In 1980, he graduated from San Francisco State University in philosophy and business administration. At Stanford University, working in the area of international and cross-cultural education, he earned graduate degrees in political science and Asian Studies, and a Ph.D. in Education in 1988.
In 1989, Dr. Chang joined De Anza College where he began a life's work in education, community organizing, and public service. In the College, he has department chair responsibilities and teaches intercultural communication and Asian American history and community. From 1991, he was elected to 12 years of local public office, having served as both school board president and also the first Asian American as Mayor of Cupertino. During his terms, he championed civic involvement, alternative education programs, and a new city library among other changes to improve the community.
In 1997, Dr. Chang founded the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) which is housed in the Intercultural International Studies Division of De Anza College. Working with community leaders, civic philanthropists, and corporate business, APALI has earned statewide and national recognition as a leader in civic education and building a public leadership pipeline for Asian Americans and underrepresented groups. The APALI leadership model includes youth academy, college internships, and community civic leadership program, as well as vibrant leadership network programs for public officials, community leaders, and alumni.
Dr. Chang is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley. His other honors included membership in the Committee of 100, De Anza College President's Award, selection as "Top Ten Chinese American Leaders in the Bay Area" by the leading Chinese daily World Journal, as well as community impact and leadership awards from such organizations as Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Asian Law Alliance, Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club, Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Association, Cupertino Rotary Club, Fremont Union High School District.
Dr. Chang was featured in the Comcast TV documentary In America: The Cupertino Story. He lives in Cupertino with his spouse of 30 years, his son Jonathan is studying computer science at UC Irvine and his daughter will be entering UC Davis as a social science and public policy major.