Linda Bernabe named Interim Director, Community and Educational Partnerships at Gavilan Collegeby Jan Janes on Aug 10, 2020
After five years leading Gavilan College’s Morgan Hill campus, Linda Bernabe steps into a new position as Interim Director of Community and Educational Partnerships. In addition to overseeing the college’s community education program, Bernabe takes charge of dual enrollment and educational partnerships across all the high schools in the district.
Linda Bernabe, new Director of Community
and Educational Partnerships at Gavilan College.
“Linda Bernabe’s enthusiasm and dedication to access and equity for our students will be a central focus of her work in the months ahead,” said Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College. “Linda will work with our high school partners to deepen our guided pathways goals through dual enrollment opportunities for all students.”
“The educational partnerships is a new element,” said Bernabe. “Dual enrollment is an area where the college has done some work.” She plans to expand work with the high schools.
“We want to create clear partnerships,” she said. “Not just a high school student taking a Gavilan class. We want to target high school students who are potential Gavilan students, show them the pathway to graduate and transfer from high school to Gavilan.”
“This is a growth opportunity for the college and the communities,” said Bernabe. “We will work with the superintendents, principals, deal with the logistics, offer courses on their sites.”
Bernabe sees improved relationships with high schools and their students as an opportunity to address equity early on in their education exploration.
“With first generation college students, we can show them their options, create the mentality, show them it is real, and take away the fear of unknowns,” she said. “These students may be thinking about college, but are not sure. They don’t have others to guide them. College is not perceived as the first opportunity out of high school. We want to create a wider pathway and show what equity can create.”
The work is very personal.
Bernabe is an immigrant, first generation college student and proud Gavilan alumna. “As a student, I had a fantastic experience at Gavilan College. People went out of their way to help me,” she said. “The path I follow now, being able to go to college, earn my BA and MBA, is because of the impact of Gavilan in my life.”
“I want to be that positive person in someone else’s life.”
She describes community college as impactful and meaningful. They don’t assess a student on their GPA, if they’ve taken the right entrance tests, or whether they’re good enough to go to a four-year school.
“This is work that comes from the heart,” said Bernabe. “I want to be the person working to create equitable programs, so students can be successful, whatever their educational dreams.”
She will work with Susan Sweeney during this transition, and looks forward to working with Randy Brown in the noncredit department.
Supporting her move into this new position, Maribel Galvez will also transition from the Morgan Hill facility. “She is so positive about this,” said Bernabe. “We were a team at Morgan Hill, and we will be a team in this new position.”
The college recently chose not to renew their lease at the Morgan Hill location and is exploring alternate locations for classes.
“That chapter is over,” she said. “And while it makes me sad, I am very grateful for Dr. Rose to consider me for this opportunity.”
Bernabe earned her BA from UC Berkeley in bilingual education and social linguistics and her MBA from CSU East Bay. “I did the two-year in person program while working full time at Gavilan,” she said. With the MBA, she will apply data driven, financial and marketing strategies to community and educational partnerships.
“There is a lot of potential to work with the district communities and all of the high schools in the service area,” she said. “This work is global to what we do as a college.”