COLLEGE PARK, MD (July, 2017) – John C. Hernandez (Ph.D. ’99), who received his doctorate from the University of Maryland College of Education, has been named president of Santiago Canyon College in Santa Ana, Calif.
Dr. Hernandez took on the role as the college’s president on July 1, 2017, after the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which oversees the college, approved his appointment at a June 12 meeting, according to an RSCCD news release. He had already been serving as interim president for a year.
Dr. Hernandez has nearly three decades of student affairs experience: before serving as interim president at SCC, Hernandez also served as its vice president of student services for 11 years, and for seven of those years he also served as executive director of the college’s foundation. In addition, Dr. Hernandez has held administrative positions at California State Polytechnic University, Santa Ana College and California State University, Fullerton, and has teaching experience at schools in California and Maryland.
“As a first-generation immigrant and a product of the California community college system, Dr. Hernandez knows firsthand the impact of our programs and services on students. As he has as interim president, he will continue to serve our students, faculty and staff well and in turn, enhance the quality of life in our community,” RSCCD Board of Trustees President John R. Hanna said in a news release. “We look forward to working with Dr. Hernandez in fully utilizing Santiago Canyon College for the benefit of our students and the community.”
Before earning his doctorate in college student personnel administration at UMD in 1999, Dr. Hernandez earned a master of science in counseling with an emphasis in student development in higher education from California State University, Long Beach, in 1992, a bachelor of arts in sociology at California State University, Fullerton, in 1984 and an associate in arts from Fullerton College in 1982.
In addition to his degree, Dr. Hernandez has earned several awards from UMD. As a student, he was given the Latino Impact Community Award in 1996 and the Diversity Initiative Award for Excellence in 1998. In 2006, Hernandez received the William L. Thomas Jr. Mentor Award from the College of Education’s Student Personnel program — a special source of pride for Dr. Hernandez.
“My doctoral studies provided a foundation for my administrative roles over the years, specifically, the role of our environment in shaping an educational experience; the art of administration and organizational leadership; theories of student learning and development; and the importance of assessment and evaluation and how the results of these should guide our practice & decision making,” Dr. Hernandez wrote in an email.
“More importantly the faculty and my overall experience at [the University of Maryland] gave me the confidence to engage and conduct scholarly research and taught me the value of becoming a practitioner-scholar.”