Saddleback Librarian April Cunningham to Serve as Curriculum Designer for AiA project

April Cunningham has been selected to serve as a curriculum designer/facilitator for  “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA), a three-year project conceived by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. April’s role will be to create dynamic and authentic learning experiences for participating librarians using blended learning and peer-to-peer collegial relationships resulting in action learning projects.

April is the Instruction Coordinator Librarian at Saddleback College. She leads the library in all forms of instruction, including library workshops, class orientations, embedded librarian projects, and credit library classes.  April has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in Community Colleges from CSU Fullerton and a Masters of Library and Information Science from UCLA.  She is currently serving as the Director-at-Large for Community Colleges for the California Association of College and Research Libraries.  At Saddleback, she is the library’s representative on the Educational Planning and Assessment Committee and also serves on the Academic Senate Student Success Committee.

-By Elizabeth Horan

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!

Annual President’s Chat

This week I held a President’s Chat, where all college employees are invited to ask questions about any topic in an informal setting.  I was very pleased with the turnout and was happy to see that all of our governance groups were well represented.

The first question allowed me to address a topic that is of interest to many: smoking on campus. Saddleback allows smoking on campus, except inside a building or within 25 feet of a building’s entrance.  I was asked if there was any way to make our campus smoke-free. Currently, Associated Student Government (ASG) is conducting a survey to gauge the mood of their peers and will decide on a plan of action when they get the survey results. Once ASG provides its recommendation, college administration will determine the next steps.

In light of recent reports about the Cal State System’s enrollment freeze, the group voiced their concerns about how this would affect students. The sad news is that higher education cutbacks have already begun to affect our students, we are more impacted than ever and even our highly-qualified transfer prospects are finding it increasingly difficult to get into a CSU or UC.  Despite all of this, there are some positive things — we have secured new TAG agreements to CSU and UCs, and our top feeder school, CSU Fullerton, is one of the few that is still accepting spring transfers.  It is our responsibility to make our transfer students as competitive as possible, which is something that everyone in the Saddleback community is dedicated to doing.

As the state budget continues to deteriorate, it will be interesting to see how the community college system adapts and at least one school is already taking drastic steps to serve their students:  Santa Monica College has proposed a tiered pricing systems. This topic was raised at the chat and it is something that we are definitely watching.

I also provided a library and learning resource center update.  The new building is expected to be ready for services at the start of the fall semester and we will begin moving stacks and personnel during the summer. A grand opening event is expected to occur during the fall semester.

Other topics included the Student Success Task Force update and the ATEP campus. The task force recommendations are currently going through the legislative process, but the good news is that we are already doing many of the recommended steps to improve student success. The SOCCCD Board of Trustees recently approved a proposal for ATEP, which will give Saddleback and IVC the opportunity to develop on the land. We are very excited about the Allied Health Center for Innovation and Healthcare Education, which will be the leading healthcare training center in the country. More details will be coming about the site, including industry and educational partners.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the President’s Chat and please keep an eye out for future invitations!