Home » National University Brings in Award-Winning  Leader to Build Community College Partnerships

National University Brings in Award-Winning  Leader to Build Community College Partnerships

Former president of the League for Innovation in the Community College, Dr. Gerardo de los Santos, joins National University to help advance rising leaders and support seamless transfer pathways with community colleges 

SAN DIEGO, CA (November 10, 2022) — National University (NU), one of the largest nonprofit universities in the United States committed to innovating around access and success for adult learners, today announced the addition of Dr. Gerardo de los Santos as vice president for community college relations. In this role, Dr. de los Santos will serve as a member of the university’s Workforce Education Solutions team, working to build, strengthen and expand its partnerships with community colleges.   

”Serving striving students well means partnering with fellow student access and success innovators, especially community colleges,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, president and CEO of National University. “Dr. de Los Santo has made it his life’s work to understand the needs and aspirations of community college students. His creative leadership and deep understanding of this sector will be an invaluable asset as we work to achieve our mission of championing whole-human education.” 

A nationally-respected expert in community college programs, policy and research, Dr. de los Santos joins NU from his most recent role as director of community college partnerships at Western Governors University, where he helped to build and strengthen partnerships with community colleges throughout the United States. Dr. de los Santos is best known for his nearly two decades of leadership at the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international organization dedicated to advancing innovation in the community and technical college sector. He has served on boards of numerous organizations, including the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University; the Education Testing Service National Advisory Board; Community College Survey of Student Engagement National Advisory Board; and the Editorial Board of Change Magazine. He has also served as a graduate faculty member for educational leadership programs at Kansas State University and in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas, Austin. 

This move is part of a larger initiative at NU to expand its work in preparing rising community college leaders with graduate degrees and in opening transfer pathways for community college students. With  a comprehensive suite of masters and doctoral pathways, together with a wide array of baccalaureate programs—with a unique focus on microcredentials and workforce training programs designed collaboratively with input from employers—NU is well positioned to power both initiatives.  NU’s diverse student population reflects its efforts to serve the shifting demographics of leaders and students in community colleges today. As one of the largest private HSI’s in the country, more than 80 percent of NU’s undergraduates are transfer students with existing college credit, and the average age is 33.  

“To fully meet the needs of the adult students we seek to serve, developing strong and lasting community college partnerships must be at the core of our work. For more than 50 years, National University has been committed to serving hard-working students, including community college graduates and transfers,” Dr. de los Santos said.  “I’m delighted to join a team and a university that is so deeply invested in partnering with community colleges to prepare next-generation leaders and create accessible—and equitable—pathways to college completion.” 

Visit the National University System’s website to learn more about its community college partnerships around leadership development and transfer pathways. 

About National University: National University, a veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to 40,000 students and 200,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at NU.edu 

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