Michelle Simotas

senior director

 Michelle provides leadership and support to colleges to build clearer guided pathways for students in an effort to close achievement gaps at local and state levels. In addition to capacity building, Michelle is leading the development of practitioner tools and resources that will help colleges working to scale elements of the guided pathways framework.

Michelle brings experience as a faculty leader driving pathways initiatives and efforts focused on closing achievement and opportunity gaps. Michelle’s areas of expertise are faculty and staff development, tool creation, resource development, online teaching, educational technology development, and acceleration and contextualized teaching practices in basic skills classrooms.

Prior to joining CLP, Michelle taught English at several Bay Area colleges, most recently as a full-time faculty member at City College of San Francisco (CCSF). In her teaching and program leadership roles, Michelle focused on efforts aimed at improving the college experience for students. To that end, she has worked closely with learning communities, first-year-experience programs, career pathways, and guided pathways, in addition to serving as the Guided Pathways Taskforce co-chair and the Career and Transfer Pathways Advisory Committee chair at CCSF.

Michelle also spent the last 18 months working as the faculty lead for the Starfish Early Alert system at CCSF, which launched in the spring of 2017 and is now in full implementation. In this role, she customized the program for the campus and connected students to valuable campus resources.

Michelle was a key leader in seeding and expanding the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) program at Laney College in Oakland from one small cohort of students to eight CAA first-year programs for opportunity youth and young adults in Alameda County. This was her first deep dive into pathway development and contextualized teaching. Michelle’s experience working in the CAA changed her teaching trajectory; she was so inspired by the dramatic increase in quality of both the student and faculty experience in the CAA that she sought out similar programs for CCSF.

Michelle has a BA degree in English and an MFA in Literature and Writing, and she is currently finishing an M.Ed in Online Teaching and Learning.