Veterans Club Serves and Supports Homeless Veterans

Saddleback Student Veterans Give Back (Photo Courtesy of Virginia Johnson)

Before fall classes started, the Saddleback College Veterans Club was already giving back to the community. On the weekend of August 17th, sixteen student veterans joined forces with several organizations and government agencies at the Orange County Stand Down to serve and support homeless veterans. The Second Annual Orange County Stand Down was a three-day event that took place at the Army Reserve Center in Costa Mesa. Services, including mental and physical healthcare, benefits and housing assistance, children’s services, and showers and meals, were available for homeless and at-risk veterans as well as their families.

The Saddleback student veterans assisted the event by monitoring the showers, taking out trash, providing security at the entrances, providing water for all attendees, and providing other necessary tasks. All of the students were recognized at the event for their effort. The event was coordinated by Jacob Lampe, vice president of the Saddleback College Veterans Club.

Thanks for Another Successful In-Service Week

A big thanks to Professor Jane Horlings, our amazing Flex Week coordinator!

In-Service Week is always one of my favorite times of the year. It is wonderful to meet our new faculty and staff, attend the informative presentations and meetings, and see everyone back on campus. This year’s In-Service was heavily focused on what we as a college and district will be working on this year: improving completion rates. It was exciting to hear the innovative work that our faculty, staff, and management are doing to help our students complete their degrees, certificates, job training, and transfer. I look forward to continuing this discussion throughout the 2012-13 academic year.

This year we welcome 27 new full-time tenure track faculty to Saddleback.  All of our new faculty are extremely talented and knowledgeable in their fields and I can say without hesitation that Saddleback is lucky to have hired each and every one of them.  Thank you to Professor Jane Horlings, our amazing Flex Week coordinator, for once again planning a fabulous in-service that provided wonderful sessions for our new and veteran faculty alike.

Dr. David Morse, a professor of English at Long Beach City College and a member of the Student Success Task Force, presented “Faculty, Local Senates, State Senate & Student Success Task Force: We Need to Know What We Are Getting Into”

President-Hosted Events

Once again, I was happy to host three In-Service Week events – the Presidents’ Faculty Breakfast and Associate Faculty Dinner co-hosted by Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove, and the Presidents’ Classified Staff Luncheon co-hosted by Classified Senate President Donald Mineo.

At the faculty breakfast, I was pleased to announce 27 new tenure track faculty, which is one of the largest classes Saddleback has ever hired! I would like to thank everyone at the college – especially our Academic Senate and Board of Trustees – for being so supportive of our faculty. It was great to look out into the audience and see so many people who support our faculty and college, including Marcia Milchiker, clerk of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, and Chancellor Gary Poertner.

It was a pleasure to welcome our associate faculty at our associate faculty dinner, a tradition that was just started last year but has already become popular. The college is committed to providing more support for our more than 600 associate faculty and the dinner was a great way for them to get acquainted with the college and the services available to them. Teresa Bear, chemistry professor (and a former associate faculty member), Christina Hinkle, political science and history associate faculty, and Patti Flanigan, dean of online education and learning resources, provided excellent information about the Associate Faculty Support Committee.

Thank you to Bob Cosgrove for presenting information about the Academic Senate at both faculty events.

At the classified luncheon, I was pleased to announce even more new hires: Fifteen classified staff were welcomed to Saddleback. Speakers at the luncheon included South Orange County Community College District Trustees Dave Lang and Dr. Jim Wright, Donald Mineo, president of the classified senate, Sara Sheybani, CSEA president, and Dr. Caroline Durdella, director of planning, research and accreditation.

At each of these events, I was pleased to present the 2012 Annual Report for our Saddleback College Foundation that highlights many of the impressive gains over the last couple of years.  For example, our foundation’s endowment has grown from $500,000 in 2008 to $5 million today—a ten-fold increase in less than four years.  The foundation has also increased the amount of annual student scholarships from $198,000 to $339,000 over this same period.  For a copy of the Saddleback College Foundation Annual Report, please click here.

 

Renee Bangerter, liberal arts professor, presents the work she has done to bridge the gap between high school and college preparedness

The Annual State of the College Report – Complete to Compete

This year, I once again presented my Annual State of the College, which includes my top 10 projects for the 2012-13 academic year. I borrowed the title of my report, “Complete to Compete,” from the National Governors Association report on the need to improve college completion rates, which has become a priority in our nation, state, and district. The United States, once the world’s leader in education, has fallen behind in the education of its citizens – a vital component of our economic well-being.  To get us back to where we used to be, improved attainment of degrees and certificates has become a centerpiece of the national conversation on education.

President Obama has called for an increase of five million additional graduates by 2020 and California’s community colleges are being asked to increase their graduates by one million by 2020. This means that here at Saddleback we must double the number of completions.  This is a monumental task that is going to take the entire Saddleback community to achieve. Recently, our state legislators established criteria for meeting the challenge to meet this goal, and state Chancellor Jack Scott established the Student Success Task Force (SSTF), which analyzed system-wide topics related to student success and developed the following eight statewide recommendations:

  • Increase College and Career Readiness
  • Strengthen Support for Entering Students
  • Incentivize Successful Student Behaviors
  • Align Course Offerings to Meet Student Needs
  • Improve the Education of Basic Skills Students
  • Revitalize and Re-Envision Professional Development
  • Enable Efficient Statewide Leadership and Increase Coordination Among Colleges
  • Align Resources with Student Success Recommendations

We are already taking these recommendations seriously at Saddleback: We have made presentations to our Board of Trustees, will participate in college-wide student success discussions, are in the process of developing student success metrics and developing strategic planning, and we continue to do the fantastic work we do each day for the success of our students.

My Top 10 Projects

Again in this year’s report I presented my top 10 projects for the coming academic year.  While the college will continue to focus on strategic planning, accreditation, and other priority projects, I will be working on these projects with diverse groups on campus: This year, they are:

1. Student Success Task Force Recommendations - We need to develop strategies for implementing the SSTF recommendations and increase student completions.
2. High School Student Success Partnerships - We need to formalize relationships with our local high schools and have already been working with our outreach department to create an innovative pilot program that will be more broadly implemented.
3.  Student Completion Metrics – If we are going to improve completions, we need to first define what that means for our college.
4. Strategic Plan – This year we will be evaluating the effectiveness of our 2010-2013 strategic plan and update the planning process in preparation for development of the next plan.
5. New Faculty Training and Development - Develop and implement a year-long support program for new faculty hires that includes training for development.
6. Alcohol and Drug Prevention - Alcohol and drug abuse is a major issue for our students and can impact their success. We will be embarking on a college-wide effort to provide awareness and support to prevent abuse.
7. Campus Safety and Emergency Planning - Working closely with our police department, we will be updating our emergency preparedness and implement recommendations.
8. Foundation Personnel - Our foundation has be performing extraordinarily well, even with their limited resources they have. This year our director and the president of the board of governors will be finding ways to fund new positions to better support their mission.
9. Learning Resource Center – The LRC is opening on Monday and we will continue to improve it as well as host a grand opening early next year.
10. Student Payment Services and One-stop Veterans Center - Currently, the payment services are located across the quad from the Student Services Center (SSC), which is not convenient for our students. We are working on a reorganization to bring the payment offices into (SSC).

Click here to view the full text of my Annual State of the College Report.

As I stated last week, our college is fortunate to have the most accomplished faculty and best staff, administrators, and managers of any community college in the state.  Locally we have the finest k-12 schools and we get great students.  We arguably have the most financially stable district in the state with a great chancellor and board of trustees.  I know that by working together we can be a model college for enhancing student success and increasing student completions, and I hope you share in my excitement about our future.

Thank you for all that you do each day for our students, college, and community, and have a wonderful fall semester!

Saddleback Hires New Faculty and Staff

At this year’s In-Service presentations, President Burnett introduced the 27 new tenure track faculty and 15 new classified staff who will support the new student completion goals.

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of the Saddleback College community!

New Tenure Track Faculty

The newest faculty members pose with President Burnett and Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove

  • Amara Aguilar, Journalism
  • Ariel Ann Alexander, Music
  • Shellie Banga, English Composition
  • Jack Beckham, English Composition
  • Christina Bowles, Nursing
  • Donald P. Bowman, Accounting
  • Todd Brei, Physics
  • Deidre Cavazzi, Dance
  • Sarah Chang, Counselor
  • Kathryn Damm, Psychology
  • Stevie Daniels, English as a Second Language
  • David Charles Dixon, Physics
  • Michelle M. Duffy, Reading
  • Michael Engels, Counselor
  • Monica Friedrich, Biology
  • Esther Gravis, Nursing
  • Yorgos (Georgios) Kouritas, Music
  • Kenneth Lee, Horticulture
  • Laura Leedahl, Nursing
  • William Francis McGuire, Theater
  • Bouchra Nadeau, French
  • Orlantha Nin, Transfer Center Coordinator/Counselor
  • James “Patrick” Quigley II, Mathematics
  • John Richard Reese, Art
  • Kia Shafe, Mathematics
  • Jeff Vogel, Reading
  • Lydia Welhan, Librarian

New Classified Employees

President Burnett stands with the newest classified employees

  • Yvonne Belardes, Office Assistant, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Susan Cook, Administrative Assistant, Math, Science and Engineering
  • Edward De La O, Grants Analyst, Administrative Services
  • Ileana Grecu, Night Custodian, Facilities
  • Linda Hall, Senior Administrative Assistant, Business Science and Economic and Workforce Development
  • Rania Hamad, Career Services Technician, Counseling Services and Special Programs
  • Natalie Hart, Office Assistant, Student Development
  • Bonnie Minnis, Office Assistant, Community Education
  • Karen Kelley, Sr. Lab Technician, Math, Science and Engineering
  • Hochin Moon, Articulation Specialist, Counseling Services and Special Programs
  • Mason Roset, Photography/Art Lab Technician, Fine Arts and Media Technology
  • Ashley SanFilippo, Office Assistant, Online Education and Learning Resources
  • Randy Van Dyke, Cinema and TV Lab Technician, Fine Arts and Media Technology
  • Sheri Wenzel, Senior Accounting Specialist, Administrative Services
  • Karen Yang, Administrative Assistant, Liberal Arts

Newly Remodeled Learning Resource Center

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is a newly remodeled space that includes the library as well as several resources to support student success – tutoring services, the writing, reading, and language labs, study rooms, and computer work stations. The LRC opened its doors on August 20th, with all services being available within the first couple weeks of the fall 2012 semester.

What’s New?

The renovation has increased the usable space of the LRC building by 4,500 square feet, with a total usable area of 81,000 square feet. These space includes hundreds of computer work stations, 18 classrooms, 12 small-group study rooms, 18 new offices for faculty and staff in the Fine Arts and Media Technology, Liberal Arts, and Online Education and Learning Resources divisions, five labs, and two conference rooms.

Services Available in the Learning Resource Center

  • Library - All library services will be moved to the third floor of the LRC building by August 20th.
  • Tutoring services – Free group, individual, and drop-in tutoring will be available beginning September 4th and will be located on the second floor (LRC 212).
  • The writing, reading, and language labs – Students enrolled in certain classes are required to complete hours in one of these labs in addition to classroom time. All lab rooms are located on the second floor of the LRC.
  • Student newspaper – The Lariat’s work space will be located in the LRC beginning in fall 2012.
  • Computer stations – Students will have use of hundreds of computer work stations located throughout the LRC for college-related work.
  • Study rooms – There are 12 private and semi-private study rooms located in the LRC.

Welcome Week Open House Barbecue

On Wednesday, August 22nd from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., President Burnett will host a free Welcome Week barbecue in front of the LRC. The barbecue is open to students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and will include an open house of the LRC, including tours of the new building. Be sure to drop by and check out the beautiful new space, you won’t be disappointed!

Newly Remodeled Health Center Provides Saddleback College Students Affordable Physical and Mental Health Services

The newly redesigned, calm, and private waiting area in the Student Health Center

The newly remodeled Saddleback College Student Health Center provides free and low-cost physical and mental health services to an average of 40-100 students per day, including access to six physicians, five registered nurses, two licensed clinical psychologists, and eight counselors. For a fee of $18 per semester, the Student Health Center provides preventive care, prescription and over-the-counter medication, blood work, counseling appointments, eye exams, and education about health-related issues.

The updated center features two exam rooms, a trauma room that can accommodate a paramedic gurney, and several counseling rooms, with a secure electronic medical record system that increases privacy and decreases paperwork. Beginning on Monday, August 20th, the Student Health Center (SSC 177) hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. every day). For more information, including a complete list of services, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/shc/ or call (949) 582-4606.

“Saddleback College strives to provide the best for our students, both inside and outside the classroom,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “The staff in the Student Health Center does a fantastic job to ensure that our students are healthy enough to succeed, and this remodel provides our staff with the tools they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. I want to thank Jeanne Harris-Caldwell and her staff for all the hard work they put into this amazing update and renovation that will better serve our students and employees.”

Jeanne Harris-Caldwell shows off the trauma room that can accommodate a gurney

“Students cannot be successful unless they proactively maintain their physical and mental health,” stated Jeanne Harris-Caldwell, RN, director of the Student Health Center. “We are committed to providing high-quality care for our students regardless of age, health status, or whether or not they have health insurance.”

California Community Colleges Chancellor, Jack Scott, Retires

Dr. Tod Burnett, Saddleback College President, and Dr. Jack Scott, California Community Colleges Chancellor

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a retirement celebration for California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott whose retirement is effective September 1, 2012. The event, “A Sulte to Jack Scott: A Legacy of Service,” was a fitting tribute to Dr. Scott, who served as chancellor since January 2009 and has been a proponent for community colleges since he became president of Pasadena City College in 1987.

Dr. Scott’s legacy includes several sweeping reforms to support student success. Two of the Chancellor’s most innovative initiatives – the Associate Degree for Transfer program and the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force – will create a positive change for our students for many years to come.

Saddleback College was honored to have Dr. Scott speak at commencement in May where he imparted words of wisdom to the new graduates, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent. Throughout his career Dr. Scott has always been persistent and the 112 California community colleges are better because of him! Congratulations Dr. Scott on your retirement, you will be missed!

Please Attend Flex Week Beginning Today!

Summer is over for most of us, and it’s time to get back to doing what we all love to do: supporting our students.  This new academic year brings some exciting opportunities beginning with welcoming to our college family 27 new full-time tenured track faculty, four new administrators, and over 15 new classified staff.  The president looks forward to introducing all of them to you this week.  The Academic Senate’s faculty in-service week of activities begin today at 8:00 am with the Welcome Back Breakfast and Social.  Faculty, staff, and administration is encouraged to attend as many events as possible being held on campus throughout the week (click here for a complete schedule) including the following campus-wide events:

  • Welcome Back Breakfast and Social, Monday, August 13th, 8:00 am to 9:30 am, SSC 212
  • Faculty, Local Senates, State Senate and Student Success Task Force:  We Need to Know What We are Getting Into, Monday, August 13th, 9:30 am to 10:30 am, BGS 254
  • Chancellor’s Opening Session, Tuesday, August 14th, 8:00 am to 10:45 am, IVC Performing Arts Center
  • Presidents’ Faculty Breakfast, Wednesday, August 15th, 8:00 am to 10:00 am, SSC 212
  • Accreditation Follow-up and Midterm Report, Wednesday, August 15th, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, BGS 232
  • New Full-time Faculty Reception, Wednesday, August 15th, 4:00pm to 5:00 pm, AGB Conference Room
  • Presidents’ Associate Faculty Dinner, Thursday, August 16th, 4:30 pm to 6:45 pm, SSC 212
  • Presidents’ Classified Staff Luncheon, Friday, August 17th, 11:30 am to 1:30 am, SSC 212

You will be hearing a great deal about student success and increasing student completions over the coming years, which is what our faculty in-service is all about.

More than 209 First-Time Students Participate in Freshman Advantage Program

More than 200 incoming freshmen who tested into English 200 and/or Math 251 or lower were treated to a day on campus to meet with counselors, register for classes, and learn tips for ensuring their success at Saddleback College.

From left: Orlantha Nin, transfer center coordinator/counselor, Larry Perez, mathematics instructor, Doug Barr, counselor/professor, and Janet Ventura, counselor

Freshman Advantage is a BSI grant funded program largely spearheaded by the matriculation and counseling departments and included collaboration with the division of math science and liberal arts, the LAP, transfer center, career center, reading lab, financial aid, admission and records, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and the bookstore.

From Wednesday, July 25 through Saturday, July 28, students were paired with a counselor in one of four small groups based on their majors. The day started with a fun ice breaker with Learning Disabilities Instructor Mike Hoggatt followed by a PTK student speaker and a presentation by Professor Larry Perez. The day also included a financial aid information session, a campus tour, and a session during which students logged into MySite and created a MAP.  Students who were ready to register did so and the bookstore had their required textbooks waiting for them at a bookstore orientation.

A happy student!

After fully matriculating, early bird students were given the opportunity to opt into the free workshop and filled out a questionnaire that included information about their educational and career goals. The support for these students continues throughout the year. Students will be tracked during the fall semester and those who successfully complete their English and Math are guaranteed a seat in their next required basic skill or remedial English and Math course.  The counselors will also utilize SHERPA to keep in touch with the students and ensure that they stay on track.

Freshman Advantage was created in response to the high percentage of first-time freshmen that make up the total number of students on academic probation. In the 2011/12 school year, approximately 43% of the students who were on academic probation were freshmen.