Skyline College President Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud welcomed faculty and staff back to a new semester at a brief welcome ceremony on Wednesday, January 21. Faculty and staff gathered together for coffee and pastries before settling down in the theater to listen to remarks by Dr. Stroud.
Giving an address on the state of the college, Dr. Stroud highlighted her goals for the college in the coming months along with some major recent milestones.
Touching on changes to campus facilities, Dr. Stroud noted that seven computer labs were upgraded over the winter holiday which translates to access to more efficient and effective technologies for our students. Additionally, thanks to the passage of a recent bond measure, Building One, including the theater, will be completely rebuilt creating a more open and inviting entrance to the campus. And a new sustainability building will be added at the overlook where Pacific Heights currently stands. These are hard-won improvements that will help bolster Skyline College’s offerings for all its students.
Dr. Stroud also noted a few things she’d like to concentrate on in the new semester. The current placement test system suffers from self-imposed rules that often prevent students from retaking tests. This can mean students get locked into a course track that they might have been able to test out of had they been allowed to retake a placement test after completing the first course on their track – this can add semesters to a student’s educational track.
Education plans are another top priority. The plans, currently in development, are intended as helpful roadmaps for students who have an educational goal in mind, like earning an Associate Degree in Mathematics, but might need some help planning the steps they need to take to get there. By mapping out which classes students should take, during which semesters, education plans can create a framework from which a student can develop their own unique pathway to graduation.
Additionally, Dr. Stroud stressed the need to award degrees automatically to students who have completed the requisite coursework. Instead of requiring students to “opt-in” to a degree once they’ve completed their courses, students will automatically get awarded a degree once they complete the requisites unless they actively “opt-out” for other reasons. This will help prevent students from missing out on degrees they’ve earned through their own hard work.
Finally, Dr. Stroud congratulated the Skyline College family on its landmark preliminary approval for the development of a Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy. As one of just 15 programs selected across the State, this is a huge achievement that will allow Skyline College to help fill a serious workforce gap in California.
Dr. Stroud concluded by echoing President Obama’s State of the Union address from the night before, stating “The state of the College is strong!”
Article by Connor Fitzpatrick