Stephen Handel

Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Admissions
University of California

Expert: Stephen Handel

Stephen J. Handel is the Associate Vice President—Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California (UC) System. In this capacity, Handel serves as the chief admission officer for the system, providing leadership on freshman and community college transfer policy and practice for the nine UC undergraduate campuses.

Prior to this position, Steve served for nearly a decade as the inaugural Executive Director of the National Office of Community College Initiatives at the College Board. At the College Board, Handel advocated for and conducted research with community colleges nationally and internationally, with a special focus on initiatives that advance educational access and equity for all students. Handel also served as UC’s first Director of Community College Transfer Enrollment Planning, where he initiated strategic enrollment policies focusing on the needs of community college transfer students. During this time, Handel worked closely with colleagues at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to increase significantly the number of community college students transferring to a UC campus.

Handel is the author of books and monographs including The Transition and Transformation (with Eileen Strempel—University of North Georgia Press, 2016), Community College Counselor Sourcebook (2nd Edition, College Board, 2009), and Higher Education as Job 1 (in preparation). Articles and essays include "College Admission: Now and Then Again, Celebrating College Admission and the Public Interest, Under Match and the Community College Student, Reimagining Remediation" (with Ronald Williams), "Strengthening the Nation By Narrowing the Gap" (with James Montoya), and "Second Chance, Not Second Class: A Blueprint for Community College Transfer." Handel earned his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, a B.A. from California State University, Sacramento, and an A.A. from Cosumnes River Community College.

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