Joan Bissell, Ed.D., has helped faculty, researchers, K-12 districts, and higher education institutions in acquiring grants of over $100 million in the past decade and has herself received grants totaling over $25 million. Her areas of expertise include educator preparation and professional development, STEM education, career-technical education, early childhood education, after school programs and extended learning, social-emotional learning, bilingual and special education, and workforce development. She is expert in Department of Education, Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, NASA, and Health and Human Services grants and has been successful in helping to acquire major grant funding from all of these agencies.
Dr. Bissell previously was Director of the California State University Educator Preparation and Public School Programs. She provided system-wide leadership to the programs on 15 California State University campuses that prepare leaders for California’s public schools and community colleges. In addition, she played a central role in the CSU system’s Professional Science Master’s initiative, aimed at preparing graduates for the state’s high growth science and technology industries.
Before joining the Chancellor’s Office, Dr. Bissell was Dean (College of Education) and Full Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. There, she created Partners in Education, a public-private non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing learning opportunities for at-risk children. Prior to that, she was the Vice Chairman and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. There, she initiated a service learning program for low-income schools involving 1,000+ undergraduates annually.
Before teaching at the University of California, Dr. Bissell was in the private sector, serving as Assistant Vice President for the Western Region of the American College Testing Program. In this position, she worked closely with California’s public university systems, enabling California students to have more options for college admissions testing.
Previous to this, Dr. Bissell worked for a decade as Deputy Director of the Employment Development Department for Planning and Evaluation, Deputy Secretary of the California Health and Welfare Agency, and a Senior Program Analyst for the California State Legislature.
Earlier in her professional career, Dr. Bissell served as Vice Chairman of the Human Development Program and Assistant Professor in Education at Harvard University, where Dr. Bissell earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
Dr. Bissell is an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on numerous Boards and has for many years been active in Boys and Girls Clubs in the Southern California region.