Highline College

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Dean of Workforce Programs forums begin this week

Cathy Alston

Paulette Lopez

Jennifer Johnston

Izzy Anderson Staff Reporter May 27

Forums for the three finalists for the dean of Workforce Programs begin Wednesday, May 27, and all of Highline is invited.

The dean of Workforce Programs position oversees Highline’s professional and technical degree programs.

The three finalists for this spot are Jennifer Johnston, Paulette Lopez, and Cathy Alston.

The forums are set for May 27, 28, and 29, respectively.

The staff and faculty forums are from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. Emails will be sent out to students regarding their forum’s times.

Johnston has been working at Highline for 15 years, and is currently the health care Workforce transitions program manager, and prior learning assessment coordinator.

She received her bachelor’s in international affairs from George Washington University, and continued to earn her master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Lopez is currently the dean for workforce education at Yakima Valley College.

Dr. Lopez earned her bachelor’s in health promotion and her master’s in science in health, kinesiology and leisure studies, from Purdue University.

She then received her doctorate of education from the University of Washington- Tacoma.

Alston is working at Green River College currently, as director of workforce education.

She earned her bachelor’s in communication arts and sciences from Queen’s College in New York City.

Alston then went on to get her master’s in education from the University of Phoenix.

Qualities the screening committee is looking for include “understanding of and the desire to address achievement gaps in our workforce programs, demonstrating commitment to inclusive

excellence through program innovations and student success efforts,” said Raegan Copeland, interim dean of instruction transfer and pre-college education and chair of the committee. “[And] evidence of partnership development with agencies including business and industry, workforce system, high schools and universities.”

The committee would also like the workforce dean to have experience in managing funded projects, working with faculty throughout development programs, and working with data, Copeland said.

After the forums and feedback, Highline President Dr. John Mosby will make his choice.

“All feedback will be given to the VPAA [vice president of academic affairs] and discussed with Dr. Mosby for a final decision,” she said.

The position is a really important one to fill, especially given current circumstances, Copeland said.

“This is a key position in Highline's academic affairs structure, formerly held by Alice Madsen. Staying current with labor market trends and creating and supporting affordable, accessible programs that provide training for living wage jobs has never been more important,” she said. “We hope the campus will take part in these forums and provide feedback.”