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New College of Marin VP of Student Services to Focus on Student Success

Eldridge Brings Years of Experience From Posts at Pacific Northwest Universities

Jonathan EldridgeKentfield, CA—January 11, 2013—College of Marin is starting the New Year with a new vice president of Student Services, Jonathan Eldridge, who brings extensive college administrative experience involving student success initiatives.

“Jonathan brings a wonderful enthusiasm for students, a depth of experience, and outstanding leadership skills,” said College of Marin Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon. “He is a welcome addition and I look forward to working with him on implementing our new student success initiatives.”

Eldridge began his duties on Jan. 7, 2012.

“It really is a great opportunity given where the college is and what the president is doing to help the staff make a significant difference,” Eldridge said. Eldridge, 43, held for seven years a similar position at Southern Oregon University, a small, public liberal arts college in Ashland, Ore. Prior to that, he spent about 10 years at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. where he worked as Dean of Students and director of Residence Life/coordinator of Judicial Affairs. “This is a great opportunity to try to make a difference.”

Eldridge said he is looking forward to creatively working within ongoing budget restraints and supporting a diverse student population.

“First, I am going to do lot of listening and try to understand the culture of the institution and the work that’s being done,” Eldridge said. “I see my job as helping students be successful; that means different things for different students and finding exciting ways to do better with the resources that we have. I want to make sure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts by taking the resources – primarily human resources – and helping them work together in an integrated manner.”

The new vice president of student services position was created as part of an institutional reorganization designed to achieve new objectives as outlined in the college’s Strategic Plan 2012-2015. The new post replaces a vacant dean of student development position and assumes a portion of the duties previously held by the vice president of student learning.

Eldridge received a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Political Science from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. His master’s degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., Student Affairs in Higher Education, focused on bringing together different elements of an institution to make sure students have a successful and integrated college experience.

Part of the job includes implementation of statewide initiatives to improve educational outcomes, such as:

  • Development and implementation of a common diagnostic assessment tool to more accurately determine the skill levels of entering students;
  • New technology and additional counsel­ors to create more robust student services, including broader and more widespread use of student educational plans;
  • Structured pathways to help students identify a program of study and get an educational roadmap to indicate ap­propriate courses and available support services;
  • Enhanced professional development for both faculty and staff, especially related to the instructional and support needs of basic skills students;
  • Revised financing, accountability, and oversight systems to ensure that financial and organizational resources are better aligned with student success;
  • Stronger statewide coordination and oversight to allow for the sharing and facilitation of new and creative ideas to help students succeed, including the ability for California to “take to scale” the many good practices already in place; and
  • Better alignment of local district and college goals with the education and workforce needs of the state.

“I’m very excited to be a part of that implementation at College of Marin,” Eldridge said.

Eldridge is married to Rima DasGupta, a newly tenured sociology professor at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has four children. He is an avid cook and wine enthusiast and, while he has historically cheered on the Seattle Mariners, he promises to root for Bay Area baseball teams.

For more information about the College of Marin Strategic Plan 2012-2015 go to http://www.marin.edu/WORD-PPT/StrategicPlan-2012-2015.pdf.