Longtime student success advocate to lead national nonprofit focused on college completion

National nonprofit Complete College America today announced the appointment of Dr. Yolanda Watson Spiva as its next president. The announcement concludes a nationwide search to select a new leader for the organization.

Watson Spiva brings a wealth of experience to CCA, gained from her nearly 25 years in the nonprofit sector. A former faculty member and assistant dean for academic affairs, she also spent several years at the U.S. Department of Education in various management roles. She has served as a leader of nonprofit organizations focused on helping students access and complete college, most recently serving as president and CEO of College Success Foundation, a national nonprofit which provides support and scholarships to underserved, low-income students from middle school through college completion.

“Yolanda’s extensive leadership experience and her breadth of knowledge around postsecondary education, from readiness to access to success, give her a unique perspective on the work and mission of Complete College America,” said Jim Geringer, chairmain of the CCA Board of Directors and former governor of Wyoming. “Under her leadership, CCA and our Alliance teams will strengthen partnerships and broaden our positive impact on the field of higher education, while continuing to push toward greater innovation and more equitable outcomes for students.”

As president of CCA, Dr. Watson Spiva will serve at the helm of the organization’s 45-member Alliance of states, higher education systems and institutional consortia and guide efforts to advance implementation of the organization’s Game Changer strategies – bold, evidence-based reforms focused on driving early momentum for postsecondary students and shortening the time to graduation.

“I am deeply gratified to have been selected as the next leader of Complete College America,” said Watson Spiva. “CCA’s commitment to student success and equity are in perfect alignment with my personal and professional mission to create opportunity, remove barriers and close the college completion gap for underrepresented and first-generation students.”

Watson Spiva will be officially introduced in her new role at CCA’s 2018 Annual Convening, December 4-6, in Chicago. More than 500 higher education leaders from across the country will be in attendance.

For more information on Yolanda Watson Spiva, visit https://completecollege.org/person/yolanda-watson-spiva/.