San Francisco State University Executive Director of the Metro College Success Program and Professor and Chair, Department of Health Education
Driven by public health data showing that a person's level of educational attainment is one of the most significant levers to improving the health of an individual and a community, Mary Beth Love, Ph.D., works with an unwavering dedication to education equity and student success.
She is the executive director of the award-winning Metro College Success Program (Metro) at San Francisco State University — where she has served since its inception in 2007 — and she has been chair of the Department of Health Education since 1989.
"I am passionate about the power of education to create a more humane and just society," says Dr. Love. "This belief fuels my dedication to education equity which, put simply, means a system that provides the opportunities and tools to ensure all students can succeed."
Dr. Love believes that education equity is essential to the future of California and the nation. Her work in developing the Metro program has been pivotal to the success of low-income, first-generation students at both San Francisco State University and the sister program at City College of San Francisco — the university’s leading transfer partner.
Metro is a re-design of the first two years of college, a time when students are at the highest risk of dropping out. Through the program, students register for two of their course in cohorts of tight-knit learning communities called "academies," made up of students with similar academic interests, providing students an educational "home." The program combines a socially relevant curriculum of general education courses, in-class academic support and tutoring, and training for faculty in engaging teaching techniques.
The program has resulted in a sharp improvement in retention and graduation rates. As a result, the Metro program is set to expand from 10 academies to 14 by fall 2019, when it will serve approximately 2,800 students.
Under Dr. Love’s leadership, the university has secured nearly $15 million in external funding to develop, research and institutionalize the Metro College Success Program, which has won prestigious state and national awards.
Dr. Love received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, her master’s from the University of South Carolina, and her bachelor’s from The Pennsylvania State University.