Celebrating Black History Month, Honoring Dr. Naomi Scales

In celebrating Black History Month in February, we highlight community leaders, especially the pioneers in the educational field. We are honored to be able to recognize Dr. Naomi Scales from the Alabama Community College System. Dr. Scales is Alabama’s longest-term adult education employee, with 56 years of service. She is currently an Adult Education Administrator for the Alabama Community College System, and her dedication to student success is unquestioned.  Dr. Scales started in adult education in 1966 as she believed that “adult education makes a tremendous impact on individual lives and the lives of their families.  We value Dr. Scales’ emphasis on lifelong learning.

Dr. Scales earned a Master of Education Degree from Alabama State University and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Administration and Higher Education from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Most importantly, she has always sought to set an enthusiastic example for her students and coworkers of how adult education can be. Her motto is to “pay it forward” and she feels that it’s easy to reach out and help somebody who might not have had the same opportunities as others.

Her inspiration includes community leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who she believes set a foundation that has allowed her and others to build upon. During her tenure, Dr. Scales has seen her program grow and now offers opportunities and career pathways that didn’t exist when she started.

The Alabama Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education (ALAPCAE) is a non-profit organization that actively encourages young people to obtain their high school equivalency and continue pursuing higher educational goals. ALAPCAE has created a new High School Diploma Option scholarship and aptly named it the Dr. Naomi Scales scholarship, recognizing Dr. Scales as having been the catalyst behind the success of many students and adult education in Alabama. The legacy she has created will continue in perpetuity through the funding of this honorary scholarship.