Leader for the Future Elizabeth Flores
Profile

Elizabeth Flores
Access, equity and completion in higher education

Elizabeth Flores is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on issues of access, equity and completion in higher education, specifically for underserved students enrolled in community colleges. Flores holds a B.A. in rhetoric from UC Berkeley and an A.A. in business administration from Cerritos College.

Describe your project or venture.

During the Leaders for the Future Fellows Program, I completed the prestigious Richard J. Riordan Summer Intern Fellows Program at the Public Policy Institute of California. I analyzed a statewide legislative grant program, which awarded California community colleges $89 million to improve the progress and completion of basic-skills or developmental-education students using evidence-based approaches.

Leader for the Future Elizabeth Flores

What’s important about your research—and where do you hope to take it?

My dissertation research focuses on the experience of community college students with assessment and placement at California community colleges. My experience with Leaders for the Future has given me the tools to translate theory into practice when collaborating with scholars, policymakers and students.

What are you most passionate about in your work?

I am most passionate about learning and communicating the lived experiences of students currently enrolled in California’s community colleges. This is especially important now, at a time when student transfer and completion rates are low, and the system is undergoing multiple reform efforts.

What was the most important thing you learned at the Entrepreneurship Academy?

The academy drove the point home that it takes a network of people to bring an idea or a movement to life. Who you know is not always as important as who you are open to meeting and collaborating with along the way.

The academy drove the point home that it takes a network of people to bring an idea or a movement to life. Who you know is not always as important as who you are open to meeting and collaborating with along the way.

What is the most important thing you discovered in the Leaders for the Future program?

I discovered new on- and off-campus resources, like Venture Catalyst, that are geared toward helping students turn their ideas into reality.

How will your experiences help you to change the world?

Having learned the tools to expand my research beyond academia will help me contribute to student success at community college, which will impact California, the U.S. and the world.

How will your experiences as a Leader for the Future and at the academy shape your professional future?

I am looking for paths beyond academia that allow me the flexibility to engage with community college stakeholders and students, as well as to influence policy.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I am a proud Latina first-generation college student. I am a community college alumnus.