Scott Ralls is the fifth president of Northern Virginia Community College, or NOVA. With approximately 75,000 degree students, NOVA is the 11th largest college in the United States and produces more information technology graduates than any other community college in America. A recognized leader in student success efforts and STEM education, NOVA was named the nation’s most digital large community college in 2015.
Ralls previously had a 20-year career in North Carolina, where he recently served as President of the 58-college North Carolina Community College System. He also served as President of Craven Community College and as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for the state system. During his leadership tenure, North Carolina gained national recognition for innovating student success efforts at a statewide scale, and Ralls was a pioneering leader in the state’s efforts to revamp university articulation agreements and implement Early College High Schools. Today, North Carolina hosts approximately one-third of the early colleges in the U.S.
Known as an innovator in workforce development, Ralls led the redesign of North Carolina’s customized job training programs, as well as the overhaul of statewide college financing and curriculum structures to foster stackable industry certification models, and prioritize STEM, health care and technical education programs. Four times in recent years he has testified to U.S. Senate and House committees on workforce development and student success innovations.
Ralls currently serves as the Co-chair for the Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success, a national effort sponsored by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to advance state policy improvements that promote program completion for community college students.
He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland as well as a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina. Ralls has also been awarded an honorary doctorate degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and in 2007 was named an honorary fellow of Warwickshire College, in Leamington, England.