Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. Courtesy Grossmont College

Grossmont College announced Wednesday that its president Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh will step down after five years at the helm of the El Cajon community college.

During his tenure, Grossmont College has been recognized twice as eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, honoring high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges, that placed it among the top 150, or top 15 percent, of community colleges nationwide.

The college has also been acknowledged twice by the Campaign for College Opportunity for its work in increasing the number of students receiving Associate Degrees for Transfer, or ADTs, which guarantee transfer to California State University.

Last year, Diverse magazine recognized the college as No. 52 in the country for the number of associate degrees awarded to minorities.

Abu-Ghazaleh expanded the college’s community outreach efforts to include newcomers and refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, which are a growing part of the East County community, according to the college.

“Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh has been a brilliant leader and a staunch advocate to ensure that every Grossmont College student received an excellent education,” said Lynn Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “His insight and compassion will be missed.”

Prior to Grossmont College, Abu-Ghazaleh was president of West Los Angeles College in the Los Angeles Community College District from 2011 to 2015.

Abu-Ghazaleh will continue to work through the fall semester until his last day on Jan. 4.

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