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A Student-Centered Career: SDHE Alum Dr. Dyrell Foster

Published January 23, 2020

College of Education alum, Dr. Dyrell Foster has been appointed as President at Las Positas College in Livermore, California. Moving from his role as Vice President of Student Services at Moreno Valley College in southern California, Dr. Foster shares his excitement, “to continue to advance student access, equity, and success” in his new role. “It’s an exciting time for California Community Colleges as we reframe our approach to student success by focusing on helping students to identify clear pathways to employment and further education while shortening the time it takes students to achieve their educational goals.”

Dyrell Foster
Dr. Dyrell Foster

A first-generation college student, Dr. Foster found his career in student affairs through a desire to give back to the academic community that supported him during his college years. As an undergrad, Dr. Foster benefitted from his university’s Educational Opportunity Program which helped him navigate the unfamiliar terrain of university life and connect him with campus resources. Having benefited by this careful guidance, Dr. Foster’s career goals moved him into higher education, specifically student affairs. In this campus community, he could positively impact other first generation and historically underrepresented students, pushing them to succeed as well.

Earning his master’s degree in the College of Education’s Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) program, Dr. Foster shares that for him, the SDHE program, “all comes back to relationships.” Explaining that the critical faculty support, mentorship and his cohort all helped give him the confidence to embark on a career in student affairs:

“This program, through the curriculum, the field work experiences, and the professional development opportunities, allowed me to obtain the skills and competencies needed to be successful as a new professional and allowed me to advance as an administrator in our field. SDHE has helped me develop into a reflective scholar-practitioner, in which I strive to maintain a student-centered perspective, view my work through the need to support the holistic development of students, while utilizing data (assessment and evaluation) to inform decisions…The SDHE degree and my experience in the program has played an instrumental role in my success.”

Learn more about the College of Education’s SDHE master’s program