Jose Fierro

2020-21 Aspen New Presidents Fellow
Dr. Jose Fierro began his tenure as president/superintendent of the Cerritos Community College District in July 2015. He is committed to increasing access to education, thereby lifting the community’s underserved population from personal hardship to success.

Through time-tested partnerships between Cerritos College and local school districts, Dr. Fierro helped launch Cerritos Complete in 2016. More than a Promise program, Cerritos Complete provides easy access to college for high school seniors. Cerritos Complete increases graduation rates and velocity of completion through wraparound student services and a merit-based scholarship component. Cerritos Complete won the 2018 Examples of Excelencia award in the associate level category; the award is the only national effort to identify and promote evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latino student success in higher education. The program was also selected as a finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Award.

Dr. Fierro also champions the college’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity plans, which embody the college’s diversity efforts in hiring, strategic planning, and campus culture. Cerritos College tripled its number of diverse employees over three years.

Dr. Fierro serves on various boards at the local, state, and national levels, including the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Board, Community College League Board of Directors, California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators, National Community College Hispanic Council Board of Directors, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Alliance Executive Committee, National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs, Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium Governance Council, and Coast Plaza Hospital Board of Directors in Norwalk.

Dr. Fierro earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Bogotá, Colombia, and his Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. He also holds an M.S. in leadership and management of educational programs from Nova Southeastern University.