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Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at NC State Partners with Publication Academy to Integrate an Innovative Publishing Curriculum

graduation cap over books

The Community College and Career Education Program in the College of Education at NC State University has integrated a pioneering hybrid curriculum aimed at increasing the dissemination of research in a variety of publication outlets by intentionally teaching students competency related to advanced academic writing and publishing into their doctoral program in Community College Leadership (Ed.D.).  

Developing an understanding of how to prepare, submit and successfully publish research is critical for graduate students and leaders in the field. According to Associate Professor James Bartlett, II who is a co-principal investigator on the grant that started the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, the Belk Center has provided support for the Ed.D. program around mentoring, attending conferences and dissertation editing.  

Understanding the publishing process is additional knowledge that enables students to share solutions to the practice-related problem they are researching in their dissertation and to communicate those solutions to other leaders in the field.  This novel publishing curriculum is being integrated into an introductory research methods course that socializes students into the Ed.D. program.  Additionally, this content is being integrated into one-credit courses that begin at the start of the program and are taught each semester to support the integrated dissertation writing process.  The curriculum includes a combination of over 20 hours of on-demand video learning modules taught by former Ivy League and Oxford faculty members, as well as synchronous online instruction that is delivered by program faculty (James Bartlett and Michelle Bartlett).     

The curriculum includes step-by-step guidance and templates for how to write each key section of a peer-reviewed journal article (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion), how to select the best academic journals in which to publish and how to successfully respond to peer-reviewer comments. 

“How to publish in academic journals is often learned from a mentor and is an essential but difficult to learn skill set that students need in order to be able to communicate with the field,” James Bartlett said. 

The curriculum was developed in collaboration with Publication Academy, Inc., the leading online platform helping mission-focused institutions of higher education upskill their graduate students in academic writing for publication (journal articles, edited book chapters, conference presentations), preparing technical communications (disseminating research findings via mainstream media, social media, blog posts, policy briefs and more), and writing more successful grant proposals. The company currently works with numerous universities and foundations across the globe, with research having found that participants more than double their total publication output within two years of taking their courses.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Drs. Michelle and James Bartlett at NC State University. Their program has a long history of excellence in developing community college leaders over the past 60 years and is the top university in the U.S. training the next generation of administrators,” said Fulbright Scholar and Founder of Publication Academy Jay Singh. “We look forward to future collaborations in their other programs to develop researchers in career and technical education. With fewer than 15% of universities in North America providing any kind of graduate-level training in academic writing for publication, NC State’s new curriculum places it in an elite category of institutions dedicated to advancing thought leadership and promoting evidence-based best practices in education.”

For the 2022 fall semester, 18 talented NC State graduate students are enrolled in the curriculum and enthusiastically endorse their experience with the new initiative. 

“I had never considered attempting to publish in a peer-reviewed journal before participating in these courses. I feel much more confident now, as I continue moving forward through the dissertation process,” one doctoral student said.  

Given the success of the curriculum so far, Michelle Bartlett said, “We hope to integrate this within our new Ph.D. concentration in community college and career education.”

ABOUT the Belk Center:  The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, at North Carolina State University, develops and sustains exceptional community college leaders who are committed to advancing equitable college access and student success, the social and economic mobility of their colleges’ students, and the economic competitiveness of their regions. The center provides professional development and research related to current and emerging student success opportunities and challenges facing community college leaders and policymakers in North Carolina and the nation. For more information, please visit