Dr. Patricia Hsieh, president of San Diego Miramar College, is stepping down after 14 years of service to accept the superintendent/president position of Hartnell Community College District in Salinas, CA. Dr. Hsieh will end her run as Miramar College president on Sept. 13, 2019.
Since being appointed president in August of 2005, Hsieh has presided over 14 years of unprecedented enrollment growth culminating with the achievement of 10,000 FTES a year ahead of the College’s planned goal. During her tenure, Miramar College expanded from a small college and transformed into a comprehensive higher education institution with an unwavering commitment to students and the communities it serves. Under her leadership, the College has been able to increase the number of faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to accommodate the enrollment growth.
Hsieh’s tenure coincided with a $560 million Proposition S and Proposition N bond projects. Hsieh presided over the entire implementation of Proposition N construction and some of the Proposition S funds. These two bond measures allowed Miramar College to modernize its teaching, learning, and service delivery facilities to not only expand student access for its diverse student body but also to deliver amazing student success outcomes.
Hsieh oversaw the creation of “Jets Jump Start” and the Freshman Year Experience Program which helped to support freshman students and ensure their completion of a degree, certificate or transfer. Miramar College also expanded its counseling services and enhanced its mentoring, internship, and apprenticeship programs. Hsieh led the formation of a Math Lab, English and Writing Labs, and the development of the Academic Success Center to support student learning. Her commitment to workforce development issues saw the College improve its employment numbers in Heavy Duty Equipment and Diesel Technology, Advanced Transportation, Fire Technology and Business Programs. Not only did these programs achieve national accreditation, but in January 2019, the College received gold medal recognition from the State Chancellor’s Office for placing Diesel Technology graduates in their field of study with an above average living wage. Hsieh has demonstrated her ardent support of public safety personnel training and formed strong partnerships with law enforcement, fire, and life guard agencies. San Diego Miramar College not only trains close to 100% of the public safety personnel in San Diego County, but it is also the home of Regional Public Safety Training Center. Hsieh is dedicated to providing the active military personnel, their families and veterans with educational opportunities. The College annually enrolls over 2,000 Veterans and most take advantage of the Vets-2-Jets Program, which was developed under Hsieh’s leadership.
In 2014, Hsieh executed strong leadership to help align Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) Plan and Student Equity Plan with the College’s Strategic Plan to ensure the College’s total commitment to student access, empowerment and equity. She led the College in integrating Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) with both SSSP and Student Equity Plans to maximize its positive impact on student completion and provided leadership in implementing Guided Pathways, AB 705, San Diego Promise and AB 19 (California Promise). In the fall of 2019, the College expects to enroll over 1,000 San Diego Promise recipients.
In 2017, through collaboration of the entire college, Miramar College was recognized by the Accreditation Commission of Community & Junior Colleges with a 7-year reaffirmation with no compliance recommendations. In that same year, the RP Group recognized the College for implementing the student focus-planning framework by granting the College the “Planning of Year” award.
Degree and certificate completion also rose under Hsieh’s leadership. In 2019, 1,225 associate degrees were awarded at the College, 620 certificates were issued, and 585 ADT awards were granted. Comparing to the 2018 awards, these awards represent a 15%, 29% and 34% increase.
Hsieh attributed the college’s impressive achievements to the wonderful faculty, classified professionals, and administrators. She said, “I will always cherish my experience at Miramar College, as I was blessed with an incredibly hard working administrative team, a brilliant faculty committed to excellence, and a dedicated staff always supportive of our students. Thank you for all of your support and for 14 wonderful years.”
As an immigrant, Hsieh championed diversity at the College. She served on the City of San Diego EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Committee). In 2014, she was a recipient of the Higher Education Trail Blazer Award by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
Hsieh has served as a board member or chaired 27 national, regional or local boards including: the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); the We Chinese in America Foundation, American Council on Education (ACE); AACC’s Economic and Workforce Development Committee; and the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce.
During her 38 years of educational experience in California, Hsieh has served in the following positions: program coordinator; transfer center/program coordinator; articulation coordinator/officer; transfer center director; dean of admissions and records; dean of student learning and development; vice president of student services; and college president. In addition, she has served as adjunct faculty at a variety of institutions since 1976.
Hsieh has been very generous over the years, initiating and sponsoring 30 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society scholarships and establishing the President’s Scholarship at Miramar College to support financially needy students.
The San Diego Community College District will launch a national search to fill the vacant presidency of San Diego Miramar College after Hsieh’s departure.