Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Success

Debi Gaitan

Debi Gaitan, Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Success

As the Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Success (VCSS) at the Alamo Colleges District (ACD), Deborah Gaitan provides strategic leadership for the planning, implementation, expansion, and assessment of district-wide student success programs. Her focus is on scaling evidence-based practices that enhance the overall student experience from enrollment to retention and completion.

VCSS Gaitan leads the establishment of ACD student support goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs), developing, implementing, and coordinating district-wide programs to support ACD students. As a highly collaborative leader, she excels in developing effective relationships across multiple constituencies and has a proven record of excellence and organizational problem-solving.

Her expertise in higher education includes a deep understanding of the needs of underserved students and direct experience leading evidence-based programs and initiatives that improve student outcomes and close opportunity gaps.

Prior to her current role, VCSS Gaitan served in various leadership capacities at Northwest Vista College (NVC), including Interim President. During her tenure, NVC achieved numerous "all-time best" accomplishments, including record enrollment, retention, and transfer rates. During her time at NVC, the college's enrollment surged from 200 students to over 18,000. She played a pivotal role in developing the college's mission, vision, values, and touchstones and collaborated on strategic projects such as AlamoADVISE, AlamoENROLL, and AlamoEXPERIENCE, fostering a spirit of collaboration, joy, and student-centeredness.

As the Vice President for Student Success at NVC, she led numerous initiatives that earned state and national accolades. She played a leadership role in the Alamo-wide Malcolm Baldrige Quality initiatives, guiding NVC through the 2018 national site visit and subsequent award. She served as the Vice President for Student Success during the creation and launch of the Pathways Leadership Council, responsible for Guided Pathways strategies across the five colleges in the Alamo Colleges District. Additionally, she significantly contributed to the Executive Faculty Council, which promotes shared governance and decision-making, adding to significant increases in graduation rates.

VCSS Gaitan also led NVC's Strategic Enrollment Planning team, focusing on opportunities for enrollment, retention, persistence, degree completion, and transition to university or workforce. She is an advocate for AlamoPROMISE, working to eliminate financial barriers to higher education for local students. She played a crucial role in implementing Student Advocacy and Resource Centers across the Alamo Colleges, providing essential support to students facing food, clothing, and housing insecurities.

Before joining Alamo Colleges, VCSS Gaitan held leadership roles in the non-profit sector with Communities in Schools and San Antonio Positive Solutions, helping young adults overcome educational barriers and pursue higher education. She began her higher education career at Our Lady of the Lake University, serving as a recruiter, advisor, and associate director. Recently, she has expanded her influence by consulting in areas such as executive leadership, strategic planning, strategic enrollment management, quality enhancement, building successful and high performing teams, facilitation, cycles of improvement, work/life balance, and leading through change.

VCSS Gaitan attended St. Philip's College, Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Our Lady of the Lake University, earning degrees in Sociology and Human Sciences as well as a certificate from the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management.