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Dr. Barbara Harmon-Francis, Ed.D.

Dr. Francis

Dr. Barbara Harmon-Francis is a dedicated student advocate. For 25 years, she has assisted under-represented first-generation students in realizing their dreams of obtaining a college degree. Dr. Francis graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) with a degree in Communications. She then went on to serve as one of the first class of United States AmeriCorps members. Here, she became a part of a national initiative to improve the lives of all people by serving unmet community needs. She learned new leadership skills and worked with hundreds of people in the state of New Jersey to improve the lives of children via childcare centers and community services. Dr. Francis would go on to become an AmeriCorps Leader. This highly selective program only took 50 people from across the United States. Dr. Francis was chosen and placed at a national nonprofit. In this role, Dr. Francis was sent to Washington, DC, for one year to oversee numerous AmeriCorps programs in five states. Dr. Francis was blessed to travel across the United States and work with various nonprofit agencies that helped and assisted the community.

After two years of service with AmeriCorps, Dr. Francis returned to school to earn a master’s degree in communications from Temple University. After graduate school, Dr. Francis knew she wanted to continue to work with college students. She was an administrator at Hudson County Community College (HCCC), TCNJ, Rutgers University, and Ramapo College’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Programs. Dr. Francis has also taught Communications at HCCC, Middlesex County College, Rutgers University, and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

While at TCNJ, she started serving as a board member for the Educational Opportunity Fund Professional Association of New Jersey (EOFPANJ). After two years of serving as a member at large, she became the first EOF Counselor to ever be elected as EOFPANJ President. While serving as the EOFPANJ President, she worked with the board to make the organization be recognized as a federal non-profit organization. While President, she also started the EOF Statewide Alumni Association (EOFSAA). She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education for New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Francis is currently the Vice President for Student Success and Retention at Kean University. She earned her doctorate at Saint Peter’s University, focusing on Higher Education. At Kean University, she oversees the Dean of Students, Bridge to Success Program, the Center for Advisement, Persistence, and Student Success, the Center for Veteran Student Success, the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of Scholarship Services, the Office of Retention and Educational Innovation, and Supera, the Spanish Speaking Program.

She has been married for over 15 years to her loving husband, Owen G. Francis.

Areas of Expertise:  Retention, First-Generation Students, Program-Planning, Student Development