Skip to main content

Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School welcomes its 10th president

June 18, 2015

Categories: News

Published: June 18, 2015

Dr. Patricia A. Breen

Pasadena, Calif. – On June 1, lifelong educator, previous TCS Education System (TCS Ed System) senior executive, and current provost of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School, Dr. Patricia A. Breen took the helm of an institution she fell in love with years ago, officially assuming her new role as its 10th president.

“It is easy to fall in love with this community, and I think most people who know us do love Pacific Oaks,” said Dr. Breen, who worked with the institution since 2010 in her role as TCS Ed System’s Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, then served as provost since 2014. “For me it starts with our mission and values, but what makes this real is the community’s resolve to use them in responding to the societal needs of the day.”

Dr. Breen discovered the Pacific Oaks community when it joined TCS Ed System in 2010. She was part of a leadership team led by Dr. Michael Horowitz, founding president of the system, to help recreate the strong academic and financial infrastructure needed to survive the changing economic and regulatory demands facing the college at that time and to preserve the heritage.

Prior to her most recent position as provost, Dr. Breen spent six months working at Pacific Oaks to help prepare for a visit from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Other TCS Ed System roles had Dr. Breen serving as Interim President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Chicago campus and assisting The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law with accreditation needs. She also played an instrumental leadership role in the transition of Dallas Nursing Institute and Saybrook University into TCS Ed System in 2013 and early 2014.

Born in Coronado, Calif., Dr. Breen and her husband have been residents of Pasadena for two years. She received her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Breen also holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature and master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas and an MBA from DePaul University.

Beyond her time working at colleges and universities within the TCS Ed System community, Dr. Breen’s academic and operational background has spanned a variety of roles from librarian to president. She has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Argosy University and held leadership roles at DeVry Institute of Technology and National-Louis University. Dr. Breen is also active in the Council for Graduate Schools and has been a Consultant-Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and for the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) for many years.

She said her most recent role as provost at Pacific Oaks gave her an invaluable insight on the work ahead as president. “Everyone who works in a college and every job they do exists to support the students,” she explained. “The work of the provost is where these efforts come together.”

One of her goals as president will be to “articulate and preserve the unique pedagogy of Pacific Oaks and assure that it is a part of every program.” Dr. Breen also hopes to expand current programs with new locations, support innovation and research, and continue to assure the financial stability of the institution.

“The Board of Trustees is excited and proud to have Dr. Breen serve as the 10th president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School,” said Board Chair Dorothy Farris. “Dr. Breen brings an unquenchable passion for education and community coupled with an extensive background in higher education. To have one of our own lead the institution is an added value that will continue to propel Pacific Oaks to new heights and create even greater opportunities within TCS Ed System—ultimately benefiting our students and those they serve.”

Dr. Breen has stepped down from her position as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at TCS Ed System however the foundation she has created will continue to impact its institutions for years to come; strengthening its program development processes, assessment and improvement in student learning, and data development for academic decision-making.

“I would like to acknowledge Pat for her extraordinary leadership and service throughout the system,” said Dr. Horowitz. “I look forward to her continued impact on the organization.”

A formal inauguration for Dr. Breen will be held this fall as part of the college’s 70th anniversary celebration.

About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School:

Founded 70 years ago on the belief that every individual has unique gifts and infinite potential, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School has gained international acclaim for its progressive approach to teaching and learning. Pacific Oaks Children’s School provides early childhood education programs for children ages 6 months through 6 years and has pioneered achievements in the areas of anti-bias education, emergent curriculum, and peaceful conflict resolution. Pacific Oaks College is known for serving non-traditional and adult students—valuing real-world experiences in addition to academic achievements.

In 2010, Pacific Oaks joined TCS Education System, a nonprofit higher education community dedicated to creating educational experiences that transform the way students learn; educating them to apply their skills to bring about lasting social change.

A nonprofit institution, Pacific Oaks is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). Offering bachelor and master degrees, Pacific Oaks graduates are a community of change agents and have made a profound impact in the fields of education, human development, and marriage and family therapy. In addition to the Pasadena campus, the institution offers learning opportunities online and at instructional sites from Sacramento to Santa Cruz. For more information, see

About TCS Education System:

TCS Education System was founded in 2009 as a nonprofit organization with a mission of preparing innovative, engaged, purposeful agents of change who serve a global community. TCS Ed System features a community of specialized colleges and universities, which are backed by a model of education that prepares socially responsible, culturally competent professionals in applied fields such as psychology and behavioral sciences, education and human development, law and legal studies, nursing and health care, and organizational development.

TCS Ed System’s community of institutions—The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law, Dallas Nursing Institute, and Saybrook University—each offer scholarship, training, and service opportunities directed to a specific career path while providing a transformative educational experience. For more information,

Categories: News