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Jennifer Ernst

Ernst joins YVC as Vice President for Instruction and Student Services

Jennifer Ernst, a long-time community college executive leader and faculty member, will join Yakima Valley College as Vice President for Instruction and Student Services effective July 1, 2021.

Ernst brings extensive experience providing high-quality, student-centered learning experiences to diverse populations in a community college setting. She most recently served as dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Henry Ford College in Michigan, a community college with one of the most diverse student populations in the country. Prior to serving as dean, Ernst held a variety of academic leadership roles at the institution and served as an English instructor for nine years.

YVC President Linda Kaminski noted that Ernst’s experience breaking down barriers to college success for historically under-served populations make her an ideal fit to join YVC’s leadership team.

“Dr. Ernst’s experience fostering innovative and inclusive teaching and learning will be tremendously beneficial for YVC’s mission and our efforts to advance equitable outcomes for students,” Kaminski said.

“Yakima Valley College is an exciting and vibrant learning community,” Ernst said. “I am thrilled to be part of the process that builds on the successes of the past and takes our educational opportunities to the next level for all of our students.”

Ernst is a first-generation community college student herself, attending Glendale Community College before earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, master’s degree in English literature from Duquesne University and doctorate in community college leadership from Ferris State University.

A search committee composed of 11 faculty, administrators and staff members reviewed applications during the national search process. Following committee interviews with semifinalists, four finalists participated in open forums for the campus community, with approximately 400 faculty, staff and students attending the forums.