Mordecai Ian Brownlee


Dr. Brownlee is an inclusive educator who is committed to the intellectual and economic empowerment of diverse communities. Proudly serving as the sixth president of CCA, Dr. Mordecai provides our institution impressive leadership and experience with advancing equitable student success, improving student advocacy and support services, and expanding academic pathways. Within the first two years of his presidency, President Brownlee has already brought about significant change and improved the student success agenda at the Community College of Aurora. These successes include CCA embarking upon its first capital project in 24 years, record-breaking capital and scholarship fundraising, the hiring of CCA’s largest and most diverse faculty ranks in the college’s history, improved student completions by more than 20%, and CCA becoming the first Achieving the Dream institution in the State of Colorado.

Dr. Mordecai publishes frequently, including serving as a columnist for EdSurge. He also teaches for Lamar University within the College of Education & Human Development and serves as an international keynote speaker. Dr. Mordecai has been featured on several local, state, and national platforms including the American Association of Community Colleges Community College Journal, NASPA Leadership Exchange, EdUp Experience, EdTech Magazine, and Colorado Sentinel. In 2023, Dr. Mordecai was named 40 Under 40 by the prestigious Denver Business Journal and the Community Leader of the Year by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. In 2022, he was featured by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine as a “New School” leader representing the next generation of college presidents.

Have Questions for the President?

Please email [email protected] or call Cameron Johnston, ‪Assistant to the President, at 303.360.4821.

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Recent Articles by Dr. Brownlee:

The Power of Microcredentials and America’s Higher Education Dilemma

This semester, the Community College of Aurora rolled out the first microcredentials in its history. These short courses offer students the opportunity to study behavioral health, which aligns with jobs in our region related to human services, sociology, counseling, psychology and social work.

The Digital Divide 2.0: Navigating Digital Equity and Health Equity in Education

More than two years ago, educators around the country began to engage in dialogue regarding the digital divide, as they recognized the reality that many students did not have access and connectivity as once believed.

Lessons Learned During My First Year as a Community College President

On the morning of August 2, 2022, I woke up to a flood of emotions as I reflected on my one-year anniversary as president of the Community College of Aurora.

Times Have Changed. We Must Teach Children That Words Actually Do Hurt

As a child, I was taught that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. The truth is that society has changed. However, our mainstream education and societal training practices have not.

Pell Grants for Short-Term Programs Would Help Students at My Community College

At the end of March, I had the honor of representing the Community College of Aurora and providing testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development.

Government Funds Shielded Colleges From Extinction. In 2022, the Stakes Will Change

At the start of what would soon be known around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the higher education industry began to fear the worst.


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