CUNY Trustees Choose Interim President Dolores Fernandez as President of Hostos Community College

June 29, 1999 | The University

The City Universityof New York Board of Trustees named Dr. Dolores M. Fernandez President of Hostos Community College on June 28, effective July 1,1999, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Herman Badillo announced. Dr. Fernandez, who has served as Interim President of the college since March 1, 1998, is a nationally recognized expert in bilingual education, teacher training and curriculum development.

She previously was Deputy Chancellor for Instruction and Development of the New York City Public Schools system, as well as former Deputy Director for Program Services, and former Director of Education for the New York State Division for Youth. Before taking up her duties at Hostos, she was Professor of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College/CUNY for eight years.

As Interim President, Dr. Fernandez is credited with:

  • Establishing the”Hostos Renaissance” program, which has committed the college to rigorous career and liberal arts programs;
  • Promoting the Academic Language Corridors, which incorporates writing across the curriculum, leading to the mastery of two languages for all students;
  • Implementing higher standards for graduation;
  • Establishing a new Allied Health Certificate Program in Licensed Practical Nursing;
  • Creating Professional Development Institutes for this summer and last in which faculty and staff together plan educational initiatives for the academic year.

A new Language and Cognition Department, approved by the Board of Trustees in January, will provide English language learning skills to students whose first language is not English, as well as second language skills for English-speaking students. Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College is the only CUNY college to offer a bilingual approach to higher education. By the year 2003, through these Academic Language Corridors, Hostos will have established a fully articulated dual language model in all of its degree programs.

This spring, Hostos also began to offer another option in the English as a Second language sequence with the opening of a pre-college CUNY Language Immersion Program.

President Fernandez earned her Ph.D in Language and Cognition, and a Professional Diploma from Hofstra University. She graduated cum laude from Nassau Community College, earned a B.S. in Education from SUNY-Old Westbury, and a Masters degree in Education, as well as a Professional Diploma in Educational Administration from Long Island University-C.W. Post College. Among her academic honors were Title VII Fellowships for both her Masters and Ph.D. study.

Dr. Fernandez serves on the Regents Task Force on Closing the Performance Gap, chaired by New York State Commissioner of Education Richard Mills, which was formed this year. She chaired the New York State Task Force for Low Achieving Schools for five years.

Among her recent invited addresses were the keynote speech at the Universidad de la Tercera Edad, and the commencement address at her alma mater, SUNY/ Old Westbury. In May, she served as moderator of the Distinguished Educator’s Panel of the State Education Department’s Reading and Mathematics Institute, on ” Best Practices in School Improvement.” Other addresses include “Bilingual Education: Student Achievement and Instruction Practices,” and “Bottom-Up Reform with Top-Down Support: Working with Schools As We Find Them” before the American Educational Association; and “Educational Reform and Bilingual Education: Lessons from the Front Line,” before the International Bilingual/Multicultural Education Conference of the National Association for Bilingual Education. Her recent honors included the 1999 Women in Education award from the Hispanic Outreach Services in Albany.

Hostos Community College is located at 475 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Its newest facility, the East Academic Complex, houses two theaters, an art gallery, and state-of-the-art computer laboratories. The college offers a wide variety of career and liberal arts programs, including accounting, business, data processing, dental hygiene, early childhood education, medical laboratory technology, nursing, public administration, radiologic technology, secretarial science, microcomputers in business, and public interest paralegal studies.