Hi, I'm Joe
WHERE I COME FROM
Joe S. Ramirez is a graduate of Fillmore High School and received an Associate of Arts Degree from Moorpark College, earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his Masters Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Upon earning his Masters Degree, Joe returned to California Lutheran University (CLU) where he became the first Director of the Student Support Services Program from October 1990 to June 1998.
A THRIVING CAREER
Joe left CLU to become Dean of Counseling and Matriculation at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA during the summer of 1998 where he established partnerships with local high schools in order to create a more seamless transition for disadvantaged students. In December of 2001, Joe was hired as the Dean of Student Services at Oxnard College where he reshaped the Transfer and Career Center. Joe was then recruited to serve as Vice President of Student Services at Los Angeles Mission College in order to bring some of his innovative programs to a campus in need of outside the box thinking to address low transfer and certificate rates. After eight years in this role, transfer rates increased by 15% and Los Angeles Mission College was recognized as a leading college for Latino students. He finished the last eight months of his career as a Counselor doing what he loves most, interacting with students and providing academic and life lessons. In 2016, Joe retired from the Los Angeles Community College District.
Equity Meets Opportunity
Working to build structural equity at all educational levels while working to embed a college going culture among disadvantaged students has been Joe Ramirez’s life work. Starting 40 years ago, Joe began to envision ways for low-income high school students to envision themselves as college students and success in their lives.
From leading the TRiO program at CLU, followed by administrative roles in counseling and student support services in the Rio Hondo Community College District, Ventura County Community College District, and Los Angeles Community College District, Joe has the knowledge and experience to do the job on Day 1. What gives Joe’s candidacy a sense of urgency is his vision to position the community college system as a critical gateway to higher education for millions of students, young and old, who were never given the clear path to college that exists for the more privileged in our society. He focused on enacting policies and practices that eliminate chances for students to fall through the cracks before they arrive and after they graduate from high school.
Today, Joe continues to work with students as an educational consultant. He is currently heading a team of educators that work with at-promise 10th grade students and seniors at Santa Paula High School in Santa Paula. He and his wife Leticia, are also proudly watching their daughter, Marisol Estrella, as she enters her fourth year at the University of California, Santa Barbara.