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DREAMERS to Doctors Delivers on Inspiration!

DREAMERS to Doctors In celebration of Latino Heritage Month the Career Services Center – in collaboration with ASSC, the Center for Student Life, LASO, E4FC, and the Pre-Health Dreamers – hosted a presentation about paths into the medical field by a unique group of undocumented students that represent the first wave of DREAMERS admitted into medical school.  Presenter Denisse Rojas, shared a powerful and very moving story about her own journey through college at UC Berkeley – including the financial barriers, family separations, and sometimes hostile academic culture she faced based on her immigration DREAMERS to Doctors status.  She also discussed the significant gains that have been made for DREAMERS through policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, the CA Dream Act, and more recently the passage of SB 1159, which requires 40 licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs to grant professional licenses to applicants regardless of their immigration status by 2016.  Several students who stayed to speak with Denisse following the presentation commented to her that seeing her overcome so many obstacles gave them inspiration not to let their own barriers get in the way of their dreams!

 Article by Lezra Chenportillo | Photos by Claudia Paz

SparkPoint at Skyline College Funded to Support National Expansion of the Working Families Success Network

Sparkpoint LogoAchieving the Dream (ATD) announces a national community college expansion of the Working Families Success Network (WFSN) strategy. Sixteen community colleges in four states will implement the strategy —now used at over 100 sites in the nation to help low-income individuals and families achieve financial stability — to promote post-secondary completion for students whose economic challenges can thwart their academic and career goals.

The strategy is based on a model pioneered by the Annie E. Casey Foundation which SparkPoint at Skyline College has been implementing in partnership with United Way of the Bay Area since 2010. Part of the division of Student Services under the leadership of Vice President of Student Services Dr. Joi Lin Blake, SparkPoint at Skyline College has modeled effective practices that were featured in the WFSN College Implementation Guide, which was used by ATD during the request for applications period that launched this initiative.  The WFSN strategy involves intentionally integrating and sequencing three distinct but related services:

  1. Education and employment advancement—education, job readiness, training, and placement;
  2. Income and work supports—access to student financial aid, public benefits, tax credits, and free tax assistance; and
  3. Financial services and asset building—financial education and coaching linked to affordable products and services to help families build self-sufficiency, stabilize their finances, and become more economically competitive.

The four state partner organizations and 16 colleges are displayed in the associated graph.

The four state partner organizations and 16 colleges

These colleges and state partner organizations were selected through a competitive application process that assessed commitment to racial equity and poverty reduction as well as the colleges’ demonstrated ability to support student success using data-informed decision-making.

This effort is supported with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Lumina Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“Our goal is to support students who have already taken a big step toward their long-term financial success by addressing the short-term economic challenges that can get in their way,” said Rosa Maria Castañeda, a senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “This expansion builds on the momentum behind the Working Families Success Network strategy as well as the efforts of colleges across the country to find smarter ways to help low-income students cross the finish line.”

Skyline College President Regina Stanback Stroud, who was recently appointed by President Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, U.S. Treasury, sees this work as integral to being an effective institution in higher education. In an article published in the Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, President Stroud wrote, “… more community colleges will need to recognize the importance of anti-poverty work as part of an effective strategy for student access, progress, retention, and achievement. As more and more low-income students turn to community colleges to help them pursue their dreams and support their families, these institutions and their students will only succeed by addressing a major obstacle to student advancement—poverty.”

For more information about the national community college expansion of the WFSN strategy, please visit

For more information about the Working Families Success Network, please visit

For more information about SparkPoint at Skyline College, please visit, or contact Dr. William Watson, SparkPoint Director, at

Article by Dr. William Watson

ESOL Courses Unite Students from Around the Globe through the English Language

Students in ESOL CourseStudents in the ESOL courses at Skyline College are excellent examples of the global community of learners we strive to empower and transform. Take a peek and you will find people who come from across the globe who are part of Skyline College’s diverse community.

In Meegan Rivera’s ESOL 400 class, 19 countries are represented in a class of 29 students. Students who have immigrated from the Czech Republic, Algeria, Iraq, Peru, and Burma are taking courses to advance their futures. Meegan states, “Our classroom teems with discussion. Everyone has a lot to learn from each other, and we do it all in English!”

This kind of diversity is normal across ESOL classes of every level and skill at Skyline College. Most ESOL classes average about 14 countries represented in a class. Julie Carey has 17 countries in her class this semester.  Julie says, “What makes teaching students from so many different countries—I can’t recall ever having fewer than 12 countries represented in my classroom – incredible is that, though students come from all corners of the globe to study here at Skyline, they share one common goal, belief, dream—the American Dream.  It is a dream that I am so often cynical of and take for granted.  But their capacity for believing in our educational system and the opportunities that system provides makes teaching at Skyline College the most rewarding and fulfilling work I have ever done.”

This diversity is a point of pride in the ESOL department and enriches Skyline College’s community of learners.

Article & Photo by Meegan Rivera

Skyline College Students Attend Puente Transfer Motivational Conference at UC Davis

Puente Students at UC Davis On an overcast Saturday morning, 30 Puente students gathered before 7:00 a.m. at Skyline College to take a bus to UC Davis for the annual Puente Transfer Motivational Conference, this year held on September 20. Blas Guerrero, a Director in Admissions and Timo Rico, the Director of Outreach, welcomed students to the event. The keynote speaker, author Alex Espinoza, spoke of his tale of personal and academic transformation that began during his days as a Puente student.

Afterwards, students were able to take campus tours where they saw many of the campus amenities as well as the beautiful artwork that adorns the sprawling campus. They also attended a variety of workshops including learning how to succeed as an AB-540 student, empowering oneself as a learner, how best to pay for college, and showcase of different majors at UC Davis. During lunch they were able to check out other colleges as well as programs at UC Davis in a special college fair set up specifically for them.

Puente Students at UC DavisAs we returned to Skyline College at 5:30 that evening, the consensus was that the students not only enjoyed the trip, but made some excellent contacts and felt excited about transferring. This conference was indeed impactful in motivating them to transfer and highlighted UC Davis as a school to consider.

Article by Lucia Lachmayr

Skyline College Hosts Second Annual Success Summit

Christy DingesThe Skyline College President’s Council convened its second annual Success Summit on Sept. 26 in the College’s Student and Community Center. The Summit was formed to create an avenue for solution-oriented discussion to meet the challenges of San Mateo County’s North Peninsula region. Event organizers challenge the roughly 120 participants from the local business, government, nonprofit, and College communities to “imagine a better future…close the gap between what is and what can be.” At the end of each summit, participants vote to select one initiative to tackle during the coming year.

This year’s Success Summit began with a progress update on last year’s selected initiative, “The Last Mile,” which sought to identify and create sustainable opportunities for the Skyline College community, including students, faculty and staff, to conveniently and economically travel to the campus. The challenge is a steep one; given Skyline College’s location and limited public transit options, travel time to campus can be 45 minutes, or upwards of an hour and 15 minutes.

Over the past year, the President’s Council has partnered with the City of San Bruno to identify areas where the city’s Climate Action Plan overlaps with the College’s needs, including reducing the number of single-occupancy cars traveling to campus. Other key partners include and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority.

Skyline Success SummitThe Council has also collected data to accurately assess how faculty, staff and students commute to campus. Unsurprisingly, the surveys found that commute starting points vary widely and that travel time (74%), convenience (56%), cost (48%) and reliability (26%) are the primary considerations students take into account when they commute to campus.

The Council is currently looking into funding shuttles traveling to and from the San Bruno BART Station and expanding carpool opportunities and flex peak time bus routes in order to create an affordable, timely and public transit-based solution to the issue of the Last Mile. Additional progress will be shared at next year’s event.

Following this update, this year’s Keynote Speaker, Christy Dinges, Vice President, People at social selling and fashion company Stella & Dot, delivered opening remarks on her company’s success in empowering women and her personal mission to “find your best self, help others do that too, and unlock their dreams.” Her remarks reflected the youth and energy of the Stella and Dot brand and she underscored the need to consistently innovate to stay relevant and successful.

Attendees then selected two of three separate breakout sessions that each explored a separate topic relating to the local community.

“What’s in it for us? Collectively Addressing the Socioeconomic Divide” aimed to address a vision for next steps to collaboratively meet community needs and address socioeconomic inequality, especially on Skyline College’s campus. The session was moderated by Nicole Pollack, Director, San Mateo County Workforce and Economic Development.

The second session, “City Manager Roundtable: Innovations for our Cities”, was moderated by State Assemblymember Kevin Mullen and hosted city managers from San Bruno, Daly City, Colma, Pacifica and South San Francisco. Each presented new programs in their city, followed by a question and answer period.

Finally, “Hidden Gems, Hidden Opportunities: What’s unique, what’s possible?” sought to address ways to promote, enhance and add to the resources and amenities of the San Mateo North County. The session was moderated by Anne LeClair, president and CEO of the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

At the end of the sessions, participants came together to vote electronically on which issue they would take on in the coming year. Winning by a narrow margin was “Hidden Gems, Hidden Opportunities,” followed closely by “What’s in it for us?” As a result, the President’s Council will partner with community leaders to increase connection and collaboration and create a plan to spread the word about resources available in the North County over the coming year.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick | Photos by Maryam Hadi

Coming Up…

Friday October 3, 2014

  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Skyline College Men’s Soccer @ West Valley College for a Conference Match, Saratoga
  • 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Skyline College Wrestling @ Menlo College for Dual Match, Atherton

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Skyline College Women’s Soccer v. City College of San Francisco, Conference Division Match, Skyline College
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Mexican Consulate Talk on Human Rights, Skyline College, Building 4, Multi-Cultural Room
  • 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Skyline College Men’s Soccer v. Evergreen Valley College in a Conference Match, 2nd game of a double-header, Skyline College
  • 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Car Care Basics for Women, Skyline College

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Disability Awareness Month – SSI/SDI: What You Need to Know, Skyline College, Building 1, Career Center
  • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Skyline College Wrestling Dual Match @ Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa
  • 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Theater Performance:  Tres Vidas, Skyline College, Building 1, Theatre

Thursday, October 9, 2014

  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Blood Drive, Skyline College, Building 6, 2nd Floor
  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Career Series – STEM – Professional Engineers Q&A with SHPE and SWE, Skyline College, Building 4, Room 4301
  • 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Car Care Basics for Women, Skyline College

Friday, October 10, 2014

  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Skyline College Women’s Soccer @ Ohlone College, Conference-Division Match, Fremont
  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Skyline College Men’s Soccer @ Gavilan College for a Conference Match, Gilroy

For the latest information on events and activities happening at Skyline College, please view our calendar.

If you would like to include your college event or activity on the calendar, please submit the event, date, time and location to Jennifer Owen-Blackmon via email at

Participatory Governance: SPARC

The Strategic Planning  and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) met on Sept. 25, 2014 co-chaired by Eloisa Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services, and Kate Browne, Academic Senate President.

Aaron McVean, Dean of Planning Research and Institutional Effectiveness, presented the Followup Report to the Accreditation that will be submitted to the ACCJC next month. The report responds to the Commission’s recommendation to develop and implement a systematic process of evaluating part-time faculty and the steps that the college has taken to address it.

Aaron invited SPARC to attend the District Strategic Planning Forum on September 30. The district has engaged Voorhees Group to put together the district strategic plan after hearing feedback from the colleges. Now that the district is communiy-supported, the allocation of new resources will be guided by the district strategic plan.

Barbara Lamson, Linda Whitten and Eloisa Briones reported back from the meeting held by the District Committee on Budget & Finance. They shared highlights of the 2014-2015 budget Presentation made by Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood to the Board of Trustees. Eloisa went thru the current resource allocation In detail to help the committee understand the impact on college funding when the new resource allocation model is implemented in 2015-2016. Kathy Blackwood will come to the SPARC meeting on October 30 to present the proposed model and receive feedback.

Angelica Garcia, Dean of Counseling, presented SPARC with information about and comparison of the Student Success and Support Programs funding (formerly Matriculation) and the Student Equity Plan.  The college has been engaged in the development of both plans.

Next meeting: October 9, 2014

Article by Eloisa Briones

Celebrate Disability Awareness in October

BraniganOctober is Disability Awareness Month! Please join the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in celebrating the achievements of individuals with disabilities throughout the month and learn about DRC services .

Wednesday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skyline Theater

The Rosa Lee Timm Show – Join deaf performer Rosa Lee Timm for an evening of ASL and celebration of deaf culture. This event is hosted in conjunction with Language Arts and Associated Students of Skyline College. Refreshments served 6:00-6:30 p.m. in the lobby.

Wednesday, October 8 at 12:00-2 p.m. in the Career Center

SSI/SDI: What You Need to Know – Presented by the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities.

Wednesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 22 in Building 6, 1st floor

Learning Differences Demystified – Students can stop by the DRC table to experience a learning difference simulation and learn about successful individuals with learning differences. DRC’s LD Specialist will be on hand to answer questions.

Wednesday, October 29 from 12:10-1:10 p.m. in 6204

Colors of the Wind – Join author JL Powers for a reading of her powerful children’s book, Colors of the Wind about blind artist, George Mendoza and experience his incredible artwork.  Book signing to follow. This event is hosted in conjunction with Language Arts and Business Division.

 Article by Melissa Matthews

Skyline College Hosts Eighth Annual Asian Culture Week

Asian-Culture-WeekSkyline College celebrated its eighth annual Asian Culture Week this past week. The Skyline College Asian Studies Center, Physical Education, Athletic and Dance Department, in collaboration with the China Dance School/Theater of San Francisco, hosted this special event, supported by the President’s Innovation Fund, to promote cultural exchange and international education.

This exciting event consisted of an Asian Food Festival, an Asian Film Festival, and the Asian Culture Showcase. The Asian Culture Week turned out to be a very successful and memorable week for our faculty, students and the community. The featured event, Asian Culture Showcase by the China Dance School/Theater of San Francisco welcomed special guests of Skyline College: Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones, the Dean of Social Science/Creative Arts Donna Bestock, Interim Dean of Business Christine Roumbanis, and Dean of Science and Mathematics Ray Hernandez.  Vice President Eloisa Briones made a wonderful welcome speech in both Chinese and English which enlightened the event!

Article by Hui Pate

Jennifer Owen-Blackmon Joins MCPR as Interim Marketing Director

Jennifer Owen-BlackmonThe Skyline College Marketing, Communications and Public Relations office would like to extend a warm welcome to the new Interim Marketing Director, Jennifer Owen-Blackmon. Jenni will be leading the MCPR team until April, 2015 when Cherie Colin returns from maternity leave.

Jenni joins Skyline College with over 12 years of experience in developing marketing strategy and leading successful integrated marketing programs, for companies such as Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and at global advertising agency Doremus, where she worked with technology clients Corning, Intel, and Sage North America. She’s also consulted with nonprofit arts organizations to help them develop marketing plans and execute fundraising events, and leads pro bono consultant teams for the Taproot Foundation.

Jenni is also a professional soprano who sings with many of the Bay Area’s finest classical music ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Cappella SF. She completed Masters degrees in Arts Administration and Voice Performance at Indiana University and received a B.A. from  Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In her (very limited) spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, attending performing arts events, and playing in the kitchen. You can reach Jenni at (650) 738-4346, or email her at


Article by Connor Fitzpatrick

Scholarship Open for Application to Phi Theta Kappa Members

Phi Theta Kappa LogoDo you know a student who has encountered unanticipated financial barriers such as catastrophic losses, natural disasters, the onset of a major illness or injury, change in dependent status or loss of income that have created financial hardship over the course of the past 6 months?  If so, Phi Theta Kappa has a potential solution. The Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship assists Phi Theta Kappa members in overcoming unanticipated financial barriers that prevent the completion of a student’s first college credential, an associate degree or certificate, while enrolled in the two-year college. Applications are currently being accepted now through October 31, 2014!  Up to ten (10) one-time $1,000 Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarships will be awarded.

Please share this message with students and encourage them to apply for this impactful scholarship opportunity to help overcome financial barriers, as an award of this magnitude can help students reduce the amount of out-of-pocket funding necessary to finance their education and complete their certificate or associate degree.

Eligibility Criteria:
•    Phi Theta Kappa member
•    3.0 GPA or above
•    45 semester credits or more
•    Student must graduate within 18 months from the time of application
•    At the time of application, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 semester credit hours
•    Open to part-time, full-time and international students
•    Must not hold a previously earned associate or bachelor’s degree
•    Documented hardship incurred over the past 6 months

Deadline: Friday, October 31, 2014

For more information about the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship or to apply, please visit

Article by Christine Case

Latino Heritage Month Kickoff at Skyline College

Latino Heritage Month at Skyline CollegeThe Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) and the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development kicked off Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College by hosting Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, with Skyline College Professor John Ulloa on drums, and poet Sandra Garcia Rivera on September 16, 2014.  Over two hundred and fifty students, staff and faculty attended the event and were treated to pan-Latino styles of music from Dr. Loco and delicious food from El Metate of San Francisco.  Sandra’s poetry challenged and inspired attendees to confront the obstacles faced on a daily basis, while Jose “Dr. Loco” Cuellar, San Francisco State University Emeritus Professor, addressed the historical significance of the timing of Latino Heritage Month by pointing out its connection to the Latin American independence from Spain in the early 19th Century. Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College

In addition, on September 15, 2014, Urban Youth Society’s (UYS) Sergio “Checo” Hurtado and Raul “Aztec” Magallon rocked the open-mic during the pre-kickoff festivities in the Dining Hall.

Information for the month’s festivities can be accessed on Skyline College’s event calendar, the Associated Students of Skyline College Facebook page or through the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development at (650) 738-4275.

Next week’s events include:Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College

September 29: Veterans’ Resource Center presentation on Hispanics in Military History, 12:30-1:30pm, building 2, room 2350

September 30: DREAMERS to Doctors: paths in medical fields, DREAMers Journeys into Graduate School, in collaboration with LASO, 12:30-1:30pm, building 2, room 2306

October 2: Gandhi’s Birthday, International Day of Non-Violence, Discussion on Violence/Conflict Resolution in Our Communities, 1-2:30pm, Multi-Cultural Center, building 4

Article by John Saenz

Skyline College Hosts Roger Ebbage of Lane Community College on Campus Sustainability

roger ebbage at skyline collegeRoger Ebbage, Director of Energy and Water Programs at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, made a site visit to Skyline College on September 18 and 19, 2014 for discussions about best practices and partnership opportunities. Ebbage met with faculty and administrators from the Center for Workforce Development (CWD), the Energy Systems Technology Management (ESTM) program, Skyline College and district facilities staff, and representatives from the state Chancellor’s office for alternative energy and construction industries. Using the college campus as a “learning laboratory” was a major theme of the meetings. The program Ebbage helped found and develop in 1992, the Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute (NWEEI), is a nationally-recognized leader in the practice. The programs offer two-year degree programs that train technicians and auditors on financial analysis and conservation strategies for reducing energy and water use in large-scale commercial buildings. Using the campus facilities is cost-effective and makes practical sense, according to Ebbage.

In recent years, Lane Community College leveraged the energy and water degree programs to create campus-wide sustainability programming for putting theory into practice in campus facilities. Dedicated staff oversee curriculum development, recycling programs, and energy use reduction programs across campus facilities and instructional departments in a collaborative, cross-campus format. A new building in downtown Eugene showcases sustainability with facilities that were designed specifically for training the energy and water technicians. Ebbage and his faculty colleagues continue to take students to observe old campus facilities—boilers, chillers, air handlers, and building shells. They offer real-world scenarios for students to trouble-shoot and measure, he said.

roger ebbage at skyline collegeThe ESTM department at Skyline College currently focuses on energy and water management for residential construction, but California regulators and utilities are investing primarily in workforce education and training for larger-scale buildings, making Lane Community College’s programs attractive models. Proposition 39 and long-range planning by California’s regulators and PG&E projects have earmarked investment in training for reducing energy consumption in large-scale buildings. Faculty also discussed integrating curriculum in the Environmental Science and Technology (ENVS) department and the Geology (GEOL) departments into a cross-campus sustainability programs focused on water and energy conservation.

The CWD and SMT Division collaborate on sustainability campus programming. Skyline College hosts a Fellow from the Climate Corps Bay Area Program (CCBA) each year. Planning and project implementation is done across campus in a committee format, the Sustainability Ambassador Network (SAN), comprised of faculty, students, and staff.

Ebbage’s visit was made possible through a collaboration between the Science, Math, and Technology Division and the Center for Workforce Development.

For additional information about Roger Ebbage’s visit, please contact Aaron Wilcher,,  (650) 738-4498

For information about sustainability and participating in SAN at Skyline College, visit the website or contact Carina Anttila Suarez, Biology faculty 650-738-4217 or Christopher Koh, CCBA Fellow, Sustainability Coordinator   650-738-7044

For information about the ESTM department, visit the department’s site or contact Bruce Greenstein, faculty coordinator  650-738-4487

Article by Aaron Wilcher

Third Annual Transfer Conference a Success

Fall 2014 Transfer Conference_Image 2The Transfer Center, in collaboration with other departments, clubs, programs and colleges, hosted its Third Annual Transfer Conference on Saturday, September 20.  Over 130 students registered for the event and over 100 students attended.

The main purpose of this event is to provide students a connection to resources they don’t know about and to help raise awareness of what they need to know and where to find the information they need to make clear and educated choices about their transfer path.

The day started out with a warm and inspirational welcome provided by Dr. Joi Blake, Vice President of Student Services. Following the welcome and short ice breaker, students attended workshops on Transfer Tips, Applying to Impacted and Selective majors, Career, Financial Aid for Transfer Students and a student panel which consisted of five former Skyline College transfer students who attended private, UC and CSU campuses.

Fall 2014 Transfer Conference_Image 4A resource fair was hosted during the lunch hour which included university representatives from SFSU, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, University of San Francisco, the University of Arizona and other private school university representatives as well as on-campus clubs and resource tables.

A drawing was held at the end with a tablet being the grand prize, thanks to the generous donation of the Skyline College Bookstore (thanks Kevin Chak!) Other prizes were donated by universities as well as some Skyline College sweatshirts provided by Dr. John Mosby.

Overall, the day ran seamlessly and students were energized by the information and resources they were connected with.  Skyline College students continue to show their engagement and commitment to their transfer goals. One student commented that “this conference was really insightful… keep doing this.”

Many thanks to the support of the event from the Vice President of Student Services office, the Counseling Division, student organizations, Enrollment Services, the Transfer Center staff and student workers and the many students who volunteered their time to raise awareness of transfer resources on our campus!

Article by Suzanne Poma and Michele Haggar | Photos by Jose A. Garcia

What is AB 86, and How Will It Affect You?

ACCEL_logoRecent legislation called AB 86 has the potential to radically change Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) all across the state of California.  You may have heard about AB 86, but it’s likely that you don’t know all of the details.  You may have heard that adult schools are going away, or you may have heard that they are being absorbed into community colleges.  Neither of those is true, but what is true is that AB 86 has the potential to create stronger CDCP than ever before.

So what is AB 86?  In a nutshell, it is legislation that allows for planning grants given to consortia throughout the state to redesign adult education into pathways that truly work for students from the basic literacy and GED levels all the way up to college and beyond.   SMCCCD’s consortium, called ACCEL for Adult-Education College and Career Educational Leadership, was formed in Spring 2014 and has emerged as a collaborative and innovative group whose work is being held up as a model for other consortia throughout the state.  Visit the ACCEL web site at .

The ACCEL consortium has faculty involvement from the steering committee on down to the Collaborative Action Teams, or CATs.  Skyline College is proud to have the following faculty on our CAT:  Garry Nicol (ESOL), Julie Carey (ESOL), Leigh Anne Shaw (ESOL), Javier Urena (COUN), and Jon Freedman (MATH).  There are four CATs working on plans for aligning adult education to community colleges, and they are arranged as follows:

North CAT:   Skyline College, Jefferson Adult School, South San Francisco Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Leigh Anne Shaw (Skyline College) and Marta Bookbinder (SSFAE)

Mid-county CAT:  College of San Mateo, San Mateo Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Marissa Pienaar (CSM) and Lisa Dolehide (SMAE)

South CAT:  Cañada College, Sequoia Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Nadya Sigona (Cañada College) and Natacha Matute (SAE)

Coastside CAT:   Cañada College, County Office of Ed, Cabrillo Unified School District
Co-chairs:  Jenny Castello (Cañada College), Joan Rosas (COE), John Corry (CUSD)

At the September 22, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting, Board President Schwartz and Trustee Mohr praised ACCEL for its work to date and pledged its continuing support of ACCEL’s efforts.

How will AB 86 affect you?   If you work with students in basic skills, career development, or college preparation (and we’re pretty sure you do!), the work of AB 86 will impact you and your work directly.  You may consider contacting the North CAT team members to find out how you can get involved.

Want to learn more?  All faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to a forum held at Skyline College on October 14, room 6202, from 1:30 to 4:00pm to learn more about AB 86 and its impact.

Article by Leigh Anne Shaw