Dr. Richard A. (Rick) Voorhees holds a Ph.D. in higher and adult education from Arizona State University and a M.A. in counseling from the University of North Dakota.
He has been actively engaged in community colleges as a faculty member, administrator, and researcher since the 1970’s. Now as principal of an independent higher education consultancy, Voorhees Group LLC, he works with community colleges, state higher education agencies, and national foundations in the areas of institutional performance, quality assurance, and student success. He began his career at a tribal college in the Dakotas, Standing Rock College, as a faculty member in the behavioral sciences and later as director of a FIPSE project that created a non- traditional junior and senior year for tribal members wishing to complete a 4-year degree. In community colleges, Voorhees has served as both face-to-face and online faculty, academic dean, statewide director of planning and research, and Interim Vice President for Instruction and Student Services for the Community Colleges of Colorado (system). He led the Colorado Community College system through initial accreditation for CCCOnline through Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. At more than 45,000 students, CCCOnline is now the largest community college online degree-granting consortium in the nation.
His publications linked to new thinking for higher education include the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College volume entitled, “Community College Student Transitions,” and the widely cited Handbook of Theory and Research article, “Student Learning and Cognitive Development in the Community College,” and “Paths to the River: Principles for Competency-Based Learning.”
Voorhees is past president of the Association for Institutional Research, a 4,000 member international professional body focused on management and data-driven decision making in higher education. He has been engaged in quality assurance, strategic enrollment management, and strategic planning in Argentina, South Africa, Canada, Dubai, China, Taiwan, Bahrain, and Oman. He served the Higher Learning Commission for a decade as a consultant-evaluator and as a member of the Review Committee. He is a past recipient of the Outstanding Practitioner Award by the National Community College Council for Research and Planning, an affiliate group of the American Association for Community Colleges. Rick was an original data coach for Achieving the Dream, a national student success initiative. He served as a higher education expert for evaluating of the Lumina Foundation’s national productivity agenda, aimed at increasing the number of degrees and certificates awarded in the United States. His firm produced the national, quantitative evaluation of career pathway programs for Jobs for the Future focusing on low-skilled, low-literate adults known as Breaking Through and assisted JFF by evaluating career pathway programs in North Carolina.
“Basics of Longitudinal Cohort Analysis. Principles and Practices of Student Success.” With John Lee. Lumina Foundation for Education (2009).
“The Hidden College: Noncredit Education in the United States.” With John H. Milam. (2005).
“Adult Learners and State Policy.” With Paul E. Lingenfelter. SHEEO and CAEL. (2003).
“Characteristics of tribal college and university faculty.” Denver, CO: AICF (2003).
Policies in Sync: Appropriations, Financial Aid and Financing for Higher Education. With P.E. Lingenfelter, H.P. L’Orange, and C. Rasmussen. (2003).
“Data and Accountability Systems.” With Hans P. L’Orange. Student Success: Statewide P-16 Systems. SHEEO. nd.