Carlos O. Cortez

Adjunct Professor

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Teacher Education

Carlos O. Cortez

Dr. Carlos O. Cortez is an Adjunct Professor at the USC Rossier School of Education. His research interests center on the role of educators and administrators of color in the historical development of American social welfare and education policy. He is also an expert in the area of promoting equity and access in urban education through literacy, specifically policy implications and second language acquisition.

In addition to his work at USC Rossier, Dr. Cortez presently serves as the Dean of Academic Pathways, Workforce Development, and Student Success at Berkeley City College. Before USC Rossier, he also served as Director of Education Extension at UCLA. Prior to UCLA, he worked in education at the P-12 level as a classroom teacher, administrator, and researcher for 15 years. He began his career in education as a Teach for America Corps member. His experience spans the public, private and charter school sectors in Washington DC, Houston, New York City and Los Angeles. Cortez served as Principal of New Village Charter School in Los Angeles and as Assistant Principal at Grape Street Elementary School. In these positions, he was known for his dedication to teachers and students, for developing innovative programs and services, and for sound management. He has worked primarily with students with special needs and emotional disturbance from low income communities.

His commitment to social justice drives his passion for urban education reform. Dr. Cortez’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in History and Sociology from Georgetown University; a Master’s degree in Race and Gender Politics from New York University; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California.


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