Andrea Henderson

Andrea Henderson

Arkansas Community Colleges Association Names Henderson as New Executive Director

The Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) association announces Andrea Henderson of Wilsonville, Oregon as the new Executive Director of the association.

As Executive Director, Henderson is tasked with collaborating with government agencies, educational institutions, private foundations, and others on projects that improve the ability of the twenty-two member colleges to meet the needs of their students, as well as the needs of their local business and industry leaders. The Executive Director often liaisons between Arkansas legislators and community colleges, an important role for college funding and policy.

Henderson served for eighteen years as the Executive Director of the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA), which is a council of governments of the seventeen community colleges in Oregon.  In this role, she provided leadership, strategic planning, and advocacy on behalf of the colleges.  During her tenure, the Association became a unifying force that created space for colleges to collaborate for the benefit of their students, their communities, and the state.  Significant accomplishments include the passage of a free community college program, spearheading a reorganization of the state system of higher education, and securing over $300 million for capital projects.

Steve Cole, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Community Colleges association, remarked that Henderson’s experience intersects perfectly with ACC’s needs in today’s political and educational environment.

Cole, who is chancellor of the University of Arkansas Cossatot and served in the House from 2009-2010, said the presidents and chancellors of the state’s twenty-two two-year colleges confirmed Henderson for the association’s executive director job on April 29, 2019, based on Henderson’s wealth of community college knowledge coupled with her educational policy expertise.

Henderson is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences on a variety of issues including community college funding, governance, advocacy, the Oregon Promise, and safety and security.  More recently, Henderson has been working on a project exploring the disruptive impact advancements in Artificial Intelligence, automation, and blockchain technology will have on community colleges and the leadership role for community colleges navigating these changes. 

Henderson has a law degree from Willamette University College of Law, an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Oregon State University and holds a certificate in Disruptive Innovation from Harvard University Business School Online.  She also taught higher education law at Oregon State University in the Community College Leadership Program.

Henderson will begin her new role as association Executive Director on July 1, 2019. Together with the ACC Board and staff, Henderson will add to the collective voice of community college leadership to maximize resources and efforts that serve Arkansas students, communities, and industry.

Learn more about Arkansas Community Colleges and their work at