Dr. Robert Garza brings more than 16 years of experience in higher education, distance education, and student services. Dr. Garza currently serves as Dean of Student Success and Interim Vice President of Student Success at Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges, in San Antonio, Texas. In this position, Dr. Garza leads a division composed of 85 full-time faculty and professional and support staff that strives to provide quality and effective student services in Admissions; Advising; Graduation; Transfer Programs; Career & Job Placement; Child Care; Financial Aid; Scholarships; Alumni y Amigos; Federal Programs; Pre-college programs including dual high school/college credit instruction and an Early College High School program; Student Life; Student Recruitment; and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Garza also co-Chairs the Committees for the Foundations of Excellence and Academic Advising.
Under Dr. Garza’s leadership, Palo Alto College has experienced record enrollments of over 9,000 students and 2,000 Dual Credit students. Palo Alto College was also recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School in 2011 and the College Board 2011 Catalog of Effective Practices: Programs and practices that expand options for students from low-income backgrounds. Dr. Garza also established a partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio to provide Army R.O.T.C. opportunities for Palo Alto College students and has been the keynote speaker for Palo Alto College Veteran’s Day in 2010 and 2011. Dr. Garza was recently recognized by the Palo Alto College Student Government Association for providing support and guidance for the organization in 2011-2012 and is an inaugural recipient of the 2012 Alamo Colleges Excellence Award.
Previously, Dr. Garza served as Dean of Community Development and Partnerships. As Dean, he has worked with faculty, staff, students and the community in the development, implementation, and management of the Center for Academic Transitions, Recruitment Center, Instructional Innovation Center, Community Outreach, and Distance Education. Dr. Garza has also been recognized by the Alamo Colleges for his service as the Palo Alto College liaison for the Alamo Colleges Capital Improvement Program (CIP), in which $55 million was allocated for building renovations and construction, landscaping, and infrastructure repair/development.
Dr. Garza holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation focused on Faculty Perspectives in Online Learning. The study utilized Interactive Qualitative Analysis to identify challenges in online education and capture faculty perceptions about online learning. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University – College Station and Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Dr. Garza is originally from Brownsville, Texas, and has resided in San Antonio since 1996. Dr. Robert Garza is married to Dr. Esther Garza, an Assistant Professor in Bilingual Education at Texas A&M University – San Antonio. They have two children, Victoria Garza and Robert Garza III.