Dr. John Hernandez was appointed President of Santiago Canyon College (SCC) in July 2017. Reporting to the community college district chancellor, his responsibilities include planning, organizing and implementing educational policy and procedures to develop curriculum and student support services; budget management; enhancing partnerships with business, governmental and community organizations, as well as with K-12 and higher education institutions in the area; and leading the institution's fund development efforts.
Immediately preceding his appointment, Dr. Hernandez served as Interim President of Santiago Canyon College from July 2016. As Interim President of SCC, he has provided leadership in institutional planning, allocation of fiscal resources, human resources, facilities and the delivery of educational programs and services to advance student learning and success. He also has led efforts to sustain a welcoming and supportive environment for all campus constituents.
Since 2005, Dr. Hernandez served as Vice President for Student Services at SCC where he has been an advocate for increasing opportunities for students and for partnering with others to provide a seamless delivery of support services. In that role, he established external partnerships with local school districts and four-year universities to create collaborative programs to increase student access and success. As an integral member of the President's Executive Leadership Team, he played a key role in the development of college policy and participates in institutional planning, management, and advancement.
Additionally, since 2009 he provided administrative leadership for College's Foundation. In that role he created the necessary infrastructure to ensure a sustainable foundation with an enhanced capacity, including: board development, ensuring the creation of a five-year strategic plan, purchasing a sophisticated donor management system to provide needed technology and to enhance communication capacity, secured foundation funding to create a dedicated development officer, and created a budding alumni network.
Dr. Hernandez has been in the field of student affairs for 33 years, twenty of those years in administration. Prior to his tenure at Santiago Canyon College, John served in the following administrative roles: Associate Vice President & Dean of Students at Cal Poly Pomona; Associate Dean for Student Development at Santa Ana College; and Assistant Dean for Students Affairs at California State University, Fullerton. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct instructor in the Student Development in Higher Education graduate program at Cal State University, Long Beach.
Over the years, Dr. Hernandez has served in various leadership roles within the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) a national professional association for student affairs educators. In 2015, he completed a three-year term on the Governing Board, representing senior student affairs officers and chairing the Senior Student Affairs Officer Advisory Board. Additionally, he has served on the faculty of ACPA's Institute for Aspiring Senior Student Affairs Officers and the Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute.
Dr. Hernandez has published several journal articles including, "En Sus Voces (In Their Voices): Understanding the Retention of Latino/a College Students" Journal of College Student Development (2000);
Leaking Pipeline: Issues Impacting Latino/a College Student Retention co-authored with M. A. Lopez, Journal of College Student Retention (2004);
A qualitative exploration of the first year experience of Latino college students, NASPA Journal (2002); and most recently co-authored a chapter "The role of the executive-level student services officer within a community college organizational structure" in New Directions for Community Colleges (2014).
During his career Dr. Hernandez was the recipient of several awards and honors including the inaugural recipient of the Cynthia S. Johnson Award for Mentoring, Student Development in Higher Education Program, California State University, Long Beach; Standing Committee Advocate Award, ACPA College Student Educators International; Distinguished Alumnus, California State University, Long Beach, College of Education; Apple of Gold Award, Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF); and Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer, NASPA Latino/a Knowledge Community.
Dr. Hernandez earned his Ph.D. in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Maryland in College Park, a master's degree in Counseling with an emphasis in student development in higher education from CSU Long Beach, a bachelor's degree in sociology from CSU Fullerton and an associate in arts degree at Fullerton College.
As a first-generation immigrant who is the product of the California community college system, Dr. Hernandez knows first-hand the impact of a college education. His educational journey was positively shaped as an EOP&S student at Fullerton College and is a living testament of how lives are transformed through education.