Shelley Caraway of Hooks, Texas, has been named executive director of Extended Education and Community Development at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.
Caraway brings a wealth of knowledge and vision to this new position at A&M-Texarkana. A native of east Texas, she grew up in Kilgore, attended Kilgore College, and earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Tyler. She completed Higher Education Leadership coursework at The University of Alabama.
Caraway is an education pioneer in thought and practice. After a successful entrepreneurial career, she chose to give back when asked to adjunct at Kilgore College. Shortly thereafter, she accepted a position with the Workforce and Continuing Education Department at Panola College, applying her business acumen to growing programs at Panola College’s multiple off-site locations. She coordinated and wrote grants, interacted with community and various state agencies regionally, recruited students and supervised classroom activities.
Very interested in workforce development and increased participation in post-secondary education, Caraway joined the Student Services team at Tyler Junior College to develop a retention program for at-risk students. Participating in P-16 discussions regionally and statewide, Caraway returned to the Panola-Harrison County area and taught at both Panola College and Texas State Technical College, strengthening their partnerships with independent school districts and charter schools.
Ripe for administrative challenges, Caraway accepted Tyler Junior College’s assistant, then interim dean of Arts and Sciences appointment, managing record-breaking enrollment. Looking for ways to level the playing field for all high schools in the state, Caraway’s team developed and taught seven of the original Texas Virtual High School Network dual credit courses during that time. She also participated in Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board committees, developing the mechanical engineering pathways and redesigning the freshman composition curriculum.
Channeling earlier interests, Caraway took the helm as dean of the newly formed Engineering, Math, Education and Student Success division at Lone Star College-Kingwood. Charged with developing a pre-engineering curriculum and developing partnerships with universities, she also led one of the nine co-development teams as a partner to The Charles A. Dana Center’s New Mathways Project.
Passionate about working with students to increase success, Caraway returned to the classroom last fall to teach communication courses. She also continued her work with The Dana Center coaching campuses as they developed curriculum and pathways.
“The addition of Shelley Caraway as our executive director of Extended Education and Community Development is certainly a huge benefit to A&M-Texarkana and the entire community,” said Dr. Emily Cutrer, president of the university. “Building a program from the foundation up requires a person of both vision and real-world experience. Shelley certainly brings that and much more to this position with her extensive background in higher education. It will be exhilarating to witness the growth of this area of our community outreach and service under her capable leadership.”