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Angela Johnson

Vice President of Access and Completion, Cuyahoga Community College

Focus Area: Accountability

Cleveland, Ohio
Office Representing: Enrollment Management

Angela Johnson is the vice president of access and completion at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. In her current role, Johnson oversees the enrollment strategies, including recruitment, admissions policies, student records functions, and financial aid policy and awarding priorities, to support four campuses that offer associate degree and certificate programs, and several non-credit and workforce centers. Johnson has held several other positions over her 18-year career at Cuyahoga Community College, including executive director of enrollment operations and financial aid, assistant dean of student affairs, and campus director of financial aid. Prior to her time at Cuyahoga, Johnson worked in financial aid at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and Bryant & Stratton College in Cleveland, Ohio.  

How did you first get interested in or involved in higher education issues?

"In my early years working in financial aid at Cuyahoga Community College, I began to work on institutional retention strategies to support our student success and completion initiatives," Johnson said. "I recognized that there were opportunities to expand our financial aid engagement with students to increase access and success. As such, I began working on initiatives sponsored by our state, regional and national financial aid associations, as well as the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Law and Social Policy, to develop integrated student service support models to under-resourced students, for which financial aid is intended. My belief that I can make a difference on behalf of students propelled my interest and involvement in advocacy work to both impact change and support innovation in higher education that advances equity for underserved students."

Why did you apply to be a part of the Forward50? What drew you to this opportunity?

"In tandem with higher education advocacy organizations, my core professional focus has been to support student advocacy in access, equity and success," Johnson said. "I am concerned about the changes or reductions in vital financial aid programs that support college opportunities, for many low-income, first-generation college graduates, like myself. Therefore, higher education access advancement is both a personal and professional endeavor. I believe being a part of the Forward50 will further my fervor for exploring productive solutions to higher education issues, advancing the national perspective of college student access, and protecting past gains and fostering innovation for the future."

Leadership roles with professional associations:

  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA): Current Commission Director, Past Representative at Large
  • Higher Education Loan Coalition: Current Board Member
  • Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA): Past President, Past Vice President, Past Co-Chair of the Ohio Default Aversion/Prevention Project Task Force, Past Conference Committee Co-Chair, Past Vice President for Conferences, Past Professional Development Committee Chair, Past Secretary, Past Regional Representative for Northeast Ohio, Past Site Chair for College Goal Sunday, Past Community College Chair
  • Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA): Past Chair of Access Committee, Past Delegate to Congressional Capitol Hill Visit (Ohio), Past Executive Board, State Representative (Ohio)
  • Higher Education Financial Wellness Association: Past Member of Advisors Board

Membership(s) held with other professional associations:

  • Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC)
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)