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Aug 28, 2014

Exploring Pathways to Four-Year Degrees

The legislation that would allow 15 community colleges to pilot offering baccalaureate degrees is now sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. Senate Bill 850, sponsored by Senator Marty Block, received unanimous endorsement by both the Assembly and Senate before being forward to the Governor’s office last week.

SB 850 restricts community colleges to offering four-year degrees to areas that meet workforce demand and are not currently offered in the CSU or UC systems. Such degrees could include automotive, dental hygiene, radiology technician or any number of allied health areas that are increasingly requiring four-year degrees for career advancement.

Every college president and chancellor in the San Diego Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association has supported the effort since its inception last year. Statewide veterans organizations, chambers of commerce, the California Community College Student Senate and the Community College League of California have also lent their support to the legislation.

We are hopeful Gov. Brown will sign SB 850 into law and we look forward to helping design a process for colleges to pursue being part of the pilot.

Creating a College Pipeline

For the last six years, Long Beach City College has implemented a successful Long Beach Promise where students who began in the Long Beach Unified School District and who graduate from Long Beach City College are guaranteed admission into CSU Long Beach.

Since beginning my tenure as superintendent/president I have been interested in exploring such a partnership with our feeder district—Sweetwater Union High School District. Although Sweetwater is currently in a transition period, district leaders joined a Southwestern College contingent in a visit to Long Beach in July.

Hosted by Long Beach City College Superintendent/President Eloy Ortiz Oakley and Long Beach Unified Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser, the half-day meeting helped outline some of the opportunities and challenges in beginning such a partnership.

Key to success and working through all academic issues is the monthly meeting of an Education Council with content experts from all three partners. Council members identified a common language (e.g. credits vs. units, counselor vs. advisor), established committees (curriculum, transfer, articulation, etc.) and held symposiums twice each year to celebrate successes and identify goals for the next year. The Long Beach City College Foundation has also raised $6 million to allow the college to waive fees for students’ first semester.

The visit gave us all several concrete ideas for next steps in pursuing such an effort here.

Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley welcomes Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School District leaders for an orientation on the Long Beach Promise.
Long Beach Promise: Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley welcomes Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School District leaders for an orientation on the Long Beach Promise.

Employee of the Quarter-Hilda Carey

With an attention to detail that ensured the accurate conversion of the Chart of Accounts, a history of excellent customer service and the initiative to take on extra duties, Hilda Carey was recently recognized as the Employee of the Quarter for July – September, 2014.

Those nominating Hilda said she completed the Government Compensation in California project that required working with four separate college offices to gather data for more than 2,600 employees for the last three years. Hilda accomplished this project while still keeping current with her regular duties, including monitoring the many cash transactions postings with the San Diego County Office of Education.

Thank you, Hilda, for all you do for Southwestern College.

Employee of the Quarter-Hilda Carey

Last updated: 8/26/2014 5:25:07 PM