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College administrator overcomes challenges to achieve educational success

Terence Elliott received a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership from Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area in 2010. Today, he is the interim senior dean of instruction at Los Medanos College, where he manages academic deans, staff, and teaching faculty.

“I am helping to develop and implement a service-learning component to connect the colleges with their communities and to help close the achievement gap between highly successful students and low success,” he says.

Terence received his bachelor’s degrees in Music and Black Studies and master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University. He taught high school for 10 years at the Emiliano Zapata Street Academy in Oakland, California. He also taught at Vista Community College in Berkeley, California, and Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California, where he was elected as the Academic Senate president from 2005 to 2008 and then hired as the dean of the Natural, Social, and Applied Sciences Division.

While at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area, Terence had to overcome challenges while continuing to pursue his education. “I had to overcome my father’s death right at the point that I was to complete my comps (comprehensive examinations) and start the writing phrase of my dissertation,” he says.

Terence says Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area offered him the courses he needed to advance from faculty to administration. They helped guide him in knowing more about leading and managing others in the educational environment.

“My Argosy University education has shown me that I have one it takes to be successful — integrity and determination,” he says.

His advice to college students is to stay focused. “Form a buddy system with at least one other student,” Terence says. “Don’t let excuses guide you to failure.”

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