The Board of Trustees of Río Hondo Community College District invites nominations and applications for the position of Superintendent/President. The District seeks a Superintendent/President who will lead a single college District with a student-focused vision and equity mindset while prioritizing quality teaching and learning; student access and success; diversity, equity and inclusion; and integrity and fiscal responsibility. The District is seeking a Superintendent/President who will be guided by a clear understanding and deep commitment to the mission of the College.
Río Hondo College is an educational and community partner committed to advancing social justice and equity as an anti-racist institution that collectively invests in all students’ academic and career pathways that lead to attainment of degree, certificate, transfer, and lifelong-learning goals.
Río Hondo College (RHC) acknowledges its presence on the ancestral territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples. RHC acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar and pays respect to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.
Officially opening its doors for instruction on ancestral territory in 1963, RHC will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary of providing exemplary education and vocational training to students in southeast Los Angeles County and in the San Gabriel Valley. Located in the City of Whittier and operating as a comprehensive community college district that invests deeply in the success of its constituencies, the College serves a 65 square-mile area encompassing several communities, including El Monte, Los Nietos, North Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, Whittier and portions of Hacienda Heights, La Habra Heights, and La Mirada. Approximately 17,500 students are enrolled each semester at the College, including in the three educational centers throughout the District. These educational centers located in El Monte, Pico Rivera and South Whittier, provide greater accessibility to higher education and lifelong learning opportunities.
A premier Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with a population of 84.4% Hispanic/Latinx during the 2019-2020 academic year, RHC awarded approximately 1,600 associate degrees to students who identify as Hispanic/Latinx. Of those degrees, over 1,000 were conferred to Hispanic /Latinx women, demonstrating that the College is focused on ensuring the equity and success to a diverse set of populations in higher education. Río Hondo College values its evolving role in providing education to a diverse population (49.6% female; 49.5% male; 0.1% non-binary; 84.4% Hispanic/Latinx; 5.7% Asian/Pacific Islander; 4.8% White Non-Hispanic; 3.5% Other; 1.4% Black Non-Hispanic; and 0.2% American Indian/Alaskan Native) and training to its service region. The College embraces the personal and professional development of all its students and employees for a more inclusive learning and working environment.
The College serves thousands of students each year in transferring to local, statewide and national four-year universities and colleges. Such institutions include several California State University and University of California campuses, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Southern California, and other private universities.
Río Hondo College offers a robust transfer curriculum and strong career-technical programs, including a Pathway to Law School Program and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Automotive Technology. RHC is also home to nationally ranked Police, Fire, Wildland Fire Academies, Nursing and Homeland Security Programs. The College offers 97 associate degrees, 31 of which are associate degrees for transfer to California State Universities; 131 Certificates of Achievement; 12 career and skills proficiency certificates; and 21 noncredit certificates. Additionally, RHC offers support programs for disproportionally impacted students that include RISE Scholars, Puente Program, UndocuScholars Program, and the Dream Center.
Beyond Río Hondo’s current substantial achievements, the College is fiscally stable with a general fund of $172 million. This year, the College received over $60 million in federal and state stimulus funding. This funding will serve to provide direct aid to Río Hondo’s diverse student body, invigorate student services, strengthen the institution’s distance learning platform, deepen faculty and staff professional development, broaden campus-wide technology, and implement facilities upgrades at a campus-wide level. Additionally, the Aspen Institute recently awarded the College funding to address strengthening transfer pathways to universities among Hispanic/Latinx and underserved students starting Fall 2021.
The College has been actively engaged in advancing and achieving its mission of social justice, equity, and anti-racism through its comprehensive, integrated planning model, which includes its strategic goals of expanding access to the College and increasing the number of students who achieve their educational goals of transfer, earning a degree or certificate, or becoming employed in their chosen field of study. This intentionality and deliberate programming have led to increased student success. Río Hondo College was recently recognized by the Campaign for College Opportunity as a 2021 Equity Champion for Excellence in Transfer for Latinx Students, and by the Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine as a Top 100 College and University for Hispanics.
Los Angeles County is designated as the most highly populated county within the United States, with over 10 million residents. The area attracts immense economic activity each year, and its most recent GDP measure was approximated at $1 trillion, one of the largest in the world. Major industries include arts and entertainment, education, tourism, aerospace and defense, and trade and logistics, among several others. In addition, many prominent companies and organizations within these industries are headquartered inside the county, including Activision Blizzard, Hulu, Space X, the California State University system, Walt Disney Studios, and Dodger Stadium.
Because Los Angeles County sits at the hub of innovation for a wide variety of industries, the opportunities to create substantial and impactful partnerships among private, non-profit, educational, and government entities are boundless. Within the College District, RHC already partners with TESLA, FEDEX, Kaiser, Whittier Hospital Medical Center and PIH Health Whittier Hospital among others.
Los Angeles County is a place with endless options to explore food, business, art, and enriching cultures because of the incredible diversity it holds among residents. Beyond historic neighborhoods and institutions, museums, art exhibitions, food, and nightlife, residents have the opportunity to experience many natural landscapes within the county that cannot be found elsewhere. Such locations include Angeles National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the Sierra Pelona Ridge, the Verdugo Mountain, and San Gabriel National Monument among many other attractions.
Río Hondo College is seeking a Superintendent/President who listens, understands, is empathetic, values and engages to become better connected with the different communities the college serves leading to the RHC’s further growth and success; and one who leads with an equity-focused approach, integrity, and collaboration with students, faculty, classified staff, management, the Board of Trustees and the community.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
- Strengthen RHC’s role as a premier HSI throughout California and the nation.
- Lead RHC’s efforts to become a more competitive college in the education market in Los Angeles County, the San Gabriel Valley, and throughout California by focusing on becoming a leader in the economic and social mobility for students.
- Advance RHC to improve delivery systems, utilize technology more effectively for both students and employees, and better serve the diverse needs of students and communities.
- Increase outreach, enrollment, retention, and completion efforts to improve student outcomes. These efforts include: closing the achievement gap among all students especially men of color; improving success in transfer level courses; and also statewide initiatives i.e., Guided Pathways, Vision for Success, Student Equity and Achievement Initiatives, Adult
Re-entry and Dual enrollment programs.
- Continue to enhance and expand RHC’s baccalaureate degree program and Río Promise.
- Support the creation of culturally responsive curriculum that ensures anti-racist, culturally responsive classrooms, teaching, and services.
- Increase the diversity of faculty and administration.
- Assess and prioritize facilities renovations to improve RHC’s learning environment.
- Partner with the region’s workforce leaders to develop programs that prepare students for current and emerging high wage career paths. These partnerships would include K-12 school districts, businesses, and community organizations.
- Prioritize the professional development of all constituency groups to encourage growth and advancement through quality training and provide opportunities for staff to apply what they have learned.
- Knowledge and experience with bond passage and issuance for RHC’s facility needs.
- Advance the success of the College Foundation and acquire community support and philanthropic contributions.
ACCESSIBILITY, DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
- A culturally knowledgeable leader with an evidence-based commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion (ADEI), who has demonstrated ADEI outcomes at the previous institutions they have led and served.
- A leader who will operationalize, actualize, and advance the College mission of anti-racism by advancing social justice.
- A leader who has significantly demonstrated direct experience in efforts to facilitate anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
- A data-driven leader who is well-versed in research-based initiatives to help close the equity gaps in achievement metrics.
- A Superintendent/President who leads by example by building trust and authentically supporting the entire College community.
- An open and transparent leader who operates with integrity, collegiality, authenticity, and empathy.
- A leader who takes the time to actively listen to learn and understand RHC’s culture, history, and needs.
- A fiscally astute leader who can manage large and complex budgets; and has a successful track record for leadership development, capacity-building, and leveraging resources.
- A strong communicator who will successfully and continuously engage with all employees, students, and the community.
- A leader who will collaboratively work with all constituency groups to implement the college vision, mission and values.
- A leader who has a track record of successfully working with multiple collective bargaining units.
- A prudent leader who has broad experience with crisis management and campus safety.
- A leader who has experience working with an elected Board of Trustees.
- A leader who has a vision for the college.
STUDENT ADVOCACY AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
- An advocate for economically disadvantaged students and first-generation College students.
- An advocate who makes student success the focus of all decisions and provides leadership and personal encouragement to students.
- An advocate who continues to study best practices focused on student success.
- A mentor who listens to students to understand and improve student services.
- An educator with a deep understanding of institution-wide technology who furthers relevant and successful online offerings and effectively navigates the rapidly changing educational landscape related to remote learning.
- A visible representative who spotlights the work of faculty and staff at state and national level and advocates to create funding opportunities for RHC at all levels.
- A leader who believes in the aspirational goals of every student by investing in the development of students to become well-informed citizens who contribute to their community and are civically engaged through resilience and fortitude.
GOVERNANCE AND ORGANIZATION
- An educator with significant accreditation oversight experience.
- A leader who fosters shared decision-making across constituent groups and is committed to shared governance.
- A leader who will equitably provide students, classified staff, faculty and management the resources they need to succeed.
- An external ambassador who works diligently and becomes immersed in the community to engage with businesses, different industries, school districts, state and federal agencies to create mutually beneficial partnerships that advance the interests of the college.
- A leader who partners with foundations and non-profit organizations that support RHC in creating a “college going culture” in the community.
- A collaborator who has experience developing partnerships with K-12, other higher education institutions, and labor trades that also provide learning opportunities and pathways to careers and greater learning opportunities for all students.
Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience
- An earned Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution;
- At least five (5) years of recent senior level administrative/leadership experience in progressively more responsible positions with a strong demonstrated record of achievement; and
- Demonstrated sensitivity in working with people of diverse racial, ethnic, disability, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- An earned Doctorate degree from a regionally accredited institution;
- Senior administrative leadership experience in a higher education institution;
- Teaching and/or student services experience in a higher education institution; and
- Experience working with a Board of Trustees.