Shara Davis

Shara Davis currently serves as a Strategic Data and Technology Coach for Achieving the Dream. She is recently retired with 32 years in higher education from Lorain County Community College, an ATD Leader College, where she served as Dean of Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Public Services.

Shara began her career in marketing and policy research as Assistant Director for Research with the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Akron. Using her applied research expertise, Shara established the information arm of the Public Services Institute at Lorain County Community College in 1989 and grew the Institute into a full-service center and cost recovery unit. She has extensive experience in research design and application and has served more than 500 not-for-profit and local government clients region-wide. Shara has expertise in survey research, qualitative research techniques including focus group discussions for which she has provided training for nonprofits, local governments, and community colleges.  She also has expertise in outcome based program evaluation.

In addition to applied research, Shara has extensive engagement, facilitation, and planning experience. She has been trained by nationally recognized experts like The Harwood Institute, Public Agenda, National Issues Forum, and Kotter International. She has provided strategic planning assistance for local organizations and has conducted large-scale civic and leadership engagement projects at the regional level. Among her greatest accomplishments was serving as project director for a philanthropic initiative that engaged 20,000 people over 18 months and culminated in an economic development agenda for a 16 county region of Northeast Ohio.  For these efforts, Shara was awarded a Key to the Region. In 2007/08 she was also called upon by Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education to help design and facilitate the development of a new community college in eastern Ohio using innovative partnership models. Shara has also facilitated arduous community conversations involving nonprofit and local government mergers and other topics.

While at Lorain County Community College, Shara also led the office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning which was responsible for institutional research, federal and state compliance, continuous quality improvement, assessment of student learning, academic and operational system reviews, and institutional accreditation.  She served as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and chaired the Student Learning Assessment Council. Shara was also the data lead for the College’s student success agenda, which included Achieving the Dream and Completion by Design.

Shara holds an M.A. in political science from the University of Akron. She has also taught undergraduate courses including Introductory Research Methods, Current Policy Issues, and Introduction to Government and Politics.

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