Dr. Keith Curry. President, Compton College. CEO, Compton Community College District

Dr. Curry is the President/CEO of the Compton College and Compton Community College District (CCCD). Compton College is the 114th California Community College, achieving initial accreditation status on June 7, 2017. Dr. Curry is responsible for overseeing all departments and functions of Compton College and Compton District and serves as secretary for the CCCD Board of Trustees. He brings an abundance of energy and innovative ideas to Compton College, along with a wealth of experience as a postsecondary education administrator.

As President/CEO for Compton College, Curry is responsible for promoting student enrollment, success and retention, while working with the college’s vice presidents to develop strategic plans and procedures that enhance their academic and student services programs. Curry is dedicated to the development of new programs and the redirection of existing programs to meet the instructional and student services needs of Compton College students. He is personally invested in delivering on the mission of Compton College, which is to offer a welcoming environment where the diversity of its students is supported in pursuing and attaining academic and professional excellence.

Under his leadership, many existing student services programs have been expanded and others created including the First Year Experience (FYE) program, and the Tartar Support program established in 2017 to offer a food pantry and other support for students facing food and housing insecurities. In addition, the Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition (F.I.S.T.) program was established in fall 2016 and was honored with the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Awards for Advancing Social Mobility by the Foundation for California Community Colleges just one year later.

Before becoming the permanent CEO, Dr. Curry served as interim CEO of the Compton Community College District for two years. Additionally, he served as the El Camino College Compton Center dean of student services from March 2006 to June 2011.

Prior to joining the district, Dr. Curry worked at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as director of the Early Academic Outreach Program. While at UCI, he was instrumental in re-establishing a partnership between local school districts, including Compton Unified School District and UCI.

Dr. Curry is an active member of the Foundation for Compton Community College District, the Association of California Community College Administrators, the California Community College Athletic Association, the Statewide Association of Community Colleges (SWACC), the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice Advisory Board, and the President’s Roundtable. He has participated on Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Visiting Teams, most recently for San Quentin University Prison Project.

Dr. Curry has also presented at numerous conferences, workshops, and symposia. His areas of expertise include preparing students for higher education; guided pathways; bridging the digital divide; establishing partnerships among postsecondary institutions, and ensuring access for all students. He has been invited to be the keynote speaker at multiple commencement ceremonies including the UC Santa Cruz African American Resource and Cultural Center’s Black Grad ceremony to celebrate the class of 2015 at UC Santa Cruz, Copper Mountain College commencement in 2017 and Nathanial Narbonne High School graduation in 2018.

California State University, Los Angeles honored Dr. Curry at its 2017 Distinguished Educator Award dinner. The annual award honors distinguished educators who demonstrate excellence, a high level of commitment, and who have made significant contributions in the community.

In 2018, Dr. Curry received the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award. It is the most prestigious award given by the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA), paying tribute to those administrators who demonstrate integrity, principle, compassion, strength in leadership, and who have made significant contributions to the college district and community.

At the 2019 Community College League of California (CCLC) Annual Conference, Dr. Curry was honored as one of three 2019 Champions of Equity by the Campaign for College Opportunity and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational fund. The award recipients were honored for prioritizing student-centered policies that produce equitable outcomes and expand opportunities for Californians.

In June 2020, Dr. Curry was invited by Governor Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education Lande Ajose to serve on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force.

Dr. Curry earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

His Story

Dr. Curry went from the Ball Boy for the Compton Community College Football Team to the President/CEO of Compton College and Compton Community College District. Dr. Curry is from Compton, California and is an energetic administrator and innovative educator. Dr. Curry has been recognized local, statewide, and nationally for his focus on student success.