Citrus College’s Retiring President Dr. Geraldine Perri Shows How Group Faculties Can Improve Life


Born and raised in the Bronx in New York Town as one of five kids to a father who was a machinist and businessman and a mother who was a dental hygienist, Dr. Geraldine Perri acquired the value of group faculty schooling from her community, her mother and her personal encounters.

“As a community higher education student in the South Bronx, I witnessed some of my individual classmates who had been counting on their training to help them and their families have a better lifestyle socially, economically, emotionally and bodily,” suggests Perri, who is retiring as superintendent/president of Citrus University at the end of June, right after serving in the place for 13 a long time. Her over-all career in group faculty instruction spans almost 40 a long time.

Dr. Geraldine Perri

Perri’s educational track record is an instance of the occupation chances produced feasible by community schools. Her mom was a homemaker who enrolled in Hostos Local community College or university of the Metropolis College of New York to become a dental hygienist. Like her mother, she holds an affiliate degree in dental cleanliness from Hostos. She went on to earn a bachelor’s diploma in dental wellness education and learning and a master’s diploma in well being education and learning, both of those from New York College. Just after shifting to California, Perri acquired a master’s diploma in organizational development and a doctorate in human and organizational enhancement from the Fielding Graduate College in Santa Barbara.

“After nearly a ten years of educating, I was then lucky to have the prospect to serve for more than 6 yrs as the associate dean of allied health and fitness and career schooling packages at Hostos Local community College. My administrative part at Hostos Community School enthusiastic me to continue in better training administration,” Perri remembers. That’s when she made the decision to go after the Ph.D. at Fielding, right after which she held best administrative positions in California greater ed, such as dean of profession education at Mt. San Jacinto University, vice president of instruction at San Diego Mesa College or university and president at Cuyamaca School in San Diego County. Then, after virtually 7 yrs, she assumed the presidency at Citrus College, a campus of much more than 19,000 students in Glendora, California.

Amid several improvements and accomplishments, one particular of her most salient was the 2012 convocation in which the Citrus Higher education students, college and employees formally committed to being a “College of Completion,” pledging to just about every do their section to add to scholar success and completion.

“This was a pivotal moment in the heritage of Citrus College or university,” Perri states, adding that it contributed to “benchmark outcomes 12 months following year” in scholar completion and transfer, garnering each condition and countrywide recognitions, which include 4 invites to utilize for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Local community University Excellence.

In 2019, less than Perri’s leadership, Citrus University received the American Association of Neighborhood College’s (AACC) University student Success Award, which validated the college’s commitment to student accomplishment and completion.

One particular of Perri’s big achievements was getting offered the position in the 1st spot. She became the initially girl and the seventh superintendent/president in Citrus Higher education history. She believes her appointment “signaled a transform in management design and style and operating foundation.”

“It presented the college or university community leadership from the vantage level of a girl,” she describes, introducing, “I imagine that I introduced to the higher education ability sets that complemented those people of my predecessors.” Perri emphasizes her aim on mentoring, empathy, consideration to specifics “while possessing the major image in mind,” and building a “collaborative, upbeat atmosphere.”

A big problem to that ecosystem arrived with the disaster of COVID-19. However, Perri suggests the campus neighborhood rose to the event. “From faculty to personnel to learners, every single member of the Citrus Higher education community rolled up their sleeves and adapted speedily to make matters take place.”

Perri details out that, a couple of months into the shutdown, the point out of California permitted students in essential instruction regions this sort of as overall health care professions to return to campus in modified schedules. This helped continue the circulation of qualified staff into individuals fields and permitted the learners to entire their needs. “To the credit score of all, our college students securely finished their courses, attained their certificates and degrees, fulfilled their specifications for transfer and were prepared well to enter the workforce.”

Perri is persuaded that, as a end result of adjustments and adjustments launched during the pandemic, “many novel educating and administrative methodologies have emerged which will stay a prosperous element of better education and learning practices.”

This post initially appeared in the June 24, 2021 edition of Assorted. Read through it in this article.