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Scott Ralls


Scott Ralls is the President of Northern Virginia Community College, or NOVA as it is commonly called. With 72,000 degree students and 20,000 workforce students, NOVA is ranked the 14th largest college or university in the United States. NOVA is nationally recognized for its efforts to foster socio-economic mobility, a focus that Dr. Ralls has attempted to accelerate through the college’s strategic plan, Pathway to the American Dream. Recently NOVA partnered with George Mason University to initiate ADVANCE, a seamless transfer/joint admissions model that the Washington Post has said could “revolutionize the transfer process.”

Today NOVA awards more IT associates degrees than any community college in the nation, and is ranked as one of the “most digital” community colleges in the country. Under Dr. Ralls’ leadership, NOVA has taken significant steps to further its impact in technology-focused workforce development including developing one of the largest and fastest growing cybersecurity programs in the nation, and one of the nation’s first cloud computing programs fostered through NOVA’s unique partnership with Amazon Web Services. In 2017, Dr. Ralls was named one of the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 regional leaders

In May 2016, Dr. Ralls was named President Emeritus of the North Carolina Community College System after a previous 20-year career that included roles as State System President, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, and President of Craven Community College.  During his leadership tenure, North Carolina gained national recognition for innovating student success efforts at a statewide scale, and Dr. Ralls was a pioneering leader in the state’s efforts to revamp statewide university articulation agreements and high school dual enrollment models, implement Early College High Schools, and change funding and curriculum structures to advance STEM, healthcare and technical education. Today, North Carolina hosts approximately one-third of the early colleges in the U.S. and is seen as a national leader in technical education.

Dr. Ralls currently serves as the Co-chair for the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success, a national effort sponsored by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to advance state policy improvements that promote program completion for community college students.  

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