Dr. Turner Cortez presently serves as the President of Continuing Education with the San Diego Community College District. He most recently served as Dean of Academic Pathways, Workforce Development, and Student Success and Acting Vice President of Instruction at Berkeley City College. Turner Cortez is also as adjunct faculty at Central Michigan University, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests center on the role of educators and administrators of color in the historical development of American social welfare and education policy. He is also an expert in the area of promoting equity and access in urban education through literacy and policy initiatives. Before BCC, he also served as Director of Education Extension at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to UCLA, he worked in education at the P-12 level as a classroom teacher, administrator, and researcher.
Dr. Turner Cortez’s educational background includes a bachelors degree in History and Sociology from Georgetown University; a masters degree in Race and Gender Politics from New York University; and a doctor of philosophy in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California.
He has worked primarily with underserved student populations from low income communities and has been a staunch advocate for policy and finance reform as a member of various state and federal level legislative task forces, including most recently the California League of Community College Legislation Advisory Board.
In 2017, he was awarded the Martes Award for Research by the Association of California Community College Administrators.