Posts Tagged ‘Bill Garrett’

Grossmont may eliminate another 212 class sections from Spring semester schedule

EL CAJON (Press Release)– The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District approved a $179 million budget for 2011-2012 that anticipates a $6.3 million cut in state funding this year.

The spending plan passed by the governing board Tuesday night, Sept. 13,  projects that 600 class sections will have been eliminated this year by the district’s two colleges, 398 by Grossmont College in El Cajon and 202 by Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego.

Over summer and the current fall semester, Grossmont cut a total of 186 class sections, leaving another 212 class sections that are expected to be eliminated in spring, unless there is an economic turnaround.

The class section cuts – part of a state-mandated “workload reduction” — mean that about 2,300 students will be turned away this year at the two colleges. The district has already cut 1,000 class sections over the past two years because of reductions in state funding.

“I’m deeply, deeply troubled that we have been forced to turn away so many students in need of our services,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “Now is the time that the state should be investing in higher education and workforce training. To return this state to its past luster, to improve a flagging economy, it is absolutely critical for community colleges to once again fulfill their mission of providing open access to affordable, quality education.”

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District plans forum Sept. 22 on master plan

CUYAMACA COLLEGE (Press Release) –The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District is in the midst of a yearlong effort to craft its educational master plan and wants to hear from the public it serves.

A community forum is set for7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in room I-207 of the Cuyamaca College Student Center to provide the public an opportunity to contribute to the long-range blueprint for the future of Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, which together
serve almost 30,000 students each year. The topics and ideas that crop up during the discussion will help shape the future of higher education in the East County in the next 15 to 20 years.

“The educational master plan will help set priorities and will guide decisions about growth, development and the allocation of resources,” said Cindy L. Miles, district chancellor. “We are especially eager to hear from the business community — learning what jobs and skills employers anticipate needing is critical to our meeting community needs. What are the workforce needs and emerging occupations that we should be training people for?”

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Grossmont-Cuyamaca District selected for pilot program to prepare students for globalization

GROSSMONT COLLEGE  (Press Release)–  The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District is one of eight colleges and universities across the nation  —  and the only community college district — selected for an American Council on Education project to promote internationalization, diversity and multicultural education.

The three-year project, “At Home in the World: Educating for Global Connections and Local Commitments,” is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The eight campuses were selected from among 54 applicants to explore ways to better prepare students for the impacts of globalization and to improve cultural communication skills among students, faculty and staff.

“We are honored to have been chosen for this exciting opportunity to expand the cultural competency of our students in this age of globalization,” said Cindy L. Miles, district chancellor. “The At Home in the World project will be a wonderful opportunity to interact with similar campus programs across the country serving our increasingly multicultural and multinational communities.”

Leaders from the district’s two colleges, Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, will meet with ACE staff and representatives of the other institutions at an opening conference Aug. 29 and 30 in Washington, D.C., to share programs and best practices. Regular consultations with ACE experts will follow.

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Scramble is on for classes at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges

EL CAJON, California (Press Release)–  As the result  of statewide budget cuts for higher education  that have sharply reduced course offerings, students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been madly scrambling for available seats as East County’s two colleges begin the fall semester on Monday.

Preliminary figures for the college district show that about 24,000 students registered for  this semester. Almost 200 classes have been cut this fall, on top of 1,000 classes that have been eliminated in the past two years because of slashed budgets.

Nearly 94 percent of the available courses are full. The waitlist for class seats has  grown to more than 23,000, even after adjustments were made that opened up 5,000 seats. Enrolling in classes poses a particular challenge for new students who  are among the last to register because of the priority given to returning
students and others such as military veterans.

“We’ve had to cut classes, even as the demand for them is growing,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “High unemployment and more students who are coming to community colleges for job  training has increased demand. The travesty of the budget crisis is that
community colleges are finding it more and more difficult to able to serve our mission of providing open access to higher education.”

Students will be paying $36 per credit unit this fall, up $10 from last year, as part of a statewide fee increase for community college students. Fees could rise to $46 per credit unit for the spring if state revenues fall short of projections.

The college district is preparing a final budget that reflects $6.3 million in cuts from the state – in addition to $15 million in budget cuts over the past two years. With the uncertainty in the state budget, the possibility of further cuts still looms at the college district.

Although students are experiencing frustration in getting the classes they need, both colleges are taking steps to help them make the most of their education.

Grossmont College’s student affairs office is hosting “Week of Welcome!” – WOW – Aug. 22-26 with on-campus activities and events, such as information booths, a health professions information session, an open house for the Associated Students of Grossmont College, Inc., and more.

When a pilot program was introduced at Grossmont College last fall to help recent high school graduates with orientation, advising and an early registration opportunity, some 600 students participated, even though the special sessions were held on Saturdays.

Cuyamaca College has launched a new First-Year Experience, or FYE program, that helps recent high school graduates make the transition to college. Priority
registration is granted to students who sign an agreement to complete math, English and counseling courses upon assessment. About 170 of the program’s first
students will receive an orientation and barbecue on the first Friday of classes – one of several activities planned during the year to help students succeed.

“This is a comprehensive approach to ensure that students learn and persist through their first year,” said Jesus Miranda, program coordinator.

Cuyamaca College is also hosting a Welcome Back Involvement Fair from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 22-24 on the grand lawn to get students involved in campus organizations and to inform them of events and programs that are being planned for the semester.

Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, said the district has prepared as much as possible for budget
uncertainties. “Our board has taken a very conservative approach to our budget planning process to ensure we are providing the best education we can despite increasingly limited dollars,” Garrett said.

Preceding provided by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

For 82 students a year, $1,000 scholarships

EL CAJON (Press Release) – East County’s two community colleges have raised almost $850,000 for the Bernard Osher Foundation scholarship fund that will forever provide awards of at least $1,000 to 82 students each year.

As a result of the three-year intensive fundraising campaign, 56 students at Grossmont College and 26 students at Cuyamaca College will be selected annually to receive an Osher scholarship. With the match from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the total value of the two college’s scholarship fund is more than $1.6 million.

In May 2008, California’s 112 community colleges were challenged to raise money for the scholarships, with a promise of a 50 percent match from the Osher Foundation for all of the donated funds. The San Francisco-based foundation also made an initial $25 million contribution to the fund.

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There’s a silver lining in GCCCD budget and enrollment cuts: unimpeded construction

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release)–It’s summertime but the living is anything but easy at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, where building crews will take advantage of reduced traffic to tackle $38 million in construction projects.

If there is an upside to budget woes significantly reducing summer enrollment, it is that the colleges are able to do construction jobs with less worry about disrupting classes or taking up parking spaces.

Reduced state funding has forced the colleges to cut by half the number of course sections offered this summer compared to last year. At Grossmont College, summer class sections have been cut from 210 in 2010 to 113 this year. Cuyamaca is offering 44 course sections this summer compared to 88 a year ago.  With fewer classes, enrollment has also been cut in half – about 3,100 students are attending Grossmont this summer and about 1,200 are at Cuyamaca.

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Cuyamaca groundskeeper inspires other students at graduation

CUYAMACA COLLEGE (Press Release) – Of the more than 2,100 students who received their degrees or certificates from East County’s two community colleges last week, few have worked so hard and so long for that sheepskin as Patty Tackett. A groundskeeper at Cuyamaca College, Tackett became a part-time ornamental horticulture student in 1997 to gain more knowledge about her work. Mostly taking one class a semester, it took her until 2001 to earn enough credits for a certificate of achievement in landscape design and technology and irrigation technology. That done, she decided to continue on to earn her associate in science degree.

It was slow going for someone who had been out of school for more than a quarter century. But Tackett persevered. When her name was called to collect her diploma along with 450 associate degree graduates and 129 certificate recipients at last Thursday’s commencement ceremony at Cuyamaca College, the honors graduate had her own cheering section among the faculty.

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Last-minute drive underway for scholarship matching funds

CUYAMACA COLLEGE (Press Release) – After several years as a stay-at-home mom with three young children, Vicki Watkins faced the prospect of going back to work after a marital split.

She struggled at first to make ends meet with a near-minimum-wage job as a retail clerk, and then decided with some trepidation to return to school. At Cuyamaca College, she found the support she needed – an on-campus job and financial aid, including a $1,000 Osher scholarship, made possible by donations and matching dollars from the Bernard Osher Foundation.

“I am not sure where I would be in my life right now if I wouldn’t have met such caring and encouraging people that I have met here at Cuyamaca,” said Watkins, who will be graduating in June and transferring to San Diego State University in the fall as an accounting major. “Being that I am a single mother of three children, the Osher scholarship has helped relieve some of my financial hardship that I have faced by returning to school. It has also helped bring my family closer together by having the extra money to do the little things that make my kids smile.”

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Zacovic named new Cuyamaca College president

CUYAMACA COLLEGE (Press Release) – Dr. Mark J. Zacovic, now serving as executive vice president of instruction and student services at Victor Valley Community College, has been named president of Cuyamaca College effective July 1.

Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, said Zacovic’s energy and passion for educating students became clear during an extensive recruiting process.

“He brings a deep background and understanding of California community colleges that will serve Cuyamaca well during this time of financial hardship brought on  by the state’s worst-ever budget crisis,” Miles said. “Dr. Zacovic’s breadth and depth of college leadership experience includes colleges of every size, both single-college and multi-college districts, and urban as well as rural districts.

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GCCCD plans to cut nearly 800 class sections

EL CAJON  (Press Release)– Facing an $8.1 million cut in money from the state, officials at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District are planning to eliminate more than 780 class sections in the next school year – turning away almost 5,000 students — and reduce summer school to a bare minimum.

The almost 30,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges can expect greater difficulty in enrolling for classes beginning this summer and will take longer to complete the courses they need to transfer to a university or train for a career. They’ll also be paying $36 per credit unit, a $10 increase.

“We’ve had to make some agonizing decisions as we try to provide the best education to as many as possible with sharply limited resources,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

The district will be drastically reducing hiring, maintenance and supply purchases, and is seeking savings to cut benefits costs by $500,000.

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