News Release

Santiago Canyon College and Interim President Featured in GI Jobs Magazine


​(Orange, CA) – Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is pleased to announce Interim President Jose F. Vargas was highlighted in the October 2020 issue of GI Jobs Magazine as one of the few college or university administrators who served in the U.S. military.

Vargas served in the 85th Artillery Detachment of the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1989. After he was discharged from active duty as a Specialist (E-4), he served another six years as an inactive reservist before joining the private sector. Vargas is a Mexican immigrant and a first-generation college graduate who started at a community college before transferring and eventually receiving a master’s degree in Educational Administration. Prior to working at SCC, he was an administrator at the Los Angeles Unified School District and became SCC’s Interim President after former President John Hernandez left the position last June.

The GI Jobs issue also recognized SCC as being a Military-Friendly School for the third year in a row.

"We are beyond pleased that SCC has, yet, again been named a "military-friendly school" for the third year in a row,” President Vargas remarks. “As a veteran myself, I know how important it is for my fellow former service members to know that our college is going to take care of them and make sure their unique needs are met."

“The staff of SCC’s Veterans Service Office is very honored to be given this designation again,” said Joseph Alonzo who runs SCC’s Veterans Service Office (VSO). “They have worked hard to provide first-class service to all veterans and their dependents. Their dedication to our students is commendable.”

These two distinctions come soon after the VSO was awarded its first Federal TRIO Grant which will further its ability to provide for SCC’s veteran students. This five-year grant, given to only 1,100 colleges and universities nationwide, bestows their office $271,000 yearly for a total $1.3 million to help expand their program and provide students additional support services. In addition to increasing their services, Alonzo is hoping to hire additional staff to give students more individualized attention.

“In this remote environment, it is even more critical to stay connected with students and give them additional meaningful support through online advising, counseling, mentorship, socializing, and tutoring,” Alonzo said. “This grant will allow us to do just that.”

VSO’s TRIO Program works to help veteran students receive educational support, provide financial aid resources, encourage students to complete their degrees or certificates, and help students remove cultural and social barriers that could keep them from finishing their goals.

Nationally, TRIO programs were born out of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to give equitable resources so that first-generation college students, students who qualify for financial aid, and those with disabilities could succeed in college.

Learn more about SCC’s Veterans Services at:

About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves more than 17,000 credit and noncredit students each semester. In 2017, SCC was ranked 13th among the 50 Best Community Colleges in the U.S. by College Choice and is currently ranked 3rd in California by, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and senior - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.


Contact: Ruth Cossio-Muniz

Phone: (714) 564-5201