State of the College Fall 2016 August 26, 2016 / Dr. Gari Browning - Ohlone College President's Office

Vivien Larsen, Ohlone College Board of Trustees Vice Chair, introduced Dr. Browning.

Text of Dr. Browning's speech follows:


Thank you, Trustee Larsen. Welcome everyone to the fall 2016 semester and the State of the College presentation.

I would like to introduce members of the Board of Trustees-Vice Chair Vivien Larsen (thank you for the nice introduction), Trustee Greg Bonaccorsi, Trustee Jan Giovannini-Hill, and Student Trustee Miguel Fuentes. Thank you for coming today and thank you for what you do to support Ohlone students and the college. I would also like to acknowledge the trustees who are unable to be with us today: Trustee Teresa Cox, Trustee Ishan Shah, Board Chair Richard Watters, and Trustee Garrett Yee.

I would like to welcome 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; Lou Willett, Legal Counsel; Brad Hatton; Sylvia Jimenez; and Jim Wright. I offer my most sincere thanks to you on behalf of our students, faculty, and programs, and for being here today.

The executive officers of the Associated Students of Ohlone College have joined us today. Please stand so we can welcome you.

I would like to introduce the new Superintendent of the Newark Unified School District, Patrick Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez, please stand. Welcome to our district, 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 campus as part of a cohort. This year's College Connection student cohorts are here in the audience and watching from the Newark campus. I would like you to join me in giving them a warm Ohlone 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. I would like you to please stand and let us thank you for being here. Great turnout!

Now I'd like introduce you to the newest members of the Ohlone family. Again, please hold your applause to the end.

New Hires

We have some hires that are position replacements:


  • Katie Alvarez, Curriculum and Schedule Specialist
  • Lisa Antoine, Police Operations Dispatcher
  • Joanne Gapuz, Human Resources Analyst
  • Richard Leyvas, Maintenance Mechanic II/Electrician
  • Joe Luke, Safety Officer I
  • Alisa Omeragic, Administrative Assistant, Business Services
  • Leticia Perez, Assistant to the Vice President of Administrative Services
  • Patrick Smith, Theatre Operations Technical Assistant
  • Scott Snyder, Director of Information Systems
  • Minh-Hoa Ta, Vice President of Student Services and
  • Susan Yeager, Vice President of Administrative Services

New Positions

In a new position is

  • Weng-Chi Man, Science Learning Center, Instructional Lab Specialist

And we have 14 new faculty positions.

  • Emmanuel Garcia, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
  • Mark Grabiner, Assistant Professor, Biology
  • Debora Halloran, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Nursing
  • Adam Levy, Associate Professor, Geography
  • Kyle Livie, Associate Professor, History
  • John Lord, Instructor, Accounting
  • Jose Rico, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
  • Sobia Saleem, Instructor, English
  • Edward Saliba, Instructor, Respiratory Therapy/Clinical Education Director
  • Roberto Santiago, Interpreter Prep Program Instructor/Coordinator
  • Ron Sha, Assistant Professor, CNET
  • Shelly Spratt, Instructor, Communication Studies
  • Keitaro Taguchi, Assistant Professor, English and
  • Luba Voloshko, Assistant Professor, Chemistry



And we have two position changes and promotions:

  • Brian Rodriguez, Safety Officer I and
  • Binh Nguyen, Executive Director, Foundation, Community Relations, and Marketing


  • Bob Bradshaw - Dean, Science, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Suporn Chenhansa - Director, One-Stop Career Center and
  • Wayne Takakuwa, Dean of Counseling


I would like to extend a word of sincere thanks to Dr. Leta Stagnaro, who served as the Interim VP of Student Services from the beginning of October through April, in addition to being the Vice President of Academic Affairs. She did an excellent job and deserves a big thank you! I also believe she laid some good groundwork for our new VP of Student Services, Dr. Minh-Hoa Ta.


Today I'll be talking about what's going on at the college and what we can anticipate this semester. Let me start with Measure G.

Measure G

An unexpected and welcome result of the dramatic improvements to our athletic facilities is the addition of rich color. The campus is suddenly a canvas of bright green, warm reddish brown, and dazzling blue, framed against the green or gold of the hills, depending on the season, of course. See if you agree.

[Start video transcript.]

The campus beginning to reshape itself, and the news is all good!

Progress on the athletic fields has been swift and impressive. After years of waiting patiently, our teams will enjoy new facilities this year. The green is our sharp new soccer field which will be ready for action in just a few weeks. We anticipate that this field will be a magnet for high school and other soccer teams in the community as well as an asset to our own teams. And the baseball field with its synthetic green turf and reddish-brown dirt infield will be ready for the competitive season. (No sprinklers needed!) The women's softball field isn't as far along, but you can get a good idea of how it is shaping up. There is also a new field house to help with maintenance and provide space for trainers.

Now, as for the blue-The swimming pool has been transformed on time and on budget! To better meet the needs of our swimming and water polo programs, this project included reducing the depth of the pool, which has the added benefit of saving on water, energy, and chemicals-think cost and the environment; and the pool shell, plaster, tile, and deck are all brand new. Behind the scenes, all of the machinery is new too. Here are our team is playing water polo in the sparkling water for the first time at the recent ribbon cutting. And swimmers! (Looks like the Olympics doesn't it?)

Measure G dollars don't always produce flashy new pools or athletic fields. Right now they are giving the Smith Center a sorely-needed new roof-the old one leaked for years. Students, faculty, and the community will all benefit from water-tight performance venues and instruction space.

Now-the Academic Core: last year crews were hauling off the last pieces of concrete and steel and we had a big empty space. Now, back hoes are compacting and reshaping the hillside, much the way they did to prepare for the athletic fields. We can begin to see the contours where three new buildings-for science, the arts, and the library/learning commons-will emerge. Soon drilling for foundation piers will begin, and from there the project will really take off. Our dream is beginning to become a reality! We look forward to using the Academic Core buildings in about 28 short months.

[End video transcript.]

Really exciting progress!

Just a few interesting statistics: Three hundred thousand square feet of turf was installed on our athletic fields; we used over a mile of construction fencing, and we added 121 new trees. And we reduced the pool volume by nearly a third.

For the Academic Core going forward, thousands of cubic yards of dirt and rock are being removed. The job involves site logistics; materials storage, hauling, and traffic coordination; and safety crane locations. Toward the end of the year we will see nearly 3,000 tons of structural steel delivered. This is a big and complicated job with multiple subcontractors and inspectors involved. You can imagine how carefully everything must be planned!

Campus impacts

Of course the wonderful construction progress we are making will have some impact on the campus. We can expect a little traffic on Pine from major construction equipment coming in and out. We will also experience noise from drilling for the Academic Core foundation and for the geothermal pipes. The geothermal project will double heating and cooling efficiency in our buildings. Some parking lots will be taken off line to allow for drilling, which will occur in a planned sequence to ensure we have sufficient parking throughout the project.

There will be other unanticipated interruptions, so keep an eye open for messages. We will be working to keep you informed about construction. We have another newsletter for you today that details the projects I have mentioned, so please remember to pick it up.


We now have final word on the 2016-17 budget. Again support of the community college system is strong, although not what it was last year.

Ongoing money

The increase to ongoing money for Ohlone is modest compared to last year. Although the 2016-17 state budget allows for colleges to grow enrollment (or FTES) by 2%, Ohlone will not be eligible for that funding unless we are able to increase enrollment.

As you may know, COLA is provided through a formula based on increases to the cost of living. If there is no calculated increase, there is no COLA increase. There is no COLA for 2016-17 compared to last year's 1.02%.

Last year $2 million was added to our base to assist with increasing operating expenses including facilities, STRS & PERS increases, and technology. This year, 2016-17, we will receive $571,000 for these increased costs. PERS and STRS increases are of particular concern. The projected cumulative costs of these increases to our district through 2020 total about $3 million. It's possible the employer share will go even higher than announced.

Additionally, last year we received $432,000 to add full-time faculty. This year no funding was provided to add more.

One-time money

In addition to ongoing money, last year colleges received a large amount of one-time money. Ohlone received $4.5 million, allowing us to take care of some long-time needs including College-approved Institutional Improvement Objectives. We also reserved a large portion of it to pay for some of the increases to PERS and STRS I just mentioned.

The 2016-17 budget contains $729,000 in one-time money.

Based on initial estimates, other one-time money includes

  • $1.3 million for physical plant and instructional equipment, which will be split 40%-60%, respectively
  • $1.4 million for SSSP, which is the same amount as last year
  • $495 thousand for Student Equity, but likely to end up the same as last year at $619,000
  • $290 thousand for Prop 39 Energy Efficiency projects
  • $666 thousand for the Strong Workforce Initiative
  • $60 thousand for EEO activities and
  • $140 thousand for Basic Skills

There will also be additional funds for the CTE Pathways program and the Cal-Grant, Financial Aid program; however, these funds have not yet been allocated.

As you can see, colleges are receiving increased funding, but it's mostly one-time money for short-term projects determined by the state. Since the economy cycles up and down, another recession is predicted. The governor is budgeting accordingly-reluctant to commit to ongoing funding. As a result, colleges, including Ohlone, are forced to budget for the short-term, as well.


Ohlone, like most of the Bay Area colleges, is experiencing an enrollment decline. As I have explained before, this is what usually happens when the economy is strong and the unemployment rate is low. If you look at the 5-year trend, in 2015-2016 only three colleges within the Bay 10 (all of them in the Peralta District) saw an increase in FTES.

If college enrollment dips one year, the state does not reduce funding for that year. For Ohlone that year was 2015-16. The state then allows one year for the college grow back to its FTES level. For Ohlone that year is 2016-17. We are making our best effort to grow back to the 2014-15 level during 2016-17. As of Wednesday, our year-to-date enrollment was flat compared to last year at this point in time. But last year we were behind where we wanted to be. Bottom line, all of us support enrollment in our own way, so please keep in mind our need to grow as you continue to serve students.

Marketing changes and report-Really exciting!

As part of a major Institutional Improvement Objective or IIO, we began work on expanding our marketing efforts to increase enrollment, our visibility within the community we serve, and access for underrepresented groups. As a first step we hired a consulting firm, Interact Communications, for their ability to help with more than marketing. They have presented creative ideas that have real potential to improve access, increase enrollment, and improve student retention. The Interact consultants came to Ohlone in the spring to perform a needs assessment based on data they reviewed and interviews with several groups of students and staff.

The assessment they provided identified a number of findings and recommendations that I believe can strengthen our marketing efforts. At the top of their list was to overhaul our website appearance, user friendliness, accessibility, configuration, how it's maintained-everything! We have already begun to plan this upgrade. In addition to identifying the work to be done to update how the website functions behind the scenes, a subgroup will work on specifying the needs of each of our website audiences. These audiences include, for example, prospective students, current students, the college community, and the public.

The assessment also identified the possible negative impact construction may have on enrollment. They recommended we beautify areas not affected by construction; improve way finding and signage; and make the portables more inviting. Again, we've gotten started on this.

The consultants noted the need to develop dashboards and data for marketing and enrollment generation already identified as goals in our Technology Master Plan. We will use the data in the dashboards for outreach, marketing, and to inform point-of-contact staff. We know that an important aspect of enrollment management is keeping the students we have. In response to this recommendation, we will be tracking students from application to completion to determine when and why they leave. With this information and the expertise of the Interact Communications group, we will be able to intervene at the right juncture and with appropriate assistance.

This summer, as a start, Dr. Stagnaro surveyed students on why they dropped summer school classes. As you can see, there were some interesting results from the 213 respondents.

We know that some of the drops are due to shopping. That is, students enroll in more classes than they intend to take and make choices based on their latest situation or reaction to the class. We plan to compare these results to survey responses in fall and spring.

Another important recommendation is to develop comprehensive and coordinated marketing and outreach plans with strategies, targeted audiences, and specific tactics to impact enrollment.

Currently our marketing resources are split between advertising the college and supporting internal marketing requests to promote programs and events. To focus on boosting enrollment, we will be implementing a ticketing system to prioritize internal needs by determining their impact on enrollment, public perception, and college goals. We plan to assist members of the college community to produce their own marketing materials. This will help us redirect marketing resources-people and money-to college-wide needs.

Another recommendation is to provide staff with customer service training. To get started, we hope to work with our consultants to provide an assessment of our entire student intake process.

The coming 50th Anniversary celebrations provide (according to Interact) "a golden opportunity to engage the community and campus with a series of fun and informative festivities." It's also the perfect time to rebrand the college. We will incorporate these celebrations into our marketing efforts.

The assessment had some other promising recommendations, including

  • offering back-to-back 8-week courses, shifting away from the traditional semester-length courses. Research shows this pattern increases enrollment and improves retention of students who get burned out toward the end of the semester and drop out.
  • They also recommended making online orientation more effective and available;
  • improving outreach to Newark Memorial High School with parties, speakers, and other activities; and
  • adding welcoming and directional signage to help identify a front door to the college at Building 7. Right now it's a bit confusing if you consider that our new circle drops students off on the first floor, and services are on the second and third floors.

We are also considering how we can be known in our community for inclusiveness as we develop our marketing plan. Our marketing/rebranding planning will assist us in reaching our diverse community.

Lots of ideas and food for thought!

Economic impact report

As part of our Institutional Improvement Objective around marketing and enrollment we have asked for a report on Ohlone's impact on the economy of our service area. An early version of the Economic Impact Study shows another way Ohlone contributes to our community. A couple of highlights:

  • The overall impact of Ohlone on the local business community is 3770 jobs and $338.6 million in added income annually. The contribution the college provides on its own is nearly as large as the entire information industry in the District.
  • In return for their investment, Ohlone students will receive higher future earnings throughout their working lives. For example, the average associate degree completer will earn $15,300 more each year than someone with a high school diploma. Over a working lifetime, this increase amounts to approximately $596,700 in higher earnings.

We will be present the report once it's final.

Frontage Property

We continue to pursue the development of our frontage property along Mission Blvd. to provide us with a steady funding source. We have been successful in obtaining a waiver from the Board of Governors to allow us to choose the proposal that best meets the college's needs and is the most beneficial to the surrounding neighborhood, to work with a development consultant in order 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. And we plan to issue the Request for Proposals sometime this fall.

Wine production

Another possible source of non-apportionment revenue could lie in wine grape production. The Board of Trustees has asked that we assess the feasibility of leasing some of the land behind the Fremont or Newark campuses for this purpose.

President's Advisory Committee

I mentioned that members of our President's Advisory Committee have joined us today. This committee is made up of community leaders who come to quarterly meetings to share their extremely insightful advice on a variety of topics. We have been hosting meetings over the past year and a half, with the next one scheduled for September. Participation is good and the attendees are enthusiastic. They consistently provide good ideas for college consideration.

Here's is a list of the topics we've discussed to date.

Foundation Reorganization

In order to make the Foundation a more effective fundraising arm of the college and improve the efficient use of our marketing resources, I have reorganized the Foundation, College Advancement, the Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center, and Contract Education under a single division led by Executive Director Binh Nguyen. We are already seeing some innovative synergies between the College and the Foundation such as connections to the One-Stop Job Fair, mentors and internships for students, and support for a Night of Science.

College Council retreat

The College Council met on Monday for their retreat. The new co-chair is Terry Exner. We thank Alison Kuehner for an outstanding four years of service. Wonderful job! Terry is off to a great start by adding a new member orientation to the fall retreat-especially timely because we have a lot of new members. At the retreat, the Council discussed progress on the Accreditation Midterm Report, revisions to the Planning and Decision Making Handbook, and other important topics like arming officers and the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations.

Midterm report

During the fall semester, Dr. Stagnaro will lead our efforts to write our Accreditation Midterm Report, which is due to the ACCJC March 15, 2017. The report will include narrative information and analysis regarding progress the college has made on the seven recommendations identified by the evaluation team. It will also cover the college's sixteen self-identified actionable improvement plans. Faculty Senate and College Council will have opportunities in November to review and endorse the report before final Board approval in March.

Strategic Planning

This year will be the first formal assessment of our progress on the 2015-2020 strategic goals and objectives. It will be conducted by the Process Assessment Committee, under the guidance of the Institutional Research Office. It should be complete some time in November. One of the important changes we need to make in our process is to track not just that we are achieving our objectives, but also how we are getting there. Each objective now has an action plan attached to it.

Once the assessment is complete, I can report to you how we're progressing, but for now I would like to share with you some of our collective achievements related to our strategic goals and objectives.

We are making good progress on our goals to improve learning and achievement.

We wrote several of our strategic objectives to align with the Chancellor's Office Scorecard, which compares Ohlone to state averages and peer colleges. Aligned objectives include the all-important completions metric, basic skills math and English improvement, ESL improvement, and CTE course and program completion.

Results of this year's Scorecard are particularly important because they represent the first cohort of students that has had the benefit of the college's efforts to improve teaching and learning for each Scorecard measure-students studying at Ohlone from 2009 through 2015. For comparison, several of the objectives in our current Strategic Plan are tied to the 2013 through 2019 cohort, chosen to provide definitive outcomes at the end of this plan in 2020.

We improved on six of the seven Scorecard metrics compared to last year. The most telling metric, completion of degrees, certificates, and transfer, shows excellent improvement for African American students (up 12%) and Hispanic/Latino students (up 6%). In comparisons with our peer colleges, Ohlone ranks number one on key metrics for underprepared students, including students who complete 30 units, persistence from semester to semester, remedial math improvement, and remedial English improvement. Overall performance of underprepared students is up 3.2%.

Incidentally, Ohlone students are still performing near the top of all community colleges' students both in GPA and persistence once they transfer.

These results have earned Ohlone recognition as a high performing institution among other colleges, the community, and the accrediting commission.

A word of explanation about the Vocational Completions metric on the slide where we don't look so good. This metric includes students who complete 8 vocational courses and then go on to complete degrees and certificates. For Ohlone this will never be a good representation of how we are doing in this area because a large percentage of our vocational students enroll in Public Safety courses in order to stay current in their jobs. Most already have degrees or certificates and do not intend to complete a program at Ohlone.

Goals 3, 4, 5

Through the spring, we continued our efforts for diversity and inclusion related to three of our goals. We are asking ourselves what cultural competency and inclusion mean to us as we watch national and international developments and learn and grow with the help of the activities supported by our diversity and inclusion committee-ODIAC.

This semester we will do some important assessment. We have engaged the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA to perform a survey for faculty, staff, and students. 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 also plan to add a few of our own questions.


Through the spring, we continued our efforts for diversity and inclusion with leadership and practical help from ODIAC.

We welcomed presentations about what it was like to be a black youth growing up in San Leandro, the experience of a white woman as she began to realize the privilege that being white has allowed her, and childhood as a black woman moving through the educational system; and we hosted an open forum about American Muslims. We honored Asian Pacific American Month with a panel discussion about the Asian American experience, and we had weekly opportunities to practice our Spanish, regardless of our proficiency level.

These offerings provided insights on how we can continue to nurture our students and help lay the groundwork for their future successes. ODIAC is busy planning more activities and events to develop our cultural competency.

Student Equity update

A big part of our efforts toward student equity is supported by funding from the state through our Student Equity Plan. This initiative lays out how colleges should identify groups that need greater assistance in improving their academic performance, the areas of academic performance to be addressed in the Plan, and how funds can be expended. The activities to improve performance are up to the colleges.

Since my last report to you, we have undertaken some new activities. We've started the A2Pi Learning Community for African American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latino students in engineering. The Ohlone Math Gateway (OMG) Program has had some awesome success with internships, which I'll be telling you more about. I'm happy to say we have funded and planned a second Night of Science on our way to institutionalizing this wonderful opportunity for prospective students and their families to get to know Ohlone. Mark your calendars for October 15.

The Puente Program produces success rates for participating students that are significantly higher than the general student population's. Student Equity funding was used to make a "Noche de Familia" video, introducing prospective students and their families to the Puente Program. The program has also been enhanced, with the help of the Tri-Cities One-Stop, with mentors from the Foundation Board, government, education, nonprofits, and private industries such as healthcare, engineering, and information technology.

To improve African American success rates, Ohlone is starting an Umoja Program this semester. A team of staff, faculty, and counselors attended the Regional Umoja Symposium, and several team members attended the Umoja Summer Leadership Institute to help this promising program get off the ground.

The Student Voices Project continues to add videos designed to familiarize the college community with the lives and circumstances of some of our at-risk students and to help us recognize the barriers they face and see where we might help. Here's a sample:

Also last year, our Board approved the 2016-2020 Technology Master Plan. This year, the Technology Committee will be busy developing the action plans to achieve the goals of the plan.

Some of the major initiatives lined up for this year are the overhaul of our website in partnership with College Advancement, a mobile app for our students, and software for early alert in partnership with Student Services. We are also completing the upgrade of our Colleague system.

As part of continuous refreshing of our technology resources, our classrooms and labs will have updated computer systems, and Building 7 will have a Wi-Fi upgrade.

As an integral part of providing a platform for service delivery, this year we will implement a comprehensive ticketing system for College Advancement, Facilities, and Research and Planning. This will help our service departments prioritize requests and use this data for program review.


Our facilities maintenance, grounds, and custodial personnel have been busy this summer preparing both campuses for the fall semester.

Our maintenance crew initiated an Equipment Preventative Maintenance program, including servicing heating and cooling systems and installing Energy Management Systems in older buildings. They also made some key replacements, like drinking fountains.

Our grounds crews initiated a drought reduction program at both campuses, repaired several large underground water leaks, installed new landscape at the Newark campus, took fire protection measures, and performed weed control. And did you notice the flowers at the Pine Street entrance? Really nice!

Our custodial staff performed deep cleaning projects at both campuses and preventative maintenance on flooring throughout the college.

Our Facilities personnel will soon be wearing their new uniforms, so be sure to say hello when you see them around campus. Facilities has also relaunched its website so you can find updated information about what the department is up to.

Safety planning

As part of a large effort to develop a safety plan for our campuses, we are reviewing what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus, a bomb threat, an earthquake, and various other emergency situations. We are also reviewing safety systems across both campuses, response times, evacuation, and the emergency command structure. A task force of faculty, staff, and students has researched and analyzed available information about arming officers. More to come on this topic.

Safety training for our Building Monitors was conducted throughout the summer. This training covered the monitors' responsibilities, managing emergencies, and the fundamentals on how to prepare themselves and their areas for emergencies. The monitors now have equipment, including emergency radios, and instructions on use. Going forward, we will be conducting recurring training and practical exercises.


It's always fun to tell you about the many great Ohlone student accomplishments, and this semester is no exception.

ESL success

Recently research showed that students completing our combined ESL reading and writing course (ESL 184RW) move into a variety of English courses, and they pass every one of them with a grade of C or better. In fact, they pass at a higher rate than students who did not start in ESL.

PTA Licensure Passage

All of the Physical Therapy Assistant Program graduates from the 2015 class passed their Boards! This means that Ohlone PTA graduates have posted a 100% pass rate on the National Physical Therapist Assistant Exam every year since 2007. This program just completed their site visit for reaccreditation, and we agree that it went well. We will hear for sure soon.


Despite being off campus the entire season due to reconstruction of the athletic fields, 2016 was a wonderful year for our softball team. Four student athletes were selected to state and regional teams, and two received national recognition.


Four graduates of the Ohlone accounting program were selected for internships sponsored by Price Waterhouse Cooper, one of the top four world-wide accounting and professional services firms.

Multimedia & Graphic Arts Department at the Maker Faire

Ohlone's Multimedia & Graphic Arts students received kudos for their "Virtual Reality/Internet of Things" game at the San Mateo Maker Faire. Students were offered paid internships by some participating companies and were invited to show the project at the DAC conference in Austin, TX.

OMG Student Internships

Ten OMG students participated in paid summer internships at Type A Machines, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and NASA Ames. Ohlone students presented projects which ranged from using drones to measure sediment in the San Francisco Bay to working on the Mars 2020 Helicopter, which will go to Mars and scout out paths for the Mars Rover to cover. Two of the OMG interns have been hired on and will be working part time while they complete their degrees.

Deaf Studies

Last year 2 graduates of the Deaf Studies programs received Certificates of Accomplishment, 9 received Certificates of Achievement, and 13 received associate degrees. This fall 8 Ohlone graduates transferred to universities. In addition, as part of our new 2+2 Bachelor's in Interpreting agreement with Gallaudet, one of our Interpreter Prep graduates transferred to the Gallaudet program this fall.


Ohlone athletes continue to be scholar athletes. For the 2015-16 baseball season, 5 students in fall and 7 in spring had perfect 4.0 GPAs, and 30 in fall and 16 in spring had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.9. The team average for the year was above 3.0.

Ohlone Promise

Recipients of the Ohlone Promise Scholarship have been enormously successful. So far, looking at total students from all three Promise cohorts and comparing them to new students who started the same term as the cohorts started, here's what we have.

  • The retention rate for Promise students was 91.4% compared to 87.6% for new students.
  • Success rate for Promise students has been 84.5% compared to 73.4% for new students.
  • The overall GPA for Promise students from all three cohort years is 2.97, 17% higher than the 2.55 average for all new students starting concurrently with the Promise students.
  • Comparing Promise students who start in the fall and return the next fall, their persistence rate is 97.2%. Virtually all of them stay! For all new students who start in the fall, only 54.4% return the next fall.
  • The 18 who started in 2013FA have completed 8 associate degrees, all of which are transfer degrees. This group also completed 6 certificates, all in math or physics.
  • The students starting in 2014FA (in just two years at Ohlone) have completed 3 associate degrees, all of which are transfer degrees, and 6 certificates in math, engineering, chemistry, and physics.

These successes are especially impressive since to order be eligible for the Ohlone Promise Scholarship, students are required to have just a 2.5 high school GPA.

This year the Foundation hosted an orientation for first year recipients to welcome them to Ohlone. They met their assigned counselor, as well. Assigned counselors are the latest enhancement to this scholarship program, one that is likely to make these students even more successful.

Help for students

Welcome efforts

We are welcoming our students! Ohlone has flags at each entrance to the campus to welcome students in many of their own languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hindi, Pashto, Arabic, Vietnamese, Portuguese, French, Chochenyo (the Ohlone dialect from this area), and English. We plan to add more flags in other languages soon.

Last semester I reported to you that we were helping students find their way to classes during construction. That effort has turned into a major welcome event. In addition to the multi-lingual signs, you see five different colored flags denoting five building zones, intended to make directions and wayfinding on the Fremont campus clearer. On Monday you will see tables and refreshments at different meet-and-greet locations on both campuses. These efforts are supported by the Welcoming Committee made up of faculty, staff, and students.

Student Services

The Student Support Services Division continues to support the success of our students.

  • As of July, 1289 students had participated in New Student Orientations, and orientations are continuing through the first week of classes.
  • To better serve students and faculty, the Admissions & Records and Financial Aid offices will have extended their hours of service during the first week of the semester.
  • This semester we plan to purchase early alert software (Starfish) to help us track and contact students when they first miss a class or seem to be having trouble.
  • The Workability III program, the only program in the Bay Area that offers career services to the Deaf population, continues to be successful in placing these students in jobs.

Dual Enrollment

The College has seen an increase in Dual Enrollment from 2694 to 2971 students, 9% over last year. These are current high school students taking Ohlone classes. Among the Bay 10, Ohlone, at 12% of total enrollment, has the highest average rate of dual enrollment.

Computers for Students

We will be providing our CalWorks students the opportunity to receive refurbished computers through a program called K to College. The computers will be MS Windows certified, and our IT Services Department will be assisting students with set up.

Non-credit classes

The Chancellor's Office has approved Ohlone's first non-credit ESL courses. These courses will provide opportunity for many more students in our community to better their lives.

CTE Pathway-ECS

Ohlone Early Childhood Studies faculty have been working with adult school faculty from Fremont Adult and Continuing Education on a course to prepare students to enter Ohlone's ECS program. Beginning this semester, this will be the first CTE pathway established through a consortium with our adult education partners.

International Programs and Services

Our international programs continue to thrive.

Enrollment and Student Body

Ohlone has grown from an enrollment of about 150 students to almost 500 students. Our international enrollment for spring 2016 reached an all-time high of 470 students; 370 students were degree seeking and 100 were ELI. For fall 2016, we expect a bit of an increase over last year. Many institutions around the States are experiencing downturns in international enrollments, so the fact that Ohlone continues to experience growth is positive.

Throughout the years, Ohlone has been represented by students from a total of 53 different countries. This year we did not add any new countries to our diversity list. We saw our biggest increase in students from Viet Nam-up to about 46 students.

In the past few years, Ohlone has also had a significant increase in its representation from Malaysia. This is due primarily to a program, MARA, in which the Malaysian government sends scholarship students to US community colleges and universities. Last year, Ohlone had 25 MARA students, the highest representation of any institution. And of the 18 community colleges where MARA sends students, Ohlone was the only institution in which all students successfully transferred to 4-year universities.

Faculty Exchange

For the past seven years, we have implemented opportunities for Ohlone full and part-time faculty to teach overseas. This past summer, Ohlone sent 7 faculty to various institutions in China, and for the first time, a faculty member went to Nicaragua on a faculty exchange project involving teacher training.

Study Abroad

In spring semester, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Michael Navarra Smith, took a group of students on a Theater-Drama study abroad to London and Spain.

Overseas Delegations visit Ohlone campus

Ohlone now enjoys name recognition throughout Asia and in many parts of the world; perspective students and overseas institutions now seek out Ohlone. This year, several delegations from overseas institutions have visited or will visit the college to discuss possible institutional collaborations. Some of these visits come through relationships developed by the International Programs unit, several are the result of Ohlone's good academic status and high transfer rate, some are thanks to our reputation for caring for our international students with programs like Peer Mentors, and several are due to the strong connections in Southeast Asia that new Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Minh-Hoa Ta, brings to the college.

Fee Waiver Program

Help to our employees: Last fall we piloted an Enrollment Fee Waiver program for Ohlone employees as a benefit and to encourage them and their dependents to take classes where they work. In the fall, 37 enrollment fee waivers were processed. This spring the participation among employees increased with 30 employees enrolled in classes themselves, 8 spouses, and 13 dependent children. With fall and spring combined, a total of 85 individuals took advantage of the program!

Credit Rating

And help for taxpayers: The work on the issuance of Bond Series C is complete, a process which involves a rigorous review of our credit. Our credit ratings from both Moody's and Standard and Poor's remain the same as before and are considered excellent. They also revised the District's outlook from Stable to Positive, reflecting their view that the District's rating could be upgraded in the near future if the District maintains its financial profile. Our good credit ratings have enabled us refinance our bond issuances at lower interest rates and save taxpayers a total of nearly $23 million.

Trustee activities

With the many successes the college achieves, I want to let you know that our Board of Trustees is also engaged in continuous improvement. They faithfully attend professional development conferences offered by the League and produce written reports of what they learn, and this past year they formed a task force to improve Board meeting efficiency. They pay close attention to the budget and Measure G construction to protect Ohlone interests, and they are extremely interested in your SLO, sabbatical leave, student services, and program review reports. Our Board is contributing to our reputation as a high-performing college!


As usual, Ohlone is accomplishing a lot! I am excited about our activities to improve equity, student success, and inclusion. Adding so many faculty members to our ranks brings new energy and enthusiasm to all we do. Thank you for your many, many efforts to make Ohlone the institution it is, and thank you especially for your dedication to our students.

We are looking forward to another busy semester. The campus climate survey, start on the website overhaul, preparation of our Accreditation Midterm Report, development of a marketing and enrollment plan, completion of the hiring of physics and computer science faculty members from last year, and, of course, our continued inclusion and equity efforts are all on the to-do list for this fall.

Most exciting are our 50th Anniversary preparations. We will kick off the year with two new logos that you can begin to use later this fall. Events will begin in spring and are sprinkled throughout the year. A website is being built that will provide up-to-date information about the dates and times of the festivities. More to come!

I want to thank my assistants, April Merritt and Shelby Foster for creating and producing the slideshow, and the Ohlone Broadcasting Department for producing the Measure G video. I also thank all of you who provided information for this presentation. And now for a special surprise!



Thank you for coming and have a great semester!

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