Richard Andalon

Contact Information

Office  UCLA Haines Hall A81
Phone  (310) 825-0837

Dr. Richard Andalon has taught at UCLA under the Department of Sociology, Department of Education, and Department of Chicana/o Studies. Prior to returning to UCLA in 2018, he taught at USC under the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity (ASE).  ASE is a multidisciplinary academic unit where faculty from across the university teach an array of courses from the social sciences, humanities, arts, and professional fields. He began his service at USC in 2008, having studied and worked previously at UCLA since 1997.  At both UCLA and USC, alongside his teaching appointments, he has held administrative leadership roles.  He has been a director under student affairs at UCLA and an associate dean under academic affairs at USC. He has served as a board member and chair of LEARN LA, a community-based educational equity and youth-focused social services nonprofit. The undergraduate courses he teaches fall under the following areas: research methodologies in the social sciences; theoretical frameworks from sociology, psychology, and education; social inequities relating to class, gender, race/ethnicity, and immigration status; and professional development pertaining to graduate school preparation, entry-level employment, and long-term career planning.  He received his academic degrees from UCLA, including his doctorate.  His undergraduate studies focused on sociology, political science, and education.  His graduate studies in education focused on the sociology of education, social stratification and mobility, sociocultural context and adaptation, and social research methodologies.  He also attended Harvard University, where he acquired a series of professional certificates from the Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE).  His professional studies included curriculum design and development, program assessment and evaluation, and educational management and leadership. 

          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’ preparation, motivation, and decision-making.  Specifically, he studies students’ personal traits, environmental influences, and social networks. He pays careful attention to manifestations of resilience to overcome obstacles and promote achievement. He is especially attentive to the experiences of students from first-generation college backgrounds, low socioeconomic levels, and recent immigrant statuses.  

          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. In the community, he 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 works with 15,000 to 20,000 K-12 youth and their public schools. LEARN LA provides academic enrichment, career preparation, and personal development services.

          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 served various Los Angeles communities on behalf of UCLA. He provided advocacy and educational services as a Senior Advisor and Coordinator under the UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP). EAOP is a statewide University of California-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, career readiness, and college preparation services.

          In addition to Dr. Andalon's service and leadership receiving recognition at both UCLA and USC, his civic engagement and professional work have been acknowledged out in the community by the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, and Los Angeles Parent Institute for Quality Education.

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