Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

Skyline College Attends the White House Community College Convening

Photo of Skyline College leadership in Washington, D.C.Skyline College has undertaken the development of the Skyline College Promise, a commitment to be the College where students can “Get in. Get through. Get out…on-time!” This involves a two-pronged approach of 1) removing financial barriers that have limited access to higher education through the Promise Scholarship, and 2) redesigning the processes, procedures, and programs of the college to increase student success, persistence, and on-time completion.

Doing this work includes learning how we can enhance the Skyline College Promise. Skyline College representatives attended the PromiseNet Conference in Washington, D.C., October 24 – 26, 2016, hosted by the nationwide College Promise Campaign. PromiseNet is a convening of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to learn more about the College Promise movement.  Over the course of three days, stakeholders who are committed to expanding access and affordability throughout higher education came together to learn about efforts underway to replicate and scale the College Promise with state and federal support.

The central foci included: 1) Creating Your Promise, 2) Enhancing Your Promise, 3) Promise in Your Community, 4) Researching Promise, and 5) Advocating for the Promise.  Skyline College representatives included:  Dr. Angélica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services; Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction; Chad Thompson, Interim Director of SparkPoint & Career Services; and Andrea Vizenor, Director of Career and Workforce Programs.

The Skyline College team connected with colleagues across the nation to learn about Promise Programs that focus on providing students with access to and support services for college completion. Some highlights of the conference included attending a networking session at the U.S House of Representatives, Cannon Hall, as well as attending the White House Community College Convening at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The White House Community College Convening included an agenda of lessons learned from PromiseNet by colleagues across the country involved in Promise Programs, evidence for program design and decision-making, and sustaining partnerships for impact beyond college. Some notable presenters included the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, John King, The U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary, Ted Mitchell, White House Domestic Policy Council Director, Cecilia Muñoz, The White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, and current College Promise Campaign Executive Director, Martha Kanter.

Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College, joined other community college leaders at a luncheon hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, a community college professor herself, at the Vice Presidential residence.  Vice President and Dr. Biden recognized the role of community colleges in providing the vast majority of people in the country an access point to higher education, and thanked those present for their work and dedication.  The Bidens’ warm gesture was a reaffirmation of the Obama administration’s investment in and support for community college, which is the largest part of the American higher education system.

Article by Dr. Angélica Garcia

Capital Improvement Projects Forum

Graphic of the proposed new building 1 of Skyline CollegeYou are cordially invited to the fifth of an on-going series of campus forums that will be held to keep the college community informed of the status and progress of our capital improvement projects.

Come and engage in conversation with our District Facilities Planning and Operations team led by Vice Chancellor Jose Nuñez on Monday, December 5, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Building 6, Room 6-202.

For more information, please contact Linda Bertellotti at bertellottil@smccd.edu or ext. 7141.

Skyline College Celebrates International Education Week!

Photo of Chikako Walker with a colleague and a studentInternational Student Program (ISP) kicked off International Education Week (IEW) 2016 with an opening reception on Monday, November 14th.  On its second year of being funded by the President Innovation Fund, IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State to highlight the importance and benefits of international education in the U.S. and around the world (Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2016). More than 50 faculty, staff, and students from across campus attended the reception.

Dr. Kimberlee Messina, Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, delivered the opening remarks followed by welcoming remarks from Eloisa M. Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services. Dr. Messina, who recently joined the District from Foothill Community College, showed her support for international education at Skyline College, and congratulated ISP for organizing the event.  Two international students demonstrated the value of international education in their remarkable speeches:  Soriannys “Sori” Mosquera Pino from Venezuela and Franck Yao from Ivory Coast.  Sori introduced the International Affairs Student Club (IASC) of which she has been president for the past two semesters, and showcased how it has contributed to campus internationalization. Franck was glad to have chosen Skyline College among many other choices as he finds the college welcoming and supportive, stating that teachers, staff, and friends are “like a family.”

ISP is part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division. ISP plans to host follow-up workshops in the spring semester for Skyline College faculty and staff members. Please check future ISP events at: www.skylinecollege.edu/international/

Article by Chikako Walker | Photo by Rossmia Coo

Thanksgiving Dessert with ESOL Students

Photos of students in various activities“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.”-Mohandas k. Gandhi

In the spirit of creating a welcoming place to a diverse group of ESOL students, the English language Institute (ELI) hosted a two-day Thanksgiving celebration on November 21st and 22nd.  ESOL students were invited to drop in for dessert, to play games, hang out, and take fun photo booth pictures.  The ELI also set up an interactive “What is Happiness…” chalkboard.  Some of the ESOL students wrote, “Happiness is having everyone you love with you”, “Having good friends you can trust”, and “Being able to share your struggles to help others.”

Part of the ELI’s vision is to foster a sense of community among ESOL students and to help them experience Skyline College as a place to belong. The diversity of the student population at Skyline College, which includes over 300 students in the ESOL program, is a strength and a gift. The ELI seeks not only to help ESOL students in “getting in” and “getting through” Skyline College, but also to provide services marked with a spirit of hospitality.

Article and Photo by Mylene Foo

Middle College Students Earn Hospitality Certification

The AHLEI LogoThe Center for Workforce Development and Middle College at Skyline College partnered to offer an “Excellence in Service” college course by Andrea Vizenor, Director of Career and Workforce Programs.  She provided a series of workshops focused on workforce readiness skill elements and customer service strategies.  Middle College students learned the necessary skills to deliver superior customer service such as how to handle dissatisfied customers and how to deliver service recovery techniques.

By completing the course, students earned the “Certified Guest Service Professional Industry Certification” awarded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), the preeminent industry leader in hospitality certification. Professional certification from the AHLEI is the ultimate distinction of professional excellence for the hospitality industry. Recognized worldwide, it strongly supports and encourages the certification of hospitality professionals and workforce readiness development of its graduates.  Middle College students are now able to give exceptional service by engaging with guests and creating memorable experiences.  This workshop was a huge success:  Students gained customer service skills and how to use them effectively in different jobs. One Middle College student who wo
rks at a local mall exclaimed, “My customer service and sales are going to be great!”

Article by Andrea Vizenor and Dr. Raymond Jones

Global Learning Programs and Services Welcomes Emma Briones

A picture of Emma Briones standing by a staircaseThe Division of Global Learning Programs and Services is pleased to announce the addition of Emma Briones. Emma joins the division permanently as the Program Services Coordinator after having been the substitute since February 2016.

Emma has history at Skyline College. She received two Associate Degrees from Skyline College specializing in Organizational Structures and Social Behavior and Interdisciplinary Studies. She then transferred to the University of British Columbia where she was awarded her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Economics. This study fueled her research in cultural and social norms and global consumerism.

Emma has a love for Skyline College that started at a young age when her parents signed her up for the College for Kids and Expanding Your Horizons programs. She also was an intern at the Bay Area Center for International Trade Development while in high school. Emma also worked in the campus bookstore and coffee shop.

Let’s congratulate Emma on this fine accomplishment as we welcome her to Global Learning Programs and Services located in Building 2, Room, 2-352.

Article by Dr. Tammy Robinson

Discover Puente Day Welcomes Hermanos y Hermanas Students on Campus

Group picture of Discover Puente Day participantsIn collaboration with the Puente Learning Community, the Skyline College Outreach Office hosted 50 students from the Westmoor High School Hermanos/Hermanas program on Discover PUENTE Day, October 26, 2016.  During the event, high school students met current Puente students, attended two PUENTE classes, and toured the Skyline College campus.

Students were welcomed with a hot breakfast and inspirational words from Hermano and Puente alumni Jorge Murillo, Skyline College EOPS CARE/CalWORKS Coordinator. At the Puente English Classes taught by Lucia Lachmyer and Paula Silva, students learned about collegiate level composition and literature.  This was followed by a campus-wide scavenger hunt in which current Puente students set up stations near campus resource offices to provide Hermanos & Hermanas students with valuable information as part of the interactive Counseling 100 class facilitated by Alberto Santellan and Melanie Espinueva-Aure.   Thereafter, each group was given a puzzle piece that represented their Hermanos & Hermanas program and the PUENTE familia at Skyline College. The completion of the puzzle revealed artwork representing the transition from high school to college.  Blank puzzle pieces were then decorated to frame the artwork that now rests in the Multicultural Center in Building 4.

Thank you to the entire Skyline College community, especially Jorge Murillo, Lucia Lachmayr, Paula Silva, Melanie Espenueva-Aure, Alberto Santellan, Lili Rivera, and the Outreach Ambassadors who contributed to the success of the day.

Article and Photo by Lauren Ford

Discover Healthcare Day Welcomes Prospective Allied Health Students

A group photo of students participating in the the Discover Healthcare eventOn Thursday, October 20, 2016, Skyline College hosted 20 guests from 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic for a “Discover Healthcare” event geared toward introducing prospective students to the allied health programs at Skyline College. The Outreach Office, in collaboration with the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) provided students interested in healthcare careers the opportunity to experience being Skyline College students for the day.

After receiving a warm welcome from Dean Ray Hernandez, the guests observed an “HSCI 100: General Health Science” course taught by Professor Paul Reuckhaus.  Following class, guests joined current Skyline College CAA students for the bi-annual Allied Health Panel where they were able to hear from former CAA students currently enrolled in healthcare programs across the San Mateo County Community College District.  Guests were also treated to lunch and a full campus tour.

Upon the conclusion of the Discover HealthCare event, representatives from the Outreach Office spoke with students about the enrollment and matriculation process.  Based on post-event evaluations, guests enjoyed the Discover Healthcare event, especially the opportunity to engage with current Skyline College students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you to the entire Skyline College community, specifically Jeremy Evangelista and Alina Varona of the Career Advancement Academy, Dean Ray Hernandez, Professor Paul Reuckhaus, Professor Reuckhaus’ HSCI 100 course who graciously welcomed our guests, all of the Allied Health Panelists, and the Outreach Ambassadors, who contributed to the success of this day.

Article and Photo by Lauren Ford

High School Students Explore Futures at Meet Your Major Fair

A group of high school students at the Meet Your Major Fair

On Tuesday, November 8, 2017, the Outreach Office, in collaboration with the Career Services Center, SparkPoint, and Center for Workforce Development, welcomed 200 juniors and seniors from Westmoor High School to participate in the campus-wide “Meet Your Major Fair.”

Westmoor students were divided into four different groups in order to explore the campus. Andrea Vizenor, Director of Career & Workforce Programs, led a workshop on Career Technical Education programs focused on introducing students to Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways. Shandra Thomas from SparkPoint conducted a financial literacy workshop where students learned budgeting based on different life events (living at home vs independently, financial aid, part-time employment, etc.).  Alexandra Kaplan and Ryan Chan from the counseling division hosted a workshop based on the Holland Code, which allowed students to explore different career paths based on their personality types.  Students also spent time interacting with faculty and staff members to explore potential majors, courses, and career opportunities.

Thank you to Lavinia Zanassi, Chad Thompson, and Jose Milan from the Career Services Center for their assistance and collaboration to ensure the success of the event.  Thank you to the Outreach Ambassador team, Counseling Ambassador team, and Guardian Scholars Program Ambassador team for their help in keeping the student groups organized as they navigated the various workshops throughout the day.  Thank you to all of the departments and programs that hosted tables during the fair and interacted with our high school guests.

Article by Lauren Ford | Photo by William Nacouzi

SparkPoint and ACCEL Team Up to Increase Financial Coaching Access

In an effort to introduce financial coaching to new staff, and increase local adult school learner and incoming Skyline College student exposure to SparkPoint services, the United Way of the Bay Area (UWBA) conducted all-day training for SparkPoint and Adult-Education College and Career Educational Leadership (ACCEL) staff members from throughout San Mateo County.

With financial coaching being brought to ACCEL adult school programs, students will have the opportunity to work on financial goals with the possibility of transitioning to Skyline College in the near future.  Familiarity with such services will allow seamless transition between programs, and allow students to continue financial coaching as they transition into other courses at the Skyline College campus.

A huge thank you to Nicole Harden from UWBA for facilitating the training, and to Stacy Nojima, ACCEL Transition Coordinator, for collaborating on coordination efforts.  We look forward to building the ACCEL-SparkPoint partnership further through more trainings and coordination.  For further information, please contact SparkPoint at (650) 738-7035.

Article by Melanie Espinueva-Aure