Northwest Asian Weekly
North Seattle Community College (NSCC) President Mark Mitsui has been selected to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The selection follows a many-month-long process that began in January.
Mitsui will take the post on Aug. 12. He will work in the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, which focuses on career, technical, adult, and correctional education across the country.
“I’m definitely looking forward to building on the investments the administration has made,” Mitsui said in a phone interview with the Asian Weekly. “I’m excited that the Department of Education will continue to work with folks in community colleges around the country to create an education system that promotes the goal of ensuring that every citizen makes their fullest contribution to this country.”
His role supports the President’s, the Secretary’s, and the Department’s agenda on community college access and completion.
“While this is a loss for Seattle, it is also a vote of confidence in the quality of leadership in our colleges and our city,” said Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield, who named Mitsui to the NSCC presidency in July 2010.
“During his three years as president, Mark Mitsui has taken North in many new directions. In my experiences, Mark has an end-goal of student success in everything he takes on. His work with North, our colleges and the state system leaves a legacy for untold numbers of students whose expectations and lives will be changed,” Wakefield said in an additional statement.
During his tenure as president, Mitsui linked the college with a number of national and international activities. The college hosted a 2011 White House Initiative on Asian Pacific Islanders NW Regional Conference on Sustainability, which was attended by more than 400 regional and national participants. The conference was co-hosted by Hyeok Kim, a Commissioner for the White House Initiative on Asian Pacific Islanders, and by the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.
Mitsui has special expertise in college programs leading to student success and economic development. As vice president at South Seattle Community College, he headed a team that secured a $2.4 million Department of Education grant, earning designation for the college as one of the first six members of a national select group of Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions. He was chosen to serve as board chair of the national Asian American Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities (APIACU), which is dedicated to improving the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities and access for low-income, under-represented Asian American Pacific Islander students.
At NSCC, Mitsui oversaw the completion and opening of the Opportunity Center for Employment and Education that combines state services for employment, social services, financial counseling, basic skills, and further education in a single campus location. The center served over 50,000 individuals last year and was recognized with an Innovation of the Year Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College.
“I’m proud that we’ve established a common vision,” Matsui said regarding North Seattle. “Our mission is to change lives through education by advancing student services, teaching, learning, and building community.”
“…I hope that North is a place that people from around the country can come to and learn how we helped so many students achieve their goals,” he continued.
The college also initiated a customized training department that connects the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Job Skills Program with local industries, and has been recognized for improving sales and increasing jobs. NSCC’s Nanotechnology program was recently designated a Regional Center for Nanotechnology with a $3 million National Science Foundation grant and a goal of expanding the diversity and number of trained nanotechnologists in the Northwest. (end)
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