President Schilling’s Board Report for October 27, 2020

The following is a report to members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees

Presented by Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D.

on October 27, 2020

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has chosen “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande, as our fall book selection. Ms. Grande was also a guest speaker on October 21, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month activities. We will be announcing the dates and times of our virtual book discussions beginning the week of November 1, 2020. Please join us!

Last spring Cypress was one of 18 colleges awarded a grant from the Institute for Evidence Based Change (IEBC) to participate in the Caring Campus initiative. Twenty classified employees were chosen to represent their respective areas, and to develop campus protocols for serving students in alignment with our campus Guided Pathways. Last week the chairs of this project, Summer Justice, Christy Montenegro, and subcommittee leads, Gloria Ortega, Ayman Gadalla, Belinda Allan, and Angela Haugh presented their behavioral-based commitments to the managers, including 1) Developing a Resource Guide for the campus; 2) Implementing a Warm Welcome Referral Program supporting students; and 3) Ensuring someone from each department is answering phones, checking emails, and responding to students each day. The managers and Executive Team then created their own commitment to support our classified professionals in this work.

The college has completed two of the twelve Equity Alliance convenings through our membership in the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance at USC’s Center for Race and Equity. Two groups of five attended Fostering and Sustaining Inclusive Classrooms for Students of Color on September 10, and Understanding and Addressing Implicit Bias on October 12. Both groups will be developing projects with our Professional Development team to share what they learned with the campus community. The next workshop will be Understanding and Confronting Anti-Black Racism on November 12. We are currently accepting applications for attendance at all upcoming convenings.

Cypress is also getting ready to implement the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates, a student survey also made available to us through our Equity Leadership Alliance membership. The survey will be sent to students between November 14 and December 14, and is intended to capture student campus climate on race, equity, engagement, and available resources at Cypress College.

Thank you to Peter Maharaj and his IT Team who have developed an innovative wellness check form in our mobile app to measure student readiness to be on campus. All students attending F2F classes on campus must check in 12 hours before their class by going to the CypressConnect app and answering key wellness questions. Based on the responses, the student either receives a green check mark or a red stop sign, indicating whether or not they are cleared to be on campus. Their information is confidential and if a student is not cleared, they will be followed up with for further support and instruction by a designated employee.

In collaboration with our Connect2Cypress event, our third annual Majors2Careers 2020 Virtual Event will be held on Tuesday, October 27 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students will be able to join in virtually for workshops featuring: Career Exploration, Connecting Your Interests to Cypress College Programs, Employer Career Panel, and more! Thank you to Angela Sardan, our Career Center Coordinator, and her dedicated team.

In support of Undocumented Students Action Week, October 19 to October 23, our Grads to Be Program, in collaboration with the District, Fullerton College, and NOCE hosted multiple workshops, resources, and learning opportunities for our undocumented student population and districtwide community across all three campuses. View the event schedule here.

This year, as we celebrate Veterans Day remotely, we would like to celebrate our Veterans with our Virtual Wall of Heroes campaign. This campaign invitation is open to Cypress College students, board members, alumni, faculty/staff, family members or any veteran you may know and want to celebrate their service. Requested information includes name, branch, service dates, rank, military occupation, deployments, and a brief comment on your service; favorite memories, shout outs, or dedications (500-word maximum). We will be sharing all submissions online through a webpage that will be accessible by URL link on November 10, 2020. If you would like to be included, please CLICK HERE to complete the online registration form.

The construction on our new Veterans Resource Center is moving forward on schedule and we anticipate that this new facility will be fully completed by January 2021. Furniture and fixture deliveries will begin in November and the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Tribute Garden are close to completion. Water is back in our pond, and new drought resistant landscaping has been planted. Our Foundation staff will be sharing important naming opportunities soon and a fundraising campaign is planned for acknowledging the veterans in your lives. We look forward to scheduling some sneak preview tours within the next few months. Stay tuned!

Cypress College is pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the Orange County Transit Authority to provide bus passes to all enrolled students who have paid their Associated Students fee, beginning in the spring semester. The grant provides us with a full year of funding to support this initiative. We appreciate Fullerton College leading the way on this important initiative and beginning in January, students will receive a free bus pass for all OCTA routes 24/7, including weekends throughout the year. Although students will not be coming to the campus in spring, the benefit to students extends throughout the county. Thank you to Student Trustee Ester Plavdjian and Associated Students President, Nicolette Garcia for their leadership, as well as Student Activities Director David Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler, and Dean Rick Rams.

The Cypress College Equity Retreat, rescheduled from spring due to the pandemic, will be held in two sessions, November 6 and on November 13. The purpose of the retreat, facilitated by Veronica Keifer-Lewis, will be to have deep conversations about the meaning of equity on our campus, and to begin the process for a common definition and DEI framework that will then provide the foundation for our Strategic Plan, which will be revised in spring 2021. 100 leaders across the campus will be participating. Thank you to Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, Gisela Verduzco, and Alison Robertson for their leadership developing the agenda for this important campus retreat.

On the next page is an overview of the work our Dual Enrollment Team is doing with AUHSD in our Cybersecurity Program. This work was made possible by a 1.5 million dollar grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and supports complete K12 and college pathways in Cybersecurity. Our Dual Enrollment Team, led by Dean Henry Hua, will be presenting the following information at the upcoming 2020 ATE (Advanced Technology in Education) Conference for NSF Grantees.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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