Laurie Scolari

Laurie Scolari, Ed.D.

Adjunct Faculty, Higher Education and Student Affairs


For over 18 years, Laurie Scolari, EdD has worked to increase the number of first generation college students who complete a certificate or degree in postsecondary education. Dr. Scolari currently serves as the statewide Director for the California Community College Linked Learning Initiative (CCCLLI) for the Career Ladders Project, under the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Previously, she served as the Dean of Counseling and Student Support Services at City College of San Francisco for six years. In that capacity, she spearheaded several successful data-driven initiatives aimed at minimizing the improving the transition of high school students of color into the community college with sustainable results. Her dissertation entitled, First Generation Students of Color: Easing their Transition to Community College, won the first place award for San Francisco State University’s best graduate research and she competed at the California State University statewide competition in 2013. Additionally, her work in this area has received wide attention from several policy driven initiatives, including the national Communities Learning in Partnership (CLIP) grant funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work has also recently been published by Harvard Education Press in the book, From Data to Action: Using Data and Institutions to Improve Youth Outcomes. Previously, Dr. Scolari served as the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) Director, Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) Director and Associate Director of the Educational Partnership Center at University of California, Santa Cruz for nearly ten years.


  • EdD Educational Leadership, San Francisco State University
  • MA Nonprofit Administration, University of San Francisco
  • BA Communication Studies, San Jose State University

Selected Publications

  • Scolari, L., Antrobus, R. (2015). Career Ladders Project Self-Assessment of an Effective Community College/K12 Partnership. In Venezia, A., McGaughy, C. Supporting the Dream: How High Schools and Colleges Can Partners to Improve College and Career Readiness. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Carew, M. Gurantz, O., Scolari L. (2013). Cross-Agency Collaboration and Shared Data from the Community Perspective: You Can’t Point Fingers at Data. In From Data to Action: Using Data and Institutions to Improve Youth Outcomes. John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, Stanford University. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

    Recent Presentations

    "Leadership Strategies Outside Our Species: 7 Leadership Traits We Can Learn From Female Elephants, Stereotype Threat and Growth Mindset.” Commencement Keynote Speaker. Higher Education and Student Affairs Graduate Program, School of Education. University of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA. 13 May 2016.

    "An Urgency to Be System Disrupters: Removing Barriers for First Generation Students of Color.” Keynote Speaker. 2015 Educator Symposium. Northern California Career Pathways Alliance. Petaluma, CA. 2 December 2015.

    "Our Imperative to Promote the Community College: Strategies for Cross Counselor Collaboration.” Co-presenter. Strengthening Student Success Annual Conference. Oakland, CA. 9 October 2015.

    Bridge to Success: Collaborative Pathways from High School to College Completion. Co-presenter. Strengthening Student Success Annual Conference. Oakland, CA. 8 October 2015.

    Ted Talk: "Y Que Tal Si?” And What If…We Improved The Transition for First-Gen Students Of Color? Educational Ted Talk Series @ Santa Monica College. Santa Monica, CA. 19 March 2015.

    “Data Use and Transparency: What Strategies Do Collaboratives Use To Overcome Challenges Related To Data Use and Transparency?” Panelist, The Power of Place: Raising College Graduation Rates, Community by Community. Hosted by the National College Access Network and Grantmakers for Education. Washington, DC, June 2013.

    “Moving From Finger Pointing And Superficial Handshakes To Substantive and Sustainable High School Partnerships.” Co-presenter, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2013 Annual Meeting. San Francisco, California, April 2013.