President Schilling’s Board Report for July 25, 2023

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 July 25, 2023

Enrollment Update: Summer enrollment remained strong, which has given us a positive lift going into fall. We will complete the summer enrollment period up 7.5% in FTES and 12% in overall enrollment from summer 2022. Fall enrollment has just begun, and with only priority registration being accounted for, it is premature to access our enrollment trends but one of our reengagement activities is to contact everyone who applies to Cypress through CCCApply and right now, we are concerned that general applications (as opposed to actual enrollments) are down. We are continuing our reengagement activities, activating our call campaign, and marketing the Cypress College All-Access Passport to support students’ basic and instructional needs, so hope to see a similar trend in fall as we did during the summer.

Cypress College will be a featured college in the new Amazon Prime series The College Tour and is in the process of filming now with a release date in November. Each episode features a single college or university through the authentic lens of students talking about their real experiences on our campus, and sharing an insider’s perspective on college life and college culture. We are excited to showcase what Cypress College has to offer prospective students and eager to hear our student stories shared across the airwaves. Stay tuned for a release date this fall!

Cypress College will hold its summer Managers Retreat on August 7. This year’s retreat will feature a team-building cooking class/competition and dinner at PREP Cooking in Los Alamitos. This hands-on culinary adventure will include a cooking class, while fostering collaboration and teamwork. Managers will work together on various tasks as we create delectable dishes under the guidance of expert chefs.  Afterwards, we will be able to share the fruits of our labor as we sit down to enjoy a delicious meal together. We expect over 40 managers to be in attendance as we learn together, discuss strategies for reengaging students and employees, and remind ourselves of the importance of sharing time together.

Cypress College continues to search for ways to provide affordable housing to our students. In early July, we submitted our application for affordable student housing in order to maintain eligibility for round three of state funding. Although the Governor’s recent decision to potentially move the remaining funds into revolving loans would not favor our application, we wanted to maintain eligibility and can easily remove our application should funding needs change or no longer be advantageous to our ability to fund housing on our campus. Cypress administrators are also meeting this month with Cal State Fullerton leaders to discuss if there might be viable options for a housing partnership in the future.

In additional housing news, Dr. Schilling will be appearing on the OC United Way Community Chat podcast on July 27 at 12 noon to discuss the need for affordable student housing and the important role community colleges play in leading students to economic viability before homelessness becomes a cycle.

On July 6, 2023, Cypress College’s #1 ranked T-TEN Program held its annual graduation ceremony honoring 22 graduates and their families. Seven students achieved the prestigious Master ASE Certification, solidifying their expertise. Toyota Motor North America recognized the graduates with Gearwrench ratcheting sets valued at $300 each. Thirteen distinguished guests from Toyota executive leadership and various local dealerships attended the event, underscoring the program’s industry connections and success. Thank you to faculty Michael Klyde, Paul Kelley, Dean Margaret Fernandez, and VPI Kathleen Reiland for their leadership and support of this outstanding program.

Cypress College will be the recipient of $179,488 from the Nursing Enrollment and Retention program grant awarded to selected California Community Colleges for the expansion of nursing program cohorts, reduction of attrition, and to increase completion. This is an increase from previous years and will be focused on increasing retention and success in our Nursing Program. Thank you to Nursing Director Colleen Peralta, District Grant Director Lisa King, and Dean Colin Preston for their successful application and awarding of this grant.

Cypress College will also be receiving an Ethnic Studies grant of over $48,000 to ensure “the seamless transfer of community college students to the California State University given the ethnic studies general education requirements.” Funds may be used to support faculty, review regulations and standards, and establish a plan for implementation and communication. Resources can also be used to assist with advancing anti-racism initiatives within the California Community Colleges system. Although we have had an ethnic studies program for several decades, we appreciate receiving this grant to support the expansion of this program and to assist our faculty with their professional development.

In more grant news, our Cypress College Rising Scholars Network grant received an additional $75,000 making our new grant amount $371,865. We are grateful for the impact this program is making for our justice involved students and our ability to do more with this grant augmentation. Thank you to our Rising Scholars team, led by Anne-Marie Beck!

Cypress continues to operate our Charger Food Pantry and Housing Assistance through our partnership with Pathways of Hope. In mid-June we were happy to start the Charger Diaper Pantry under the leadership of Basic Skills Coordinator Sonia Duran. This resource is available to currently enrolled students, who may request up to 75 diapers per month in all sizes. Along with the diapers, participants are able to receive 2 packs of baby wipes and a parenting kit. Also, since April, students may request personal and household items such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, mouthwash, fabric softener, laundry detergent, and period products through the new Household Goods Program. Since the beginning of these new support programs almost 200 unduplicated students have been served. Thank you, Dave Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler, and Sonia Duran for your work serving the basic needs of our students!

Cypress College is thrilled to participate in the NASA on Campus program for the third straight summer. Nineteen STEM Scholars successfully passed the five-week online NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program (NCAS) course and ten of them accepted the challenge of building miniature Mars Rovers over the course of four days, August 9-12, putting their designs to the test in a series of competitions on simulated Mars terrain. The robotics competition will provide students with an up-close and intimate look at NASA missions and an opportunity to present their work to a panel of judges.  This year’s NCAS competition will be a collaborative effort between Cypress College, Cerritos College, and College of the Desert and held at the Doubletree Hotel in Norwalk. We are one of two colleges in the running for a special visit from First Lady, Jill Biden. We will keep you posted if we are selected for this special visit, but hope you will mark your calendars to see our students compete! If interested, please let Dr. Schilling know and we will send you the competition hours.

In other STEM(2) news, this summer, 54 STEM(2) Scholars were selected to participate in either an eight-week summer research experience, internship, or special program at over 14 colleges such as UCSD, Cal Poly Pomona, UNLV, USC, UC Berkeley, and CSULB. Students tell us this is one of the most transformative experiences they have as a STEM scholar, and builds the confidence to pursue their dream of a career in a STEM field. We are grateful for the encouragement of our STEM(2) staff, led by Yanet Padilla, for creating these important opportunities for our students.

Cypress will be sending a team of five employees including two faculty, two managers, and a classified employee to the upcoming Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in Action Institute to be held in San Diego September 21-22, 2023. The Institute is designed for college teams of three-five people to attend together and create strong DEIA plans at their institutions.

The Theatre Arts Department would like to congratulate our students Diego Huerta-Gutierrez for being cast in the musical RENT at Costa Mesa Playhouse, and fellow actor Josh Martinez for being cast in The Rocky Horror Show at Cabrillo Playhouse.

Don’t forget that Opening Day will be held on August 18 in the Campus Theater. You are all invited to join us! We will be providing a sneak preview of our new Student Journeys which utilize QR codes to help students navigate our resources more easily. Also included is an Open House at our new Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) on the 4th Floor of the CCCPLX.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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