Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2006
School of Education
January 1, 2008
Golden West’s Teacher of the Year Facilitates Students’ Transition From High School to College
Yvonne initially had no intention of entering the field of education. Her undergraduate background focused on biological sciences, and she took medical college entrance exams with plans to serve her local community with community medicine. That all changed after her involvement with a student-outreach group at UC Berkeley. Yvonne discovered her passion for working with students, and after graduating from UCB, entered a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education at CSU Long Beach. She completed her Master’s degree in May 2002 and entered the UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D. Program in June of that year. Dr. Yvonne Valenzuela graduated from the UCI/UCLA Joint Ed.D. program in 2006, and concurrently completed the UC Irvine Certificate of Advanced Study in Community College Leadership. Throughout her professional career, she has worked closely with the Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement program, and focused her dissertation on Latina transfer students in Math and Science. Her dissertation challenged a long-respected theory that students must disassociate from their prior connections to be able to fully integrate into their new environment. Her findings excited committee members, and she has plans to expand this research statewide and publish her results in the within next two years.
Dr. Valenzuela is currently a counselor and faculty member at Golden West College (GWC). She teaches courses within her department, and coordinates the Puente Program at GWC. She has recently partnered with the El Viento Program at her campus to create a pipeline for students transitioning from high school to the community college. Dr. Valenzuela has been instrumental in securing funding for programs within her division, integrating technology into her department, developing online coursework, advising departments on educational policies, and leading the campus by participating in large campus-wide committees.
This year, Dr. Valenzuela was awarded the honor of Teacher of the Year at Golden West College, and as well, students voted her Advisor of the Year for her work with advising student organizations.
The UCI Department of Education congratulates Dr. Valenzuela on this tremendous honor, and wishes her continued success with her professional career.