Kayton Carter, MA

Kayton Carter headshot

Position Title
Executive Director

  • Academic Advising Enrichment

Kayton Carter is Executive Director of UC Davis’ three retention centers and four retention initiatives, which support African diaspora, Asian Pacific Islander, Chicanx and Latinx, and Native American students. He directs the African American Strategic Retention Initiative, the campus’ first retention initiative targeting under-represented student populations, and is founding director the Center for African Diaspora Student Success, UC Davis’ first Black student retention center. In these roles he provides leadership to enhance the persistence, achievement and graduation rates for Black, API, Hispanic and Native students.

Over more than two decades of education administration, he has led programs in Oakland and Flint, Michigan prior to coming to UC Davis. He earned his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (minor in Education) from UC Berkeley in 1994 and his MA in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Michigan State University in 1998.  

Kayton’s commitment to the system-impacted community stems from his own experience: his father was incarcerated for the first seven years of Kayton's childhood. After his release, the family moved from Georgia to South Central Los Angeles in 1979 –the height of the crack and gang epidemic. Kayton and his brothers grew up with immediate exposure to gangs and drug dealing. In high school, athletics became their escape from street life and  their path to college. He excelled in basketball, football and track, but barely survived high school academically. He also has a half-brother who served twelve years in prison. Twenty years later, a father and grandfather, his brother is still recovering from that experience. 

All of these experiences have shaped Kayton's interest in the field of education and his dedicated service to underrepresented students. He is in his final year as a doctoral student in UC Davis’ School of Education; his research focus is Black male retention and graduation.

His is married to trial attorney Lisa Fletcher-Carter, and is the proud father of three adult children.


Education and Degree(s)
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership (in progress), UC Davis
  • MA, Higher Education Administration
  • BA, Interdisciplinary Studies (minor in Education), UC Berkeley