Educational program developments since the last visit

Vocational Programs Operated During 90-91

Allowing for the annual repetition of some programs, there have been 130 new vocational programs since 1990. These programs have generated approximately $9 million (Ab.1).

The Bilingual Professional Expressway Project is an especially valuable program, designed to create an identification, transfer, and placement process to assist immigrant professional or U.S. citizens, trained in foreign countries, to integrate into the job market. The program includes the matriculation process, English language acquisition, concrete transcript evaluation, general education course completion, university transfer assistance, credential , license and certification assistance, and continuous support services through specially designed workshops and seminars.

The project began 1 September 1990 and was institutionalized 1 September 1993. Since its founding, the project has served more than 3,000 professionals. For teacher training and placement, it works in conjunction with The Instituto Cultural Mexicano and California State University Long Beach. To date, 295 persons from the project in general have been placed in jobs, 56 have transferred to universities, 29 of whom, into masters programs.

Institutional developments since the last visit

Major institutional developments were the move to the new campus, the securing of funding for and beginning of the construction of the new library. Commitments by the state have been secured to acquire an additional twenty-nine acres from the adjacent county park.

Major challenges facing the institution

The major challenges facing the college are in part new, unexpected, in part familiar, issues that began emerging years ago but have yet to be confronted fully. We must design ways to maintain quality programs without having reason to hope for adequate funding from the state. We need to be able to offer more 200-level courses, that usually are not enrolled to the limit, in order to enable students to complete programs in a timely manner. This need is complicated by the fact of our having more and more students every semester who are underprepared and waiting as standbys to get into lower-level, basic skills courses.

In order to serve the community better, the college must do at least the following: (1) increase enrollment, thus increasing FTES generation and funding of the college; (2) develop multiple, instructional methodologies in order to improve the success rates of today’s underprepared, nontraditional student; (3) begin the full-scale integration of technology into all aspects of the college, most particularly into the educational programs; (4) implement an effective planning and development process that involves thorough institutional research.

Secondary challenges include a variety of issues such as developing a more effective use of facilities and personnel, realigning functions, preparing for the required research necessary for outcomes assessment, and preparing the faculty to use the new technology in the new library. The college is critically short of resources, money, facilities, and instructors. To increase the flow of state monies through the district budget process requires discovering a way to resolve the conundrum of not being able to increase state funding, which we cannot do without first having money to rent classrooms and hire instructors, which we cannot do until we have more funding from having an increased number of students.

The college, if it is to maintain contemporaneity, will probably have to accept the view of theorists that students can learn in ways and at times that are not classroom dependent, that do not flow singularly from real-time instructor-student interaction. Student learning objectives and competency measurement plans need redefinition, accommodating innovative space-time independent approaches to student learning and success.

Planning Process

In the fall of 1994, the college instituted a new planning process: Improvement: Continuous and Neverending (ICAN). This body, made up of chairs of standing campuswide committees and representatives from major areas of the college, grew from a vision that the college needs more cohesion in its planning and more direction and purpose in its evaluation. Program review, long-term goal setting, and the integrating of various groups and activities toward the goals of the college will mark the direction and activities of ICAN (CD.6).

Several exemplary programs from which the college can benefit are: The PACE program, a possible model for one aspect of distance learning; and the USDE funded Title III project which is researching and exposing to the college innovations in instructional methodologies, curricular models, and technology.

By learning from these programs, by doing effective planning, by educating ourselves and then applying that new knowledge we can move in a planned and purposeful manner toward a more functional and effective future.