Dr. Erjavec will conclude a 14-year tenure in May 2024
Oct. 2, 2023 (Pueblo, CO) – Pueblo Community College (PCC) president Dr. Patricia Erjavec announced she will retire at the end of May 2024, concluding a 14-year tenure and a 22-year career with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the State of Colorado. A federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, PCC enrolls more than 9,000 students annually across its campuses in Pueblo and Fremont and PCC Southwest, which operates sites in Bayfield, Durango, and Mancos.
“It has been my honor to serve as PCC’s 13th president and the first woman in the role,” Dr. Erjavec said. “As a proud Puebloan, I have been fortunate to lead PCC through a chapter of incredible growth and collective achievement. I am indebted to my colleagues across the college and know we will remain the region’s premier partner for education and workforce development for years to come.”
Joe Garcia, chancellor of CCCS, praised Dr. Erjavec’s strong leadership and commitment to public and private partnership.
“Dr. Erjavec has poured her heart into PCC, and the energy, creativity, and expertise she brought to the entire organization will likely never be matched,” he said. “Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Erjavec has opened beautiful new learning facilities and pioneered many of our system’s most innovative work-based learning models. On behalf of CCCS and our state board, I commend her extraordinary service to Pueblo and Colorado and wish her the best of luck in retirement.”
I have been fortunate to lead PCC through a chapter of incredible growth and collective achievement. I am indebted to my colleagues across the college and know we will remain the region’s premier partner for education and workforce development.
Dr. Erjavec has served as PCC’s president since June 2010, leading dramatic evolution in the college’s academic offerings. During her tenure, the college adopted nearly 30 associate degrees and seven new Bachelor’s degrees in computer science, dental hygiene, and allied health fields—all aligned with regional workforce needs. PCC also expanded its Concurrent Enrollment program, bringing college-level instruction to rural high school students in Fremont, Florence, and Custer counties, and the entire southwest corner of Colorado.
Over the past decade, the college has steadily improved its retention and graduation rates. PCC was among the first colleges in the state to adopt supplemental academic instruction, ensuring students of all backgrounds could successfully pass entry-level coursework and make progress toward their credentials. Dr. Erjavec also championed PCC’s Return to Earn program, which has garnered national recognition for re-engaging students who stopped out.
A trailblazer in industry partnerships, Dr. Erjavec attracted funding to roll out a fleet of eight mobile learning labs that deliver on-site workforce training for local businesses. She also spearheaded the college’s new Teaching and Learning Center, a state-of-the-art healthcare training facility that provides hands-on instruction in partnership with local hospitals.
Dr. Erjavec has poured her heart into PCC, and the energy, creativity, and expertise she brought to the entire organization will likely never be matched.
Dr. Erjavec has dedicated more than two decades of her professional career to CCCS. She served two consecutive terms on the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education and chaired it for two years. She also was interim president of CCCS for nine months before joining PCC.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Erjavec spent 11 years with El Pueblo, an Adolescent Treatment Community, where she was president and CEO for nine years. There, she oversaw the construction and renovation of 11 therapeutic cottages and several other support services, increasing capacity by 50 percent. Before that, Dr. Erjavec was employed in a variety of positions with PCL Packaging, Inc., including six years as its general manager.
Several organizations have recognized Dr. Erjavec for her professional and personal contributions. In 2019, Dr. Erjavec was named a “Woman of Influence” by the Colorado Springs Business Journal. She was also inducted into the Pueblo Hall of Fame in 2010 and the South High School Alumni Hall of Fame in 2008. She has participated in leadership programs with the Center for Creative Leadership, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the El Pomar Foundation, and the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Erjavec completed her Ph.D. in education leadership at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University, where she graduated with Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society honors, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State University Pueblo).
CCCS will announce details about the search for PCC’s next president, including how the community can participate, in the coming months.
Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence, without discrimination, to help its students acquire the 21st-century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont, and Southwest campuses.
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 115,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college. Learn more at www.cccs.edu.