of careers and training available throughout their community. In addition, the college holds more than 30 NJCAA Region XXII Division I title wins in men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, 13 National Championships in competitive cheerleading, and seven recognitions as an Academic Team of the Year for softball. The college’s partnership with Theatre Tuscaloosa is a two-time national award winner.
“Shelton State Community College is home, and I consider it one of the greatest honors to be able to lead such a dedicated team that is committed to ensuring the success of every student who chooses Shelton State as part of their educational experience,” Koh said.
“I appreciate the confidence from Chancellor Baker to continue to move the college’s impact forward in our community.”
Koh and Ashley have three growing boys named Henry, Harrison, and Walter.
Koh’s tenure begins Nov. 15.
Alabama’s community and technical colleges were merged into one system May 3, 1963, when legislators laid the groundwork for a unified system of institutions to focus on accessible training in “arts and sciences and in useful skills and trades” for current and future labor needs. Sixty years have passed, but that important cause remains the singular purpose of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). With 24 community and technical colleges in more than 130 locations and an economic impact of $6.6 billion, the ACCS is Alabama’s gateway to first-class, affordable education and technical training to compete in a constantly evolving workforce. More than 155,000 Alabamians benefit from the various certification, credential, dual enrollment and degree programs the ACCS offers alongside leading industry partners. The System includes the Alabama Technology Network, which provides extensive training and service offerings directly to business and industry, and the ACCS Innovation Center, which provides rapid skills training through its Skills for Success program. The ACCS is governed by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees.