|Dr. Richard Rams
Golden West College
Prior to accepting the Dean of Student Support Services position at Cypress College, Rick served as the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Golden West College from 2003-2006.
Upon completion of his B.A. in Political Science from UC Riverside, Rick temporarily relocated to Lawrence, Kansas to earn a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Kansas. Rick earned his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership in the Ed.D. program at the University of California, Irvine.
While working at the University of Kansas (2000-2003), Rick had the opportunity to work as the Financial Aid Liaison with the KU Athletic Department where he assisted some of the top athletic talent in the country to realize their educational goals. He also developed expertise of student support programs such as Financial Aid, scholarships, and community outreach services.
After moving back to California in 2003, Rick transitioned to Golden West College as a Financial Aid Director. During 2004-2005, Rick served as the elected Vice-President of the California Community Colleges Student Financial Aid Administrators (CCCSFAAA). In this role, he was responsible for serving as the Chair of the CCCSFAAA Federal Issues committee. For his contributions to CCCSFAAA and the Financial Aid profession, Rick received the President's Special Recognition Award from the CCCSFAAA President, Susan Jones (Mt. SAC) in December 2005 at the 36th Annual Conference in Sacramento, CA.
Rick visits Sacramento and Washington DC advocating for programs designed to serve students and improve college affordability and access.
In 2009, Rick's doctoral dissertation explored how African American EOPS students (Extended Opportunities Program & Services)experience California Community College. His study was the first study ever conducted in a California community college to explore that factors as to why African American students succeed rather than fail. As a graduate student, Rick was disturbed by the media and numerous scholarly reports documenting "failure" of African-American students. As a scholar-practicioner, Rick felt that it was his calling to explain and develop a model to help other educators support student success, particularly among African American males who are becoming less and less visible on campuses in California's higher education system. Rick is currently working on drafting a manuscript for publication based on his experiences mentoring African American students and the results of his research.
Rick embraces his role as both faculty and administrator, claiming to have an edge in understanding the unique learning and support needs of students by interacting with them in classroom and helping them plan/finance their postsecondary careers. He will remain active at Golden West College by serving as an adjunct faculty member teaching a section of College 100: Becoming a Master Student (3 Units; UC/CSU Transferable).
In April 2007, Rick was named by OC Metro Magazine as one of the "Top 40 under 40" entrepreneurs and young executives in Orange County for reaching and excelling at the executive level in higher education.
Since Rick began teaching, past and present students Rick has personally mentored have transferred to institutions including but not limited to: Stanford, Columbia, Brown, USC, UCLA, Cal, Utah, Arizona, U of Texas (Austin), Oklahoma, Florida, SDSU, CSU Stanislaus, CSUF, CSULB, Chapman, Laguna Art Institute, Cal Tech.