Has been president for 18 years
MADISONVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2016) — Madisonville Community College president Judith L. Rhoads has announced her retirement effective March 18. Rhoads has been president and CEO of MCC since July 1, 1998.
Rhoads earned a Doctor of Education degree in human resource development from Vanderbilt University and is a fellow of the American Council on Education.
Her first significant challenge as president of MCC was to preside over the consolidation of Madisonville Community College and Madisonville Technical College following the passage of the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, acting as president of both institutions until the merger was completed. MCC was the first community college in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to undertake such a merger.
Under Rhoads’ leadership, Madisonville Community College has placed itself among the highest performing public community colleges in Kentucky and the nation. In 2011, 2013, and 2015, the Aspen Institute, an educational and public policy research organization, named Madisonville Community College in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation and was ranked first in the state for the highest graduation rate for two-year colleges by the Complete College America project.
Rhoads was born and raised in Central City, the youngest of three daughters of the late Clarence and Dorothy Lewis. She resides in Madisonville with her husband, former Sen. Jerry Rhoads. They have two sons, Brad and Chris, and eight grandchildren. Rhoads is a graduate of Murray State University, earning her Master’s degree in Psychology from Austin Peay University, and her doctorate in Human Resource Development from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
From 1976 to 1993 she taught psychology as a member of the MCC faculty. During that period, she was chosen Teacher of the Year four times by the student body. Prior to becoming president and CEO at MCC,. Rhoads was the Dean of Academic Affairs at Owensboro Community College from 1993 to 1998.
During her tenure as president, MCC has developed and implemented 15 new associate in Applied Science degree programs, 6 diplomas, and 93 certificate options.
Since 1998, Madisonville Community College has been awarded over $154 million in grant funding. Financial aid is a part of that number, but after removing financial aid, approximately $60 million has been awarded to improve services and instruction.
Since 1998, MCC’s enrollment has increased by 70 percent, including a record 4,883 students in the fall 2010 semester. The office of diversity programs, created in 2006, has provided programs and services to expand awareness and promote access for students. The percentage of minority students enrolled at MCC has increased over 50 percent since 2006 and the persistence of minority students ranks among the highest in KCTCS. The college has awarded over 6,500 associate degrees since 1998 and over 15,000 total credentials to students.