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ASTEP Learning Community Connects with Students

ASTEPOn Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the ASTEP Learning Community “hit the streets” at the Fireside Dining Room in order to make more Skyline College students aware of the opportunities available within the ASTEP Learning Community. Lingering questions were answered and a collective dialogue between ASTEP staff/faculty and the Skyline College Community was able to flourish. ASTEP faculty and staff present at the table included English Professor, Nathan Jones, Counselor, Kwame Thomas, Political Science Professor, Johannes Masare, English Professor, Chanel Daniels, Mathematics Professor Phillip Williams and Counselor, Brianna Clay.

Many students approaching the table were not aware that classes with instruction based on the African American experience were available at a Skyline College and were happy to learn that many general education course requirements can be met through courses within the ASTEP Learning Community. Such disciplines include Spanish, Psychology, English, Mathematics, Biology, and even Political Science. One such student was even able to begin the process of registering for English 110 with Professor Nathan Jones on the spot! This event was, indeed, a great success, and the ASTEP Learning Community looks forward to similar events in upcoming semesters.

The ASTEP learning community welcomes students of diverse backgrounds to join its ranks and strives to represent the experience of the African American community within Skyline College. For any questions about ASTEP (the African-American Success through Excellence and Persistence Learning Community), please feel free to contact us at 650-738-7037 or visit us in Building 4. To learn more about the fall 2015 course selections, please go to: http://www.skylinecollege.edu/astep/

Article by Chanel Daniels

Fourty-Fifth Anniversary of EOPS/CARE

EOPS Anniversary The 2014-2015 academic year marks the 45th anniversary of EOPS/CARE. Commendations from the City of San Bruno and the California Assembly were presented. Dr. Angelica Garcia, Dean of Counseling, Advising and Matriculation kicked off the event with a welcome and introduction.

Three former EOPS students joined in the celebration on Tuesday, May 12 to share their stories with our students. Seabrien Arata, UC Berkeley graduate and current MBA student, works as an Account Executive for a start uEOPS Anniversary p in San Francisco; Teresa Maria Lane, UC Davis alumna and current Realtor, and Ramona Mitchell who graduated from Sonoma State University then went on to receive her graduate  degree from Golden Gate University and is now a Child Support Specialist for Sonoma County.  Their inspiring stories celebrated the best that is EOPS/CARE.

Former EOPS staff members, some who started in the 1970’s were also present: Arnett Caviel, Pablo Gonzalez, Maria Escobar and Pat Tyler.

This annual event is a family affair celebrating our everyday heroes- EOPS students who are taking their dreams higher!

Article by Jeff Acidera | Photos by Javier Urena and Jeff Acidera

AERA Presentation: The Big Reveal: How Generational Status Influences Educational Experience

AERA PresentationClyde H. Lewis, Adjunct Faculty Member/ African Diaspora Program Coordinator presented the results of his dissertation pilot study at the Annual American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Chicago, IL on April 20, 2015. AERA is the largest and most competitive gathering of education scholars in the field with only about 30% of the nearly 50,000 proposals submitted annually being accepted for presentation. The highly competitive conference asks experts from the field to review submitted proposals in order to ensure they fit the annual theme and that they maintain academic rigor.

The presentation, The Big Reveal: How Generational Status Influences Educational Experience examined the experiences of first generation students as they progressed to and through their doctoral studies. This study examined how first generation students were able to navigate the often exclusive system of American education, which is typically reserved for a small portion of the population. The study found three themes as significant for first generation student success: parental expectation, community involvement, and educational journey. The theme of Parental Expectation found that while participants’ parents may not have understood the value or process of higher education, they did not stop the participants from pursing higher education. This finding could play a role in the ways education leaders from all levels, reach out to, and involve parents in education. The second theme, Community Involvement provides an important consideration for educational leaders as they develop programs aimed at educating community members.  Finally, Education Journey provided an interesting position, as it suggested that both positive and negative experiences propelled participants to continue pushing through education.

Overall the involvement of both presenting and attending other presentations allowed for a greater understanding of the breadth of current approaches to improving education at all levels.

Article by Clyde Lewis | Photo by Angela Meeker

May 17, 2015 thru May 23, 2015 declared “Classified School Employee Week”

classified staffCalifornia’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.

Classified school employees play crucial roles in education. They provide the needed support for all departments within the district.

From helping students register for their classes to tutoring them. The classified staff have vital skills and ensures that the colleges and district are operating smoothly, classified employees are integral to public education.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, California School Employee Association (CSEA) Chapter 33 and the Skyline Classified Senate hosted a Coffee Break for all classified staff at Skyline College.

Over 60 staff came to help celebrate Classified Appreciation Week (CSEW).

Article and Photo by Chris Weidman

Campus Climate Survey

In the spring 2014 semester, Skyline College administered a voluntary campus climate survey to students. Replacing the Noel – Levitz survey this four-year cycle, this survey provided information for the district-wide community needs assessment, as well as for college planning and improvement purposes. Out of 9428 students enrolled, about ten percent responded. Sampling was not an intentional step in the process, unlike past campus climate surveys. However the survey results do provide a snapshot of a point in time of students’ levels of satisfaction with and perceptions about Skyline College’s programs, services, and learning environment.

Students generally expressed a high level of satisfaction, with 97% of 818 respondents indicating they’d recommend Skyline College to a family member or friend, and 91% indicating they would attend Skyline College if they were starting over. They also expressed a high degree of satisfaction with each survey dimension, 86% or higher.

More details are available under each of the survey dimensions: Instructional Effectiveness, Student Support Services, Career and Transfer Preparedness, Social Learning Environment, Responsiveness to Diverse Student Populations, Physical Learning Environment, Programming Considerations, and Informational Sources. Analyses and potential action plans from the Town Hall cohosted by the SLOAC/ IE Committee, the Academic Senate, and the Classified Senate are woven into the report. For the full report, please see http://skylinecollege.edu/prie/assets/feedback/studentcampusclimate2014.pdf.

Article by Karen Wong

SPARC Committee Recommends Tentative Budget

The Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) met on March 9, 2015. Academic Senate President Kate Williams-Browne, VP of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones, and Dean of PRIE Aaron McVean co-chaired the meeting.

Budget: Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones reviewed tentative budget scenarios for FY 2015-16 for consideration by the committee. Based on projections of potential District deficit budgets beginning in FY 2016-17, a ‘status quo’ budget scenario was presented for Skyline College that showed the resulting deficit for the College if proactive steps were not taken. As a result, three alternative scenarios were presented for how to approach replacing vacant faculty and staff positions in order to maintain a conservative approach to expenditures until more positive revenue projections emerge. The SPARC unanimously voted to recommend adoption of the first scenario, replacing two faculty and one classified staff position, and encouraged the administration to responsibly consider replacing more positions should monies become available. Members of the committee thanked the administration and encouraged continued transparency with the SPARC.

President Regina Stanback Stroud was present to provide further clarification and answer the questions from members of SPARC. The committee was reassured that there was a high level of advocacy taking place at the District to ensure that as funding becomes available through resource allocation mechanisms such as the Innovation Fund, that those funds come to Skyline College. The May Revise released by the Governor’s Office was also discussed as it presents an optimistic picture of the State budget, which should benefit both the District and Skyline College pending approval by the legislature.

Planning: The SPARC recommended a change to the Student Learning Outcome Assessment Committee (SLOAC) name, charge, and membership to that of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC). The IEC would become a standing sub-committee that recommends to the SPARC. The SPARC unanimously voted to recommend the change to the College Governance Committee (CGC).

Talisman, Skyline College’s Literary Magazine Issue 45 Release Party and Reading

Talisman 45 Event FlyerTalisman’s release party will take place on Monday, May 18th at 6 p.m. in the Skyline College Art Gallery on the ground floor of Building 1.

Please join us as we celebrate the release of the 45th Issue of Talisman, Skyline College’s Literary Magazine. The event, held in the Skyline College Art Gallery, will include food and beverages, copies of the magazine, as well as feature art and readings from the Student Prose and Poetry Prize Winners and many other student writers from this issue of Talisman.

We hope to see you at this special event. If you have any questions please contact Rob Williams, Talisman Faculty Advisor at williamsrob@smccd.edu.

Career Center and Psychological Services Host Brian Copeland’s “The Waiting Period”

Brian CopelandIn honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Career Services Center in partnership with Psychological Services hosted “The Waiting Period,” Brian Copeland’s one-man show about his personal battle with depression and suicide. Copeland approached these often taboo and serious subjects with a mix of comedy, personal anecdotes and introspection. Audience members ran a gamut of emotions as Copeland shared his sometimes funny, sometimes tragic struggle with mental health. Audience members remarked:

“I feel like this play was as transformative as it should have been.”

“Copeland provided an inspiring testimony and an uplifting message.”

“A little bit of caring can save a person.”

Following the performance, which was attended by over 250 students, a panel including mental health professionals from Skyline College and community agencies discussed ways audience members can help friends or family members battling depression. The panel, moderated by Lavinia Zanassi, shared resources such as the Psychological Services Center on the Skyline College campus as well as online resources where community members can seek out professional help.

Brian Copeland’s amazing performance helped shed light and destigmatize a subject we often try to avoid. We encourage you to visit Skyline College’s Psychological Services web page at http://www.skylinecollege.edu/psychologicalservices/ or stop by their office in Building 2 Room 2206 if you or someone you know may be struggling with mental health issues. We look forward to working with more speakers like Brian Copeland in the future to create and continue healthy dialogues and conversations.

Article by Brian Jenney | Photo by Lavinia Zanassi

The 10th Annual Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN): Ang Pag-uwi

Perfomers and crew from pilipino cultural nightOn May 7 and 9, 2015, this year’s Pilipino Cultural Night production Ang Pag-uwi (The Journey Home) followed a fictional, extended family as they traveled by boat to the Philippines from the United States after a nuclear fallout. The group believed that it was worth the journey to find out if they would reach the Philippines or end up sailing forever searching for a better future. The story was written by the English 103/203 AK class under the supervision of head writer CJ Navalta. The students performed two shows, a Preview Night and Gala Night, to an audience of their peers, family members, and PCN alumni. On Gala Night, after the show, the Kababayan Learning Community celebrated three Friends of Kababayan Scholarships and 22 graduates and transfer students. Students were awarded graduation stoles and program patches. The Kababayan Learning Community also awarded the departing Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant for 2014-2015, Edward “Tim” Nubla, with his own stole and program patch.

Ang Pag-uwi is the 10th Annual PCN and the first instructed by Janice Sapigao, following Liza Erpelo’s nine years of teaching the course. Grace Burns will begin teaching English 103/203: Applied English Skills in Cultural Production in Fall 2015 as well as English 104/204 in Spring 2015.

A limited number of the Ang Pag-uwi hooded sweatshirts ($30) are still available, and the DVDs of the Gala Night show ($15) will be on sale in a few weeks. Please contact Janice Sapigao at sapigaoj@smccd.edu or x7161 if you are interested in purchasing either of these items. All proceeds from the show go toward future productions and activities for the Kababayan Learning Community and its very active and dynamic student-initiated and student-run programs: Filipino Student Union and Kapatiran Mentorship Program.

This show would not be possible without the help and support of several important people: Kababayan Learning Community advisors, Grace Burns, Liza Erpelo, Melanie Espinueva, Kent Gomez and Nate Nevado. Many thanks to Theater Events Manager Joshua Harris, Dance Professor Amber Steele for teaching and providing a space for PCN students’ dance rehearsals; Kevin Chak in the Bookstore; Amanda Bortoli and the students in Graphic Arts/Production; Rob Williams for your support during National Poetry Month events; Cherie Colin in Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations; the Associated Students of Skyline College, and our deans and their assistants: Mary Gutierrez and Kennya Ruiz, Donna Bestock and Kathy Fitzpatrick, Joe Morello and Sandra Hatzistratis, and Angélica Garcia and Nadia Tariq. Thanks for your support.

Article by Janice Sapigao | Photos by Venus Cayabyab and Liza Erpelo

Skyline College Students Win with YEP!

YEP WinnersOn May 13, 2015, the Youth Entrepreneurship Program at Skyline College (YEP) hosted its 6th bi-annual Student Business Plan Competition. This year, YEP received twenty business plan submissions – our largest competition to date!  Out of all the entries, ten businesses advanced on to the Final’s Round for a chance to present their ideas before a panel of industry judges.  In order of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, the Spring 2015 Student Business Plan Competition winners are:

  • J’s Automotive, A women-owned and operated automotive business.
  • Montego Bay, A down-home Jamaican restaurant.
  • Fortune Cookie Empire, A new spin on an old favorite, the fortune cookie.

Congratulations to all of our winners!! 

The Student Business Plan Competition has grown to include more participants, stronger business ideas and ever-increasing involvement with the campus and community.  The Competition provides coaching and mentoring to the students, in addition to external resources and support. YEP has also been fortunate to partner with the Business Division, specifically, the Small Business Management course (BUS 150), for additional support and participation.  As a testament to such a collaboration, two of this year’s winners were also enrolled in the course.

In addition to the cash awards, student receive valuable feedback and advice form the judges. Our judges all hail from various business backgrounds and companies, and include business owners, tech company executives, branding consultants and public speaking experts. Students participating in YEP receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring from YEP staff, local business owners and faculty to help refine ideas and develop other transferable skills.

On behalf of  YEP and the Global Learning Division, we would like to thank the President’s Innovation Fund for providing support, through its network and funding, for this program-we look forward to their continued support.  We also want to thank Skyline College students, administrators, faculty and staff for their support of YEP and this year’s Competition!

For more information on the Student Business Plan Competition or on how to be involved in YEP, please contact Pcyeta Stroud: stroudp@smccd.edu.

Article by Pcyeta Stroud