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College of Education

Embrace the Journey: Meet Jeremy R. Jones, Ed.D. in Community College Leadership

Dr. Jeremy Jones, NC State Ed.D. '24

For Jeremy R. Jones, a Veteran and Military Spouse Direct Transition Coordinator with Hire Heroes USA, the path to earning his Ed.D. in Community College Leadership at NC State was not straightforward. It was a journey fueled by determination, faith and unwavering support.  

After facing rejections from other institutions, Jones questioned whether the doctoral route was right for him. It was his wife’s encouragement that reignited his determination. This supportive push from his wife and a timely conversation with Carrol Warren set him on his path: “The voice of Dr. Warren was the first of the program I heard and the last I heard as she successfully served as my dissertation chair, leading me to graduation in May 2024 and hooding me,” he said.

The NC State Community College Leadership doctoral degree program equips graduates to lead community colleges and positively influence student outcomes. The flexible format offers working professionals a chance to earn their education doctorate in three years while balancing work and academic commitments.

Jones was drawn to the doctoral program’s unique attributes and flexible format. “The NC State program had many deciding factors, including being online with a few in-person dates, highly supportive, innovative and bursting with resources and services to help its students succeed,” he noted. He made the final decision to enroll in May 2021.

Experience in the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership Program

“The program was absolutely fantastic,” shared Jones. Designed to advance students’ careers, the curriculum covers a broad range of critical topics from leadership and policy to diversity, inclusion and equity. These areas are vital for effective leadership in various professional settings, and for Jones, they laid a strong foundation for career advancement.

Jones was particularly impacted by the faculty members he encountered during his time in the program. Carrol Warren, alongside James and Michelle Bartlett, Pam Senegal, Algie Gatewood and Ken Ender, provided not just instruction but mentorship. “They all had their own personal way of challenging, mentoring and shaping us to become the best that we can,” he reflected. This mentorship was instrumental in helping him navigate the challenges of balancing a full-time job while pursuing a doctoral degree online.

For Jones, the ability to balance work and education played a crucial role in his successful journey through the Ed.D. program. His fully remote work arrangement allowed him to manage his workload effectively, ensuring that he kept pace with course assignments and deadlines.

“That balance allowed me to stay ahead of my school work and timelines, easing my journey from start to finish,” he stated. 

Advice and Future Plans

For those considering similar paths, Jones advised, “Stay the course and enjoy the journey. The journey will be over much faster than you think, so prepare for success from Day One. If you keep working hard one day at a time, Day One becomes One Day, which will be graduation.”

As he walked across the stage during the in-person commencement ceremony, he celebrated not only his achievement but also the steadfast support of his family.

“After attending the graduation in person, my wife and I rented a private room in a restaurant for my whole family,” Jones said. “We were able to share quality time together and enjoy the moment together. I felt that was the best way to express my gratitude for their prayers, blessings and motivation during my journey.”

As he steps into this next chapter, Jones is enthusiastic about the new opportunities his degree has opened up, both for career advancement and professional development. Reflecting on his path to and through the program, he shared, “My experience at NC State was second to none, and I would not change the way my journey took place at all.”

Ready to advance your career with the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership from NC State Online? Visit the program page for more information on how you can chart your own path to leadership.