Dr. Debra Teachman became the First Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for Northern Pennsylvania Regional College on May 30, 2017, just five days after the formal approval to establish the college by the Pennsylvania Department of Education on May 25, 2017.
Dr. Teachman has nearly 30 years of professional higher education experience. After completing a Ph.D. in English language and literature in 1990 from the University of California, Davis, she taught for St. Peter’s University in Jersey City NJ, and for Marshall University in Huntington WV, before moving to southern New Mexico in 1997, where she worked at the National Solar Observatory and for the Alamogordo public schools, along with teaching part-time for New Mexico State University Alamogordo (NMSUA), a community college within the State University system.
In 2003, Dr. Teachman took on the position of Vice President for Academic Services at NMSUA, serving in that position until late 2013. During her time at NMSUA, she coordinated efforts to bring in over $12 million in federal grants to supplement state funds supporting development of programs in technology fields, as well as to build a new student tutoring and testing center which provides students with one-on-one and group tutoring, and secure online testing options for students. A new Allied Health addition to the Science Center was built that provides state-of-the-art labs and classrooms for Nursing and EMS classes. The Advanced Technology Center was also built, funded through a local bond election. The Advanced Technology Center was designed to house technical programs such as Automotive and Hybrid Technology, Construction Technologies, and Renewable Energy Systems Technology. In response to industry needs, the Biomedical Equipment Technology program also developed as an offshoot of the longstanding and highly regarded Electronics Technology program during this time.
In 2006-2007, Dr. Teachman served as interim president for one academic year, during which she developed a new executive team for the college, and worked with that team to update institutional processes such as budgeting and planning to provide greater accountability for all departments within the college.
Dr. Teachman returned to West Virginia in 2013 to serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. While there, she led in the reorganization of academic affairs and student services to provide stronger integration of services for students. Under her leadership, several new programs were begun, including Welding Technology, Mechatronics, Strategic Business Integration, and Health Information Management.
As a first-generation, non-traditional, location-bound college student from a largely rural area in Illinois, Dr. Teachman understands the challenges students can face academically, financially, and practically as they try to find the right college opportunity for them. When she heard about the mission and the delivery model of the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, she immediately knew that she wanted to be part of this important and innovative project that helps those who need or want to attend an affordable college close to home that focuses on meeting students where they are and helping them achieve success in the ways best suited to them.