Shara Davis has 28 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as Dean of Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Public Services at Lorain County Community College, an Achieving the Dream college. She began her career in marketing and policy research as Assistant Director for Research with the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Akron. Using her applied research expertise, Shara established the information arm of the Public Services Institute at Lorain County Community College in 1989 and grew the Institute into a full service research center and cost recovery unit. She also has extensive experience in research design and application and has served more than 400 research clients region-wide. Shara has expertise in outcome based program evaluation techniques and frequently serves as an external evaluator for nonprofit organizations and local governments.
In addition to the Public Services Institute at Lorain County Community College, Shara leads the office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, which is responsible for institutional research, federal and state compliance, continuous quality improvement, assessment of student learning, academic and operational system reviews, and institutional accreditation. She also serves as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer, chairs both the Student Learning Assessment Council and the Continuous Quality Improvement Council and is the data lead for the College’s student success initiative, which includes Achieving the Dream and Completion by Design.
Shara has extensive engagement, facilitation, and planning experience. She has provided strategic planning assistance for local organizations as well as large, complex regional initiatives. Among her greatest accomplishments is serving as project director for an initiative that engaged 20,000 people over 18 months and culminated in an economic development agenda for a 16 county region of northeast Ohio. For these efforts, Shara was awarded a Key to the Region. In 2007/08 she was also called upon by Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education to help design and facilitate the development of a new community college in eastern Ohio using innovative partnership models.
Shara has a Master degree in Political Science from the University of Akron. She has also taught undergraduate courses including Introductory Research Methods, Current Policy Issues, and Introduction to Government and Politics.