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Featured Speakers


Dr. Rob Johnstone

Rob works to help two- and four-year colleges create structures and processes that increase student completion, learning, and labor market outcomes. His unique and engaging approach to inquiry and improvement fuses the world of foundations, initiatives, and system-level policy changes with the ground-level work of college practitioners and college senior leaders.

Rob has worked on the ground with more than 350 colleges around the country both directly and on initiatives such as the American Association of Community Colleges Pathways Institutes, the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the California Guided Pathways Initiative, Jobs for the Future’s work with the statewide centers in the national Student Success Center Network, Gates’ Completion by Design, Lumina’s Beyond Financial Aid, and a variety of state-level and local college projects.

Rob served as a director, dean, and provost in the California community college system for more than a decade, and he worked as a strategic consultant in industry prior to shifting to higher education. With more than 20 years of consulting experience in industry and higher education, he has a unique dual perspective on this work. He also brings an energy and passion for authentic change to improve outcomes.







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Partners or collaborators
Foundation for California Community Colleges
George Washington University’s Freshman Transition Initiative
California Community College Chancellor's Task Force on Student Success
Academic Innovations LLC
UCSB Graduate School of Education California Dropout Research Project
UC Educational Evaluation Center, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Eastern Oregon University’s College of Education
California SB1070 Coordinators from select regions
Santa Barbara Foundation
Santa Barbara City College Dual Enrollment Department
Carpinteria and Santa Barbara Unified School Districts
Santa Barbara County Office of Education’s Partners in Education