State of the College Spring 2017
January 20, 2017 / Dr. Gari Browning - Ohlone College President's Office
- View the State of the College Spring 2017 (Ustream) (video is ASL interpreted; it is not captioned)
- Download State of the College Spring 2017 (PDF)
Gregg Bonaccorsi, Ohlone College Board of Trustees Vice Chair, introduced Dr. Browning.
Text of Dr. Browning's speech follows:
Thank you, Trustee Bonaccorsi. Welcome everyone to the spring 2017 semester and the State of theCollege presentation.
I would like to introduce members of the Board of Trustees—Board Vice Chair Greg Bonaccorsi, who just introduced me; Trustee Jan Giovannini-Hill; Trustee Ishan Shah; and Student Trustee Miguel Fuentes. Thank you for coming today and thank you for your dedication to Ohlone students and the college. I would also like to acknowledge Trustee Teresa Cox, Trustee Vivien Larsen, Board Chair Richard Watters, and Trustee Garrett Yee, who are unable to be with us today.
Welcome to the members of the Ohlone College Foundation Board. Please hold your applause to the end. Board members please stand as I say your name and stay standing. Rakesh Sharma, Board Chair; Julie Zhu, Board Vice Chair; Christopher Brown; Gil Cheso; Gloria Fuerniss; and Jim Wright. Thank you on behalf of our students, faculty, and programs. We appreciate you being here today.
The executive officers and senators of the Associated Students of Ohlone College have joined us today. Please stand so we can welcome you.
I would like to welcome to my colleague and friend, Dr. Jim Morris, Superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District. Dr. Morris, please stand. Welcome and thank you for being here this morning.
The Ohlone College Connection program provides high school seniors a unique opportunity to take their regular classes as well as Ohlone classes on our campuses. This year’s College Connection students are watching from the Newark campus. Welcome!
Finally, we welcome members of the President’s Advisory Committee, which include community leaders from local business and industry, local government, universities, school districts, non-profit organizations, religious groups, and police and fire departments. Please stand and let us thank you for your participation.
Now I’d like introduce you to the newest members of the Ohlone family. Again, please hold yourapplause to the end.
- Eugene Albright – Instructional Assistant, Deaf Studies
- Farzana Barakzai – Financial Aid Specialist
- Vanessa Bocog – Administrative Assistant, Foundation
- Yesska Calderon – Administrative Assistant, Enrollment Services
- Christina Caratachea – Human Resources Specialist
- Grace Chiao – Applications Administrator Jesselle Hoque – Placement Testing Specialist Jovon Johnson – Learning Resources Technician I
- Marcus Montague – Learning Resources Technician I Mariela Torres – Learning Resources Technician II
- Kua Vang – Community Education Services Specialist, and
- Stephen Yuen – Accommodation Services Test Proctor
And we have two position changes and promotions: Tijan White – Student Success Coordinator and John Li – Accounting Manager
Today I’ll be talking about what’s going on at the college and what we can anticipate this semester. I have the latest exciting news about Measure G.
A great deal of Measure G construction work has been accomplished so far, especially last semester and over the winter break. Our new Parking Structure has been in operation for a year and a half now, and it continues to receive rave reviews. The Olympic size swimming pool returned to use in August looking brand new and working better than ever.
The Athletic Fields and new Field house opened for operation in October. The new synthetic turf will reduce water use and save on maintenance costs compared to natural grass. Best of all, the completion of the new soccer field allows the soccer teams, which have been off campus for 5 years, to come back. I attended one of their matches and was thoroughly impressed with the field and our teams.
Construction on the Academic Core buildings, the main Measure G project, began in May and is anticipated to be complete in October 2018, with occupancy in spring of 2019. So far rough grading and shoring is finished, along with below grade drainage and placement of pile footings. During new construction, the current highest daily workforce was 65 workers, and this number is anticipated to swell to nearly 200 workers at the project’s peak. A total of 30,000 field hours have been worked to date, not including the demolition phase. The total budget for the project is $180.3 million.
Remember you can watch the construction live on the four webcams by following the link on the left side of our home webpage, and take a look at the physical scale model located on the ground floor of Building 7.
Another important Measure G project is the geothermal installation. Similar to the geothermal coils at Newark, this project will use the more constant temperatures from underground to help heat and cool our buildings. However, instead of coils, the Fremont installation will feature vertical and horizontal pipe. There will be an impressive 450 bores, each 400 feet deep, and over 90 miles of horizontal pipe. Significant water and power savings are projected over the 50-year minimum lifespan of this project, along with a 5 million kwH reduction in our electrical bill, which translates into about $2 million in savings. We will also save roughly 3 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions or the CO2 equivalent of that, and 125 million gallons of water, worth another $1 million in savings to the college.
While not part of Measure G, in an effort to make both campuses equally safe, we will be investing $500,000 in Newark campus safety projects.
Upcoming this semester is the planning phase for Building 5 and the North Parking project.
We will keep you informed of parking lot closures that will occur throughout the year on the Fremont campus. There’s a newsletter available for you today which lists these closures and provides a good map of what is occurring where.
Now for the Budget--
The Governor released his proposed State Budget for 2017-18 on January 10. The Budget focuses on efforts to address poverty in the state, increase the minimum wage for the state’s workers, and expand health care coverage.
State revenues, which surged during the last several years of recovery, are now lagging behind expectations. While the state economy is still recovering and growing, monthly revenue estimates have fallen short in five of the last seven months. As a result, the Proposition 98 guarantee, the funding source for K-12 and community college education, is lower. Despite these constraints, education still does well in the Governor’s proposed budget, but not as well as the last two years. The proposed budget provides roughly $400 million in new funding for community colleges, about $45 million less than last year.
The budget proposes a 1.34% increase for growth, compared to 3% last year, which will be allocated through a new formula. It is likely that Ohlone’s share will be less than 1% based on this formula. The budget also proposes a 1.48% COLA, and there is an increase to the base to cover the rising cost of STRS and PERS for employers. The budget proposals also include $43.7 million of one-time funds for Physical Plant and Instructional Equipment, $52.3 million for energy efficiency projects, and $5.4 million to include categorical programs in the COLA.
In a departure from the previous two years, the Governor does not propose any one-time discretionary funding for 2017-18, whereas Ohlone received approximately $4.5 million in 2015-16 and $730,000 last year. In addition, funding for the Student Success and Support program (SSSP), Student Equity, and Strong Workforce programs will remain at the 2016-17 levels.
The issuance of the Governor’s Budget Proposal marks the beginning of the annual Budget process, not the end. Over the next several months, expect that legislative committees will weigh in on the proposals and changes will occur. The May revise will tell us in more detail how the budget shapes up for us.
The Bay Area community colleges continue to see a drop in enrollment of anywhere from 5 to 9%. As of yesterday, Ohlone’s spring semester FTES count was 3016 for all enrollments, lagging behind our projected target of 3500 for residents. Our fill rate for spring enrollments is currently at 62 percent. Year to date FTES is 7250, which is 680 below our cap of 8132 with additional dual enrollment to be included later.
We had a successful pilot Cyber Session over winter break with ten full sections generating 28 FTES. Fifty-nine (59) spring sections start late and could potentially add 60-80 FTES toward our target. Our summer 2017 enrollment management strategy is to build a schedule that will potentially yield sufficient FTES to hit our target. You can help by wearing an “Ask Me” button, available at the welcome table just outside, and by encouraging students to stay in classes.
To help us monitor our enrollment, IT Services implemented a new enrollment dashboard. It is available to all faculty and staff, and I encourage everyone to check it. In addition to FTES and headcount charts, the dashboard shows breakdowns of the subjects our students take and the demographics of our student population.
I would like to thank the deans for their continuous work on building the best possible schedule to meet student needs and demand. This is not an easy task, especially during prolonged enrollment downturns like those that we are currently experiencing.
The college is pursuing entrepreneurial efforts to develop alternative revenue streams that will help support our educational programs during State budget cuts.
To provide us with a steady and unrestricted funding source, we continue our efforts to develop the frontage property along Mission Blvd. through a ground lease. Proposals are due March 6, and in April the Board will award a contract, followed by a 60-day negotiation process which will end in June. We have been successful in obtaining a waiver from the Board of Governors to allow us to choose the proposal that best meets college and neighborhood needs, to work with a development consultant to get as many proposals as possible, and to broaden the range of the types of projects to consider. We anticipate having several proposals from which to choose. Just in case you are asked, the olive trees are considered historical and will not be touched.
We have assessed the feasibility of growing grapes on the Fremont campus and identified a suitable 10- acre site. Next, we will develop a business model to determine if leasing the land to a vintner could generate another viable revenue stream for the college.
Lastly, we are exploring the idea of harvesting the olives along Olive Way to produce olive oil. We have met with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, who harvest their olives to produce oil which they sell to raise money for the church. The sisters have a long waiting list of people who want to buy their olive oil, so we will not be competing with the church for customers. We’re very excited about the potential to produce our own for resale. Stay tuned!
Economic impact report
Ohlone is a great educational resource for the local community, but did you know it is also a significant financial asset? Remember that as part of our Institutional Improvement Objective for marketing and enrollment, we enlisted a report from EMSI on Ohlone’s impact on the economy of our service area. The final report is in and shows that the effect created by Ohlone College on Fremont, Newark, and Union City totaled $338.6 million in the analysis year, 2014-15. In addition to our 729 full-time and part- time employees, we spent another $23.7 million to support day-to-day operations. And students attending Ohlone from outside the District spent approximately $507,100 in the college district. The accumulated contribution of former students currently employed in the District workforce amounted to $291.2 million in added income during the analysis year.
In addition, Ohlone’s return on investment to students, taxpayers, and society is enormous. Students gain $2.80 in increased future earnings for every dollar they invest in their education for an average annual return of 12.4%. State and local taxpayers spent $47.4 million to support Ohlone operations. The net benefit to businesses is $214.9 million for an annual average return on investment for taxpayers of 14.8%. Society as a whole will benefit from $47.2 million in savings related to reduced crime, lower unemployment, and increased health and well-being across the state. Finally, for every dollar society spent on Ohlone educations during the analysis year, society will receive a cumulative value of $13.40.
We have applied for and received funding and assistance from the Chancellor’s Office Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative or IEPI. A team of peer experts will visit the college twice this spring, the first time to gather information and the second time to create a draft plan. The two topics we have identified for assistance are enrollment management and a structure for offering non-credit courses. The enrollment management plan will complement our marketing plan. For instance, an element of our marketing contract is an analysis of when we lose students--from application through graduation or transfer. The team will help us use this information to develop strategies to keep students at the points we are most likely to lose them. The emphasis for both the marketing plan and the IEPI enrollment management plan will be to put students first. And Ohlone will receive $200,000 in seed money to implement improvements!
The Faculty Position Planning committee completed its work in the fall and sent a list of ranked positions to me to select the 8 disciplines in which we will hire this semester for next year. At the beginning of the process, I met with the committee to explain what I take into account when I make my decision. I asked them to consider the data, whether a program was a signature program of the college, the need to add or expand a program based on job market data analysis, presence of an Associate Degree for Transfer, overlapping programs we already offer, the relationship of the position to the college strategic goals, and ultimately what’s best for the college and our students. This is a difficult task, and they did a great job!
I reviewed everything myself including the committee recommendations, the quantitative and qualitative data, the applications, and the special circumstances of each department. I considered the broad view for Ohlone and made my choices accordingly.
We will hire fulltime faculty for 2017-18 in Art, Business Administration, Engineering, Ethnic Studies, Mathematics, Music, PE Head Coach, and Political Science.
Because there has been a resignation in accounting within the first year of employment, we will consider this as last year’s slot and go out again to fill it. We are also in the process of filling the physics and computer science positions from last year’s unsuccessful searches.
Classification Study Results
Great news! Ohlone’s employee groups are above the mean of the Bay 10 districts in total compensation by 4.5 to 7 percentage points. This is due, in part, to the full implementation of the classification and compensation study as well as reaching our goal of providing a healthy benefit allowance for our full-time faculty and management groups. As a result of ongoing efforts to improve adjunct faculty compensation, over the past six years the District has increased hourly pay approximately 14% and made improvements in flex pay, stipends, fringe benefits, and now an office- hour pilot. Still, we have a ways to go for this important group of Ohlone employees.
We have the latest progress on our strategic goals and objectives.
In October the College Council reviewed the strategic goals, objectives, and action plans, revising some and bolstering others. Where action plans or methodologies were incomplete, the Council helped complete them. Since November we have been collecting assessments, evaluations, next steps, and further updates in detail; so far we have 62 pages worth. Once this assessment is completed, the Process Assessment Committee will work to identify gaps that will need additional scrutiny or new action plans. On Tuesday the College Council reviewed progress on our strategic goals and incorporated the goals and action plans from SSSP, Student Equity, and Basic Skills into the strategic plan, a step toward one having unifying plan from which to work.
Here’s what we know about our progress so far.
We have some excellent efforts and results for Goal 1--improving student learning and achievement.
The college-wide completions rate for degree, certificate, or transfer-related outcomes is up 1.5% overall. Unprepared students (those who needed to take a basic skills class) saw a gain of 3.3% over last year and have surpassed our goal. ADTs (guaranteed transfer degrees) we awarded were up 34.6% over last year to 206; Certificates of Accomplishment were up 19.9% to 446, and total awards were up 5% to 1441. We are considering how best to measure transfers because looking at the actual number of transfers does not take fluctuations in enrollment into account. More on this one next time.
Overall course completion rates (the percentage of grades of C or better) declined slightly over last year’s high, but the completion rates for distance education classes are the highest they have ever been and surpass our goal.
The most recent cohort improvement rate for students who start in remedial classes and move on to college-level courses is 2.0% over last year, and Ohlone’s current rate places us first among our statewide peers in the percentage of basic skills math students who eventually pass a college-level math class. Of particular note is that we are looking at a cohort rate based on students starting six years ago, so these results don’t even capture all the gains that will result from our new initiatives with the Ohlone Math Gateway project, A2π, embedded tutors, multiple measures, or the Umoja learning community.
The most recent remedial English improvement rate is up 8.8% and already exceeds our goal. And our ESL improvement rates also increased, up 3.1% over last year.
The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) website has been developed and is operational. In addition to being a repository of resources for student equity, the TLC coordinated several professional development activities for the faculty, including best practices, cross-disciplinary activities, and equity workshops.
The web application for student learning outcome assessment has been implemented, as have the Informer reports relative to SLO assessment.
We have had significant new initiatives implemented to address career exploration, including two years of highly successful Science Nights. This year’s event attracted 4000 students and their parents, fully 1500 more than last year’s inaugural event. The Business, Biotech, and Engineering departments have been particularly successful in creating internships, arranging industry tours, hosting guest speakers, collaborating with the One-Stop, and sponsoring workshops—all to help students become more career- ready and gain incentive to complete programs.
We have gathered the data to show where our gaps in service are and implemented some interventions, including the following:
- Admissions and Records and the Financial Aid office are offering extended hours during the beginning of the semester at both campuses. A&R is also providing streamlined processes for dual enrollment with our K-12 districts.
- Counseling held a very successful Transfer Day in the fall followed by the Transfer Center hosting a number of student workshops. The Counseling office continued to reach out to students who need comprehensive educational plans and orientation, and the number of students taking advantage of these services increased by 25% last year. Counseling hours and proctoring services have been added to serve Newark students. And Counseling is collaborating with the English Dept. in launching the Early Alert system this semester.
- The Placement Testing Office’s open door policy has generated positive feedback from students and staff. And DSPS and Interpretation and Accommodation Services have seen an increase in student requests for services in the last year.
Goal 2, to provide effective Career and Technical Education, is progressing.
All of our CTE programs have functioning advisory committees that provide input for Program Review. CTE departments are now on a two-year program review schedule.
We have some work to do to ensure that our CTE students are completing degrees, certificates, or transferring. The vocational course completion rate has been in decline for the past three years, perhaps reflecting our increased participation in the South Bay Public Safety Consortium, a program intended to keep fire fighter and police officer training current rather than conferring degrees.
Ohlone’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ODIAC) is leading the way in Goal 3 by continuing to promote cultural competency and awareness. The committee sponsored many well-attended events in the fall, underscoring Ohlone's commitment to diversity and inclusion. There were more than 27 events, too many to mention here. The objective to add two activities over the 5 years of our strategic plan is certainly being met! ODIAC has a list of past and upcoming events on their website.
And the General Education committee is in the process of revising the Plan A diversity requirement to include both global diversity and national ethnic components. As a result, we will probably revise the objective for this effort.
The outcomes for underrepresented and disproportionately impacted students for Goal 4 continue to improve.
The college retention benchmark for underrepresented students is set at 83.0%. Currently our retention rate for these students is 82.8%, so we are getting close. To support these underrepresented students, as well as all students, we have created or enhanced a number of programs.
We are also tracking transfers by ethnicity. The percentages from 2012 to 2015 indicate that students are transferring in about the same proportions they enroll. This data is limited to transfers to CSUs because UCs, in-state privates, and out-of-state colleges do not provide transfer information by ethnicity.
We are making progress on Goal 5 by reaching out to our internal and external communities.
In March of 2015, we initiated the President’s Advisory Committee, and there have been eight meetings since then, attended by leaders from the college and the community. At each meeting, updates about the college are presented and community members interact in small groups to give their perspectives on an issue relevant to the college. Between meetings, we apply the community input, and then we report those activities back at the following meeting before embarking on a new discussion topic.
We have hosted two of these meetings since summer. The topic for the September meeting was “The news about Ohlone is good! How can we get our story out?,” which yielded several important messages and great strategies to help inform the community. The December topic was a discussion of the Ohlone image, intended as the first of our branding exercises. You may be asked to participate in a similar exercise to help rebrand Ohlone.
You will notice that this year’s Program Review process included some research questions identifying particular student needs as revealed by the data. Your Program Reviews are read carefully to monitor responses to these research questions. As your PIOs address identified needs, you are helping to meet a strategic goal.
To provide you with more qualitative data in the future, we will administer a nationally normed online survey from UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) to faculty, staff, and students during this semester. The results will help us evaluate the campus climate, collect information about institutional practices, identify strengths and areas for improvement, track progress on diversity efforts, and disaggregate perceptions by different social identities. We are also adding a few of our own questions to gauge your sentiments about arming college police officers, for instance. We urge your participation—and we ask that you encourage your students to participate, as well. There will be incentives!
We are making good progress on Goal 6, to use our resources responsibly, effectively, efficiently, and sustainably.
We are following a timeline to get our full time faculty numbers back up where they should be. In addition to the 16 positions we approved last year, we are replacing last year’s resignations and retirements and adding 2 new positions for 2017-18, planning to reach the re-benched goal of 136 full time faculty eventually.
In 2016 faculty and staff attended more than 150 professional development seminars, workshops, forums, and programs. This semester a survey will be created to assess the professional development needs of faculty and staff, and the survey results will be combined with data from PIOs and program reviews to establish an integrated professional development plan.
We have seen additional non-apportionment revenue from the increased enrollment of international students and from more Community Ed offerings, but with all of the construction, income from renting out our facilities has fallen. Bookstore revenue has also declined. We have re-organized the structure and purpose of the Foundation, and although promising, it is still too soon to adequately assess those outcomes. We are still investigating uses for the frontage property and other possibilities that I mentioned earlier.
As for technology, we recently conducted a study of our efficiencies using Colleague, and the results of that analysis will prompt new action plans to streamline our technology and to develop and maintain technological systems.
We also assessed technology needs, and a computer replacement plan has been created and implemented. This year the college will spend about $530,000 to replace computers for faculty, staff, and classrooms.
This spring, we will be launching a mobile app for our students, enabling them to view their schedules, their grades, and campus events; to connect to our course management system and social media apps; and to get directions.
And today is the day! In response to you, and hearing what members of our community have to say, we are on our way to launching a new home page as part of our overall website re-design project. Our homepage will have a new look and up-to-date function, and it will be as rich in information as it is now, easy to navigate, and fully accessible. I invite you to visit our website to see what’s new.
In our continued efforts to embrace a service-oriented approach, our Facilities and Maintenance department will implement an online ticketing system this spring that will enable you to submit a work order and track its status. The Marketing and Institutional Research departments will have similar ticketing systems soon.
The Facilities Department is in the midst of a preventative maintenance assessment and has identified the scheduled maintenance projects for the year. These projects have been approved to receive $511,000 of Chancellor’s Office support. A landscaping improvement plan has been initiated at both campuses, including re-landscaping some areas, adding sunshades and benches, and increasing lighting on walkways. The Newark building was painted throughout, along with Buildings 6, 7, and 9 on this campus.
The college is participating in several sustainability projects, including waste management, recycling, drought and water restrictions, emissions control, storm water prevention, and construction waste management. The college has plans to work with a service provider to remove and compost food waste as part of a commercial organic recycling program. Also, to better integrate our sustainability efforts, College Council has merged the facilities and sustainability committees.
We are continuously working on Goal 7, to improve participation and communication.
Several venues have been opened to promote more college-wide communication on important issues. In addition to the President’s Advisory Committee meetings, we have collaborated on the question of arming officers through Task Force A; we have rallied together to address post-election issues; we have engaged the use of a consulting firm to help us better understand and address how we communicate to the community; and we have encouraged looping information to constituent groups to make sure committee discussions and decisions are inclusive. This spring the HERI surveys will add to our understanding of one another.
HR has been busy strengthening relationships within the college by hosting ice cream socials, the pre- grad dinner, adjunct open house, family night for new faculty, and new employee orientation. My office has also contributed, sponsoring the classified employee appreciation breakfast, lunches with faculty and employee groups, new faculty luncheons, and several open house parties in our office. But we can always do more, and I would welcome other good ideas that will unite us.
In addition to our self-identified strategic objectives, the state requires that we set several institutional effectiveness measures.
We must identify the ratio of salary and benefits as a percentage of our general fund. Our range is 85.0 to 86.9%, and our five-year average is 86.6%.
We also try to take advantage of any growth dollars the state provides. We had to go into restoration last year, expecting that we would then be able to take advantage of growth dollars this year. We are working diligently to achieve our enrollment goals as you heard, but we are not certain of the result yet.
Another goal is that we maintain a balanced budget, which we do.
We must also maintain healthy reserves. We do this one well and consistently, and we have the required level of operating expenditures on hand at all times.
Ohlone College has had unmodified audit opinions, the highest level possible, for the last 8 years, satisfying its goal in this area. We've received unmodified opinions without any findings for the last four years, an accomplishment achieved by few colleges.
The final two goals have to do with the college maintaining its accredited status and complying with federal, state, and Chancellor’s Office regulations. We do this.
In addition to steady, and sometimes spectacular, progress on our strategic goals, there are several updates I would like to share with you.
Information Security Incident
The final forensics report of the information security incident last fall is in and found no evidence that our systems were infiltrated. This finding supports our internal conclusion that the incident was limited to files and did not involve our systems. As part of our long-term information security protocols, the college completed the scanning of all staff and department folders to identify files containing social security numbers and to evaluate the purpose of the files. The college is taking further steps to protect sensitive information including:
- Prohibiting sending emails and/or attachments containing social security numbers to external email addresses.
- Setting up a secure transfer of files with third-party vendors.
- Setting up an encrypted folder for departments to store files containing sensitive information.
- Conducting a periodic review of access rights to Colleague and the network to ensure timely deactivation of accounts of separated employees.
- Securing data on new laptops.
- Implementing information security training for new employees. and
- Conducting periodic online training for current employees.
We’ve recently completed an analysis of the college’s four photovoltaic energy systems–three at Newark and one at Fremont--and found that the systems are very beneficial to the college, providing savings on our power bill and solar incentives. Three of the photovoltaic systems produce 41% of the total energy used by Ohlone, with the fourth system providing additional bill credits to the Fremont campus such that all four systems offset 53% of the college’s total energy bills.
The total cost of the four photovoltaic systems was $24.5 million. The payback period on the new systems is 25 years; however, savings to the general fund started immediately upon implementation of the systems in the form of reduced energy costs. Bill savings and incentive payments over the 25-year payback period are estimated to be approximately $30 million resulting in $5.5 million in net savings to the college.
And as always, we have a number of interesting and exciting projects underway for this semester.
In addition to conducting the campus climate survey I mentioned, Ohlone will continue its efforts to support all students and staff.
Ohlone responded promptly to the post-election concerns of many of our students and staff by conducting sessions with two mental health counselors, and the response was quite positive. I also sent two statements of support to the college community shortly after the election. We have provided expression boards in high-traffic locations to allow students to post their feelings, faculty and administrators are wearing safety pins as a symbol that Ohlone is a safe place, and a workshop on undocumented students was offered as part of Learning College Week. The Faculty Senate has also written a diversity and inclusion/no hate resolution.
In December, the Board of Trustees passed two resolutions, one in support of undocumented students and the other on no hate and inclusion. As the impact of the change in administration at the federal level unfolds, we have been making sure we stay informed about the rights and circumstances of our undocumented and visa students and our employees. We have learned key facts about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival or DACA students and the laws that protect us from withdrawal of Department of Education funding for financial aid.
You may also be wondering about the ground rules for free speech and academic freedom. Free speech does not include speech that is obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, disruptive to the campus, or that constitutes a call to violence. However, as a public institution of higher learning, it is critical for us to maintain a neutral point of view. Although the college can have and state its own point of view, as the Board has done with its recent resolutions, we cannot punish students or staff for voicing their own points of view.
We will make every effort to keep you informed of the impacts and changes in requirements and ways to protect students as they develop.
Ohlone will be partnering with Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and 10 other nonprofit agencies in the Bay Area to offer multilingual assistance to those eligible for citizenship in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Hundreds of applications will be prepared and processed in the one-day Pathways to Citizenship Initiative event this summer. The event will take place at the Newark Center and will provide opportunities for student volunteers to be trained and learn about the process of becoming U.S. citizens.
Thirty-six building monitors throughout assigned areas of the district received basic training to help the college in the case of an emergency. The monitors got some practice during the Great Shake Out by making sure everyone ducked and covered until the all clear, and they assisted in our successful district- wide fire drill in December.
Task Force A—Arming Officers
The college discussion on whether we should have armed officers on campus continued through the fall semester. The task force did an excellent job of finding and reporting information, first to the college Council, and then to the college community during three forums. Attendees heard the reports and were invited to ask questions.
Earlier this week the College Council was updated on the next steps in deciding whether to arm our sworn police officers. A question about arming officers will be included in the campus climate survey, available next month, and we will be setting up a blog that includes voting capabilities to allow an ongoing discussion and Q&A. Finally, we are in the process of developing a Security Master Plan to include security systems, IT security, staffing, and emergency protocols. The question of whether to arm our officers will be considered in the context of this plan.
The Foundation has been restructured to leverage college resources that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, bringing together marketing, business connections, and community relations, with donor outreach and fundraising through the Foundation. By using funds from several sources efficiently, this new structure is also achieving annual cost savings in salaries and benefits for the District. Work has already begun on new marketing efforts and materials and partnerships with the high schools to promote dual enrollment; the Foundation has collaborated with the One-Stop to host a career fair; and we have received a $96,000 contract to provide a training program for Healthcare, Information Technology, and Security. Beyond serving job seekers within our communities, the One- Stop started its third year of collaboration with Mission Valley ROP to provide over 200 high school students with career readiness education this school year. Many of these students are interested in attending Ohlone College after graduation. The One-Stop is also working closely with the Puente Program, recruiting 22 mentors who were successfully matched with Puente students, providing them access to career guidance and knowledge from industry professionals.
The Foundation continues to host a very successful annual golf tournament and receive a number of gifts from generous donors totaling $120,000 to support student success so far.
Ohlone is required to submit an Accreditation Midterm Report half way between our comprehensive self-evaluation report and the next site visit. The Midterm Report includes an update on the college’s response to Recommendations for Institutional Improvement, a trend analysis of data from the Annual Reports and Annual Fiscal Reports, and an update of how improvement plans arising out of the institution’s self-evaluation have been integrated into college planning.
During February, the draft version of our accreditation midterm report will be submitted to the College Council and Faculty Senate for their endorsement. The Board will have a first reading of the report at their February meeting, and a request for the report to be approved will be made at their March meeting. The midterm report is due to ACCJC on March 15. You can view a copy of the draft report on our Accreditation Website.
Strong Workforce is yet another initiative from the State that has prescribed outcomes. Its first main objective is to increase the number of students enrolled in CTE courses, programs, and pathways. This includes identifying new courses, programs, or pathways that can be implemented in subsequent years. The second objective is to increase the quality of these courses, programs, and pathways. Included within this objective are improving our CTE completion rates, transfer rates for CTE programs, employment rates, employment in the field of study, and earnings. The third main objective is to address recommendations from the Strong Workforce Task Force, including the provision of student services for career exploration, job readiness and placement, and work-based learning.
Based on labor market data and program review outcomes, the deans have identified several programs in their divisions, and will be working with program faculty to determine how best to invest the $670,000 dollars allocated to Ohlone to meet the Strong Workforce objectives. Regionally, we are interested in participating in several initiatives that include biotechnology, cybersecurity, multimedia, NetLab, public safety, and a teacher education pathway program. Our local plan and the regional plans are due January 31.
Student Services staff members often times represent us as the face of the college. Every day they assist and provide information to students, faculty, and community members from diverse backgrounds and with varying expectations. While on the frontline, they are doing multiple tasks like answering phones, assisting individuals at the window, providing directions, reviewing and processing paperwork, entering data, and supporting faculty. Yet we often forget to recognize what they do for the college. I would like to say thank you for their continued efforts and contributions to Ohlone College.
The ASOC members continue their excellent participation in the college by holding meetings, training and participating in campus-wide committees, and supporting college events. They helped sponsor the very successful Science Night, a Veterans Day celebration, and Food Drives. We had 43 recognized clubs last semester and all club representatives met regularly.
International Programs and Services
Throughout the year, the Ohlone College International Programs and Student Services focuses on 4 key areas: international enrollment, faculty exchange, study abroad activities, and a variety of services for the international student body.
As the international market place is getting more competitive, and a number of U.S. institutions are responding with additional efforts and strategies to keep pace, Ohlone College is following suit. Our efforts have generated enrollments from new and existing overseas organizations and educational institutions in China, Viet Nam, Korea, Myanmar, and Turkey. The total international student enrollment for spring semester is 475, and with late entry ELI classes that number should reach almost 500 students by the end of March. This total reflects almost a 10% increase for international degree students.
In addition to generating more enrollment, Ohlone has an eye on more diversity. Throughout the years, Ohlone has enrolled students from 54 different countries. Our newest addition to the diversity list comes from Panama.
For the past seven years, Ohlone College has implemented exchange opportunities for its full and part- time faculty to teach overseas. On these assignments faculty gain new insights in both culture and teaching styles that enhance their professional and instructional experience at Ohlone College. There will be on-going opportunities in China and Viet Nam coming up. Stay tuned for announcements in February.
Jeff Watanabe is just back from Costa Rica, where he led a group of environmental studies students over the break. Jeff reports that students had a transformative experience. And Brenda Ahntholz took twenty-five communication students to Spain to experience the diversity of its people, culture, history, economy, and geography. We expect more quality study abroad opportunities for interested students and faculty.
Ohlone continues to grow internationally, and we enjoy international success because it is an all- inclusive effort. We thank faculty, counselors, and student services staff who all play a role in the educational experience of international students during their time here at Ohlone.
I’ve collected a number of Ohlone facts and accomplishments that you can share:
- Earning an Ohlone degree or certificate nearly doubles students’ earnings within three years.
- We are second among the Bay 10 colleges for graduation rates from San Francisco State University.
- Attending or graduating from Ohlone doubles students’ chances of finding a job compared to those who did not finish high school.
- The Washington Monthly has named Ohlone one of the best two-year colleges for adult learners. We are #5 of the 113 California Community Colleges.
- Transfers to UC account for 48% of UC’s bachelor’s degrees in STEM majors. and
- Over 67% of community college students (75% for Ohlone) are of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Here’s a good one: The comparisons are in and, in case you doubted it, Ohlone is an breathtaking bargain! The cost for tuition and fees for two years at Ohlone is $2,876. For San Jose State, the same two years cost $14,756 (an $11,880 difference), and for UC Berkeley, the comparable cost is $27,020 (a $24,144 difference).
50th Anniversary Celebrations
We are looking forward to another busy semester. The most exciting events will focus on our 50th anniversary celebrations. A featured effort is expanding our Ohlone Promise Scholarships.
The Ohlone Promise is a full-ride scholarship for seniors graduating from public high schools in our service area. Promise students receive funding for books, tuition, and other fees for two years of full- time study. We started with 13, and last year we awarded 30.
The 2016 fall cohort of Promise students is the most successful to date. This is the fourth year of the scholarship, and the fall 2016 students have achieved the highest average GPA (3.41 average for 29 students) for any cohort for any semester. Additionally, their retention rate of 98.4% exceeds the retention rate for all other new students in fall by 9.8%, and their success rate of 87.5% exceeds the new student rate by 18.5%. Last year’s Promise cohort, now starting its second year, persisted from fall to fall at an 84% rate; this rate far exceeds the rate for all other new students starting in fall 2015 by almost 26%. And keep in mind, recipients are required to have just a 2.5 high school GPA to qualify for this opportunity.
The Foundation is planning to raise money for 50 Ohlone Promise Scholarships to celebrate Ohlone’s 50- year anniversary. Donors can provide a two-year, full-ride scholarship for $3,600, payable over two years. Departments might consider pooling resources to participate. To date, $66,000 has been raised towards this campaign.
Several events have been planned for Ohlone’s 50th Anniversary year. In March we will have a special display in our gallery. An Alumni of the Year Reception is scheduled for April 19. Our 50th Graduation will be celebrated on May 19, and we’re planning the 50th Anniversary Grand Gala for September 30. More to come!
As we begin this year of reconnecting, recognizing, and re-engaging to celebrate 50 years of Ohlone
College, we also look forward to the next 50 years. New initiatives, new faculty, and new buildings will pave the way, as will your energy and innovation. I want to commend you for all you take on and accomplish each year. I never cease to be amazed at the outcomes you are able to achieve for our students and our college. I am so proud and humbled to be part of Ohlone.
I want to thank my assistants, April Merritt and Shelby Foster for creating and producing the slideshow, and Gilbane for supplying the Measure G photos. I also thank all of you who provided information for this presentation. Thank you for coming.
You may have noticed by all the decorations that today we kick off our 50th anniversary year celebrations.
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