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.

 

Saddleback College Receives $570,000 National Science Foundation Grant to Provide Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Saddleback College’s innovative S-STEM Scholars Program has been awarded $567,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support academically talented and financially disadvantaged students who are pursuing degrees in a chosen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) major. The program, which will begin in spring 2013, will provide comprehensive support to 14-20 students each year, including scholarships totaling approximately $9,200 per student for each academic year they are in the program.

L-R: President Dr. Tod Burnett; Dr. Jim Zoval, assistant professor of chemistry; Frank Gonzalez, assistant professor of mathematics; Cathy Arreguin, grants analyst; Dr. Chris McDonald, dean of mathematics, science, and engineering

“The S-STEM Scholars program provides an unparalleled financial and educational support system that will help our students transfer to a four-year college or university and will eventually lead them to lucrative career opportunities,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “This National Science Foundation grant will make college a reality for many who never thought higher education was possible.”

“At Saddleback College we take pride in our ability to develop innovative ideas to tackle the problems associated with attracting, recruiting, and supporting students in STEM fields,” stated Dr. Chris McDonald, dean of mathematics, science, and engineering. “The S-STEM Scholars Program presents a wonderful opportunity for us to provide financial support to deserving, capable, and highly motivated Saddleback students.”

“I am very excited about the difference this NSF grant will make in the lives of our students who will be awarded these scholarships,” stated Dr. Jim V. Zoval, assistant professor of chemistry. “I am also glad that we can offer students an opportunity to participate in the undergraduate research that will be funded by this grant.”

Dr. Zoval also added, “Cathy Arreguin has contributed to every step of getting this grant, including a large part in the writing of the proposal.”

The Saddleback College Division of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering offers nine associate degree programs that qualify for the S-STEM Scholars Program – astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, geology, computer science, engineering, and marine science. Current or future students who would like to apply for the two-year program and scholarship must meet a minimum GPA requirement and show a financial need. To find out more about the program, including how and when applications will be accepted, contact Frank Gonzalez at fgonzalez@saddleback.edu.

Automotive Technology Program Receives $50,000 Donation for Student Scholarships from Tuttle-Click

Saddleback College’s automotive technology program was awarded $50,000 for student scholarships thanks to a generous donation from Tuttle-Click Automotive Group. The Tuttle-Click Automotive Technology Scholarship,  a partnership through which students get on-the-job training at a local Tuttle-Click dealership while earning four certifications and their associate degree in automotive technology, awards students $750 per semester, a Matco starter tool set valued at $4,500, and job placement upon completion. This is the second year Saddleback has received the donation; the first was awarded in 2008 and 10 students have participated in the program.

(L-R) Math, Science and Engineering Dean Christopher McDonald, Foundation Board President Jim Leach, Service Director at Tustin Tuttle-Click Dale Sponseller, Automotive Technology Department Chair Clifford Meyer, Division of Advanced Technology and Applied Science Dean Don Taylor

“This partnership with Tuttle-Click is an excellent example of how everyone benefits when the college and industry work together to train students for successful careers,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “The scholarships provide students the support to complete their education, and the jobs at Tuttle-Click get their careers started immediately following their graduation. It’s an ideal situation for our students.”

Dale Sponseller, service director at Tustin Tuttle-Click Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, stated, “Saddleback College’s automotive technology instructors have the same high standards for  their students that we do for our employees, so this partnership has been extremely beneficial to Tuttle-Click and Saddleback. Students who complete the program continue to move up the ranks at Tuttle-Click dealerships throughout the area.”

“Our outstanding automotive technology instructors work tirelessly to help our students exceed their academic and professional goals,” stated Don Taylor Saddleback College Division of Advanced Technology and Applied Science dean. “This partnership provides students with a career goal that is not only viable but also profitable.”

“This is the perfect program for students who are interested in cars but who also want to start their careers quickly,” stated Clifford Meyer, automotive technology department chair. “I am extremely proud of the students who have completed the program and am happy to continue the partnership with Tuttle-Click.”

Most graduates of the program continue to work for Tuttle-Click and many are now senior technicians. When students complete the two-year program, they will have earned an associate degree and be certified in automotive chassis, automotive engine service, automotive engine performance, and general automotive. Students who are interested in the program must first apply as an entry-level technician or apprentice technician at a local Tuttle-Click dealership and then fill out a separate application for the scholarship. Prospective students who would like more information on the program may contact Clifford Meyer at cmeyer@saddleback.edu.

Congratulations Saddleback College Graduates!

Today, Saddleback College recognized graduates and certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony. The graduates became Saddleback alumni in front of hundreds of adoring family, friends, and faculty. Before the degrees were conferred, commencement Speaker and California Community Colleges Chancellor, Dr. Jack Scott, imparted words of wisdom to the group, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent.  The Commencement Student Speaker Janis Alexa Smith shared her story of struggles and triumph and earned her degree in front of her children and grandchildren.

For more pictures and a great article, check out the story that the Orange County Register did about commencement!

Of the students who graduated from Saddleback College this year, 301 received honors, including 28 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 95 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 178 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average).  Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate, Alex Cole, is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate, Helen Ngo, just celebrated her 80th birthday!  Fifty-six graduates are younger than 20 and 22 graduates are over the age of 55.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Science degrees and certificates of achievement.  More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees.  This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.

Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates.  I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals.  Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees David B. Lang, Frank M. Meldau, Ph.D., Marcia Milchiker, and T.J. Prendergast, III, and Chancellor Gary L. Poertner. During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to the two retiring faculty members who will be elevated to Professor Emeritus status and to Professors of the Year.

 

Commencement Speaker Application Deadline Extended

Saddleback College is currently accepting applications for a student commencement speaker. The Commencement Committee is looking for someone who wants to inspire and be the voice of their graduating peers! The deadline for applications has been extended to April 6th by 5:00 p.m. You can apply, even without your speech completed; students only need to include a proposed outline of their commencement speech in the application.

Commencement 2012 Student Speaker Application – http://www.saddleback.edu/commencement/documents/speakerapp2012.pdf

Updated Commencement Committee Timeline (Please refer to this list, not the dates on the application)

April 6 – Applications Due by 5:00 p.m. to Student Development in SSC 210

April 16 – Leadership Council Review at 3:00 p.m. in the ASG Conference Room, SSC 211C

April 24- Applicants present their speech in person to the Commencement Committee 4:00 p.m. in SSC 211C

Do not include your name or student ID number on the speech. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Development Office via email scstudentdevelopment@saddleback.edu or call 582-4555 All applications are due no later than Friday, April 6, 2012 by 5:00 p.m. and must be turned into the Student Development Office (SSC 210) with original signature. Student commencement speakers must meet all graduation requirements.

Athletic Department Releases Fall 2011 Honor Roll

By: Jerry Hannula, Assistant Athletic Director  for Sports Information, Eligibility and Compliance

The Saddleback College athletic department is pleased to announce that 162 of the college’s 371 student-athletes have been named to the Fall 2011 Athletic Honor Roll, including 16 student-athletes with a perfect 4.00 grade point average.

“This is, by far, the largest number of student-athletes that we’ve ever had listed on our Athletic Honor Roll,” said Tony Lipold, Dean and Athletic Director at Saddleback College.  “We really push the importance of doing well in the classroom to our student-athletes and this past fall semester is a testament to all of our efforts.  We should really be proud of how well these student-athletes are doing academically, especially knowing how much hard work and extra time they spend practicing for their sports each week.”

The 162 student-athletes on the honor roll represent 44 percent of all student-athletes at Saddleback College this year.  In order to make the honor roll, student-athletes must have passed at least 12 units during the Fall 2011 semester with a 3.00 GPA or higher.

Saddleback College Fall 2011 Athletic Honor Roll

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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 Interior Design Team Raises $30,000 for HomeAid Orange County

The Saddleback College Interior Design Team participated in HomeAid Orange County’s signature fundraiser Project Playhouse, which raises money to help the county’s homeless population. The team designed a playhouse, titled Over The Rainbow Cottage, which was displayed at the Irvine Spectrum and then auctioned off. Over The Rainbow Cottage not only raised $30,000, it was also received the People’s Choice award!

Congratulations to the team of design students who created this fantastic playhouse: team leader Barbara Schierhold, Susan Koubas, Keith Stanley, Carolyn Hall, Kaitlin Galati, and Joni Owen.

Classified Senate Donates Thanksgiving Baskets to 33 Student Veterans

The Saddleback College community does it again! Following the Classified Senate’s second annual Thanksgiving basket drive, 33 student veterans were able to bring home a gift card to purchase their Thanksgiving turkey and baskets loaded with all the trimmings. This is a great way for our campus to give back to these men and women who have done so much for our country. I am very proud of the fact that we were able to collect enough food for 33 families, four more than last year!

Thank you to everyone who was able to donate and the Classified Senate for making this happen, especially Tracy McConnell who organized the food collection and basket distribution.

Outreach Office Gets Busy Helping Students

The Saddleback College Outreach Office released their numbers for the fall semester and it is clear that they have been doing a great job helping our students. While the primary goal of the Outreach Department is to bring new students to Saddleback, the center also operates the college switchboard and has campus counter service available to students.   where staff and student workers provide general information regarding college programs, services and course information, office hours and locations, and directions.

During the first week of the fall semester, the Student Information Center helped 1,700 students, an average of 340 per day! On their busiest day, Monday, August 22, 454 students visited the Information Center. Additionally, the center helped 3,500 callers through the college’s general number (4500).

In the 2010-11 school year, the department did:

  • 146 High School Visits (Includes College Nights, Quad Visits, and classroom presentations)
  • 22 Community/Business Visits
  • 139 Campus Tours
  • 22 On Campus outreach/recruitment events (i.e. Family Night and Senior Day)

Finally, I want to give kudos to the department for increasing their outreach activity. The following show a percentage increase in outreach visits since 2008-09 to current:

  • High School outreach visits increased by 37%
  • Community/Business outreach visits increased by 27%
  • Campus Tours visits increased by 30%
  • On campus outreach/recruitment events increased by 45%

Thank you to all of the staff and student assistants that support the Outreach Department!