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Listen | Jason Hurst, 2021 NC Community College President of the Year

“I think daily we struggle to change the image of community college and what that means to moms and dads and high school students – and that is not less than. It’s a great path forward – whether you want to move on to a university or move directly into the workforce.”

Jason Hurst, President of Cleveland Community College

Jason Hurst, president of Cleveland Community College, was recently named the 2021 North Carolina Community College President of the Year.

EdNC last sat down with Hurst in 2018, just four months after he started the job of president at Cleveland Community College. He spoke about his hopes for the future, including that the college get a mascot.

But a lot has changed since then– including a pandemic.

We caught up with him in February to discuss bright spots during his time as president, challenges he’s experienced, and the impact of the pandemic on the college and the community. 

Note: If you’re wondering, Cleveland Community College got a mascot. In spring of 2019, the college unveiled their new mascot – the Yeti. 


There are 58 community colleges in the state of North Carolina. This podcast, by, dives deep into top news and commentary on postsecondary education and community colleges by talking to leaders, educators, and students.