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Meet Dean Jose Luis Alvarado

Dr. Jose Luis Alvarado, Dean of College of Education
Dr. Jose Luis Alvarado, Dean of College of Education

Dr. Jose Luis Alvarado is Professor of Education and Founding Dean of the College of Education at California State University Monterey Bay. Dr. Alvarado joined CSU Monterey Bay in 2014. Prior to joining CSUMB, he served as Professor of Special Education and Associate Dean for the College of Education at San Diego State University.

Dr. Alvarado earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, his teaching credentials in bilingual elementary education and special education, his preliminary administrative services credential, and master’s degree in special education from San Diego State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Virginia.

Prior to his work in higher education, Dr. Alvarado worked as a behavior specialist for a county mental health day treatment program for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders and served as an on-call crisis mental health counselor. He also taught in an elementary special education classroom for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities and worked as a Program Specialist in special education program implementation and compliance for a regional special education office.

Dean Alvarado’s research is focused on effective personnel preparation, program improvement and evaluation, creating greater access and success for traditionally underrepresented students, implementing efforts that achieve greater student success while eliminating achievement gaps, establishing career pathways, effective instruction, multicultural education, and behavior support for culturally, linguistically, and differently abled diverse students. He has published in journals such as Multicultural Perspectives, Remedial and Special Education, Behavioral Disorders, Rural Special Education Quarterly, Assessment for Effective Intervention, and The Kappan. Dr. Alvarado has also been instrumental in securing more than $9 million in projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the University of South Florida, and private philanthropic foundations.

New programs developed at CSUMB under Dean Alvarado’s leadership are designed to address the unique educational needs of communities within the region and include, (a) a new undergraduate program major on Human Development and Family Studies, (b) a new graduate degree and credential program in School Psychology with an emphasis on bilingual education, (c) new integrated degree and credential programs that allow students to complete their undergraduate degree and credential programs in a shorter time frame, (d) new hurdle exam waiver program in which undergraduate students take a prescribed sequence of courses that allows them to waive a state subject matter hurdle exam. This exam is the biggest obstacle for students of color who aspire to become teachers, (e) new bilingual added authorization that prepares teachers to teach in bilingual settings, (f) new preliminary administrative services credential and masters degree program for teachers and educators who aspire to become school administrators/leaders, and (g) a new off-site grow-our-own teachers partnership with three different partner community colleges that aims to train candidates from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to become teachers within their own communities. All initiatives undertaken have been grounded in principles of equity and social justice with the goal of transforming individuals and communities through education.

Dean Alvarado remains active in service to the University, the Community, and the Profession. In addition to his considerable service to the University, he is Past Chair for the CSU Deans of Education group and currently serves on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Committee on Accreditation that reviews all accredited programs in the state. Dean Alvarado serves on numerous philanthropic and non-profit advisory boards including the Community Foundation of Monterey County, Siembra Latinos Philanthropic Fund, and is President of the Board of Directors for The Institute for Effective Education in San Diego, CA.

Personal Message from Dean Alvarado:

Welcome to the College of Education. My philosophy, professional views, and aspirations are perfectly aligned with the work we collectively do here in the College of Education. These center on principles of equity and social justice that ensures access to high quality education as a vehicle to transform individuals and communities. As someone who is (a) a son of immigrant farm laborers, (b) a first-generation college graduate, (c) a former English Learner, and (d) someone who was tracked in high school and told that I was not “college material,” I am living proof that a high quality education can transform a life.

I chose my professional career in higher education after working as a K-12 education professional in a diverse, high-need rural area. It has been my cumulative experiences that have sharpened my commitment to the success of all students, especially those who are culturally and linguistically diverse students who live and learn in increasingly diverse communities. Regardless of the leadership role I play, my commitment remains aligned with the most fundamental mission of California State University Monterey Bay – to create access and transform individuals and communities by meeting the needs of all who avail themselves of the opportunities that higher education has to offer.

I encourage you to explore all that our College of Education has to offer. If your interest, commitment, and passion lies in making a transformational impact in communities and individuals, then, you just may be the perfect candidate for one of the career pathways our College has to offer.

I wish you the best as you pursue your passions and dreams.

Educationally yours,

Dean Jose Luis Alvarado

Contact Information


Phone: (831) 582-5170

College of Education

(831) 582-5170
(831) 582-5172
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