Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) has selected life-long educator and long-time CCS employee Patrick McEachern to lead Spokane Falls Community College’s division of Student Affairs, a position at a school he graduated from many years ago.
McEachern’s first day is July 1. He has been serving as acting vice president since January.
“Patrick is a wonderful leader known for his positivity, collaboration, and student-centered decision making,” said President Kimberlee Messina. “With each role, Patrick’s primary focus has always been on student success.”
McEachern has served the Community Colleges of Spokane for nearly eight years in the roles of Associate Provost, District Director of eLearning, Instructional Designer, and Adjunct Faculty. A career educator, Patrick began his career with Teach for America teaching Head Start in Las Vegas, Nevada, and later, middle school computer information systems.
His primary responsibilities will include student affairs division leadership of the admissions and registration, disability access services, financial aid, and s tudent support services departments. He is the Acting Title IX Coordinator, the principal investigator on SFCC’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program: “Pathways to Student Success” grant, and co-sponsor of Guided Pathways at SFCC, a statewide student-centered framework grounded in an equity-minded approach.
As a proud graduate of SFCC, Patrick knows that through the implementation of guided pathways, SFCC has full potential to not only close but eliminate opportunity gaps and continue to advance in service to our community. This is the work that excites him each morning when he walks into work.
“Everything we do is in the scope of Guided Pathways, or at least it needs to be. It should be,” McEachern said. “It’s not flashy work, but it’s significant work, which should lead to enhanced student success.”
McEachern has led the design and delivery of student programming, interventions, and faculty and staff training aimed at increasing student outcomes and reducing opportunity gaps.
He also unequivocally believes that the realization of educational equity is the path toward closing other societal systemic inequities.
McEachern holds an A.A. from Spokane Falls Community College, a B.A.E. in Secondary Education, a M.Ed. in Instructional Design, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Oregon State University’s Adult and Higher Education program with an emphasis on community college leadership. His dissertation seeks to examine the relationship between online student success rates and institutional student support structures with an emphasis in institutional support of racially and ethnically marginalized learners.
McEachern’s goal for the first year and beyond is to navigate SFCC back into a full return after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the typical student experience. He also hopes to maintain and increase enrollment through retention and student success services.
“We’ve got this tremendous team and this tremendous student body,” he said. “The most exciting thing everyday is to wake up and be part of this mission and the wonderful team doing this work.”
McEachern succeeds Keith Sayles, who joined CCS in June 2020.