Dr. Elliot Stern

Elliot Stern, President

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School / Office / Department
Office of the President


President Stern began his tenure at Saddleback College in January 2019. As the eighth largest community college in California, Dr. Stern supports over 1,400 employees, and nearly 40,000 students each year.

Under Dr. Stern's leadership, Saddleback College adopted the Guided Pathways framework which resulted in a complete reorganization of the college's structure, culminating in the creation of five schools that include wrap-around services, including success coaches, developed from national models.  With a focus on increasing access, Dr. Stern expanded the college's Promise Program to include a greater number of students, in addition to a new program for part-time students.  His support for Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) classes was instrumental, resulting in a majority of Saddleback College’s enrollments and course sections being ZTC. Through consensus-building, Dr. Stern led the long-overdue overhaul of the college's 52-year-old misappropriated mascot (with racist depiction.)

Previously, Dr. Stern served four years as Vice President of Instruction at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. In this role, Dr. Stern supported the development of 18 new degrees; expanded International and Concurrent Enrollment programs; helped implement Guided Pathways; and expanded Open Educational Resources, amongst other successful campus-wide initiatives.

A Detroit native, Dr. Stern began his college education at Oakland Community College. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Medicine and D.O. from Michigan State University. Later he earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan School ofLaw and practiced as a medical litigator for seven years.

Called to do something less adversarial with his career, Dr. Stern found an opportunity to teach an evening Biology course at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington — ten miles north of downtown Seattle. It was then, that he fell in love with teaching and the mission of community colleges. He eventually landed a tenure-track position as a Biology Instructor at Everett Community College, where he taught for ten years before being appointed to Interim Dean of Health Sciences in 2012. Until 2015, he served as Dean of STEM at Edmonds Community College.