Jeff Passe, a longtime educator and scholar with a passion for forging university-community partnerships, will serve as the new dean for the College of Education & Integrative Studies, effective July 17.
Passe, a professor and dean of The College of New Jersey’s School of Education, has extensive experience establishing new programs in urban education, early childhood special education and deaf education at his previous institution, as well as raising $5.5 million for the School of Education since 2013.
“I am so excited to be able to work with such a dedicated, diverse faculty,” Passe says. “The people I’ve met are determined to bring Cal Poly Pomona to a place of even greater prominence. I’m happy to help lead that effort.”
An innovative educator, who believes in the importance of collaboration, vision and preparing students for community leadership, Passe brings 34 years of experience to the new post. He led The College of New Jersey’s effort to develop a new specialization in middle school and a minor in environmental sustainability education, a realm in which he has been a community activist. He has served as president of the National Council for Social Studies and co-authored several books on elementary school curriculum.
“The depth of Dr. Passe’s experience in diverse schools and communities and in positions of leadership make him an ideal candidate for the College of Education & Integrative Studies,” Provost Sylvia Alva says. “We are looking forward to tapping into his experience promoting student success, creating innovative programs and advocating for community partnerships.”
Passe earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from State University of New York, Albany. He also has a master’s degree in elementary education and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida, Gainesville.
He started his career as a fourth-grade teacher in Gainesville, Florida. He taught at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He was a professor at University of North Carolina (UNCC), Charlotte from 1986 to 2009 where he led the group that designed a new doctoral track program in elementary education and helped establish the UNCC Teaching Center.
As professor and chair of the Department of Secondary Education from 2009 to 2013 at Towson University in Maryland, he spearheaded the creation of a new middle school education program and organized and managed a national study on the status of social studies.
During his tenure at The College of New Jersey, Passe forged strong bonds with the local community, something he hopes to continue at Cal Poly Pomona.
“The university has a special role to play in serving the local school districts. That taps into one of my core beliefs about strong college-community partnerships,” he says. “I can’t wait to start building relationships with educational leaders throughout the region.”