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Dr. Rhonda


Dr. Rhonda Coats has more than 35 years of experience in higher education administration at both the campus level and the state system level. While she has taught basic skills and GED prep classes, her love for students moved her to a career in Student Affairs. She has direct operational, oversight, leadership and or policy development experience in student recruitment, admissions, financial aid, academic advising, athletics, childcare, counseling, disability access services, student employment, student government, career services, records, campus safety, Title IX, TRiO and Veteran Affairs.

She is best known for her advocacy work and giving voice to issues related to diversity, inclusion, equity, social justice, and economic mobility. She has received numerous awards recognizing her dedication to supporting faculty, staff, and students of color in higher education.


Ed.D. (Community College Leadership) | Oregon State University
M.Ed. (Higher Education Administration) | The Pennsylvania State University
Certification (Guidance & Counseling) | Saint Martin’s University
B.S. (Health & Physical Education) | Norfolk State University

Past Experience
Vice President, Student Affairs | Davidson Davie Community College
Vice President for Student Services | South Puget Sound Community College
Director, Student Services | Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges
Director, Student Financial Aid & Employment Services

How has education changed your life/your family?
Growing up in segregated Virginia gave me the lens to see inequities in processes, practices, and policies. My parents constantly remined me and my siblings that education was the way out! This encouraged me to attend an HBCU, which grounded me in my identity, gave me the confidence to pursue advanced degrees, and exposed me to a diversity of thought, people, and opportunity. As a result, I am a strategic thinker, a change agent and motivated to give hope to others, especially those who are under-resourced.

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