Cal State San Bernardino’s new associate vice president for Student Success and Educational Equity, Molly Springer, is working to close the achievement gap for first-generation, low-income and traditionally underserved populations on campus and in the inland region by addressing the opportunity gaps that are often barriers to educational attainment.
Springer, who joined CSUSB in August and holds an educational doctorate degree in higher education administration, has worked in higher education for 20 years, focusing throughout her career on developing programs and initiatives that have concentrated on the needs of disproportionately impacted students, said Paz Maya Olivérez, CSUSB vice president for Student Affairs.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Springer to the Coyote Family and the Division of Student Affairs. She brings a wide depth and breadth of experience,” Olivérez said. “Her decades leading equity-focused programs that provide a range of supports and services to diverse student populations will serve her and CSUSB well as she provides leadership to a newly envisioned portfolio of Student Affairs units that will work collaboratively across campus and the Inland Empire to serve underrepresented student populations at all points along the college pipeline from K-12 to career.”
Olivérez said, “Dr. Springer’s professional experience and scholarship focused on Native American student experiences in K-12 and higher education, as well as her efforts to develop networks and support systems for Native American students and educators make her well-poised to contribute to CSUSB’s ongoing efforts focused on the recruitment and retention of Native American students from our region.”
Springer said she was drawn to “CSUSB for its focus on educational equity and the caliber of leadership, research, and programming that CSUSB has procured to enhance the work of educational equity and student success.”
“I immediately felt a sense of familia from all whom I met, and was impressed to find the united support from the student affairs team and student leadership surrounding the advancement of social justice and retention of disproportionately impacted students,” Springer said. “I look forward to conversations and community building with campus partners and as a member of the Student Affairs family, and building the intentional partnerships with our colleagues across the campus to further enhance student success at CSUSB.”
As the associate vice president for Student Success and Educational Equity, Springer’s duties include overseeing the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Student Assistance in Learning (SAIL), the Career Center, the Veterans Success Center, the Undocumented Student Success Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, GEAR UP, First Star Academy and Cal-SOAP.
She will provide subject-matter expertise and be an advice-giving resource to the university on student success and equity initiatives at CSUSB.
Springer will also be responsible for developing and maintaining programs that support the CSUSB Graduation Initiative. Working at times in collaboration with academic affairs and the provost, she will provide leadership, direction, and vision for all departments in their portfolio.
Springer co-authored the chapter “Academic and Student Affairs Partnerships – Native American Student Affairs Units” to the book “Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education.” She was also a contributing writer to “From Boarding Schools to Suspension Boards,” a report from the California Community College Equity and Assessment Lab.
Prior to joining CSUSB, Springer served as dean of Equity, Engagement and Completion at Sacramento City College; director of Learning Communities at CSU Monterey Bay; assistant dean of Students/Native American Program at Dartmouth College; assistant dean of Student Life at University of Illinois; coordinator of Multicultural Student Services at Ohio State University; research analyst School of Psychology at San Diego State University; and director of the Student Retention Center at UCLA.
Springer holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural studies and American Indian studies from UCLA, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of San Diego and a doctorate in education in higher education administration from New England College.