Washington Adventist University’s Dean of Student Success, Dr. Ralph Johnson, has been elected to serve as President-Elect for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education(CAS). This is a historic moment for CAS in that Dr. Johnson is the first African American to be elected to this role. “I’m very excited!” Dr. Johnson comments, “I was the first African American officer of any type for the association when I was elected almost six years ago as the treasurer. I currently serve as the member at large for administration, which is a combination of Secretary and treasurer.”
Johnson will serve as President-Elect for one year, President for two years and then Immediate Past President for the 4th year. Furthermore, it is significant to note that CAS is the pre-eminent force, which as a consortium of professional associations in higher education, promotes the use of its professional standards for the development, assessment, and improvement of quality student learning, programs, and services. Dr. Johnson mentions, “For me, it’s an opportunity to continue giving back to the profession that I love. My professional background is Student Affairs, and I did my masters and doctoral work with the focus in higher education because I had intended to stay in the academy and to provide my talent to assist college students and their overall success. I worked at many different types of institutions across my career, and I’ve done multiple, what we call, functional areas to include Fraternity and Sorority Life, Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Activities, and most recently, here Student Success. Being on the cast board has allowed me to help shape the standards of operation to indicate a quality program for the 44 functional areas for which we have a set of standards.”
Dr. Johnson has been a member of the WAU community for nine years and continues to fight for the success of each student that comes through WAU’s doors. Concerning his position on WAU’s campus, Dr. Johnson says, “What I really enjoy about my role here as the Dean of our Center for Student Success is to create support for those students who would like to enhance their success as college students. So through our office, we offer new student orientation, a First-Year Experience Program, Career Services, tutoring, and some advising. We also work with students who may have disabilities. In addition to that, I also serve as the advisor for all of our major honor societies that are non-disciplinary.”
The breadth of impacts that Dr. Johnson is making through his work in Higher Education is offering our students and students around the country a fantastic opportunity to succeed. WAU would like to extend our congratulations to Dr. Johnson and pray for many more productive years ahead.