Dr. Jean Hernandez Joins South Seattle College as Interim President
Dr. Jean Hernandez, an educational leader with nearly four decades of experience, has joined South Seattle College (SSC) as interim president through the current academic year. The position opened when Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, SSC’s former president, became interim chancellor of the Seattle Colleges District.
Hernandez retired from Edmonds College with the title of president emeritus in 2017 after serving seven years as president. She has earlier connections to SSC, including serving as vice president of instruction and a prior stint as interim president in 2010. More recently, Hernandez has supported SSC in improving student success as a Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Guided Pathways coach.
“I have experienced the heart and soul of South Seattle College and am honored to serve as interim president and offer a sturdy bridge to continue the many exceptional educational and community services that we offer,” said Hernandez. “I am passionate about the college’s collective impact on student lives through educational programs that lead to high-wage employment, career mobility and flourishing communities.”
Over a 37-year career, Hernandez has extensive experience at both community colleges and universities. She is known as a student success champion who is strongly committed to removing barriers for students from K-12 through their higher education years. In particular, she has worked to advance women in the STEM fields, address education reform for students who are in prison, and developed successful partnerships with both industry and community organizations.
“As a first-generation college graduate and Latina, I can identify with the diverse backgrounds of many of our students, and I am proud to work with colleagues who are committed to changing lives on a daily basis. South Seattle is the community’s college, enriching its growth with a talented, trained workforce,” said Hernandez. “We are dedicated to uplifting our surrounding communities, including West Seattle, White Center, Burien, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley and beyond.”
Hernandez holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education from the University of North Texas, as well as a Doctor of Education from the University of Washington. Since 2018, she has worked as a leadership coach for Achieving the Dream and a guided pathways coach for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. She currently serves on the Western Governors University Washington Advisory Board, Junior Achievement Washington Board, and University of Colorado Denver, School of Education Program Advisory Committee.