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Dr. John C. Hernandez was appointed President of Irvine Valley College (IVC) in July 2020. Reporting to the South Orange County Community College District Chancellor, his responsibilities include providing leadership in the development of a sustainable master plan; developing and monitoring the college budget and ensuring resources are allocated efficiently; supporting learning, teaching, and student success; ensuring optimum services are offered in all areas of student life; providing leadership in the development of a comprehensive enrollment management plan; and working with district and college administrators and leaders of the Academic and Classified Senates to establish and achieve institutional goals.

Dr. Hernandez previously served as President of Santiago Canyon College (SCC) from July 2017 to 2020. The year prior to his appointment, he served in the role on an interim basis. In both roles, he provided leadership in institutional planning, allocation of fiscal resources, human resources, facilities, and the delivery of educational programs and services to advance student learning and success.

From 2005 to 2016, Dr. Hernandez served as Vice President for Student Services at SCC, where he was an advocate for increasing opportunities for students and for partnering with others to provide a seamless delivery of support services. Additionally, since 2009 he had provided administrative leadership for SCC’s Foundation. In that role, he created the necessary infrastructure to ensure a sustainable foundation with an enhanced capacity. 

Dr. Hernandez has been in the field of student affairs for 33 years, 20 of which were spent in administration. Prior to his tenure at SCC, Dr. Hernandez served in the following administrative roles: Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Cal Poly Pomona, Associate Dean for Student Development at Santa Ana College, and Assistant Dean for Students Affairs at California State University, Fullerton. Additionally, he served as an adjunct instructor in the Student Development in Higher Education graduate program at California State University, Long Beach.

Over the years, Dr. Hernandez has served in various leadership roles within the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), a national professional association for student affairs educators. In 2015, he completed a three-year term on the Governing Board, representing senior student affairs officers and chairing the Senior Student Affairs Officer Advisory Board. Additionally, he has served on the faculty of ACPA’s Institute for Aspiring Senior Student Affairs Officers and the Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute.

Dr. Hernandez has published several journal articles, including “En Sus Voces (In Their Voices): Understanding the Retention of Latino/a College Students” in the Journal of College Student Development (2000); “Leaking Pipeline: Issues Impacting Latino/a College Student Retention,” co-authored with M. A. Lopez for the Journal of College Student Retention (2004); and “A qualitative exploration of the first year experience of Latino college students” for the NASPA Journal (2002). In 2014, he co-authored a chapter titled “The role of the executive-level student services officer within a community college organizational structure” in New Directions for Community Colleges (2014).

Throughout his career, Dr. Hernandez has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including as the inaugural recipient of the Cynthia S. Johnson Award for Mentoring from the Student Development in Higher Education Program at California State University, Long Beach; the Standing Committee Advocate Award from ACPA College Student Educators International; a Distinguished Alumnus honor from the California State University, Long Beach College of Education; an Apple of Gold Award from the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF); and Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer from the NASPA Latino/a Knowledge Community.

Dr. Hernandez earned his PhD in college student personnel administration from the University of Maryland in College Park; a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in student development in higher education from Cal State Long Beach; a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cal State Fullerton; and an Associate in Arts degree at Fullerton College.

As a first-generation immigrant and a product of the California community college system, Dr. Hernandez knows the impact of a college education firsthand. His educational journey was positively shaped as an EOP&S student at Fullerton College, and he is a living testament of how lives are transformed through education.