Saddleback Wins Grant for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Saddleback College was awarded $495,534 by the California Apprenticeship Initiative, Pre-Apprenticeship Program to prepare students identified as at-risk for apprenticeship opportunities through the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Consortium (M-PAC). Recognized as one of the most effective training methods, apprenticeships combine classroom instruction with work-based learning. The M-PAC program addresses the need for a manufacturing workforce in Orange County, where over the next 10 years the need for skilled workers will far exceed the supply.

Despite Orange County’s prominence as a manufacturing base, no manufacturing apprenticeship programs currently exist in the region. Collaborating with the Southern California Tool and Die, Mold, Machinist and Metal Trades Apprenticeship Committee, M-PAC will focus on workforce skills development, industry need, a coordinated and integrated system of support for regional apprenticeship training, and providing historically underserved populations with skills for success in manufacturing apprenticeship. Students in the program will be provided work readiness soft skills training, simulated lab experiences, and student support services to prepare them for apprenticeship opportunities in manufacturing.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “The pre-apprenticeship program is part of our continued emphasis in developing workforce partnerships to create a new generation of workers. This unique program will greatly benefit students who seek apprenticeship opportunities while also helping local business benefit from high-quality and highly-trained workers. ”

Anthony Teng, dean of advanced technology and applied science, stated, “In today’s job market, where employers are looking for experienced, trained workers, apprenticeships provide the necessary real world experience that prepare tomorrow’s workers.”

M-PAC will identify potential participants such as non-traditional students, the unemployed and underemployed, economically disadvantaged, veterans, foster youth, and others. Outreach efforts will be a collaborative effort with K-12 districts, Regional Occupation Programs, the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, and social service agencies.

Mark McElroy Selected National Coach of the Year


Pictured from left to right: Kerry Crabb (asst. coach), Mark McElroy (head coach), Tony Lipold (Athletic Director), and Steve Crapo (asst. coach).

Saddleback Head Coach Mark McElroy has been named the 2015 American Community College Football Coaches Association (ACCFCA) Coach of the Year. The award was presented to McElroy at the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year Dinner on January 12 at the 2016 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

“I am completely honored and humbled by this Coach of the Year Award and accept it on behalf of my coaching staff and the Gauchos of 2015 for, without their focused purpose, passion and perseverance, I would not have been chosen for this award,” McElroy said.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Coach McElroy epitomizes what it means to be a great coach. His commitment to his student-athletes and their academic performance is second to none, and his athletic coaching skills are evidenced by the performance of our football teams year after year. Congratulations to Coach McElroy for this well-deserved recognition.”

McElroy recently completed his 17th season as the head coach at Saddleback College and led the Gauchos to a 10-3 overall record and an appearance in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Football State Championship game. The Gauchos reeled off 10 straight wins after starting the season 0-2, capturing the National Division Southern League title and beating Long Beach City College to win the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) championship, which earned the Gauchos a trip to the CCCAA State Championship game. Saddleback fell to the City College of San Francisco in the CCCAA State Championship game, 26-14.

“Coach McElroy is most deserving of the AFCA Community College Coach of the Year award for 2015,” Athletic Director Tony Lipold said. “His won/loss record, his football knowledge, and the success of this year’s team all contributed to his nomination and selection. But what is most important in the equation is his leadership and his commitment to his players, and in developing student-athletes both in the classroom and on the field that we can all be proud of.”

McElroy has an overall record of 125-63 and has led Saddleback to four conference titles. The Gauchos also advanced into post-season play for an SCFA record 13 straight seasons (2001-13), and 14 out of the last 15 years. McElroy has been named CCCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2006, 2015) and conference Coach of the Year four times.

Saddleback finished the season ranked No. 2 in the state by JC Athletic Bureau and No. 5 in the nation by Sophomore quarterback Johnny Stanton was named by the JC Athletic Bureau to the first-team All-America list and the state’s Offensive Player of the Year. Sophomore safety Marcus Meredith was named first-team All-America on defense. The pair was joined by wide receiver Dominic Collins, center Markus Boyer, and offensive lineman Jake Nelson on the all-state list. McElroy was also named as the region’s Coach of the Year.

One Book, One College Debuts this Semester


Faculty gather to hear how to incorporate the One Book, One College selection “Fives and Twenty-Fives,” into their curriculum.

The One Book, One College selection, Fives and Twenty-Fives, will debut this semester and faculty gathered this week to learn how their colleagues will be incorporating the book into their curriculum. Instructor, Erin O’Shea, shared ways she was using themes in the book to create projects in her Art (Design) courses.

This is the first year that Saddleback College is participating in One Book, One College. The spring 2016 selection Fives and Twenty-Fives, by former Marine Michael Pitre provides a unique and provocative perspective on war, one that explores its impact on those who fight, how the U.S. treats its veterans when they return home, our lack of sensitivity to invaded citizenry, and the futility of the Iraq War in particular.

Events and activities planned for the semester include Red Chair Tuesdays, Movie Wednesdays, Theme Thursdays, and Book Club Friday. In April, the author will visit the campus for a talk and potential classroom visits.

For more information, visit the One Book, One College website.

Sue and Bill Gross Establish $1 Million Endowment to Benefit Saddleback College Students


Saddleback College is pleased to announce that Sue and Bill Gross, of Laguna Beach, have established a $1 million endowment to provide scholarships to students in career technical education programs that lead directly to jobs in skilled occupations with a strong employment outlook. The Sue and Bill Gross Scholars Endowment will support students in programs that can be completed in two years or less that lead to jobs that pay a living wage in Orange County.

The scholarships provide much-needed funding to help students pay for their college education, but also address the profound increase in available jobs that require education or training beyond high school, but often less than a bachelor’s degree.

The generous endowment follows the Gross Scholars Program established in 2014, which has provided $500,000 in scholarships for students in the “forgotten middle” – students who have an unmet financial need yet are ineligible for a full Pell Grant or other government assistance to pay for college – who successfully complete education and career training at Saddleback College and secure skilled jobs.

“Investing in Saddleback students is an investment in our regional economy,” said Sue Gross, Gross Family Foundation President. “These scholarships will provide financial support to students who are investing in their futures, giving them the ability to focus on their career training without worrying about how they are going to pay for their studies.”

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Sue and Bill Gross must be commended for taking this bold step for students in the ‘forgotten middle,’ and for recognizing the contributions of community colleges as a vehicle for economic growth. We at Saddleback greatly appreciate their continued generosity and are delighted that their financial support will give students the ability to train for rewarding jobs with competitive salaries.”

Scholarships will be available to current Saddleback students who are veterans, displaced workers, or other adult learners who possess a high school diploma or general education development credential and are currently enrolled in a CTE program. High school seniors with a 2.5 or better grade point average will also be eligible if they have completed at least one course in a defined career pathway through a Regional Occupational Program, a CTE program at Saddleback College, or a local high school academy. Scholarship recipients will be required to maintain a 2.5 or better GPA.

Nazly Reyes, a Gross Scholars Program recipient and Saddleback nursing program graduate, said, “Thank you, Gross Family! With your kindness I was able to achieve my Associate in Science degree in nursing with a 4.0 grade point average. I am happy to report that I am currently employed at Fountain Valley Hospital as a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery. Dreams do come true!”

For information on the Gross Family Foundation, please contact Mark Porterfield at

The Saddleback College Foundation initiates and coordinates college and community fundraising in support of Saddleback College and its students. By raising funds for scholarships and other programs, which directly benefit students, the foundation is committed to increasing student success and the enhancing the excellent education offered by Saddleback College. Guided by a group of dedicated community leaders, the foundation strives to make higher education attainable for all in south Orange County. For more information, please visit