Thank You Saddleback Team: $15 Million Career Pathways Grant Award

Dear faculty, staff, management, and other members of our Saddleback College family:

It gives me great pleasure to announce that today we learned that our efforts to secure a $15 million competitive grant from the state have been successful.  This award is particularly significant in that it is the first time that our entire county—all K-12, higher education, and business and industry—came together to partner on expanding career pathways for students throughout our region.  The press release below provides more information on the award, and the California Department of Education announcement can be viewed at:  http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr14/yr14rel58.asp.

I am especially proud of the leadership role that our college played in making this happen.  The origins of our partnership with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) began back in December when Superintendent Al Mijares and I met to discuss educational opportunities, specifically common core and K-career pathways.  When the state announced the $250 million California Career Pathways Trust grant opportunity in February, OCDE and Saddleback immediately partnered to help lead an unprecedented effort for bringing together all K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, and business and industry to form the Orange County Career Pathways Partnership.  Our Saddleback team, along with OCDE and many other partners, spent hundreds of hours working on developing the consortium, writing the grant application, and making a final presentation to the selection committee in Sacramento.  And the results speak for themselves.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few of our colleagues who worked tirelessly on this effort, beginning with Dr. Kathy Werle, vice president for instruction, who was our lead person.  In addition, Roxanne Metz, Edward De La O, Catherine Arreguin, Tony Teng, Don Busché, and Mary Anstadt provided endless support, along with assistance from Professors Glen Stevenson and Penny Skaff.  We owe these colleagues a great deal of thanks for their outstanding work and in representing Saddleback and the South Orange County Community College District with great distinction.

As we have been discussing for the past few years, the future success of many of our students will depend upon our college’s ability to form viable and lasting partnerships with our many community partners, beginning with K-12 and business and industry.  Today’s impressive achievement with the California Career Pathways Trust is an excellent step in the right direction.  We are also taking many other steps in the right direction, thanks to our amazing faculty, staff, management, and community.

Congratulations to Saddleback and partners, and now let’s get started on implementing this program!

Sincerely,

Tod Burnett
President

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