MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon has appointed Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims to the Alabama Partnership for Children (APC) Board of Directors. Sims, as President of an Alabama public two-year college, will represent all 24 schools within the Alabama Community College System.

Dr. Patricia Sims, president of Drake State Community & Technical College.

“Dr. Sims has such a broad and deep career in education,” said APC Executive Director Gail Piggott. “She is recognized as a community leader, exemplary administrative head, and someone who promoted building the workforce so that families can thrive.”

Dr. Sims has dedicated her career to education at multiple levels including primary to 12th grade, community college, and university.

“Education is my life’s work and I am honored to serve an organization that is committed to serving Alabama’s families,” said Sims. “The Alabama Community College System provides a unified system of institutions dedicated to delivering academic education, adult education, and workforce development. By providing an impact at an earlier stage, students in pre-kindgarten to high school will be able to gain the support and training needed to enter the workforce.”

The Alabama Partnership for Children relies on community colleges for the early childhood programs that help develop highly skilled teachers for the early childhood sector. Institutions like Drake State also help build skills and competencies for families to improve their livelihoods and incomes.

“Dr. Sims involvement with young people and her interest in their success dovetails perfectly with the vision statement of the Alabama Partnership for Children that ‘every Alabama child will have the opportunity to succeed in life,” said APC Board Chairperson Trippy McGuire. “We welcome Dr. Sims as a new member of our board and look forward to her lending her expertise and enthusiasm to our organization.”


MONTGOMERY, AL – Governor Kay Ivory has appointed Drake State Community & Technical College President Dr. Patricia Sims to the Alabama State Port Authority Board of Directors.

Sims is the first African-American woman to be appointed and will server as the representative of the Northern District in a position previously held by Algernon “Al” Stanley whose term expired July 31, 2020.

“I’ve appointed individuals that have consistently demonstrated the necessary knowledge and leadership skills critical to economic expansion in Alabama,” said Ivey. “The success of our port is fundamental to Alabama businesses and jobs, and I’m confident these folks will contribute to great work being done under John Driscoll and the board.”

Established by legislative act in 2000, the nine-member Post Authority board holds fiscal and policy oversight for the public seaport. The Port Authority owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, one of the nation’s largest seaports. The Authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities handle more than 26 million tons of cargo annual and have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles inland waterways. The cargo and vessel activity associated with the Port Authority’s assets employ over 150,400 Alabamians and generates over $25.4 billion in economic value for the state.

“Of course it’s an honor to have received this appointment and I intend to execute my role with commitment and integrity,” said Sims. “The Port Authority is an anchor of Alabama’s economy and I look forward to being able to contribute to its continued success.”

Sims was named among the “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020” by the HBCU Campaign Fund earlier this year.

Drake State Community & Technical College was founded in 1961 and is a member of the Alabama Community College System. The College is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Located in Huntsville, Ala., Drake State offers a wide range of technical degrees, transferable college credits, associate degrees and workforce training for traditional and non-traditional students.


Dr. Patricia Sims, President of Drake State Community and Technical College.

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Dr. Patricia Sims, President of Drake State Community and Technical College, has been elected to the Executive Council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees. The Executive Council is a thirteen-member committee elected bu the Board of Trustees responsible for interpreting Commission policy and procedure. It also functions on behalf of the Board between sessions.

Dr. Sims, who is currently serving her first term on the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, was also reappointed to serve a second term beginning in January 2020.

SACSCOC is a coalition of colleges in 11 southeastern U.S. states whose mission is to assure educational quality and to improve the effectiveness of its member institutions. Members of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees are elected to three-year terms by a majority vote of the members of the College Delegate Assembly.

“It’s an honor to be elected by my colleagues to serve the Commission in this way,” said Dr. Sims. “There is important work being done to help ensure quality and effectiveness at our colleges. I’m proud to be part of a system committed to education excellence.”

Dr. Sims has more than twenty-five years in the field of education. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, a Master of Arts from Alabama A&M University, and her Bachelor of Arts from University of West Alabama.

Dr. Sims was recently named one of ‘The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2020’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), recognizing her leadership in transitioning Drake State to become the premier training institution for businesses in greater Huntsville.


About J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

J.F. Drake Community and Technical College, a student-centered two-year public institution, offers flexible and affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized workforce training to fulfill the diverse needs of the community. For more information, visit

Pictured: Drake State Community and Technical College President, Dr. Patricia Sims (left); and Alabama A&M University President, Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr.

HUNTVILLE, Ala. – Separated by only a fence, two Alabama historically black colleges and universities have become even closer when it comes to innovative programs that lead toward the success of their students.

The presidents of Alabama A&M University and J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, both located in Huntsville, Alabama signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) June 17 that will enable students awarded delayed admission to AAMU to begin their academic tenures at Drake State and earn a credential as they prepare to transfer to AAMU.

“The Pathways Program offers access to high quality and affordable education for resolute learners,” stated Dr. Gary B. Crosby, AAMU vice president for student affairs. “Students enrolled in specific programs under this agreement will concurrently enroll in courses at AAMU to strengthen their college preparedness.”

By following an approved course of study in the Pathway Program, the students will only enroll in courses required for graduation from Drake State and automatically transfer to AAMU, according to Dr. Pamela H. Little, director of admissions and registrar at Drake State.

In statement during the signing ceremony at AAMU, President Andrew Hugine, Jr., and Drake’s President Patricia Sims noted that the Pathways Programs aims to increase credential attainment, as well as to eliminate any hurdles that may exist in the transfer process.

According to Crosby and Little, Pathways Program students will attend small classes in a supportive learning environment while gaining access to resources available only at the university level.

“The students enrolled in the Pathways Program are both Blue Eagles and Bulldogs from Day one,” said Little.

Joining the presidents at the MOU signing were members of the administration of both schools, in addition to cabinet-level officials, deans and other administrators.

For more information about the Pathways Program, contact Dr. Gary B. Crosby at AAMU, (256) 372-5233, or Dr. Pamela H. Little, Drake State, at (256) 551-1711.


About Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M University is a public, comprehensive 1890 Land-Grant institution, committed to access and opportunity, and dedicated to intellectual inquiry. The application of knowledge and excellence in teaching, research and service is responsive to the needs of a diverse student population and the social and economic needs of the state and region. The University offers contemporary baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral level degrees to prepare students for careers in the arts, sciences, business, engineering, education, agriculture and technology. As a center of excellence, the University is dedicated to providing a student-centered educational environment for the emergence of scholars, scientists, leaders and critical thinkers, who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global society. For more information, visit

About J.F. Drake Community and Technical College

J.F. Drake Community and Technical College is the first and only institution of its kind in Alabama. It’s an institution where students can enhance their futures through comprehensive academic and technical training programs. For more information, visit