This is part of a series of profiles of students who are graduating from the NC State College of Education in May 2021.
For the past 15 years, Jonathan Loss ’21EDD has served in the North Carolina Community College System and had an interest in ways to help students transfer from community colleges to four-year universities in the UNC System. When he enrolled in the NC State College of Education’s Doctor of Education in community college leadership program, he was able to study this topic further, learning more about the professional research process and publishing his first co-authored study in a peer-reviewed journal.
Learn more about Jonathan Loss
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Area of Study: Community College Leadership
Activities (Research or Extracurricular): While a doctoral student at NC State, I have had the opportunity to attend and present at several different conferences, including the League of Innovations, the Council for the Study of Community Colleges and the Summer Higher Education Policy Seminar. I have also completed my dissertation work on transfer in North Carolina and published additional research in a peer-reviewed journal for the first time.
Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?
I was looking for a university at which to earn a terminal degree in education. NC State has a very prestigious reputation, and the weekend doctoral cohort for working professionals fit nicely with my schedule.
Why did you choose your area of study?
Having worked 15 years within the North Carolina Community College System as a faculty member and department head, I was looking for an opportunity to further my education and broaden my opportunities for the future. I believe in the mission of the community college and hope to continue to grow with different leadership positions.
What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation?
I hope to continue to advocate for successful, efficient and easy transfer between the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) and the UNC System through my work on the state Transfer Advisory Committee and through relationships with colleagues across the state within both systems of higher education. I also hope to continue to provide solid educational pathways leading to economic opportunities for those individuals in my local Hickory community.
What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?
I plan to continue to learn and grow in leadership and transfer policy advocacy through my service as dean at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC). If additional leadership opportunities arise in the future, I will give them full consideration, but I still have much to learn in my current role at CVCC.
How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?
I learned much about how community colleges function through the doctoral courses in my program. The course on leadership was especially helpful as were the courses that broadened my perspective to other branches of the community college besides the traditional general education courses with which I am most familiar. I also was able to meet many outstanding current and future leaders within my cohort of students.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?
I have many great memories from my time in the doctoral cohort. I made several great lifetime friends and will always remember “Chillin’ on the Mezzanine” with them. I also greatly enjoyed my trip to Seattle with several fellow students where I was able to present at the League of Innovations Conference.
Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career.
Learning how to do professional research was incredibly valuable. My dissertation chair, James Bartlett, Ph.D., was instrumental in this, as was my instructor for Quantitative Methods II, Melissa Whatley, Ph.D. I am grateful for the opportunity to publish my first paper in a peer-reviewed journal with Melissa and Rachel Worsham. I hope to have other opportunities in the future to continue to work on research projects.
Why did you choose education?
When I was an undergraduate, I found I had a gift for explaining processes and methods to others. I originally cultivated this gift in the field of mathematics, and I have broadened it over time as I now serve in higher education administration.
What are your research interests and what inspired those interests?
I remain very interested in the successful, efficient and easy transfer of students from NCCCS institutions to UNC System institutions. This interest has grown over time but is due largely to my six-plus years of service on the state’s Transfer Advisory Committee that is charged with governance and implementation of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement between the two systems. Much progress has been made in a more efficient transfer process for students, but there is still much work to be done and opportunities to embrace to ensure equitable outcomes for all student populations.