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Ayden Native Named as Next President of Martin CC

July 2, 2020

On July 1, 2020, Mr. Wesley Beddard will become the ninth president to lead MCC since 1968. He was recommended by the MCC Board of Trustees to the NCCCS (NC Community College System) State Board on April 1 and was approved by the state board on April 17.

Beddard, originally from Ayden, NC, earned a Master of Business Administration from Campbell University, a bachelor's degree from Atlantic Christian College and an associate degree from Mount Olive College. He has also completed 39 semester hours in North Carolina State University's (NCSU) Ed. D program in Higher Education: Community College Leadership. His certificates include: "Future Community College Administrators Leadership Institute" from the UNC-CH Center for School Leadership Development; "Planned Giving" from the Philanthropy Tax Institute; and Certified Facilitator credentials in "Entrepreneurial Mindset" from the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative as well as "Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking in Community Colleges" from The College Board.

Since 2013, Beddard has worked at the North Carolina Community College System Office as the Associate Vice President of Programs. He also has experience at several North Carolina Community Colleges. He was a dean at Beaufort County Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, and Wilkes Community College. Beddard began his Community College career as an instructor at Craven Community College and previously was an instructor and administrator at Mount Olive College.

When asked about his accomplishments in the Community College system, Beddard stated, "At the state level, I would say that working on the Reengineering/ Semester Conversion effort early in my career was significant. More recently, since I returned to the System Office, I feel that the development of the new Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) with UNC (University of North Carolina) system and the Internal Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (ICAA) with the NC Independent Colleges and Universities has helped the NCCCS reach a milestone."

Beddard also noted his work over the past year in developing a new Teacher Preparation Degree program for the NCCCS. He stated, "The goal of this new program is to address NC's critical teacher shortage, particularly in rural counties. Community colleges are well positioned to recruit future teachers, including those from underrepresented groups, who may be more likely to settle close to home."

Thanks to its approval by the State Board on April 17, NC's Community Colleges will now be able to offer two new degree programs -- an associate in arts in teacher preparation and an associate in science in teacher preparation. Each degree requires 45 semester hours of general education courses and 14 hours of education courses. The State Board also approved corresponding teacher preparation pathways for high school students in the Career and College Promise program.

On the College level, Beddard expressed great satisfaction with his work at Beaufort County Community College (BCCC). As Dean of Instruction and the Chief Academic Officer, he worked closely with regional school districts (Beaufort, Hyde, and Tyrrell counties) to successfully open three Early College High Schools at BCCC. He also helped to establish more than 50 new diploma and certificate program options in technical fields while there.

"I have loved my work at the System Office," stated Beddard, "But I am very excited to return to a campus and work with faculty, students, staff, local leaders and employers on a daily basis. I have a passion for Eastern NC and rural colleges and the special opportunity we have at community colleges to improve the lives of students and therefore, our community."

Beddard's professional affiliations are impressive. He currently serves on the University of Mount Olive's (UMO) Board of Trustees and is the Chair of their Academic Affairs Committee. He has also been very active in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the accrediting body for Community Colleges throughout the South. During his professional career, Beddard has participated in four successful SACSCOC Reaffirmations, including three NC community colleges. Recently, Beddard became the primary point of contact between the NCCCS and the Director of Community College Partnerships at the UNC System Office. He also serves as a committee member for the Southern Regional Education Board to recommend restructuring the teacher preparation/licensure process and develop a seamless high school to community college to university pathway that will increase the teacher pipeline and allow students to complete teacher licensure within their local community with little or no college debt.

Helen Davis, the chair of MCC's Board of Trustees stated, "I am so pleased to report that the Board was unanimous in its decision to hire Mr. Beddard. As a result of the Search Committee and the MCC Board of Trustees' efforts, I feel we have acquired a president who is a good fit for MCC and our communities of Martin and Bertie."

Beddard's wife Kaye, is originally from Jamesville and is a full-time community college instructor teaching American Sign Language, Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication. They have two grown sons.