As the executive director for the Missouri Community College Association, SCC alum Rob Dixon advocates for community colleges at the state level and wants to give members and colleges a powerful voice in Missouri.
The son of two community college graduates, Rob has grown up valuing education. His mom is SCC’s Child Development Center lead teacher, Lea Dixon.
“When we look at issues facing our country and our economy, nothing is more important than investing in education and making sure our colleges and communities are ready to meet the needs of the 21st-century economy,” Rob said. “If we don’t, we will be left behind.”
Rob said his passion for community colleges all started at SCC.
He was 23 when he completed his service to the Marine Corps and started taking classes at SCC using benefits from the GI bill.
He said his first class, Introduction to Business, with Joe Hartnett, SCC professor of business, sparked his interest in political science.
“Mr. Hartnett’s class was engaging, and it gave me the confidence to pursue my professional interests,” said Rob.
He graduated from SCC with an Associate of Arts degree with emphasis in political science. He then received a transfer scholarship to the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in international and comparative politics.
Rob did a semester of study at Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and an internship at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, also in Washington, D.C.
He and his wife moved to the Springfield, Mo., area where he took a job with the Hollister Chamber. He spearheaded a ballot initiative to expand the taxing district and bring a satellite campus of Ozarks Technical Community College to Hollister, Mo., called OTC Table Rock.
This experience grew his interest in moving big ideas from start to completion, so he chose to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree from Missouri State University.
He then took a job for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, where he focused on business retention and expansion programs, including community college initiatives. He moved up the ranks into a vice president role and worked with the board of directors to improve workforce development in Southwest Missouri.
Rob later made another career change when he became Missouri Community College Association (MCCA)’s seventh chief executive office in January 2015.
“Throughout our community, state and nation, strong community colleges are preparing students for college-level work,” he said. “Their academic programs and workforce training programs will provide a tenfold return on our investment.”
Dixon’s wife Melanie also is an SCC alumna, and they have a six-year-old son.
Last updated: May 18, 2015