President Schilling’s Board Report for May 24, 2022

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 May 24, 2022

Thank you to each of you who attended many of our End of Year Celebrations, especially our 55th Commencement on May 20. What a joyful day we had celebrating our students who earned over 1700 degrees and over 1400 certificates in 2021-22. Our Presidential Scholars of Distinction highlighted the amazing diversity, resilience, and courage of our graduating students. We also celebrated our first ever Lavender Graduation on May 23, to honor our LGBTQIA+ students who don’t always feel free to celebrate who they are. I received this email from a student who said: “I have struggled for years to find acceptance from my family and community, and I am not allowed to speak about my sexuality or post it anywhere online to avoid ruining my family’s reputation. I have spent a lot of my days crying about the situation I am in as not being able to fully come out has caused a great deal of complication and distress. This ceremony feels like a glimmer of hope and reminds me to go only where I’m celebrated.” We are grateful that we can celebrate all our students and support them in striving for excellence in all they do.

At our recent Commit2Cypress event, we shared the progress our students are making in completing their degrees at Cypress and transferring to CSUF or UCI. Here is a snapshot of their accomplishments:


To date, 548 students have gone from the AUHSD → Cypress College → CSUF pipeline

  • 43% are traditionally under-represented minority students
  • 75% self-identified as Latinx
  • 45% self-identified as Asian
  • 75% Pell eligible
  • 77% first generation
  • 65% are in good academic standing

UCI did not aggregate like CSUF but here is a quick snapshot of our retention rates:

  • 52 students transferred from Cypress to UCI (a 100% acceptance rate) and have a 98% retention rate

Overall persistence for Cypress Charger Experience students and UCI and CSUF:

  • 4% persistence rate from fall 2018 to spring 2019
  • 76% persistence rate from fall 2019 to spring 2020
  • The statewide persistence rate is 86.43%

Chargers Athletics Update: This past weekend our women’s softball advanced to the state championships, playing in Bakersfield May 19-22. Our men’s baseball team battled in three games before falling to RCC in the regional playoffs, but represented our college proudly in their efforts. In swimming, Ethan Umpornpuckdi won the individual state championship in the 1650 meter freestyle event. Our Golf Team won the Southern California Regional Championship and advanced to the state championship on Monday, May 16, where they won the Northern Regional but fell to 4th in the state. Golfer Devin Schaefer, however, finished as runner-up in the individual state championship. And our Women’s Beach Volleyball pair, Tainea Allen and Jordon Wilson, advanced to the state championships the weekend of May 13-14, ending up as 5th overall in the state – the highest ranking of any Cypress pairs volleyball team. It’s been a great year as 13 of 14 sports all went to the playoffs. We are proud of all of our athletes and coaches for a phenomenal year!

On Friday, May 13, our CIS and Cybersecurity department sponsored the 3rd annual Superintendent’s Cup, celebrating our K12 partners participating in the college’s Cyber Patriot Program. Students in our feeder districts competed to take home the Cup this year, which honors the teams for their individual and overall achievement throughout the 2021-22 competitions. The Cup this year went to Centralia Elementary School District, promising bragging rights until next May! Congratulations to Centralia and all our competing teams, to Dean Henry Hua and his team, and to our faculty mentors, led by Ben Izadi, as well as our peer coaches and mentors at Cypress College, who supported the future cybersecurity experts in our elementary, middle, and high schools. Please take a moment to view the fantastic virtual ceremony, to witness the joy, pride, and inspiration this program provides to our future students.

This week is Classified Appreciation Week at Cypress College and we are celebrating by offering wellness events such as free back and neck massages throughout the week for all classified staff, paid for by a generous donation by SchoolsFirst. On Wednesday, May 25, we are hosting a carnival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all classified staff and managers, featuring carnival games, food, and a dunk-a-manager event. Our managers have donated funds to provide raffle prizes during the event. For our evening staff, we are hosting a dinner on May 27 at 5:30 p.m. and will also have the opportunity for raffle prizes for these employees, as well. Thank you to our Classified Professionals for all they do in support of our students, our employees, and ensuring our college keeps running smoothly.

Two of our ESL instructors, Kathy Wada and Alison Robertson, participated in the CCCCO’s Equitable Placement and Completion Learning Series “English as a Second Language (ESL) Adoption Plans and Promising Practices.” This statewide webinar was presented on May 9. We applaud our ESL faculty who are on the leading edge of innovative and promising practices for ESL placement and curricular design.

Congratulations to our math department for being awarded a grant of $100,000 from the CCCCO’s California Education Learning Lab for their project, Cypress College Calculus: A New Equitable Direction. This grant is through the Learning Lab’s Seeding Strategies to Close the Calculus Equity Gap funding opportunity and math instructor David Nussbaum, one of our Title V peer coaches, and SEM Interim Dean, David Vakil, along with support from District Director of Grants, Lisa King, were instrumental in applying for, and successfully receiving, this grant opportunity.

Cypress College will again be serving as an Orange County Voting Center from May 31 to June 10. Voting will be available in our Theater Lobby for all registered voters. We are happy to do our small part in making sure voting is accessible to our community.

In addition to being AAPI Month, May was Mental Health Awareness Month. To ensure our students are supported, our Health Center, led by Marla McBride, has been sharing resources widely and frequently. All students may access a free 24/7 mental health service provided by Virtual Care and there is an abundance of free online and in-person mental health activities to participate in this month. View OC’s new website on wellness.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!


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