Belinda P. Biscoe, PhD, serves as Senior Associate Vice President for Outreach/College of Continuing Education at The University of Oklahoma.Trained as a research psychologist, she has nearly 30 years of experience with school- and community-based programs, including higher education as an administrator, researcher, and program developer. In her current role, she bears responsibility for 26 departments and 10 support units employing over 600 professionals.
Biscoe’s years of service to adult and higher education include expertise in research and evaluation, administration, program development, grant writing, and promoting diversity and equity in higher education. A momentous force for continuing education worldwide, she has led programs and support units that focus on higher education, common education, disability education and educational training, social justice and human relations, juvenile justice, executive training and team development, health and human services, public radio, American Indian education and health, research and evaluation, mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Her strengths in working with large systems through partnerships and helping them to reform and build capacity are demonstrated in her work in education and the community and have been the hallmark of her career. She is a national leader in the quest to aid local communities in their school programs, especially those designed to aid disadvantaged youth. For three decades, she has performed heroically as an administrator, a researcher, and an advocate for reaching out to disadvantaged youth, families, and communities. She is truly a systems thinker who sees how concepts and ideas link together resulting in new learning and innovations.
Born and raised in the segregated South in Atlanta, Georgia, Biscoe grew up with a keen awareness and strong conviction to make a difference in the world. She has dedicated her life and career to bringing visibility to adult and continuing higher education. Consistently advocating for relevant public policy and social change initiatives, she is considered the “go-to” person for insight, strategic solutions, forward-thinking, and planning.
Biscoe leads the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), an annual conference that draws close to 4,000 attendees. NCORE has helped transform entire campuses and is widely regarded as the leading and most comprehensive national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education. Their peer-reviewed journal, JCSCORE, the Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity, was founded by Biscoe in 2015. In 2018, JCSCORE received the national Outstanding Social Justice Collaboration Award from ACPA College Student Educators International.
As a researcher, practitioner, and competitive grant writer, Biscoe has successfully obtained more than $150 million in funding, leading to the creation of adult and higher education programs, multi-state educational comprehensive centers that support common education priorities, national conferences, and programs in Oklahoma and beyond. These resources have funded countless initiatives to support government initiatives, health and human services, training opportunities for individuals in a variety of disciplines, workforce development, higher education programming in universities, and other educational offerings for faculty and adult students.
An adjunct professor in Human Relations since 1999, Biscoe has taught graduate courses in International Relations, Diversity in the Workplace, and Grant Writing in the United States and abroad. As a prolific scholar, she has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, papers, book chapters, grant proposals focused on everything from STEM to early literacy and has made presentations on a multitude of topics nationally and internationally. She has also created educational curricula and training materials, produced films, and founded a peer-reviewed journal as noted earlier, while continuing to publish notable works in the field of education.
Frequently asked to speak on social justice issues, Biscoe was invited to join two panels at the United Nations during the Week of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018. She strongly believes in the importance of civic engagement, having served in leadership roles for many nonprofit agencies, including the Oklahoma City Metropolitan YWCA, where she was elected as the first African American president. She is co-founder of Eagle Ridge Institute, a community-based, nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment and prevention agency, and in 1989 founded Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless youth and their families. Today, many of the young children who attended Positive Tomorrows are completing college and finding ways to give back to the community. Her numerous awards include the 2004 University of Continuing Education Association Award for Continuing Education Professionals, the Journal Record Award for 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma, and the Adella Robertson National University Continuing Education Award. In 2015, Biscoe was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for Higher Education for her significant contributions in education.