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!

Saddleback Hosts Student Success Task Force Meeting

Photo Courtesy of Michael O'Meara

Saddleback College hosted a student success town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 8th attended by nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, and community members who were given the opportunity to provide suggestions about ways to increase student completions at  the state’s community college system.

The town hall was part of a series of  meetings held by Chancellor Jack Scott’s statewide Student Success Task Force that is examining ways to improve student achievement in California.  The task force has produced a draft of recommendations for development of a plan to be adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and presented to the state legislature by no later than March 2012.

At the town hall, the draft recommendations were presented and discussed by Task Force representatives  Dr. Yasmin Delahoussaye, Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Programs and Institutional Effectiveness at Los Angeles Community College District, Dr. Melinda Nish, President of the California Community College Chancellor’s Instructional Office Executive Board and Vice President for Instruction at Orange Coast College, and Erik Skinner, Executive Vice Chancellor of Programs at the California State Community College Chancellor’s Office. Participants were provided opportunities to bring forth questions and comments to these representatives, which would be considered by the task force in preparation of the final recommendations to be presented to the board of governors and legislature.

It was a pleasure to host the Student Success Task Force and to give our community the chance to speak about the many issues facing community colleges and our services for students. I am confident that the feedback provided will be vital in enhancing student success and shaping the future of California’s community colleges.

Chancellor Gary L. Poertner, said, “Student completion is a top priority and this town hall meeting was an important step in ensuring our students are given the greatest opportunity to succeed. I look forward to seeing the final report so we can turn the recommendations into action.”

While the Student Success Task Force has held  several student success meetings throughout the state, the November 8th town hall at Saddleback College  was the only meeting that was held in Orange County. Students and community members of all ages filled the room and provided feedback about a host of issues including financial aid, prioritizing classes, and partnering with local high schools.

To learn more about the Student Success Task Force and view the draft  recommendations, please visit