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Santa Monica College Trustee Elected President of State Board

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

May 9, 2014 – A member of the Santa Monica College (SMC) Board of Trustees and a longtime supporter of Santa Monica’s educational institutions has been elected president of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT).

Louise Jaffe, who has served as an SMC trustee since November 2006 and was its board’s chair in 2009, will head the CCCT board for the 2014-15 term.

“With more than 400 trustees across California, it is a huge honor and privilege to be elected CCCT President,” Jaffe said. “It is also a huge opportunity, especially now that there is increased state funding available to serve our students. As CCCT president, my priority at the state level is the very same as my priority here at the local level: to improve student success for all of our community college students.”

CCCT is an organization of the nonprofit Community College League of California (CCLC), which includes all 72 California community college districts.

“Louise brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into this new position,” said outgoing CCCT President Manny Ontiveros of the North Orange County Community College District. “She will definitely be a tremendous leader of the Community College Trustees in California.”

CCCT takes positions on issues before the State Board of Governors and the legislature. Policy direction is provided to staff concerning statewide educational policy, research initiatives, publications, workshops and conferences.

“I am particularly focused on improving college-readiness, and CCCT shares this interest,” Jaffe said. “We are working to increase collaboration between school districts and community college districts, and to support legislation supporting an expansion of concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students.”

With daughters educated in Santa Monica’s public schools, Jaffe has long been involved in community and education issues. She has been a PTA leader since the early 1990s, currently serves on the PTA Council and is the recipient of the PTA’s highest award –- the Golden Oak.

Jaffe is a member of the Santa Monica Cradle-to-Career Work Group and the Santa Monica Child Care and Early Education Task Force. She is also the Santa Monica College representative to the Los Angeles County School Trustees Organization. 

In 1998, she founded the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community Project, pioneering and fostering a new community perspective on learning and its value at every stage in life. She is also a founding member and former co-chair of the political action committee Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS).

“Dr. Jaffe is a strong leader, an experienced trustee, and an accomplished education researcher. She is what the state needs at this time when we are focusing on student success,” said SMC Superintendent/President Chui L. Tsang. “Trustees in the state play a very important role in moving colleges to be more effective institutions. Dr. Jaffe has a passion and dedication to lifetime education.”

Jaffe earned a doctorate in education from UCLA in 2013 and received awards for outstanding dissertation from the UCLA Department of Education and from The Research & Planning Group for California Community Colleges. Her research focuses on improving the transition between high school and postsecondary education.

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