Amal Amanda Issa, director

Amal Amanda Issa helps build capacity at community colleges and alternative education sites statewide for improving career technical pathways. 

Focused on strategies such as dual enrollment, integrated certifications, and intersegmental alignment, Amanda has co-led professional development workshops for colleges and schools creating dual enrollment partnerships, and she developed the Dual Enrollment Game to illustrate the potential of this strategy. She wrote the Career Pathways Mapping Toolkit and co-authored an article for the Gardner Center on alternative education.

Amanda taught in high schools in Oakland, Emeryville, and Antioch, where she created work-based and project-based learning opportunities, based in part on her own work as an emergency medical technician. She also developed career-based dual enrollment for underserved students, built partnerships with employers, and nurtured supportive communities for students. As an academy director at a high school in East Oakland, she pioneered a dual enrollment partnership to offer medical assistant training and certificates. And at Merritt College, where she is an adjunct faculty member, she coordinated a program for students re-engaging in education. Amanda serves on the board of directors of the California Science Teachers Association. 

From the University of California, San Diego, Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience; from Mills College, she received a master’s in education and a secondary science credential; and at UC Berkeley, she earned a post-baccalaureate in health professions and a CTE credential in health science and medical technology. She also has completed fellowships in instructional practices and creating equitable opportunities in urban education at Yale University’s National Institute and Stanford University’s Hollyhock Fellowship. And she is trained in design thinking, life coaching, and critical race theory.