Dr Lauren Ford takes on Strategic Partnerships role at Skyline College

Dr. Ford poses for a photo

Skyline College website

Dr. Ford poses for a photo

On April 17, Dr. Lauren Ford started her role as the Interim Dean of Skyline College’s Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development division after working in higher education for more than a decade. 

Dr. Ford says her goal as interim dean is to strengthen partnerships, both internally and externally. Internally, with students and instructional programs and externally with workforce partners to increase student support in workforce explorations. She wants to ensure the school has the tools, resources, and technology to ensure students are getting up to date on training and support.

“I’ve only been here for a week, so I’m still trying to get a sense of what is taking place already and what hasn’t taken place and where the gaps are,” she says. “And so I think right now I’m in listening mode, but I’m excited to be able to provide support to the team to help elevate the work that is taking place.”

Dr. Ford started at Skyline in 2015, working mainly in outreach with high school students to introduce students to community college. In fact, Skyline was the first community college she worked at.

“…[I] really fell in love with the mission of the college, to empower this global community of learners and the types of services and support that we provide to students and our community members in order to really uphold that mission,” Dr. Ford said. 

For four years, Dr. Ford was Project Director for the San Mateo County Community College District Promise Scholars Program Replication. She’s helped establish programs that support minoritized students within the district that aren’t always reached out to. 

“So when an opportunity came back up to serve in this role of interim dean I really thought it was a good utilization of my skill sets: thinking about both early college access programs, thinking about process development, program development, and also career readiness,” Dr. Ford said. “And [I] also thought that I could contribute to the department to really help elevate what work had already taken place within this space.”

She took on her role after nearly a year of unpredictable SPWD leadership. According to Dr. Vinicio Lopez, the vice president of instruction, last year in June the then-permanent dean Andrea Vizenor moved on to College of San Mateo as an Executive Director. Then, Russell Waldon replaced Vizenor in July and stepped down in January this year. Dr. Lopez was the acting interim dean before Dr. Ford started her position on April 17. 

Dr. Ford holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from Xavier University and a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. She was also part of the 2017 cohort of the SF State Educational Leadership program, earning her doctorate through the program.