The Start of 2013/2014 Academic Year

On Monday we kicked off the start of the 2013/2014 academic year at Saddleback College.  As I mentioned throughout last week including at the faculty breakfast, associate faculty dinner, and classified staff luncheon, the next 12 months promise to be an exciting period in our college’s history.  The title of this year’s Annual State of the College is The Next Five Years.  For a copy, please click here.  In 2018, Saddleback will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and over the next year we will be greatly determining how our college will look in five years.  After impressive accomplishments for Saddleback over the past five years due to the tremendous efforts of our students, faculty, staff, management, and community, we are ideally positioned to take our college to the next level of success.  The coming year presents many opportunities for our college community to shape the future of Saddleback by finalizing our new six-year strategic plan, instituting college-wide efforts for enhancing student success, developing a comprehensive enrollment management plan, creating a model economic and workforce development plan, and supporting employee success.  Together our efforts over the next five years can ensure that Saddleback is the first choice college for attaining degrees, certificates, transfer, basic skills, and life-long learning.

During this past week’s Flex Week activities we were pleased to introduce to the college community our 15 new full-time faculty and 16 new classified staff, as well as our new vice president for instruction, director of technology services, student payment and veterans office manager, grants and contracts manager, director of annual giving, and police chief.  We are excited to welcome these new additions to our Saddleback Family and look forward to working with them.  To see a listing of all new employees, please click here.

Also this past week, we were pleased to present the 2013 Annual Report for our Saddleback College Foundation that highlights many accomplishments made over the past year and beyond.  I am particularly proud to highlight the fact that our foundation raised a record amount of scholarship funds last year.  We awarded 326 students a total of $509,790, which was a 50% increase over the prior year.  For a copy of the Saddleback College Foundation 2012/2013 Annual Report, please click here.

Saddleback had another successful year in 2012/2013, and the coming year promises to be equally successful.  The past five years have been highly successful, and the next five years will also be highly successful if we continue walking down the same path.  In 2018 our college will turn 50, and  I am confident that we will not only be celebrating Saddleback’s golden anniversary, but also the tremendous accomplishments of our students, employees, and community.  Saddleback will be the state’s leading community college for student success, and we will be the first choice college of our  community and beyond.

Thank you for all that you do each and every day for our students.  Have a wonderful fall semester!

Saddleback College Gears Up for Homecoming 2012

On Saturday, September 29th, Saddleback College will host its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events, entertainment and food, an Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony at halftime, and the first 2012 conference football game versus Santa Ana College. Pre-game tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  Admission to the game is $10.00 for general admission and $6.00 for students, seniors, children, and active-duty military; on-campus parking will be free. Several of the pre-game festivities are free but some will require admission into the stadium.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which will feature a live band, Waffle-icious food truck, kids’ games, a bounce house and ball pit. During the tailgate, donations will be collected for several local charities.

During halftime, 74 Saddleback College alumni will be presented with medallions and inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was started in 1980 and new members are inducted every four years.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President of Saddleback College, stated, “All are invited to attend what will be a great Homecoming football event where the Gauchos are sure to play a great game against the Santa Ana Dons. The work of our students and athletics department in the planning of fun pre-game and halftime festivities will help to make this an event to remember.  I encourage all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to come out for this wonderful annual tradition.”

 

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!

Community Invited to 12th Annual Gala to Raise Money for Student Scholarships and Campus Programs

Saddleback College invites all community members to the 12th annual foundation gala on Saturday, March 31st at 6:00 p.m. in the college’s gymnasium.  Tickets include gaming, a silent auction, dinner, music, and no-host cocktails.  This year’s theme is “A Glamorous Night of Stars” and will feature a tribute to five local community “stars” who have significantly donated to the college: The Bernard Osher Foundation, Dorothy Marie Lowry, Kia Motors, Linda Richardson Rice, and the Saddleback College Associated Student Government.

The gala will highlight the work of Saddleback students:  Culinary arts students will prepare and serve appetizers and desserts, fine arts students will accompany music instructor Joey Sellers’ jazz band to provide entertainment, event décor is being done by students of the Entertainment and Theatre Technology program, there will be several pieces painted by students that can be purchased, and a graphics class designed several printed pieces for the event.

Tickets are $100 each, $800 for a table of eight, or $1,000 for a table of 10.  Sponsorships for the event are available at two levels, Gold ($5,000) and Silver ($2,500).   For sponsorship opportunities or to reserve your tickets, please visit the event’s website at foundation.saddleback.edu/gala, call 949.582.4479, or email scfound@saddleback.edu.

“One of the most important missions of the Saddleback College Foundation is to raise money for students and the annual gala has always been the cornerstone for student scholarships,” said Donna Varner, President of Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors. “We are so thankful to our many sponsors, especially our Gold Sponsors — Cox Communications, Mercedes Benz of Laguna Niguel and South County Bank — as well as to every individual and business that donated the wonderful items for the silent auction.”

Saddleback College’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year, Nico Melendez, will also be honored at the gala.  After completing his general education at Saddleback College, Mr. Melendez transferred to Chaminade University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in historical and political studies.  He then earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University in 2000. Currently, Mr. Melendez is a professional broadcaster/communicator working for the Transportation Security Administration. An officer in the United States Naval Reserve, Mr. Melendez was named the 66th Assembly District Veteran of the Year in 2011.

The Saddleback College gymnasium is located at 28000 Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to (949) 582-4479, or email scfound@saddleback.edu. Business casual attire is recommended; no jeans, please.

Emeritus Institute Honors Dorothy Marie Lowry’s $2.2 Million Endowment, the Largest Single Gift to the College Foundation

To celebrating the single largest gift made to the Saddleback College Foundation, the Emeritus Institute hosted a tea to celebrate the donor – Dorothy Marie Lowry, a former emeritus student who has endowed $2.2 million. Lowry was a loyal Saddleback student for more than 10 years, having never missed a semester since her first class in 1999 until she passed away in 2011.  She took many classes in physical fitness, film literature, and art.

A highlight of the event was when the niece of Dorothy Marie Lowry, Barbara Bauer, shared the wonderful news that her aunt donated an additional $800,000 to the Emeritus Institute, bringing the total of her donation to a very generous $2.2 million.

Ms. Bauer said, “My aunt moved to Laguna Woods without knowing a single person, and the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute allowed her to meet great friends and to explore new interests. She loved the classes, teachers, and the idea of lifelong learning.”

Our Emeritus Institute is cherished by our college, district, and community alike. Due to a very generous gift from the Dorothy Marie Lowry Trust and with future gifts made to our foundation from the community, we will be able to offer Emeritus classes with minimal fees and provide scholarships to students who are unable to afford the fees and class materials.

Sandra Marzilli, Director of the Emeritus Institute, thanks Dorothy's Family for her Generous Donation

Sandra Marzilli, Director of the Emeritus Institute, said, “Wow! I am blown away by Dorothy Marie Lowry’s generosity. There are more than 300 emeritus students are in attendance today, but I know that another 10,000 of our students would want to personally thank the family for this gift.”

The event was a sell-out, attended by almost 400 Emeritus Institute students, faculty, and staff, and officials including Bob Ring, Mayor Pro Tem of Laguna Woods, Joe Brown, Mayor Pro Tem of Laguna Niguel, Nancy Padberg, President of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, and Gary Poertner, Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District. Also in attendance was Bauer’s daughter, Annemarie Alley, and her mother, Norma Carlsen.

The Saddleback College Emeritus Institute was established as a unique educational opportunity for the pursuit and enhancement of lifelong learning for the older adult population. The college offer more than 150 emeritus courses held at more than 25 convenient locations throughout South Orange County and successfully serves approximately 10,000 students annually.

Adapted Kinesiology Walkathon Raises $10,000

The Saddleback College Foundation and the Adapted Kinesiology Program hosted a walkathon fundraiser on Wednesday, December 14th where they raised $10,000 and welcomed about 100 walkers to the trak. Proceeds from the event will help fund the Adapted Kinesiology Program, which helps students with developmental and physical disabilities stay active. In addition to the walkathon, the event featured a BallPark Pizza buffet lunch, demonstrations from Adapted Cycles, a Wounded Warriors obstacle course, and a Tai Chi demonstration.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President of Saddleback College, stated, “It is truly inspiring to see the dedication of so many students, faculty, staff, management, and community members work to preserve the invaluable services like those found in our college’s Adapted Kinesiology programs. Events like the ‘Back on Track’ walkathon provide innovative solutions to raise additional funds so that we can continue offering vital programs that serve our students and community.”

Terence Nelson, Assistant Dean of Counseling Services and Special Programs, stated, “The Adapted Kinesiology Program is important for the entire community as it helps adults of all ages who suffer from disabilities. The funds raised will go to a program that supports students with various challenges such as autism, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other chronic pain problems. The program is highly regarded and effectively run, touching the lives of hundreds of our community members.”

“Over the last few years, the Adapted Kinesiology Program has grown remarkably while our operating budget has declined due to the state’s financial situation. This fundraiser will allow us to continue to provide vital exercise programs for 350 disabled adults each semester, programs that can help keep people physically and mentally healthy,” stated Mike Bennett, Adapted Kinesiology instructor.

Saddleback College to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of 9/11

To pay tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001 and those who died in subsequent action, Saddleback College will be hosting a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the college’s veterans memorial on Thursday, September 8th at 4:00 p.m.

Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett and Associated Student Government President Joseph Hassine will provide the opening remarks, Emergency Medical Technician faculty member Ruth Grubb will lead a moment of silence, Marine Corps Veteran and Saddleback College student Elizabeth Tepe will speak, and student Chase Chandler will perform Taps.

Saddleback College 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony
Date: Thursday, September 8th
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Campus Quad in front of the Veterans Memorial
Parking: Free parking in Lot 5 during the event

Saddleback College Foundation Flag Day Ceremony

Please join us for a Flag Day ceremony honoring veterans at the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial. The newest memorial bricks will be revealed and light refreshments will be served.

What: Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett to Speak

Color Guard Presentation

Wreath-Laying Ceremony

Soloist to Performance of the National Anthem

When:Tuesday, June 14, 2011

11:30 a.m. – Light refreshments will be served

12:00 p.m. – Program Begins

Where: Saddleback College Veterans Memorial, Park in Lot 5

28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, California 92692

For more information, call the Saddleback College Veterans Office, (949) 582-4871

A Record-Breaking $270,000 in Scholarships Awarded at Saddleback College Ceremony

President Burnett and Outstanding Student of the Year Cassandra Ong. Photo Credit: Jenny Loya

A record-breaking $270,000 in scholarships was awarded to 145 students at Saddleback College’s 35th annual Scholarship Ceremony on Thursday, May 12th.  More than 138 individual scholarships were donated by businesses, organizations, community members, and the Saddleback College Associated Student Government, which donated more than $82,000 in scholarships and underwrote the expenses for the ceremony. Forty-nine scholarships worth more than $43,000 were funded by the Bernard Osher Scholarship Fund.

The evening began with the presentation of the ASG President’s Award, which is bestowed to a student who has demonstrated excellent leadership at Saddleback College, and the Outstanding Student Award, which is presented to a student that has shown exemplary leadership, community involvement, and academic achievement. Cassandra Ong, who aspires to be an accountant, was presented the President’s Award by Dr. Burnett. Ms. Ong’s academic goal is to major in accounting in either the University of California or California State University  to pursue an accounting degree and currently holds a 4.0 GPA.  The Outstanding Student of the Year Award went to Tcharles Fagundes, who received his Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration at Saddleback College in 2009. Since graduating, Mr. Fagundes discovered a desire to help less fortunate people as a physician and changed his academic major to health care.

Ms. Varner presented the Donor of the Year Award to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Mission Viejo-Saddleback Valley. AAUW has contributed to the scholarship program for 10 years, exceeding $30,000 in donations.  For the past three years, the group has also contributed to the Osher Endowment.

The Saddleback College Scholarship Ceremony is an annual event that started in 1976, when 45 donors contributed just over $12,000 to some 60 students. Thirty-five years later, more than $4 million in scholarships have been awarded to deserving Saddleback College students.