Richard Andalon



Contact Information

Email    randalon@ucla.edu
Office  UCLA Haines Hall 213
Phone  (310) 825-0837

Dr. Richard Andalon teaches at UCLA under the Department of Sociology, Department of Education, and Department of Chicana/o Studies. At UCLA, Chicana/o Studies focuses on the experiences of Mexican Americans, Central Americans, other Latinos/as/xs, and related indigenous communities. Prior to returning to UCLA in 2018, he taught at the University of Southern California (USC) under the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, which is a multidisciplinary academic unit that focuses on the experiences of diverse ethnic populations and communities in the U.S. He began his service at USC in 2008, having previously studied and worked at UCLA since 1997.  

          Dr. Andalon's specific research interest focuses on examining the sociocultural and psychosocial experiences of students as they navigate through two critical junctures of the educational pipeline: from high school to college and from college to the workforce.  He studies the factors that impact students’ motivation, preparation, and decision-making.  Specifically, he studies students’ socio-personal traits, socio-environmental influences, and social peer networks. He pays careful attention to manifestations of agency, resilience, and community to promote achievement and success. He is especially attentive to the experiences of students from first-generation college backgrounds, low socioeconomic levels, and recent immigrant statuses.  

          The undergraduate courses that Dr. Andalon teaches fall under the following areas: research methodologies including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed protocols; theoretical perspectives from sociology, psychology, and education; socioeconomic inequities relating to gender/sex, race/ethnicity, and immigration status; and professional development pertaining to graduate school preparation, entry-level employment, and long-term career planning.  He also teaches courses under the honors program, service-learning, and internships. 

          At both UCLA and USC, alongside his teaching appointments, Dr. Andalon has held management leadership roles. While he has enjoyed and gone above and beyond serving under administrative roles at the university-level and out in the community, what he is most passionate about is serving as a classroom instructor and teaching, advising, and mentoring college students. 

          Dr. Andalon has served as a senior advisor and director under UCLA Student Affairs, Divisions of Enrollment Services and Campus Life. He has served as a director and an associate dean under USC Academic Affairs, Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education.  At USC, he was the administrator of a U.S. federal government national-level initiative referred to as the McNair Scholars Program.  McNair receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education and operates at multiple universities across the country.  He, along with the support of other faculty and administrators, used the McNair program model to establish the USC funded Research Gateway Scholars Program, which, like McNair, provides undergraduates with graduate school preparation, research training, scholarships, and mentorships.  He was also a dean of student diversity and professional development under another U.S. federal government grant-funded program that involved USC, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.  At USC, under the special appointment as a dean through this four-university collaborative, he designed and administered the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program, which provided students scholarships, research training, mentoring services, professional development, and career advisement.  EDGE was funded by the National Science Foundation's Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF - SBE), and it served both undergraduates and graduate students at all participating universities. EDGE, after the federal grant support ended, continued with funding support from USC to serve its student community under the name of Diversity Outreach & Academic Professional Development (DO & APD).  Dr. Andalon, along with the support of other faculty and administrators, established the office infrastructure to administer DO & APD at USC.  

          In the community, Dr. Andalon has served as a board member and chair of Learning Enrichment and Academic Resources Network (LEARN), which is a community-based educational equity and youth-focused college preparation and social services nonprofit operating in various Los Angeles County cities. He has served as a senior consultant and program specialist with the Los Angeles College Promise (LACP), which is part of the California College Promise (CCP) statewide initiative that makes possible a community college education at no cost to students and their families.  He has served as a senior advisor and manager under the University of California (UC) statewide Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), which also works with youth through college preparation programs in the City of Los Angeles.  He has served as a founding program advisor, coordinator, and instructor under the UCLA Career-Based Outreach Program (CBOP), which provided academic advisement, career guidance, and related mentoring opportunities to middle school/high school youth, undergraduates, and graduate/professional school students.

          Dr. Andalon received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCLA.  His undergraduate studies focused on sociology, political science, and education.  His graduate studies focused on the sociology of education, social stratification and mobility, and sociocultural context and adaptation.  He also attended Harvard University, where he acquired a series of professional certificates from the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE).  His professional studies included curriculum design and development, program assessment and evaluation, and educational management and leadership. 

          Over the years, Dr. Andalon's service and leadership have been recognized at both UCLA and USC. His civic engagement and professional work have also been acknowledged out in the community by the Los Angeles City Mayor's Office, Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, and Los Angeles Office of the California Parent Institute for Quality Education.  He has had the opportunity in communities across California and the United States to provide consultations under the areas specifically relating to his scholarly research, practical experience, and public service. He has advised classroom instructors, academic administrators, and education policymakers at various K-12 public school districts, community colleges, and university systems. 

          Between 1997 and 2007, Dr. Andalon attended UCLA and earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. In his doctoral dissertation research, guided by sociological and psychological theories, he investigated the K-12 university preparation and early university-level experiences of first-generation college students who beat the odds and obtained admission to highly selective universities. His methodology included personal interviews, focus groups, and surveys. His study identified the following factors, each starting with the letter p and contextualized under descriptive themes: parental influences, peer impacts, program involvement, personable role models, purposeful decisions, powering through, and psychosocial dynamics. He summarized his findings by referring to them as “The Seven P’s” explaining first-generation college students’ K-12 university preparation and early university experiences. The seven factors and associated themes formed the core tenets of the theoretical framework that emerged from his study.  Also, a portraiture research design, as well as a grounded theory approach, facilitated using the study’s findings to publish case studies based on the students’ lesson-filled and inspiring stories.

          From 2008 to the present, in addition to serving as an instructor under social science departments, Dr. Andalon has held management leadership roles. Most recently, he has served as a Director and Chief Program Officer under the UCLA Division of Student Affairs, Campus Life Administration.  Prior to this, among his experiences was his service as a Director and Associate Dean under the USC Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and USC Office of the Vice Provost of Graduate Education.  At USC, he was responsible for the grant funding and program operations of the McNair Scholars Program, which is a U.S. federal government national-level initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education that operates at multiple universities across the country.  He used the McNair program model and its overall success to establish the USC funded Research Gateway Scholars Program, which, similar to McNair, also provides undergraduates with graduate school preparation, research training, scholarships, and mentorships.  In establishing Gateway, he collaborated closely with the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.  Under a special appointment, he was a Dean of Student Diversity & Professional Development under anoher U.S. federal government grant-funded program that involved USC, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.  As a Dean under this special four-university collaborative, he designed and administered the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Initiative at USC, which was funded by the  National Science Foundation's Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF - SBE).   EDGE served both undergraduates and graduate students at all participating universities, as well as other students from the accross the country who aspired to be admitted to these four universities.  EDGE provided students scholarships, research training, mentoring services, professional development, and career advisement.  After the federal government funding ended for EDGE, Dr. Andalon, along with the support from senior faculty and administrators, used the program's best practices, accomplishments, and organizational model to secure university-based funding to continue the program.  He continued to direct the program with funding from the USC Office of the Provost and multiple academic departments from across the university. EDGE became known as Diversity Outreach & Academic Professional Development (DO & APD).  As it relates to his administrative and leadership community-related work, Dr. Andalon has served as a Board Member and Chair of Learning Enrichment and Academic Resources Network (LEARN), an educational equity and social services nonprofit that annually engages 15,000 to 20,000 K-12 youth and their public schools. In various Los Angeles County cities, LEARN provides academic enrichment, college preparation, extracurricular activities, and career awareness services. He has served as a Senior Consultant and Program Specialist with the Los Angeles College Promise (LACP), which is part of the California College Promise (CCP) statewide initiative that makes possible a community college education at no cost to students and their families.  His CCP work took place under the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), which, at the start of the program, annually engaged 5,000 to 10,000 students through LACCP.  

          In 2014, after seven years of professional work, Dr. Andalon took a sabbatical and studied at the Harvard University Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE).  While at HIHE, he earned professional certificates with an emphasis in curriculum design and development, program assessment and evaluation, and educational management and leadership. After this sabbatical, he returned to his teaching and administrative work at USC.

          Since 2005, Dr. Andalon has served as a grant writer and consultant.  He has helped secure and manage a variety of grant funding awards, including multi-million dollar awards. Under his state and federal grant-related service and advocacy, he has provided advisement on, served as a principal investigator for, or managed student services programs funded by the following agencies: the California Department of Education, California Department of Social Services, United Way of California/Greater Los Angeles, United States Department of Education, United States Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Health, and National Science Foundation.

          Between 2000 and 2007, Dr. Andalon, on behalf of UCLA, actively served off-campus various City of Los Angeles communities and on-campus student populations.  He provided advocacy and educational services as a Senior Advisor and Manager under the UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). EAOP is a statewide University of California (UC)-sponsored K-12 educational equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative. In the Los Angeles area, this organization works with 15,000 to 20,000 youth annually through an array of academic development, college preparation, and career readiness services.  Under a special initiative sponsored by the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and the UC Office of the President Systemwide Division of Student Affairs, he served a Program Advsor, Coordinator, and Instructor through the UCLA Career-Based Outreach Program (CBOP).  He had the opportunity be one of the founders of CBOP, along with a handful of faculty, administrators, and students. CBOP annually engaged at least 2,000 students, including middle school/high school students, undergraduates, and graduate/professional students, and provided them with academic advisement, career guidance, and related mentoring opportunities.           

          Over the years, Dr. Andalon has had the opportunity across California and the United States to provide consultations under the areas specifically relating to his scholarly research, practical experience, and public service. He has advised classroom instructors, academic administrators, and education policymakers at various K-12 public school districts, community colleges, and university systems.   His consultations have focused on matters as they relate to student academic curriculums, student extracurricular activities, and institutional organizational structures under which students are served.  Dr. Andalon has made a lifelong commitment to advocating for students and to promoting their development and opportunities.  

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