Daily Archives: May 21, 2015

TRiO Student Spotlight: Shelvina Singh

Shelvina SinghIt is our pleasure to introduce Shelvina Singh to the Skyline College community.

Shelvina joined the TRiO SSS Program in fall of 2014, her first semester of college after graduating from high school. During her short time with TRiO, Shelvina has been heavily involved in various aspects of the TRiO community and is a joy to be around for all who have the privilege of working with her, students, staff and faculty alike. Shelvina comes from a life of struggle, a first generation college student originally from the island of Fiji where opportunities for higher education are extremely limited. Her transition to life in the United States was one characterized by unfortunate brushes with racial discrimination due to her ambiguous features, which almost caused her to give up on her education. However, with the help of a loving counselor during high school and two very dedicated parents, as well as her own will to resist stereotypical expectations of her potential, Shelvina excelled during the closing years of high school.

These days, bringing an almost complete draft of a paper a month in advance of the due date is just common practice for this shining TRiO star. Shelvina was recruited by Skyline College for the Reading Partners program, so she has volunteered at Los Cerritos Elementary School, helping young children with their enjoyment and comprehension of reading. She also a volunteered for TRiO’s Middle School Outreach Project- Student Conference coordinated by TRiO Counselor, Jessica Lopez. Here, Shelvina volunteered  for the panel to advise young students about college and guided them with her own personal stories from middle and high school.

When asked about what keeps her motivated even during those most challenging of times, Shelvina had this to say:

“My inspiration is my parents. During my difficult moments or problems, I look at my parents! Why? Because they never got the opportunities that I have gotten! They never had a chance to go to college and struggled to maintain a household when moving to the States. They worked overtime and did whatever they could to provide for my siblings and I. In the future, I’d like to give back to my parents, to take care of them! They are my inspiration and motivation to do better.”

During her spare time, Shelvina enjoys going on adventures to places that she’s never been, especially to explore the beauty of nature, and she has the long term goal of majoring in Psychology and becoming a youth probation officer. Knowing Shelvina, nothing will stop her from achieving this goal which is close to her heart and a strong catalyst for her impetus to succeed.

Article written by Chanel Daniels   l    Photo by Alexis Guillen De La Cruz

Band, Orchestra, and Guest Artists Concertize Together

On May 15, 2015, Skyline College’s Concert Band (MUS. 430) and Symphony Orchestra (MUS. 440) joined with the South San Francisco High School Band and a professional string quartet to provide their receptive audience with a diverse and impressive performance.

The Friction Quartet, a San Francisco-based ensemble of classically-trained professionals who specialize in modern music, opened the concert with a selection by Ludwig van Beethoven, followed by a selection composed in 2010 by legendary Bay Area composer John Adams. The Skyline College Symphony Orchestra, led by Dr. Zachary Bruno, took the stage alongside the Friction Quartet and performed pieces by W.A. Mozart, J.S. Bach, and Sergei Taneyev.

After intermission, the bands were the stars. South San Francisco High School’s Symphonic Band, led by Dan Talbert, performed the Sea to Sky suite, a 25-minute four-movement work by Ralph Ford. Skyline College’s Concert Band then performed pieces by John Philip Sousa, Alfred Reed, W.A. Mozart, with student trumpet soloist and concerto competition winner Alan Burnett stealing the show in a Herbert Clarke piece composed for trumpet and band entitled “The Debutante”. The 96 musicians of the two bands joined forces for Henry Fillmore’s “The Circus Bee” conducted by Skyline College alumnus and current San Francisco State University music student Ben Villa, followed by the Skyline College “Alma Mater” and South San Francisco High School’s Fight Song.

Article by Zack Bruno

ASTEP Learning Community Connects with Students

ASTEPOn Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the ASTEP Learning Community “hit the streets” at the Fireside Dining Room in order to make more Skyline College students aware of the opportunities available within the ASTEP Learning Community. Lingering questions were answered and a collective dialogue between ASTEP staff/faculty and the Skyline College Community was able to flourish. ASTEP faculty and staff present at the table included English Professor, Nathan Jones, Counselor, Kwame Thomas, Political Science Professor, Johannes Masare, English Professor, Chanel Daniels, Mathematics Professor Phillip Williams and Counselor, Brianna Clay.

Many students approaching the table were not aware that classes with instruction based on the African American experience were available at a Skyline College and were happy to learn that many general education course requirements can be met through courses within the ASTEP Learning Community. Such disciplines include Spanish, Psychology, English, Mathematics, Biology, and even Political Science. One such student was even able to begin the process of registering for English 110 with Professor Nathan Jones on the spot! This event was, indeed, a great success, and the ASTEP Learning Community looks forward to similar events in upcoming semesters.

The ASTEP learning community welcomes students of diverse backgrounds to join its ranks and strives to represent the experience of the African American community within Skyline College. For any questions about ASTEP (the African-American Success through Excellence and Persistence Learning Community), please feel free to contact us at 650-738-7037 or visit us in Building 4. To learn more about the fall 2015 course selections, please go to: http://www.skylinecollege.edu/astep/

Article by Chanel Daniels

Fourty-Fifth Anniversary of EOPS/CARE

EOPS Anniversary The 2014-2015 academic year marks the 45th anniversary of EOPS/CARE. Commendations from the City of San Bruno and the California Assembly were presented. Dr. Angelica Garcia, Dean of Counseling, Advising and Matriculation kicked off the event with a welcome and introduction.

Three former EOPS students joined in the celebration on Tuesday, May 12 to share their stories with our students. Seabrien Arata, UC Berkeley graduate and current MBA student, works as an Account Executive for a start uEOPS Anniversary p in San Francisco; Teresa Maria Lane, UC Davis alumna and current Realtor, and Ramona Mitchell who graduated from Sonoma State University then went on to receive her graduate  degree from Golden Gate University and is now a Child Support Specialist for Sonoma County.  Their inspiring stories celebrated the best that is EOPS/CARE.

Former EOPS staff members, some who started in the 1970’s were also present: Arnett Caviel, Pablo Gonzalez, Maria Escobar and Pat Tyler.

This annual event is a family affair celebrating our everyday heroes- EOPS students who are taking their dreams higher!

Article by Jeff Acidera | Photos by Javier Urena and Jeff Acidera

AERA Presentation: The Big Reveal: How Generational Status Influences Educational Experience

AERA PresentationClyde H. Lewis, Adjunct Faculty Member/ African Diaspora Program Coordinator presented the results of his dissertation pilot study at the Annual American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Chicago, IL on April 20, 2015. AERA is the largest and most competitive gathering of education scholars in the field with only about 30% of the nearly 50,000 proposals submitted annually being accepted for presentation. The highly competitive conference asks experts from the field to review submitted proposals in order to ensure they fit the annual theme and that they maintain academic rigor.

The presentation, The Big Reveal: How Generational Status Influences Educational Experience examined the experiences of first generation students as they progressed to and through their doctoral studies. This study examined how first generation students were able to navigate the often exclusive system of American education, which is typically reserved for a small portion of the population. The study found three themes as significant for first generation student success: parental expectation, community involvement, and educational journey. The theme of Parental Expectation found that while participants’ parents may not have understood the value or process of higher education, they did not stop the participants from pursing higher education. This finding could play a role in the ways education leaders from all levels, reach out to, and involve parents in education. The second theme, Community Involvement provides an important consideration for educational leaders as they develop programs aimed at educating community members.  Finally, Education Journey provided an interesting position, as it suggested that both positive and negative experiences propelled participants to continue pushing through education.

Overall the involvement of both presenting and attending other presentations allowed for a greater understanding of the breadth of current approaches to improving education at all levels.

Article by Clyde Lewis | Photo by Angela Meeker

May 17, 2015 thru May 23, 2015 declared “Classified School Employee Week”

classified staffCalifornia’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.

Classified school employees play crucial roles in education. They provide the needed support for all departments within the district.

From helping students register for their classes to tutoring them. The classified staff have vital skills and ensures that the colleges and district are operating smoothly, classified employees are integral to public education.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, California School Employee Association (CSEA) Chapter 33 and the Skyline Classified Senate hosted a Coffee Break for all classified staff at Skyline College.

Over 60 staff came to help celebrate Classified Appreciation Week (CSEW).

Article and Photo by Chris Weidman

Campus Climate Survey

In the spring 2014 semester, Skyline College administered a voluntary campus climate survey to students. Replacing the Noel – Levitz survey this four-year cycle, this survey provided information for the district-wide community needs assessment, as well as for college planning and improvement purposes. Out of 9428 students enrolled, about ten percent responded. Sampling was not an intentional step in the process, unlike past campus climate surveys. However the survey results do provide a snapshot of a point in time of students’ levels of satisfaction with and perceptions about Skyline College’s programs, services, and learning environment.

Students generally expressed a high level of satisfaction, with 97% of 818 respondents indicating they’d recommend Skyline College to a family member or friend, and 91% indicating they would attend Skyline College if they were starting over. They also expressed a high degree of satisfaction with each survey dimension, 86% or higher.

More details are available under each of the survey dimensions: Instructional Effectiveness, Student Support Services, Career and Transfer Preparedness, Social Learning Environment, Responsiveness to Diverse Student Populations, Physical Learning Environment, Programming Considerations, and Informational Sources. Analyses and potential action plans from the Town Hall cohosted by the SLOAC/ IE Committee, the Academic Senate, and the Classified Senate are woven into the report. For the full report, please see http://skylinecollege.edu/prie/assets/feedback/studentcampusclimate2014.pdf.

Article by Karen Wong

SPARC Committee Recommends Tentative Budget

The Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) met on March 9, 2015. Academic Senate President Kate Williams-Browne, VP of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones, and Dean of PRIE Aaron McVean co-chaired the meeting.

Budget: Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones reviewed tentative budget scenarios for FY 2015-16 for consideration by the committee. Based on projections of potential District deficit budgets beginning in FY 2016-17, a ‘status quo’ budget scenario was presented for Skyline College that showed the resulting deficit for the College if proactive steps were not taken. As a result, three alternative scenarios were presented for how to approach replacing vacant faculty and staff positions in order to maintain a conservative approach to expenditures until more positive revenue projections emerge. The SPARC unanimously voted to recommend adoption of the first scenario, replacing two faculty and one classified staff position, and encouraged the administration to responsibly consider replacing more positions should monies become available. Members of the committee thanked the administration and encouraged continued transparency with the SPARC.

President Regina Stanback Stroud was present to provide further clarification and answer the questions from members of SPARC. The committee was reassured that there was a high level of advocacy taking place at the District to ensure that as funding becomes available through resource allocation mechanisms such as the Innovation Fund, that those funds come to Skyline College. The May Revise released by the Governor’s Office was also discussed as it presents an optimistic picture of the State budget, which should benefit both the District and Skyline College pending approval by the legislature.

Planning: The SPARC recommended a change to the Student Learning Outcome Assessment Committee (SLOAC) name, charge, and membership to that of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC). The IEC would become a standing sub-committee that recommends to the SPARC. The SPARC unanimously voted to recommend the change to the College Governance Committee (CGC).