Carlos Osvaldo Cortez

Entrepreneurship

President of SDCCE in San Diego

Carlos Osvaldo Cortez recognizes that diversity enriches educational institutions and students with exposure to diverse perspectives can develop more cognitive tools for understanding new ideas and resolving problems. To this end, Carlos has chosen to primarily work with underserved, ethnically diverse student populations that hail from low-income communities.

As the president of San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) in San Diego, California, Carlos Osvaldo Cortez, Ph.D. serves over 40,000 students every year across seven different campuses and over 200 off-site locations. SDCE is one of four divisions of the San Diego Community College District, which is the seventh-largest community college system in the United States of America, and SDCE is also the eleventh largest institution in the California Community College System out of 116 different institutions. In addition to his role as president, Carlos holds adjunct faculty positions at John Hopkins University, New York University, and the University of California, Berkeley. 

Carlos Osvaldo Cortez received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, studying in History and Sociology. From there he chose to further pursue his education and went on to earn a master’s degree in Race and Gender Politics from New York University as well as a doctor of philosophy in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California. All of these degrees hold a focus on African American feminist political history. The knowledge and skills he gained from his education have allowed Carlos to consistently educate students from all backgrounds over the past 23 years, as well as allow him to serve as an administrator for 16 years and a CEO for 11 years. Carlos’ career in education began when he joined the Teach for America Corps program back in the late ’90s and has since then held positions in the public, private, and charter school sectors of various cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, Houston, Berkeley, and San Diego. Carlos’ most recent endeavor prior to becoming president of SDCE was acting as vice president of instruction at Berkeley City College and before that serving as director of Education Extension at the University of California at Los Angeles. The various roles he’s held have made him well known for the development of innovative programs and services as well as his passionate dedication to both his teachers and students.

Carlos Osvaldo Cortez recognizes that diversity enriches educational institutions and students with exposure to diverse perspectives can develop more cognitive tools for understanding new ideas and resolving problems. To this end, Carlos has chosen to primarily work with underserved, ethnically diverse student populations that hail from low-income communities. Carlos understands that policy and finance reform is a must in order to better serve these groups and has been a firm advocate for them as a member of several state and federal level legislative task forces, such as the California League of Community College’s Advisory Committee on Legislation and the Noncredit Coalition. Carlos feels he has a duty to work toward urban education reform in order to better educate and serve ethnically diverse students and provide them with the resources they need and deserve to succeed in life.