Professor Cheryl Hernandez: Say Something If You Need Help 


Madison Dietrich , staff writer

Central Arizona College offers a great deal of assistance to students who could use extra attention in the field of audio, visual, and accessibility needs. Cheryl Hernandez has been the director of the Student Accessibility Services at Central Arizona College for four and a half years. She took on that position in the fall of 2016. She also works with the interpreting services for ASL at the CAC Signal Peak campus. In her words, her job is to, “Provide students with disability accommodations.”  


Hernandez is one of the two psychology professors at CAC and began teaching in the spring of 2017. She teaches multiple courses including Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Human Sexuality. Hernandez has a love for teaching and does not have any plans of retiring soon.  


She is very passionate about helping her students become heard and understood. She wants not only her students, but every CAC student on every campus to know that if they feel like they need help, they should reach out to their professors. Free tutoring is one of the biggest assets students can access on campus and online. There are also many study rooms students can use to meet by themselves or with study groups. CAC has veteran support and TRIO on campus. For students who feel they need additional assistance, they can speak to student services and to their advisors. Hernandez noted, “The advisors at CAC are wonderful advocates for students.” Students should utilize all of the services available to them. 


Hernandez’s favorite psychologist is neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, but her favorite quote is one by H Jackson Brown Jr. The quote reads, “Never deprive someone of hope; it may be all they have.” 


Hernandez pursued her career in education as an education major at Rhode Island Community College. She transferred from RHCC to Arizona State University to pursue her education as a special education major. Hernandez worked in the Rhode Island Special Olympics during her years at RHCC, and she stated that that is where her love for special education began. She stated, “Special education is my passion.” While at Arizona State University, she took an effective thinking course, and that inspired her to explore behavioral health.   


Hernandez graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Masters in Rehabilitation Psychology, and a national certification in rehabilitation counseling. She worked at an agency specializing in vocational rehabilitation for nine years before coming to CAC. She taught at behavioral health clinics and seminars during that period of time. 


Hernandez has no plans of moving back to the East Coast because she likes giving back to Pinal County. She wants to help everyone she can. She feels the best way she can help is to stay in Pinal County and at Central Arizona College. She loves the staff that she has the pleasure of working with at CAC. She said they are “wonderful people who are here to help students.”  


If students anywhere are struggling with academics or their mental health, Hernandez encourages them to “say something.”