Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Blanchard’

Class offerings evolve in response to budget cuts, changing job market demands

By Issac Jeitler

GROSSMONT COLLEGE—This campus offers students a wide array of classes to choose from and a multitude of degrees. Even after having the amount of classes being offered cut by 8% from the 2010-2011 year, Grossmont still has an ample supply of opportunity for those seeking an education.

Sometimes scheduling conflicts can constrict a student’s opportunities. However, the counselling center on campus has staff on hand willing to help that student find options. If you’re an entering freshman this semester, official procedures favor you nexst semester: continuing students receive priority enrollment over those just entering the college as freshmen.

Grossmont has a diverse range of academic programs, old and new. Dr. Barbara Blanchard, vice president of Academic Affairs, commented in an interview that, “demand in programs changes.” She said some degrees currently have no job market availability, so are now being deemphasized, while other degree programs in the future may be for occupations not currently served by the college.

She added that “Grossmont College is one of four California community colleges working on a trial program that will offer Bachelor degrees to Nursing students.”

“Even after the cuts to classes, Grossmont College still has a good breadth of offerings, passionate faculty and has great educational goals,” Blanchard said. Notwithstanding budget and class cuts, “the success rate of students is approximately 71% for students transferring or completing their educational goal.”

Jeitler is a student in Media Comm 132. He may be contacted at

Hurdling Obstacles: the theme of Grossmont’s 2011 graduation ceremonies

Grossmont College commencement, Spring 2011 (Rick Deharo, Grossmont College Photo Major)

Story and Following Photos by Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Thousands cheered as newly graduated Grossmont Griffins received long-awaited acknowledgement of their achievements.  An estimated 1,500 students received degrees, certificates or in some cases both, at a ceremony June 1 in the Main Quad.

Student speaker Timothy Snowball shared his turbulent educational journey, with a crowd estimated at 4,000–a journey that now brings him to having been graduated from Grossmont with honors, with Associate’s Degrees in Political Science and University Studies.  Snowball indeed had a chance in hell, having weathered Depression and Anxiety Disorder and having dropped out of high school; thereafter, whenever he spoke to friends and co-workers about returning to school, they scoffed at him.

Undeterred, he spent three years at Grossmont, along the way having joined Phi Theta Kappa, an international academic honors society.  He said that his eventual aim is a degree in Law.  Between then and now, he said that he plans to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  For this leg of his life’s race, Snowball has won acceptance to UCSD, UCLA and UC Berkeley.  Now, he can take his pick.

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Chris Hill named as an interim dean

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release)– Chris Hill, resigning as president of the Academic Senate, has been appointed Interim Dean of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Exercise Science/Wellness, effective Jan. 1. 

In her new position, Hill will “provide leadership to the division until a permanent dean is selected,” it was announced by Barbara Blanchard, Grossmont’s vice president for Academic Affairs. “This process to select the permanent dean will begin shortly after the college completes its evaluation of our current administrative structure in Academic Affairs.”

Explaining her decision to resign as Academic Senate president before the expiration of her term, Hill wrote to colleagues that although the deanship is an interim position, “I feel strongly that it will conflict with my role as Academic Senate President.  I will begin serving in the interim dean position on January 1st and thus am submitting my resignation as Senate President effective that same date.

“The By-Laws of the Academic Senate state that in the event of resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall fill the unexpired term until a special election can be held.  In this particular case, the unexpired term covers the Spring 2011 semester.  As current Vice-President and President-elect, Sue Gonda can fill the unexpired term and continue serving in her new role through her elected term.  I plan to work with Sue over the semester break to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

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Barbara Blanchard named Grossmont’s vice president of academic affairs

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) — Barbara Blanchard has been named vice president of academic affairs at Grossmont College. Blanchard comes to Grossmont College from American River College, one of four colleges in the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, Calif.

Blanchard’s wide-ranging experience includes teaching and learning, accreditation, workforce preparedness, educational technology and business/industry partnerships. As vice president of academic affairs, Blanchard will provide leadership and direction to college instructional programs, the library, and computer technology learning resources. She will play an important role in student learning outcomes, institutional planning and coordination, and accreditation.

Vice President Blanchard’s challenges include working with the district team to find ways to serve the growing student demand in the midst of severe funding cuts to community college budgets due to the state budget crisis.

As economic forces drive more students to campus to train or retrain for new careers and to complete general education requirements to transfer to four-year universities and colleges, campus resources are under enormous strain to accommodate the need.

“As I wrote in my application, it was a joy to apply for this position,” Blanchard said. “It is a joy to be given the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience toward creating a dynamic and responsive environment for our students. It’s important to me not only to develop good working relationships on campus, but to establish relationships with the community, and respond to industry and labor market demands to ensure that our students receive a high-quality education that gives them the best possible preparation for the world in which they work and live.”

“Dr. Blanchard’s colleagues have described her as extremely dedicated, intelligent, creative, ethical, analytical, organized, and a great facilitator,” said Grossmont College President Sunita V. “Sunny” Cooke. “To win accolades like this from people you work with is the highest form of praise.

“This is a top leadership role within a dynamic college. Working with faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the community, Dr. Blanchard will play a significant role in creating a vision for success and learning into the future. We couldn’t be more excited to have Barbara on our talented Grossmont College team as the new academic year begins.”

Blanchard has worked at three community colleges in California, most recently at American River College, where she served for more than 13 years as the dean of computer science and information technology. She also served as an interim vice president of student services.

Blanchard received her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Davis. She holds a master’s degree in management information systems from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in human resources and family development from the University of Illinois.

Preceding provided by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District