Francisco Rodriguez, chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District and a noted scholar and speaker on student access and success, has been named the 2018 Educator of the Year by Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education.
He will be honored at the annual Kappa Delta Pi and School of Education Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in LMU’s Hilton Center for Business.
During the event, LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., will be inducted as an honorary member of Kappa Delta Pi, an international education honor society.
“We are honored to recognize Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez for his extraordinary leadership and service to improving the educational landscape in California, and to induct President Snyder into Kappa Delta Pi,” said SOE Dean Shane P. Martin, Ph.D. “Both hold a commitment to inclusive education and promotion of social justice in classrooms and communities, which is truly reflective of our mission at LMU.”
Rodriguez was named chancellor of the nation’s largest community college district in 2014, and served as superintendent and president of the MiraCosta Community College District in Oceanside, and as president of Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. He has worked for 30 years as an educator, faculty member and administrator within California public higher education, dedicating his career to diversity, equity and inclusion issues and outreach to underserved communities, particularly the development of young Latino and African-American males.
“I am deeply appreciative of this recognition that speaks to the quality of educators at our district,” said Rodriguez. “It serves as an affirmation and positive response to our call to action as educators to serve and lift our communities through education.”
At the LACCD, Rodriguez has focused on building the district’s profile and reputation, stressing an approach that includes a well-prepared and innovative faculty and responsive curriculum, excellent educational administrators, state-of-the-art buildings and equipment, well-trained and professional support staff, and business and community engagement.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Chicano studies with an emphasis in education, and a master’s degree in community development, from UC Davis. He holds a doctorate degree in philosophy in education from Oregon State University.
Last fall, leaders from LMU and the LACCD signed an agreement that will enable students attending the district’s nine colleges to receive guaranteed fall admission to LMU once they meet specific enrollment requirements. In addition to the fall admission guarantee, the agreement allows LMU to provide to LACCD students access to campus tours and workshops, information on financial aid and scholarships, and transfer/pre-admission advisement.
The LMU SOE has a longstanding commitment to educational excellence in California’s community colleges; the school prepares educators to take on teacher and leadership roles in community colleges, and educates and provides mentors for future teachers through the community college pipeline at the undergraduate level – via the LMU Center for Undergraduate Teacher Preparation.
Past recipients of the SOE’s Educator of the Year Award include Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation; Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education; Patricia Gándara, research professor of education and co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA; and Gregory Boyle, S.J., M.A. ’85, of Homeboy Industries.