Monthly Archives: September 2014

Participatory Governance: SPARC

The Strategic Planning  and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) met on Sept. 25, 2014 co-chaired by Eloisa Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services, and Kate Browne, Academic Senate President.

Aaron McVean, Dean of Planning Research and Institutional Effectiveness, presented the Followup Report to the Accreditation that will be submitted to the ACCJC next month. The report responds to the Commission’s recommendation to develop and implement a systematic process of evaluating part-time faculty and the steps that the college has taken to address it.

Aaron invited SPARC to attend the District Strategic Planning Forum on September 30. The district has engaged Voorhees Group to put together the district strategic plan after hearing feedback from the colleges. Now that the district is communiy-supported, the allocation of new resources will be guided by the district strategic plan.

Barbara Lamson, Linda Whitten and Eloisa Briones reported back from the meeting held by the District Committee on Budget & Finance. They shared highlights of the 2014-2015 budget Presentation made by Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood to the Board of Trustees. Eloisa went thru the current resource allocation In detail to help the committee understand the impact on college funding when the new resource allocation model is implemented in 2015-2016. Kathy Blackwood will come to the SPARC meeting on October 30 to present the proposed model and receive feedback.

Angelica Garcia, Dean of Counseling, presented SPARC with information about and comparison of the Student Success and Support Programs funding (formerly Matriculation) and the Student Equity Plan.  The college has been engaged in the development of both plans.

Next meeting: October 9, 2014

Article by Eloisa Briones

Celebrate Disability Awareness in October

BraniganOctober is Disability Awareness Month! Please join the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in celebrating the achievements of individuals with disabilities throughout the month and learn about DRC services .

Wednesday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skyline Theater

The Rosa Lee Timm Show – Join deaf performer Rosa Lee Timm for an evening of ASL and celebration of deaf culture. This event is hosted in conjunction with Language Arts and Associated Students of Skyline College. Refreshments served 6:00-6:30 p.m. in the lobby.

Wednesday, October 8 at 12:00-2 p.m. in the Career Center

SSI/SDI: What You Need to Know – Presented by the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities.

Wednesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 22 in Building 6, 1st floor

Learning Differences Demystified – Students can stop by the DRC table to experience a learning difference simulation and learn about successful individuals with learning differences. DRC’s LD Specialist will be on hand to answer questions.

Wednesday, October 29 from 12:10-1:10 p.m. in 6204

Colors of the Wind – Join author JL Powers for a reading of her powerful children’s book, Colors of the Wind about blind artist, George Mendoza and experience his incredible artwork.  Book signing to follow. This event is hosted in conjunction with Language Arts and Business Division.

 Article by Melissa Matthews

Skyline College Hosts Eighth Annual Asian Culture Week

Asian-Culture-WeekSkyline College celebrated its eighth annual Asian Culture Week this past week. The Skyline College Asian Studies Center, Physical Education, Athletic and Dance Department, in collaboration with the China Dance School/Theater of San Francisco, hosted this special event, supported by the President’s Innovation Fund, to promote cultural exchange and international education.

This exciting event consisted of an Asian Food Festival, an Asian Film Festival, and the Asian Culture Showcase. The Asian Culture Week turned out to be a very successful and memorable week for our faculty, students and the community. The featured event, Asian Culture Showcase by the China Dance School/Theater of San Francisco welcomed special guests of Skyline College: Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones, the Dean of Social Science/Creative Arts Donna Bestock, Interim Dean of Business Christine Roumbanis, and Dean of Science and Mathematics Ray Hernandez.  Vice President Eloisa Briones made a wonderful welcome speech in both Chinese and English which enlightened the event!

Article by Hui Pate

Jennifer Owen-Blackmon Joins MCPR as Interim Marketing Director

Jennifer Owen-BlackmonThe Skyline College Marketing, Communications and Public Relations office would like to extend a warm welcome to the new Interim Marketing Director, Jennifer Owen-Blackmon. Jenni will be leading the MCPR team until April, 2015 when Cherie Colin returns from maternity leave.

Jenni joins Skyline College with over 12 years of experience in developing marketing strategy and leading successful integrated marketing programs, for companies such as Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and at global advertising agency Doremus, where she worked with technology clients Corning, Intel, and Sage North America. She’s also consulted with nonprofit arts organizations to help them develop marketing plans and execute fundraising events, and leads pro bono consultant teams for the Taproot Foundation.

Jenni is also a professional soprano who sings with many of the Bay Area’s finest classical music ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Cappella SF. She completed Masters degrees in Arts Administration and Voice Performance at Indiana University and received a B.A. from  Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In her (very limited) spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, attending performing arts events, and playing in the kitchen. You can reach Jenni at (650) 738-4346, or email her at


Article by Connor Fitzpatrick

Scholarship Open for Application to Phi Theta Kappa Members

Phi Theta Kappa LogoDo you know a student who has encountered unanticipated financial barriers such as catastrophic losses, natural disasters, the onset of a major illness or injury, change in dependent status or loss of income that have created financial hardship over the course of the past 6 months?  If so, Phi Theta Kappa has a potential solution. The Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship assists Phi Theta Kappa members in overcoming unanticipated financial barriers that prevent the completion of a student’s first college credential, an associate degree or certificate, while enrolled in the two-year college. Applications are currently being accepted now through October 31, 2014!  Up to ten (10) one-time $1,000 Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarships will be awarded.

Please share this message with students and encourage them to apply for this impactful scholarship opportunity to help overcome financial barriers, as an award of this magnitude can help students reduce the amount of out-of-pocket funding necessary to finance their education and complete their certificate or associate degree.

Eligibility Criteria:
•    Phi Theta Kappa member
•    3.0 GPA or above
•    45 semester credits or more
•    Student must graduate within 18 months from the time of application
•    At the time of application, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 semester credit hours
•    Open to part-time, full-time and international students
•    Must not hold a previously earned associate or bachelor’s degree
•    Documented hardship incurred over the past 6 months

Deadline: Friday, October 31, 2014

For more information about the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship or to apply, please visit

Article by Christine Case

Latino Heritage Month Kickoff at Skyline College

Latino Heritage Month at Skyline CollegeThe Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) and the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development kicked off Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College by hosting Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, with Skyline College Professor John Ulloa on drums, and poet Sandra Garcia Rivera on September 16, 2014.  Over two hundred and fifty students, staff and faculty attended the event and were treated to pan-Latino styles of music from Dr. Loco and delicious food from El Metate of San Francisco.  Sandra’s poetry challenged and inspired attendees to confront the obstacles faced on a daily basis, while Jose “Dr. Loco” Cuellar, San Francisco State University Emeritus Professor, addressed the historical significance of the timing of Latino Heritage Month by pointing out its connection to the Latin American independence from Spain in the early 19th Century. Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College

In addition, on September 15, 2014, Urban Youth Society’s (UYS) Sergio “Checo” Hurtado and Raul “Aztec” Magallon rocked the open-mic during the pre-kickoff festivities in the Dining Hall.

Information for the month’s festivities can be accessed on Skyline College’s event calendar, the Associated Students of Skyline College Facebook page or through the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development at (650) 738-4275.

Next week’s events include:Latino Heritage Month at Skyline College

September 29: Veterans’ Resource Center presentation on Hispanics in Military History, 12:30-1:30pm, building 2, room 2350

September 30: DREAMERS to Doctors: paths in medical fields, DREAMers Journeys into Graduate School, in collaboration with LASO, 12:30-1:30pm, building 2, room 2306

October 2: Gandhi’s Birthday, International Day of Non-Violence, Discussion on Violence/Conflict Resolution in Our Communities, 1-2:30pm, Multi-Cultural Center, building 4

Article by John Saenz

Skyline College Hosts Roger Ebbage of Lane Community College on Campus Sustainability

roger ebbage at skyline collegeRoger Ebbage, Director of Energy and Water Programs at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, made a site visit to Skyline College on September 18 and 19, 2014 for discussions about best practices and partnership opportunities. Ebbage met with faculty and administrators from the Center for Workforce Development (CWD), the Energy Systems Technology Management (ESTM) program, Skyline College and district facilities staff, and representatives from the state Chancellor’s office for alternative energy and construction industries. Using the college campus as a “learning laboratory” was a major theme of the meetings. The program Ebbage helped found and develop in 1992, the Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute (NWEEI), is a nationally-recognized leader in the practice. The programs offer two-year degree programs that train technicians and auditors on financial analysis and conservation strategies for reducing energy and water use in large-scale commercial buildings. Using the campus facilities is cost-effective and makes practical sense, according to Ebbage.

In recent years, Lane Community College leveraged the energy and water degree programs to create campus-wide sustainability programming for putting theory into practice in campus facilities. Dedicated staff oversee curriculum development, recycling programs, and energy use reduction programs across campus facilities and instructional departments in a collaborative, cross-campus format. A new building in downtown Eugene showcases sustainability with facilities that were designed specifically for training the energy and water technicians. Ebbage and his faculty colleagues continue to take students to observe old campus facilities—boilers, chillers, air handlers, and building shells. They offer real-world scenarios for students to trouble-shoot and measure, he said.

roger ebbage at skyline collegeThe ESTM department at Skyline College currently focuses on energy and water management for residential construction, but California regulators and utilities are investing primarily in workforce education and training for larger-scale buildings, making Lane Community College’s programs attractive models. Proposition 39 and long-range planning by California’s regulators and PG&E projects have earmarked investment in training for reducing energy consumption in large-scale buildings. Faculty also discussed integrating curriculum in the Environmental Science and Technology (ENVS) department and the Geology (GEOL) departments into a cross-campus sustainability programs focused on water and energy conservation.

The CWD and SMT Division collaborate on sustainability campus programming. Skyline College hosts a Fellow from the Climate Corps Bay Area Program (CCBA) each year. Planning and project implementation is done across campus in a committee format, the Sustainability Ambassador Network (SAN), comprised of faculty, students, and staff.

Ebbage’s visit was made possible through a collaboration between the Science, Math, and Technology Division and the Center for Workforce Development.

For additional information about Roger Ebbage’s visit, please contact Aaron Wilcher,,  (650) 738-4498

For information about sustainability and participating in SAN at Skyline College, visit the website or contact Carina Anttila Suarez, Biology faculty 650-738-4217 or Christopher Koh, CCBA Fellow, Sustainability Coordinator   650-738-7044

For information about the ESTM department, visit the department’s site or contact Bruce Greenstein, faculty coordinator  650-738-4487

Article by Aaron Wilcher

Third Annual Transfer Conference a Success

Fall 2014 Transfer Conference_Image 2The Transfer Center, in collaboration with other departments, clubs, programs and colleges, hosted its Third Annual Transfer Conference on Saturday, September 20.  Over 130 students registered for the event and over 100 students attended.

The main purpose of this event is to provide students a connection to resources they don’t know about and to help raise awareness of what they need to know and where to find the information they need to make clear and educated choices about their transfer path.

The day started out with a warm and inspirational welcome provided by Dr. Joi Blake, Vice President of Student Services. Following the welcome and short ice breaker, students attended workshops on Transfer Tips, Applying to Impacted and Selective majors, Career, Financial Aid for Transfer Students and a student panel which consisted of five former Skyline College transfer students who attended private, UC and CSU campuses.

Fall 2014 Transfer Conference_Image 4A resource fair was hosted during the lunch hour which included university representatives from SFSU, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, University of San Francisco, the University of Arizona and other private school university representatives as well as on-campus clubs and resource tables.

A drawing was held at the end with a tablet being the grand prize, thanks to the generous donation of the Skyline College Bookstore (thanks Kevin Chak!) Other prizes were donated by universities as well as some Skyline College sweatshirts provided by Dr. John Mosby.

Overall, the day ran seamlessly and students were energized by the information and resources they were connected with.  Skyline College students continue to show their engagement and commitment to their transfer goals. One student commented that “this conference was really insightful… keep doing this.”

Many thanks to the support of the event from the Vice President of Student Services office, the Counseling Division, student organizations, Enrollment Services, the Transfer Center staff and student workers and the many students who volunteered their time to raise awareness of transfer resources on our campus!

Article by Suzanne Poma and Michele Haggar | Photos by Jose A. Garcia

What is AB 86, and How Will It Affect You?

ACCEL_logoRecent legislation called AB 86 has the potential to radically change Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) all across the state of California.  You may have heard about AB 86, but it’s likely that you don’t know all of the details.  You may have heard that adult schools are going away, or you may have heard that they are being absorbed into community colleges.  Neither of those is true, but what is true is that AB 86 has the potential to create stronger CDCP than ever before.

So what is AB 86?  In a nutshell, it is legislation that allows for planning grants given to consortia throughout the state to redesign adult education into pathways that truly work for students from the basic literacy and GED levels all the way up to college and beyond.   SMCCCD’s consortium, called ACCEL for Adult-Education College and Career Educational Leadership, was formed in Spring 2014 and has emerged as a collaborative and innovative group whose work is being held up as a model for other consortia throughout the state.  Visit the ACCEL web site at .

The ACCEL consortium has faculty involvement from the steering committee on down to the Collaborative Action Teams, or CATs.  Skyline College is proud to have the following faculty on our CAT:  Garry Nicol (ESOL), Julie Carey (ESOL), Leigh Anne Shaw (ESOL), Javier Urena (COUN), and Jon Freedman (MATH).  There are four CATs working on plans for aligning adult education to community colleges, and they are arranged as follows:

North CAT:   Skyline College, Jefferson Adult School, South San Francisco Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Leigh Anne Shaw (Skyline College) and Marta Bookbinder (SSFAE)

Mid-county CAT:  College of San Mateo, San Mateo Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Marissa Pienaar (CSM) and Lisa Dolehide (SMAE)

South CAT:  Cañada College, Sequoia Adult Education
Co-chairs:  Nadya Sigona (Cañada College) and Natacha Matute (SAE)

Coastside CAT:   Cañada College, County Office of Ed, Cabrillo Unified School District
Co-chairs:  Jenny Castello (Cañada College), Joan Rosas (COE), John Corry (CUSD)

At the September 22, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting, Board President Schwartz and Trustee Mohr praised ACCEL for its work to date and pledged its continuing support of ACCEL’s efforts.

How will AB 86 affect you?   If you work with students in basic skills, career development, or college preparation (and we’re pretty sure you do!), the work of AB 86 will impact you and your work directly.  You may consider contacting the North CAT team members to find out how you can get involved.

Want to learn more?  All faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to a forum held at Skyline College on October 14, room 6202, from 1:30 to 4:00pm to learn more about AB 86 and its impact.

Article by Leigh Anne Shaw

Skyline College Faculty Participate in CB 21 Descriptors Review

gibson_shawThe Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) recently selected faculty from across the state to form Discipline Input Groups (DIGs) whose task is to review and update the CB 21 Course Descriptors for basic skills English, math, and ESL.  CB 21 coding is part of the C-ID process and describes the number of levels below transfer-level English and Math.  How a course is coded allows the state to track progress of students moving through the transfer sequence, the data of which appear on the Student Success Scorecard.  Following further work by the group, the drafts will next be given to a smaller Faculty Discipline Review Group (FDRG), whose task is to prepare them for statewide vetting.

Chris Gibson from English and Leigh Anne Shaw from ESOL joined discipline faculty from many colleges to participate in the review, held at the Oakland Marriott on Friday, September 19, 2014.  Several factors drove the purpose for the meeting, among them:

  • The Common Assessment Initiative (CAI), which is the result of legislation requiring the creation of a set of common descriptors to be used in determining placements of students at every college in the state.  An assessment tool is also being created.  The common descriptors would allow students who move between colleges to be placed without having to take an additional placement test.  In order for the CAI to complete its work, the CB 21 coding of courses needs to be updated.
  • The passage of Resolution 09.04 at the 2014 ASCCC Spring Plenary, authored by Leigh Anne Shaw, and entitled “Consistency in Data Mart English as a Second Language Basic Skills Progress Tracker.”  This resolution was supported by research conducted by ESL professionals throughout the state documenting serious errors in the data in Data Mart, which informs the Basic Skills Progress Tracker.  ASCCC is urging faculty to review the data coding on their courses to ensure that errors are corrected so that correct information is reported to the state.

Article by Leigh Anne Shaw