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Candidate: Christina Tafoya

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Christina Tafoya

Dr. Christina Tafoya has dedicated her career to helping students navigate to success through educational offerings in the community college system. Her experience as a community college student, earning associate degrees in Business and in Biology from Ventura College and Oxnard College, gave her the passion for providing equitable and accessible college education for all. She also earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Southern California. She currently holds the position of the interim Executive Vice President of Student Success and Student Learning at College of the Desert, where she has held responsibilities in areas across the college from capital planning and supervising the bond program to acting as the Vice President of Student Services.

Prior to joining College of the Desert, Dr. Tafoya served as the Vice President for Academic Services at Imperial Valley College. There she oversaw Guided Pathways, the Strong Workforce Program, the Title 5 grant along with all instructional programs and learning services with the library and tutoring. Furthermore, she was the accreditation liaison officer, helping guide the college through a site visit and successfully addressing compliance recommendations through a governance reorganization.

Dr. Tafoya’s community college career began with teaching, coordinating the dental programs, and managing the community dental clinic at Oxnard College. During her tenure, she helped launch a new dental assisting program and worked to ensure that the already nationally recognized dental hygiene program attained new heights of excellence with consistent 100% pass rates on the state, regional, and national board examinations. She was an active faculty member in the areas of accreditation, program review, curriculum, professional development, and student learning outcomes.

As an academic dean at Grossmont College and later at Oxnard College, Dr. Tafoya focused her divisions on providing organized career education programs that offer students a sequence of coherent and rigorous courses aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical skills needed to prepare for careers in current or emerging professions. She has managed both academic programs and a variety of specially funded programs to accomplish this goal. Her academic departments have included: Addictive Disorders Studies, Air Conditioning, Administration of Justice, Automotive Body Repair, Automation Control Technology, Automotive Technology, Business, Business Office Technology, Child Development, Computer Networking and Information Technology, Computer Science and Information Systems, Corrections Academy, Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Early Childhood Education, Emergency Medical Technology, Fire Academy, Fire Technology, International Business, Hospitality, Paralegal Studies, POST Police Academy, Restaurant Management, and Retail Management. Her grant and other special programs have included: Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Care Education; the Welcome Back Center (transitions foreign trained health care providers to jobs in the US medical field); Middle College High School (dual enrollment high school located on the college campus); Health Workforce Initiatives; CTE Pathways; Strong Workforce; Prop 39 Clean Energy; Perkins 1C;Self-Employment Pathways for the Gig Economy; Mentor Teacher; Child Development Training Consortium; the statewide Joint Special Populations Advisory Committee; and the statewide Public Safety Advisory Committee.

Additionally, Dr. Tafoya has served on the Incident Command Team in several districts and received US Army Mission Oriented Protective Posture Level 4 training in bioterrorism & disaster response. She served on as a peer reviewer for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and on two Partnership Resource Teams for the state Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative.