September 15 – November 19, 2014
Farewell after 16 Great Years
Good morning. Today I share my last Governing Board News with you. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the students, faculty and staff of Southwestern College for the last 16 years. Community Colleges play a critical role for our students and community. Whether it’s preparing students for the workforce—80% of firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMTs and 70% of nurses in California are credentialed or educated at community colleges—or for transfer to a four-year university, the open access of community colleges provides endless opportunities.
I thank you for your support of Southwestern College and hope that you will continue to partner with us.
Proposition R Report
Southwestern College is now receiving energy from the sun. Parking lot solar arrays were switched on during a ceremony Wednesday Nov. 19.
The first development of the vacant corner lot is moving along. The college held several community meetings to present the future wellness center architectural designs. The architects presented three renderings at the Governing Board meeting Nov. 12.
Architectural designs for the National City Higher Education Center two-story building project and for the new math, science and engineering building at the Chula Vista campus will be presented to the board in December.
A recommendation for a project architect for the new performing arts center will also be given to the board in December.
Emergency communication system construction at all campuses has begun. The construction is expected to be completed in March 2015. Wireless upgrades are 50 percent complete.
The Governing Board held a special workshop on Oct. 22 to further discuss strategies for student success.
Audrey Dow, community affairs director for The Campaign for College Opportunities, presented a report on higher education in San Diego and Imperial Counties at the October workshop.
Breakout groups focused on the phases of a Southwestern College students’ community college experience. They were titled:
- Connection – How we recruit students to our college.
- Entrance – How we admit and place students on our campus.
- Progression – How we support student progression on our campus.
- Completion – How we support students to complete their programs of study.
- Moving On – How we support our students to transfer or enter the workforce.
Board Vice President Norma Hernandez and Trustee Nora Vargas co-chaired the October workshop. They then presented their findings to the Governing Board on Nov. 12. The November presentation included a draft of the future Southwestern College Student Success Policy and feedback from breakout sessions held in October.
Linda Hensley, director of institutional research, presented the California Community College Student Success Scorecard for the 2013-2014 school year. The report was presented at the Oct. 22 special meeting, and at the Nov. regular meeting.
Hensley’s presentation showed that the new Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program was especially impactful, accounting for 165 more degree recipients than the year before.
The ADT program allows students to graduate from Southwestern with an Associate’s Degree and have all the requirements for guaranteed transfer into a California State University campus.
Hensley also reported a steady increase in math success, which is reflected in the Student Success Scorecard.
Dr. Mink Stavenga, Dean of Instructional Support Services, made his annual presentation on the distance education program at Southwestern College.
The report included student achievement data. Southwestern College currently has an online course success rate about 10 percent lower than its traditional in-class success rate.
To address this gap, Southwestern College is part of an Online Education Initiative for California Community Colleges. Along with 23 other colleges, Southwestern College was invited by the Chancellor’s Office to help forge the curriculum that will strengthen student success in online courses. The plan includes tutoring, professional development for faculty and student services.
Much of the plan will be piloted in 2015, with full implementation by 2017.
The Governing Board accepted two grants at the Nov. 12 meeting.
California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development gave Southwestern’s Small Business Development Center $210,000. The funds will be used for business consulting, program marketing and administration and training costs.
The second grant came from the National Science Foundation. It will be used by Southwestern’s mathematics, science and engineering department for science outreach projects along the U.S. – Mexican border.
A $40,000 gift from the Lipp Family Foundation was also given to the MESA program.
Vice President of Employee Services John Clark presented Southwestern College’s plans for updating the sexual harassment policy to comply with the Violence Against Women and Yes Means Yes mandates. This will include mandatory training for all staff.
Semesters are going to get a little shorter – two weeks shorter, to be exact.
The Southwestern College Governing Board has approved a 16-week semester schedule to begin Fall, 2015. The current calendar is 18 weeks.
The change will align Southwestern College’s schedule closer to the schedules of other area colleges, a report to the Governing Board said. The transition has been discussed for nearly a decade at Southwestern College and is now being implemented.
New Math, Science and Engineering Building
Southwestern has chosen a company to manage construction for the next step of Prop. R construction.
Rudolph and Sletten, Inc., has been chosen to provide construction management-at-risk services for the soon-to-be constructed math, engineering and science building.
Managing our Investments
Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. will provide investment banking and underwriting services for the district’s bond proceeds until Oct. 8, 2015. It is common practice to hire two firms for such a transaction.
These particular firms were chosen because of previous community college experience and excellent knowledge of the Southwestern College District.
- Police Chief Michael Cash presented a state mandatory crime report to the Governing Board. It is available here.
- The Governing Board moved to close the Prop. AA building fund, transferring the remaining $451 into the Prop. R general fund.
- Rachel Fischer is now the Director of San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center. She was previously a deputy director.
- Daniel Borges has been hired to be the Chief Information Systems Officer of Southwestern College.