Dr. William Watson Appointed Interim VP of Student Services
He served as a member of the Skyline College Student Services Leadership Team to direct SparkPoint at Skyline College, part of the United Way of the Bay Area’s SparkPoint Initiative to cut Bay Area poverty in half by 2020. SparkPoint, based on the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Center for Working Families, features personal trainers for financial fitness called financial coaches. Dr. Watson’s work for equity to achieve greater institutional effectiveness shows promise for moving the needle on entrenched disparities in educational attainment. Most recently showcased in a policy forum hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Watson’s work has been featured by the Aspen Institute, Center for Law and Social Policy, and Corporation for Enterprise Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Dr. Watson’s work received the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges’ John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award, the College Innovator Award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and a spotlight on the Discovery Channel’s Profiles Series showcasing national solutions to pressing social problems.
Although Dr. Watson began college on a piano performance scholarship to later become a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (and a Grammy voter), he earned an Associate’s degree followed by a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Philosophy | Comparative Religion and Anthropology, which included study in Africa and South America. He earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in the treatment of substance use disorders. Grounded in critical race theory in the context of network analysis, Dr. Watson completed research on the role of social capital in Latino educational attainment to earn a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership (program emphasis: social justice and equity) from San Francisco State University.