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Headshot Ryan Knight

Dr. C. Ryan

Associate Director, Recruitment & Retention

Dr. Ryan Knight is associate director of recruitment and retention at Achieving the Dream. In this role, Dr. Knight organizes AT’’s recruitment, onboarding, and retention efforts with ATD colleges. He also coordinates ATD’s Kickoff Institute, manages new cohort action plans and ATD annual reflections, and designs Network Engagement webinars for ATD colleges.  

Dr. Knight began his career teaching at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC, where he taught composition, literature, and college success courses to hundreds of students, while also serving as a faculty advisor and on numerous committees. While completing his Ph.D. coursework, Dr. Knight worked as lead program associate for Envisioning Excellence for Community College Leadership, which evolved into the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Dr. Knight worked with a team that re-aligned NC State’s education doctorate program in community college leadership to today’s essential presidential competencies and expanded professional and executive development. 

Dr. Knight holds a Ph.D. in adult and community college education from NC State University. His research focused on how community colleges undergo transformational change and perform sensemaking through the change process. Dr. Knight serves as an article reviewer for the Community College Journal of Research and Practice (CCJRP).


Ph.D. (Adult and Community College Education) | NC State University 

M.A. (English) 

B.A. (English)

Past Experience 

Lead Program Associate, Envisioning Excellence for Community College Leadership | NC State University 

Instructor | Randolph Community College, Asheboro, NC 

How has education changed your life/your family? 

As a first-generation college student, education allowed me to access opportunities not available to others in my family. Through higher education, I found my passion for helping others and making every effort to extend opportunities to those around me.

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