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!

Newly Remodeled Health Center Provides Saddleback College Students Affordable Physical and Mental Health Services

The newly redesigned, calm, and private waiting area in the Student Health Center

The newly remodeled Saddleback College Student Health Center provides free and low-cost physical and mental health services to an average of 40-100 students per day, including access to six physicians, five registered nurses, two licensed clinical psychologists, and eight counselors. For a fee of $18 per semester, the Student Health Center provides preventive care, prescription and over-the-counter medication, blood work, counseling appointments, eye exams, and education about health-related issues.

The updated center features two exam rooms, a trauma room that can accommodate a paramedic gurney, and several counseling rooms, with a secure electronic medical record system that increases privacy and decreases paperwork. Beginning on Monday, August 20th, the Student Health Center (SSC 177) hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. every day). For more information, including a complete list of services, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/shc/ or call (949) 582-4606.

“Saddleback College strives to provide the best for our students, both inside and outside the classroom,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “The staff in the Student Health Center does a fantastic job to ensure that our students are healthy enough to succeed, and this remodel provides our staff with the tools they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. I want to thank Jeanne Harris-Caldwell and her staff for all the hard work they put into this amazing update and renovation that will better serve our students and employees.”

Jeanne Harris-Caldwell shows off the trauma room that can accommodate a gurney

“Students cannot be successful unless they proactively maintain their physical and mental health,” stated Jeanne Harris-Caldwell, RN, director of the Student Health Center. “We are committed to providing high-quality care for our students regardless of age, health status, or whether or not they have health insurance.”

More than 209 First-Time Students Participate in Freshman Advantage Program

More than 200 incoming freshmen who tested into English 200 and/or Math 251 or lower were treated to a day on campus to meet with counselors, register for classes, and learn tips for ensuring their success at Saddleback College.

From left: Orlantha Nin, transfer center coordinator/counselor, Larry Perez, mathematics instructor, Doug Barr, counselor/professor, and Janet Ventura, counselor

Freshman Advantage is a BSI grant funded program largely spearheaded by the matriculation and counseling departments and included collaboration with the division of math science and liberal arts, the LAP, transfer center, career center, reading lab, financial aid, admission and records, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and the bookstore.

From Wednesday, July 25 through Saturday, July 28, students were paired with a counselor in one of four small groups based on their majors. The day started with a fun ice breaker with Learning Disabilities Instructor Mike Hoggatt followed by a PTK student speaker and a presentation by Professor Larry Perez. The day also included a financial aid information session, a campus tour, and a session during which students logged into MySite and created a MAP.  Students who were ready to register did so and the bookstore had their required textbooks waiting for them at a bookstore orientation.

A happy student!

After fully matriculating, early bird students were given the opportunity to opt into the free workshop and filled out a questionnaire that included information about their educational and career goals. The support for these students continues throughout the year. Students will be tracked during the fall semester and those who successfully complete their English and Math are guaranteed a seat in their next required basic skill or remedial English and Math course.  The counselors will also utilize SHERPA to keep in touch with the students and ensure that they stay on track.

Freshman Advantage was created in response to the high percentage of first-time freshmen that make up the total number of students on academic probation. In the 2011/12 school year, approximately 43% of the students who were on academic probation were freshmen.

 

Online Learning Student Success Rate Increases by Three Percent in One Year!

Thanks to all of the hard work by the entire Distance and Online Education Program Team, success rates for online courses increased by almost 3% since fall 2010. This is the largest success rate increase for any instructional method.  Success is defined by a student earning a grade of A, B, C, or Credit/Pass.

There has also been a steady increase in the number of students taking online courses throughout the last ten years. In fall 2001, 1,858 students were enrolled in online courses; this number has grown to 11,704 students in Fall 2011.

College Efforts Leading to Increased Student Success in Online Classes

How to Succeed in Online Classes WorkshopsIn Fall 2011, the program initiated a grant-funded pilot program that included a series of four-hour workshops.  Professors Claire Cesareo-Silva, Christina Smith, Elizabeth Horan, and Christina Nigrelli facilitated these workshops. In Fall 2011, there were three workshops with a total of 32 students in attendance.  In Spring 2012, they doubled the offerings to six workshops and nearly quadrupled their attendance to 123 students!

Reconfigured Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education (CIDDE) to be more conductive to faculty training.

Student Technical Support Taskforce:  In Fall 2011, a Taskforce on Student Technical Support was formed that included campus and district faculty, staff, and administrators.  In a year the task force has

  • Revitalized the Student Technical Support Website
  • Created information cards
  • Established a technical help email address (scstudenthelp@saddleback.edu)
  • Worked closely with the district to update MySite
  • Developed and implemented new associate faculty orientations in CIDDE
  • Strengthened student support in the Information Booth, Village 4 computer lab, and the IMC Lab
  • Created new student tutorials that will be launched this summer

Thank you to the Dean of Online Education and Learning Resources, Dr. Patti Flanigan, and her entire support team for helping our students succeed! Special thanks to those who supported this effort: Jane Rosenkrans, Leslie Humphrey, and Craig Connor for their support and input on the taskforce, Claire Cesareo-Silva, Christina Smith, Christina Nigrelli, and Elizabeth Horan for their efforts on the workshops, Jenny Langrell for her support as the DE faculty coordinator, Valerie Senior, Vivian Nguyen, and Thomas McKenzie for their role in faculty training in CIDDE, Dr. Don Buschè for his support on reconfiguring CIDDE, and Matt Miller for his work on the student tutorials.

Saddleback Student Wins Outstanding Abstract Award at Statewide Honors Conference

Learon Inbar speaks to the plenary about her research

At the Honors Transfer Council of California’s (HTCC) annual statewide conference, Saddleback College student Learon Inbar was named as one of four winners of the Outstanding Abstract Award and took home a  $500 scholarship prize. Learon is in her second year at Saddleback and is studying a mix of art and theater, with an ultimate goal of becoming a theater costume and set designer. She is hoping to transfer to UCLA or Berkeley in the fall and, eventually, attend graduate school so she can teach and conduct research, in addition to theater work.

The HTTC conference took place at UCI on March 31 and involved students from member schools who were chosen by the council to present research in their field of choice. Learon presented the 400-word abstract and the results of her research to the council during the conference.

“I had taken the Honors Humanities 10A class with Professor Chattopadhyay and Professor Rosenberg, and that particular semester we had focused on the art and intellectual development of the Middle Ages in Europe; this led to my chosen time period for my research,” Learon said about her paper’s inspiration. She wrote about what textiles meant for people in the Middle Ages and found interesting connections between levels of power and a person’s evidence of wealth.

Two more students, Jonathan Fisher and Austin Burrow, were also honored as Exemplary Achievement scholarship winners at the event. Congratulations to all of our award-winning honors students!

Two of our students, Jonathan Fisher and Austin Burrow, are among these Exemplary Achievement scholarship winners

The Saddleback College Honors Program is an interdisciplinary effort to develop exceptional talent, ability, and scholarship in highly motivated students. It is not a club, service organization, or even a recognition of past academic achievement. It is, rather, a path to further and higher achievements. Any Saddleback College student may enroll in any Honors class. No special permission is required. If you would like more information about the Honors Program, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/honors/.

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!

Congratulations to Forensics Team Member Andrew Ronquillo for Advancing to Interstate Speech Competition!

Forensics Team member Andrew Ronquillo made Saddleback College history  when he placed first in the persuasion category at the Spring Regional Championships, where he bested several four-year university and community college competitors. With his win, Andrew will represent California at the Interstate Oratory Competition at Emerson College in Boston, the first trip to the national competition for any Saddleback student.

Andrew Ronquillo will Represent California in an Interstate Speech Competition

Coach Larry Radden will accompany Andrew to Boston at the end of April where he will present his speech on international land grabbing. The speech focuses mainly on Africa, but also on Latin America, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and other underdeveloped nations. Andrew’s argument is that land grabs harm the environment and disregard human rights.

Co-Director Larry Radden will accompany Andrew and stated, “Andrew Ronquillo is the pinnacle example of an excellent student, a leader and a Forensics competitor. Andrew was in my Speech I class in the summer of 2010, and he was so eloquent and focused that I knew I must invite him to become a part of our team. Here we are 18 months later and he has reached a goal that the select few will ever achieve as he represents the state of California at interstate oratory.  I look forward to taking Andrew to Emerson College.”

Congratulations and good luck Andrew, the Saddleback community is proud!!!

Source information:  press release entitled “Andrew Ronquillo Makes Saddleback College History at Regional Championships,” distributed by Nina Welch

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 http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/PolicyInAction/StudentSuccessTaskForce.aspx.

Dr. Georgina Guy, EOPS/CARE Coordinator, Receives California Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Georgina Guy

EOPS (Extended Opportunity Program and Services)/CARE Coordinator and CalWORKs Director Dr. Georgina Guy was given the Outstanding Service Award by the California Community Colleges EOPS Association. Dr. Guy’s staff submitted the nomination form in hopes of recognizing her for going above and beyond the call of duty. One California EOPS employee is chosen for the Outstanding Service Award for making an “outstanding contribution and provided outstanding services to EOP&S.”

Orlantha Nin, EOPS Counselor, stated “Dr. Guy deserves this award for her tireless efforts to advocate for college students in the EOPS population.  She does this at the local level by coordinating our program at Saddleback College and she is also very involved in advocating at the regional and state level.  We are all very proud to know that her efforts are being recognized.”

Recently, Dr. Guy has taken the initiative to make two major changes on our campus. First, she converted her programs into a fully-paperless systems. This serves both as an efficiency and as an environmentally-friendly means of providing a service. The paperless system allowed the EOPS students to be the first group on campus to move fully to online student educational plan.

Dr. Guy also spearheads the new EOPS Student Success Committee. This summer, all students who found themselves facing challenges were required to meet with Dr. Guy and a counselor to review their situation. This hands-on approach and intervention made a significant impact on students and aided in making informed programmatic changes in the following term.

Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Dr. Guy! The entire Saddleback community is proud to have you on our team!