Dr. James Mitchell

Advisory Council

A native of Ahoskie, North Carolina, the son of Sallie Austin, has three brothers; Donnell, Tommy, and Mackey, two sisters; Shawnee and Cheryl.  Dr. James M. Mitchell has been in higher education for over 33 years and is a strong advocate of seamless education at all levels.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science at Shaw University, a master’s degree in Educational Administration, and his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Fayetteville State University.  James and wife Priscilla are the parents of three children: Brian, Nicole and Mario. They have five grandsons, Trent, Drew, Mathew, Jorden, and Mason.


The Alabama State Board of Education appointed Dr. Mitchell as President of Wallace Community College (WCCS) in Selma, Alabama, in August, 2000, and he is currently the College’s Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to coming to the state of Alabama, Dr. Mitchell held several administrative positions in North Carolina.  He served Sampson Community College in Clinton, North Carolina, as an assistant to the president and later as Dean of Students Services.  Dr. Mitchell was the Director of Development and College Relations at Florida Memorial College and worked with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources/Community Development and the North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contract.  During the early years of his career in education, Dr. Mitchell served Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in several capacities.  At Shaw University he began as an instructor in adult education, became a job developer, the director of university services, as well as the director of recruitment and admissions.  From 1970-1973, Dr. Mitchell served in the United States Army and received an Honorable Discharge.  As the President and CEO of WCCS, Dr. Mitchell was instrumental in starting the first Early College High School Program in the State of Alabama, which was housed on the campus of WCCS.  He developed and completed a $38 million master facility plan for renovations and new construction.  He has secured $12 million in funding for state-of-the art equipment and technology.  During his tenure, he has raised over $70 million; accumulated over $15 million in reserves, and to date, the College has no long term debt.

Among the numerous honors received throughout Dr. Mitchell’s career are Outstanding Employee Award at Shaw University, Distinguished Service Citation at Sampson Community College, the Covey Certificate of Leadership, and the Pioneer Award (National Council on Black American Affairs). He was awarded the 2002 Trailblazer Award by the Alabama Mayors Corporation for Economic Development and 2009 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction.

Dr. Mitchell is currently a member of several professional and civic organizations including Board of Directors – Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors Selma/Dallas County - Economic Development Authority Board, Chairman of Board of Directors - Craig Airport and Industrial Authority, Chairman of the Board of Directors - The Innovation Centre, member of the National Council on Black American Affairs, Chairman, Board of Directors- Selma to Montgomery March 50th Commemoration Foundation, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,  and past member of the Black Belt Community Foundation Board of Directors, American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors, and President of West Alabama-East Mississippi Alliance.


He stays grounded by a quote from George Washington Carver, “Measure me not by the heights I have climbed, but from the depths I have come.”