Dr. Cynthia Kelley began her career as a public school teacher in West Virginia and has worked in higher education for 29 years. In 1991, she became a community college instructor at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. While at Parkersburg she assisted in the development of the first bachelor’s degree program to be offered in a community college in West Virginia. She is a tenured professor of education and over the years has served in a variety of leadership positions including chair, dean and vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Services. Dr. Kelley has served in these roles at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College and Motlow State Community College. Dr. Kelley earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at Ohio University. She has a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Glenville State College. Dr. Kelley is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow with the class of 2008-2009, and during that time represented her class on the Council of Fellows. During the fellowship, she visited over 25 colleges, including a six-month residency at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, and a five-month residency with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System Chancellor. Dr. Kelley also was a member of the 2017 Leadership Kentucky class.
She is a board member for the Southern Association of Colleges with Associate Degrees. She also serves as a board member for the United Way of the Coal Field, Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation and West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. She currently serves on the board for the ACE Council of Fellows and is a peer evaluator for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In the past she has been a peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission; member of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development; president of the National Association for Community College Teacher Education Programs; member of the West Virginia Program Review Board; chair of the West Virginia Teacher Education Advisory Board; and board member for the Appalachian Education Laboratory.
Dr. Kelley began her duties as president/CEO at Madisonville Community College on July 1, 2016.