Equity-Minded Leader Chosen as LTCC's Next VP of Student Services
June 22, 2021
Lake Tahoe Community College has hired Michelle Y. Batista as its next Vice President of Student Services, with a planned start date of August 2, 2021. Batista has deep experience as a counselor, staff member, and as an administrator in both K-12 and community colleges in California.
LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco said, “We sought a true leader to deliver student supports, additional services, and to meet our equity goals. We wanted someone who clearly demonstrated a commitment to student access, equity, and success. Michelle really impressed us with her abilities, passion, and dedication to community college students and equity-minded leadership.”
During Batista’s three years at Skyline College, a Bay area community college, she has served as the Student Crisis Support Manager, and then became Director of Student Support and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. In her current role she oversees Skyline’s Health & Wellness Services, which includes personal counseling, a health center, and their CARE Request program, working closely with faculty and classified professionals to support students in distress and connecting them to resources. Batista works closely with programs such as TRiO and Skyline’s successful Promise Scholars Program, which provides free tuition and above-and-beyond support and service for qualifying students.
LTCC won a grant in April 2019 that is allowing the college to expand its own Lake Tahoe College Promise program, adding services and extra support in an effort to mirror Skyline’s and the City University of New York’s (CUNY’s) nationally recognized Promise programs.
“Given her close association with Skyline’s program, Michelle can be a strong support for us as we continue in our efforts to replicate the Skyline model and its results, leading to more Promise graduates at LTCC,” said DeFranco.
Prior to her current position, Batista served as the Director of Student and Family Services at De Marillac Academy for nearly 13 years in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Before that, she was Resident Community Coordinator and live-in Resident Director for Saint Mary’s College of California. She also worked as a school counselor at Mt. Diablo High School.
Batista is also one of the co-founders, volunteer executive board members, and communications officer for COLEGAS (California Community Colleges’ Organización de Latinx Empowerment, Guidance, Advocacy for Success). This is a statewide organization for Latina/o/x professionals who provide advocacy and groundwork leading to transformative change within California’s Community College system, including efforts around closing equity gaps and eradicating systemic oppression.
Batista said, “I was drawn to this position specifically at LTCC because of the meaningful work they are engaging in, and particularly their deep commitment to equity. The dedication to being student-ready and taking brave actions spoke volumes about the college’s values. This close-knit, ‘small but mighty’ community is exactly where I want to be. I am beyond excited about joining the team in this important work of offering an accessible and transformative education for students in the Tahoe community, and I’m looking forward to the results we will achieve together!”
Batista earned her BA in Spanish and MA in School Counseling from Saint Mary’s College. She is currently working on her EdD in Educational Leadership with a focus on Equity & Social Justice from San Francisco State University, with an expected completion in 2023. She currently serves as a Board Member for Saint Mary’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and their Graduate Counseling Program Advisory Board.