President Schilling’s Board Report for November 9, 2021

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 November 9, 2021

At this board meeting, you will be hearing about the important DEIA work being accomplished at all of our campuses in support of our students, and specifically those who have been traditionally underrepresented. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism work takes intentionality, but can often seem frustratingly slow. Working with urgency takes focus and the support of the entire campus, and so I want to acknowledge the many employees across Cypress College who have been working toward a more equitable campus for years, not just when the spotlight is on us. And that is why the past few weeks have been so gratifying as we see some landmark acknowledgements of the work our college has been working toward.

Campaign for College Opportunity has named Cypress College a 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education for our exemplary work in awarding Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) to Latinx students on our campus. CCO looks at the percentage point gap (PPG) to identify campuses that are excelling in awarding ADTs to Latinx students, relative to their campus-wide ADT conferral rates. According to their award letter to the college, “The PPG tells us when campuses are acting with intentionality to ensure Latinx students who have a transfer goal earn an ADT. Across all California Community Colleges, your campus ensured that a high proportion of degree or transfer-seeking Latinx students received an ADT in the 2019-2020 academic year. This is a tremendous achievement and the real work of equity.” Cypress College and our sister college, Fullerton College, will be recognized at the Champions of Higher Education Celebration, on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 10–11:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Assemblymember Marc Berman will provide remarks. We will also be joined by student leaders and other California Community College and CSU honorees. Attendees can join the celebration by registering using the following link: https://bit.ly/HigherEdChampions21. We hope you will join us!

In other exciting news, on November 2, Cypress College was announced as one of the top 150 community colleges that have been invited to apply for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Based on performance in student outcomes – including graduation rates, equity, and improvement over time – this invitation is an important marker of institutional performance. The Aspen Institute selected just 150 colleges from among approximately 1,000 community colleges evaluated nationwide. Since 2010, the $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, has brought a new level of public attention to community colleges, defined comprehensive measures of excellence in outcomes for community college students, and uncovered and disseminated practices that help exceptional colleges ensure great outcomes for their students. Each cycle, a committee of national experts selects 10 finalist institutions and, ultimately, the winner of this prestigious award. We are honored to be in the top 150 and eager to submit a strong application in December in order to be considered for this prestigious award. Congratulations to our college faculty, staff, and managers for their dedication to the important work of ensuring our students succeed! Read our press release.

Cypress College is committed to the importance of disability support as an integral part of our DEIA work and as Disability and Inclusion Month came to conclusion in October, our Disability Support Services (DSS) hosted activities and events to spark and engage in conversations of equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Cypress College appreciates the impact the disability community has made, and continues to make, on our society and we embrace disability as a natural part of our DEI work. Thank you to DSS Director Celeste Phelps and her team for the work they do creating campus awareness and support for our DSS students.

On Friday, November 5, the RP Group report on ESL Innovations was released, and Cypress will be featured again. This report coincided with a webinar at which ESL faculty, Alison Robertson and Kathy Wada, shared about the many ESL Innovations at Cypress College. Our ESL program has been a leader in the state for the creation of our ESL Certificate, for our participation in the UC Davis pilot of the engagement software, Ascend, and for the demonstrated outcomes of our ESL students. Congratulations to our dedicated faculty: Jenelle Herman, Jill Bauer, Samantha Simmons, as well as Alison Robertson and Kathy Wada. For those who wish to attend, you may access the webinar at 12-1 p.m. here.

Our Dual Enrollment counselors, Caitlyn Carralejo and Jovana Ramos, were recently featured in a TalentEd publication focused on the success of dual enrollment approaches in our local high schools. Caitlyn has seven years of experience in higher education and is also the Dual Enrollment Project Coordinator at Orange Coast College. Jovana has six years of experience in higher education and is currently a Ph.D. graduate student. The two counselors implemented a TalentED-inspired lesson into Jovana’s COUN 140C: Educational Planning, during a summer dual enrollment course for 39 high school students from the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD). They introduced students to priority career sectors and explored in-demand careers within our local community. Thank you, Caitlyn and Jovana, for the work you do in support of our students.

On November 5, our college Institutional Research & Planning team, led by new Director Bryan Ventura, held a Strategic Planning Retreat for over 100 participants from across the college. This retreat was to develop our Cypress College goals for the next three years and has been developed in tandem with our work developing a DEI Framework. The goals that came from the retreat will be shared through our shared governance process and adopted in spring 2022. This new DEI Equity Framework will be announced and shared with our college during a campus Town hall on December 3 from 12-1 p.m.

The college is also getting ready to send our 2021 Campus Climate survey to employees during the second week of November. This survey will help inform the college about the needs of and support required by our employees. We hope all employees will participate!

In Athletics news, our Lady Chargers are leading the way this semester. The Chargers Women’s Volleyball team leads the Orange Empire Conference with a 10-2 record. Cypress has an overall record of 18-3, which ranks them #5 in the state of California. Cypress College Women’s Soccer is also a premier program across California, ranking #7 in the state. The Chargers boast a dominant 11-1-2 record to go along with their conference record of 6-1-2. Go Chargers!

On November 9, Cypress College will be hosting our annual Connect2Cypress and Majors2Career event for the third straight year. In 2018, Connect2Cypress was developed in response to our Guided Pathways work, and we moved our spring Senior Day to the fall semester to help introduce students early to Cypress College as they consider attending college. This approach has been extremely successful and we thank Dr. Paul de Dios, Dr. Troy Davis, Gisela Verduzco, and all our academic deans for their efforts in planning this important event, which will be held virtually again this year. We also appreciate Career Center coordinator Angela Sardan and her team for aligning our Majors2Career event with the activities on November 9.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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