With more than 40 years experience in higher education, Dr. Robert Templin still aims to impact the academic and social success of community college students.
Templin, a professor of practice in the College of Education’s Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD) department, helps guide the evolution of the department’s community college leadership Ed.D. program.
“Informing the conversation with best practices that are producing the best results is an important part of being a professor of practice,” said Templin.
Templin knows the benefits of applying best practices, providing 12 years of successful service as president at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) before his retirement in 2015. Under Templin’s leadership, NOVA increased enrollment by more than 19,000 students and expanded revenue from the institution’s six campuses by more than $120 million annually.
In recognition of his achievements, NOVA recently renamed a building on its Loudoun campus in his honor. The Robert G. Templin, Jr. Higher Education Center will provide students with opportunities to complete a four-year degree through partnerships with the University of Virginia and George Mason University.
“I believe that other universities will see this as an opportunity to provide a baccalaureate completion strategy in a way that is good for students and for the universities,” said Templin.
At NOVA, nontraditional students, many without the means to attend a four-year university, can work toward a bachelor’s degree without needing to leave the Loudoun campus. This opportunity, in addition to many efforts supported or initiated by Templin, earned him a place in the International Adult Continuing Education Hall of Fame’s class of 2015.
The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to continuing education and adult learning. During his tenure at NOVA, Templin did just that by creating a program providing disadvantaged students with a pathway to college. High school students who entered the program and received high academic marks were guaranteed admission to George Mason University. Today, the program boasts more than 12,000 participants.
In addition, Templin engineered a partnership with Goodwill Industries International and the American Association of Community Colleges to train low-income adults for high-wage employment. More than 17,000 students across 90 community college – Goodwill partnerships have been assisted toward employment and degree completion.
In recognition of his work with community colleges serving disadvantaged students, Templin was recently named a “Champion of Change” by the White House.
Much of Templin’s success grew out of work he did at NC State, where he learned about “crossing boundaries” to partner with others. He earned his doctorate in education in 1976 and was named a distinguished alumnus by the College of Education in 2002.
“I was taught boundary crossing at NC State,” he says. “I received a gift of knowledge of looking at education as a lifelong process and part of a broader societal strategy to improve our society.”
In 2015, Templin, an NC State College of Education distinguished alumnus, returned to the university in a joint appointment with the Aspen Institute to help enhance the College of Education’s community college leadership development programs. As a professor of practice, he continues to use his experience to cross boundaries and better serve students and communities.
Templin has focused on redesigning the ELPHD doctorate in adult and community college education by integrating best practices gathered from top-performing community colleges into the current curriculum. He turns this knowledge into results by helping students form a connection between their research and future work.
“I’m hoping that this will affect the professional education of the next generation of community college presidents for North Carolina and beyond,” said Templin.
Learn more about the doctorate in adult and community college education, and other College of Education doctoral programs.