Joe Forrester

President Emeritus, Community College of Beaver County (PA)


Dr. Joe D. Forrester served as President of the Community College of Beaver County (PA) fifteen years, from October 1, 1999 until his retirement in June, 2014. In this capacity, he functioned as the chief executive officer for a community college district serving approximately 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually through its main campus located in Monaca, PA, the Aviation Science Center located at the Beaver County Airport, and the Casino Gaming Center located at South Pointe in Washington County.

During his tenure, Dr. Forrester guided the institution to record enrollments.  He also facilitated a change in sponsorship for the College which increased local funding support for the College by nearly 120%.  With the change in sponsorship, the new sponsor dissolved the College’s existing Board of Trustees and appointed a totally new Board to lead institutional governance.  Dr. Forrester provided leadership with the newly appointed board, the communities served by the College, its employees and its students in developing the Vision, Mission, Values and Goals guiding the growth and development of the College.  He also created the CCBC Leadership Academy as a vehicle to build institutional capacity and advance a change agenda.

Dr. Forrester was successful in securing funding for the purpose of modernizing the College’s main campus.  The initial funding of over $26 million allowed the College to upgrade its facilities and to upgrade the technological access for its students, its faculty and its administrative staff.  It was the first upgrade of facilities since the campus was initially constructed in the early 1970’s.  A second funding commitment of over $4 million was secured to complete work on replacing roof and HVAC systems not funded in the original renovation.

The Community College of Beaver County was accepted to participate in Achieving the Dream as part of the third cohort in 2006-2007.  Under Dr. Forrester’s leadership, the College earned Leader College status in 2010-2011, and its status as a Leader College was reaffirmed in 2014-2015.

Prior to joining CCBC, Dr. Forrester served for eleven years as the Campus Chief Executive Officer for the Timberline Campus of Colorado Mountain College District.  Timberline was one of seven campuses in the District, and during his, Dr. Forrester provided leadership at the local and the district level.  He was successful in guiding the campus from being a target of potential closure by the College’s Board of Trustees, through enrollment growth in excess of 35% and the development of new academic and residence facilities at a cost of more than $6 million.

Before joining the staff at Colorado Mountain College, Dr. Forrester held a variety of positions with El Paso (TX) Community College.  During his fourteen years in El Paso, he served as Director of District Facilities Planning, Associate Dean for Instruction, Campus Provost, and Dean of Student Personnel Services.

Dr. Forrester has been active professionally.   He served as a member of the Executive Committee for the President’s Academy of the American Association for Community Colleges.  He served on several Commissions for AACC, including most recently, the Commission for Research, Technology and Emerging Trends which was involved with development of the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA).  He also served on the Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development and the Commission on Communication and Marketing.  Dr. Forrester has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Central Arkansas teaching a doctoral level course in Higher Education Leadership.

He served as both Vice President and President for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, and he was Chairman of the Western PA Community College Resource Consortium.  He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Community Colleges of Appalachia.

Dr. Forrester completed his Ed.D. with a major in Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction in the Community College from Texas A & M University-Commerce.  His doctoral minors are in the fields of Student Personnel Services and in Sociology.  He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas A & M University-Commerce, and he holds an Associate in Arts Degree from Tyler (TX) Junior College.

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