The National Community College Hispanic Council, the premier organization for preparation and support of Hispanic leaders in the nation’s community colleges, recently graduated 24 new Leadership Fellows and honored founder Ted Martinez, Jr., Ph.D.
Launched in 2003
Launched in 2003, the program has sponsored 17 annual classes and is now affiliated with San Diego State University. The primary goal of the organization is to provide the nation’s community colleges with an increasing supply of potential leaders who meet rigorous standards of essential competencies identified by the American Association of Community Colleges, while also addressing severe underrepresentation of Hispanics in top leadership positions. The Leadership Fellows Program pipeline has become increasingly important as Hispanic enrollments continue to skyrocket on campuses of higher education, now comprising 27% of all community college students.
According to NCCHC, results indicate exceptional levels of program success. Of the 61 current Latino community college presidents, 17 are alumni of the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program. On average, 30 alumni receive administrative promotions each year and many are headed for the executive office. Since 2017, program fellows received promotions in 22 states, including seven vice chancellors; 17 presidents; eight provost/vice presidents; 32 vice presidents; 30 deans and 21 directors; plus 39 other appointments.
Dr. Martinez is executive director of the leadership program and is currently an adjunct professor at SDSU. He has a long history of advocating for education. He was a beneficiary of mentoring by community college leaders who helped him develop his leadership potential and finish his doctoral work before he reached the age of 30.A child of Hispanic migrant farm workers, he understood the importance of education in his early life as his parents built their work schedules around their children’s school opportunities.
In 2015, Dr. Martinez was also recognized with the Dr. Alfredo de los Santos, Jr. Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education by the Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc., Most recently he was recognized by the National Community College Hispanic Council who renamed the program “The Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr., NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program.”
“We are so pleased to recognize and honor the important work and effort of Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr., as he established and nurtured this program of national importance. The NCCHC Board of Directors believes in the mission and integrity of developing leaders by providing rigorous curriculum and mentoring opportunities. We also believe that we best demonstrate our collective gratitude by naming our prestigious program in his honor,” said Dr. Robert Vela, president of NCCHC and president of Texas’ San Antonio College.
Also a Texas native, Dr. Martinez retired after a 41-year career that most recently included serving as the eighth superintendent/president of Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California. He also previously served as president of East County’s Grossmont College.
He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business and economics from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He began his community college career teaching occupational education classes at Western Texas College.
The NCCHC is an affiliated council with the American Council of Community Colleges.