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Maria Hesse

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MLFTC Div Ed Ldshp & Innov/Tmp
Professor of Practice
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1811

Maria Hesse serves as a Professor of Practice in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Previously, she served as vice provost for academic partnerships, helping to create and sustain productive relationships with community colleges and other institutions, on behalf of students who wished to complete their baccalaureate degrees. She has been at ASU since July 2009.

Dr. Hesse served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College, one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Hesse began her professional career at the Judson School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she served for seven years as a teacher, dean, and high school principal. She was with the Maricopa Community Colleges for more than 25 years working for Mesa Community College, South Mountain Community College, the District Support Services Center, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Her early years in the Maricopa Colleges included positions as director of student activities and services, coordinator of the Ford Foundation funded Transfer Opportunities Program, and manager of faculty employment for the Maricopa Colleges.

In 1987, she became the first chief student affairs officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She then served for a decade as a faculty member in the Business and Computer Information Systems division, where she also made leadership contributions as the college accreditation coordinator, co-coordinator of the service learning program, and founding faculty member at the Williams campus. As chief academic officer for four years, she helped double enrollment, significantly expand workforce development programs, and enhance teaching and learning initiatives in cooperative learning, service learning, learning communities, and instructional technology.

Hesse served as president of CGCC for seven years, during which time the college was recognized with many awards and recognitions such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) campus sustainability national leadership award, the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the National Council for Instructional Administrators (NCIA) award for best practice in assessment of student learning, the National Council on Student Development (NCSD) award for best practices in student services, the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACTEPP) exceptional colleges award, and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) High Performing Colleges in Active and Collaborative Learning.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, and has served as a consultant to other colleges from Florida to California on service learning, learning communities, technology, and accreditation. She is also actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of Positive Paths, Friendly House and Experience Matters.

  • Ed.D.  Northern Arizona University
  • M.Ed. Northern Arizona University
  • M.B.A. Arizona State University
  • B.S. Arizona State University



Fink, J., Hesse, M., Hyman, C., Lee, S., Morrissey, S. & Quiroz-Livanis, E. (2020). As higher education faces a “corona swirl” of transfer students, higher education must create clear pathways to degrees. Diverse Issues in Higher Education (

Fogarty, J., Dunlap, L., Dolan, E., Hesse, M., Mason, M., & Mott, J. (2003). Learning communities in community colleges. Olympia, WA: The Evergreen State College, Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, in cooperation with the American Association for Higher Education and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Hesse, M. (1997). Maximizing Participation and Communication in the Self-Study Process. In Van Kollenberg, S.E. (Ed.). 1997 A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement. (pp. 246-251). Chicago, IL: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Hesse, M. (2014). Sustaining Momentum. In Traver, A. & Katz, Z. (Ed.). Service-learning at the American community college: Theoretical and empirical perspectives (pp. 311-318). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hesse, M., & Mason, M. (2003). Teaching the theme of community. In J. MacGregor (Ed.), Integrating learning communities with service-learning (pp. 9-15). Olympia, WA: The Evergreen State College, Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, in cooperation with the American Association of Higher Education.

Hesse, M., & Mason, M. (2005). The case for learning communities. Community College Journal, 76(1), 30-35.

MacGregor, J. (Ed.). (1999). Strengthening learning communities: Case studies from the National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE). Olympia, WA: The Evergreen State College, Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.

Romano, J., & Hesse, M. (2018), Transfer Readiness: Insights from 10 Years of Intentional Design. In Poisel, M.A., & Joseph, S. (Ed). Building Transfer Student Pathways for College and Career Success (pp. 35-52). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition and the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students.

Research Activity: 
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 634The American Community College
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BUS 593Applied Project
HED 598Special Topics
HED 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 634The American Community College
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HED 790Reading and Conference