Dr. Ashanti T. Hands
President, San Diego Mesa College

Ashanti Hands President San Diego Mesa CollegeDr. Hands leads San Diego Mesa College that serves 30,000 students per year, making it one of the largest community colleges in California. The college offers nearly 200 associate degree and certificate programs and is one of 15 California community colleges offering a four-year baccalaureate degree. A fully accredited, comprehensive community college, Mesa College ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution, and a Military Friendly School, serving more than 3,500 veterans and their families.

Mesa College, designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, has been particularly successful in serving students of color, in part due to several federal grants. Most recently, the Department of Education (DOE) awarded Mesa College an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) grant, which is a multipronged, evidence-based effort designed to reduce equity gaps and increase the academic success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (APIA) and low-income students.

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