Monthly Archives: August 2017

Opening Day 2017

Dr. HernandezBeginnings

“The end is in the beginning.”

Those were the opening words of President Regina Stanback Stroud in her address to faculty and staff at the fall 2017 Opening Day celebration. The day’s program underscored the importance of intentionality in everything we do and challenged us to lead with clear purpose and impactful action.

“Setting a design for your college—a design rooted in an equity framework—that can enable students to get in, get through and graduate on time—starts and ends with leadership to get you there and keep you there,” Dr. Stanback Stroud stated.

As we begin another year, we are reminded that we are not just part of another initiative – we are part of a movement, one that is beginning, and continuing, simultaneously, every single day.

The Power of Community College

That movement – one that succeeds only when students do – was illustrated beautifully by keynote speaker Dr. Paul Hernandez, who stands as an example of what can happen when community colleges do right by their students and when teachers ensure that their students feel they belong in college.

Dr. Hernandez is a nationally recognized speaker and leader in college access and success, community outreach and pedagogy for educators working with underserved/underprepared students and students at risk of dropping out of school. But prior to earning his degrees, he was engulfed in gang culture and deep poverty, surviving on the streets of Los Angeles. Since then he has learned ways to empower young people traveling a similar path.

Dr. Hernandez shared his deeply personal story, highlighting three community college professors who helped to shape his future. Each of them, in different ways, challenged him to become his own man – to take notes, to learn to write well, to ask questions, to exercise freedom, to become a voice for people who don’t have one. They inspired Dr. Hernandez to tell his own story, so that he could become an example for those who would follow.

The Work We Do

Dr. Hernandez’s story is unique, but it highlights the necessity to see the stories behind each and every student at Skyline College. Every student on campus represents the culmination of many pathways, converging for a moment in a classroom or an office or on a field. Striving to recognize that – to concentrate on the who we’re teaching, as opposed to what we’re teaching – is perhaps one of the most essential parts of the work we all do at Skyline College.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick

Skyline College Continues to Honor Outstanding Members & Groups

This year marked the 12th year of Skyline College’s Skyline Shines Award, presented annually to one College employee or group and one community individual or group who help Skyline College to shine in terms of its quality of programs and services and its reputation for quality.

College Winner: Roger Marcelo, Multimedia Services Coordinator

Dr. Stanback Stroud spoke about Roger: “Roger Marcelo is committed to promoting social justice throughout his practices and his work at the college and this is evident in his direct support of high quality technology support during campus events, as well as his ability to build trusting relationships with his colleagues. I have personally experienced conversations with him where he has openly shared in his outside work of promoting access to music and industry support for lowincome and communities of color.

Roger definitely shows a “students first philosophy.” He gets along well with students, participates and supports events that are not officially on his work queue and he connects with them. I witnessed him provide an open mic piece where he was dedicating his poem/song to the CIPHER students who were celebrating completing their first semester in college. It was powerful to see him show a talent and connect with students about the value of higher education.

Roger has provided technical and professional support to ensure that the operational aspects of interviews for candidates applying to work at Skyline College are inclusive and meets the different abilities of prospective employees. He has helped us think through ways to allow for people to interview, while not being able to be here in person. This expands simple Skype capabilities.

Every event, every student event, every program. He is there to ensure that we provide quality support for successful events. Roger has been a part of helping students interested in the technology and music industry to learn more about the skills sets and education needed to be successful in the field. He shares his experience as having been a radio producer and sound mixer. He always encourages students that completing a college education is the difference for some making it and other not. Roger has also been successful in the recording and sound support of all of our major campus events, ensuring that we have uploaded videos and live streaming when appropriate.

Roger is a class act and an excellent representative for the Skyline Shines Award.”

Community Winner: Landon Taylor, Base 11

Landon Taylor is the CEO at Base11, an organization that “…is on a mission to address the STEM talent gap crisis in America.”

Landon leads Base 11 to work with industry, philanthropy and academia to develop STEM talent. Landon and Base 11 have a particular focus on cultivating the talent of “high-potential, but perhaps low resourced” student talent until they reach the Victory Circle. The Victory Circle is defined as either graduating from a community college in STEM, entering the STEM workforce or transferring to a four-year university in STEM.

Landon was instrumental in bringing Base 11 to Skyline College. His vision of tapping into the talents of community college students provided the foundation of our partnership. Skyline College is part of the STEM Revolution with the support of the Base 11 funded, MIT inspired fabrication lab built on our campus. With this lab, community college students now have access to the type of prestigious and elite curriculum, equipment and programs typically not available to community college students.

Landon and Base 11 brought funding, equipment and curriculum for hands on STEM education and training, including the Autonomous Systems Engineering Academy. Skyline College now has the workspace for students to create, design and develop STEM based technologies. Students also have access to scholarships and paid internship opportunities. Landon also supported the development of the STEM Entrepreneurship Program sponsored at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center at Skyline College where students and community members can develop their own product or service and gain the skills to bring it to market.

Thanks to Landon’s support for Skyline College, the STEM program is expanding, students are accessing programs, services and opportunities not available before, and faculty and staff professional development. Access for entry of new majority students into STEM is one of the fundamental social justice issues of the day. Despite all of the national and international attention to STEM workforce needs, the STEM workforce is no more diverse now than in 2001. Almost two decades of stagnation in diversity in a field that stands to be the key opportunity for enfranchisement and upward mobility means key talent is excluded from this important field. Landon’s partnership, vision and support for Skyline College situates the college to be able to realize its mission to empower and transform a global community of learners. Landon Taylor represents the essence of what we mean when we say Skyline Shines!

Remarks by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

What is your WHY? A Meta-Majors & Guided Pathways Update

picture of cue cardsEvery one of us at Skyline College has a reason, or what the Design Team Co-Leads at their Opening Day presentation referred to as a “WHY,” for engaging in the work we do on campus every day.  With our busy schedules, it is easy to lose sight of what motivates us, but the college redesign work is an opportunity for all of us to reconnect with our WHY and let our passion shine.

Meta Majors & Guided Pathways Design Team Co-Leads (DTCL): Lorraine DeMello, Luis Escobar, Carla Grandy, Mary Gutierrez, Jessica Hurless, Mustafa Popal and Jesse Raskin, were excited to provide the campus an update on all the work that has been completed around the college redesign. (For a more detailed report, please visit the Meta Majors & Guided Pathways website:

In their presentation, the DTCL discussed the workshops, flex day activities, campus forums, campus-wide division meetings, work team meetings, student focus groups and Promise Scholar Program work completed this last academic year that laid the foundation for the Meta Majors and Guided Pathways work.  Whether it was sorting degrees and certificates to create tentative lists of Meta Majors or working in interdisciplinary teams to answer questions and provide feedback, all of this preliminary work led to the most significant activity of the year, the mapping of each department’s required courses for degrees and certificates.  During the sequencing, departments were able to take an intentional look at their courses, prerequisites, and what it would take for a student in their program to complete their academic goal in a timely manner.

A lot was accomplished this past year, but it became clear that the general education component of the college redesign was missing.  So, the Design Team Co-Leads worked over the summer to develop a long-term plan to more effectively integrate all of the college redesign components and connect instruction and counseling.

As the implementation of Meta Majors and Guided Pathways continues into its second year, the plan is to build on the work of the GE Collective and spend time exploring potential GE models and choosing a model or models that can be implemented on a larger scale and engage students on a deeper level to make their education more meaningful.  This will include explorations of undergraduate research, service learning, e-portfolios, culminating projects, study abroad, internships and a whole host of other High Impact Practices.

It will be another busy year, but the DTCL are here to ensure that there will be a variety of ways for the campus community to remain involved in the work and help shape the student experience at Skyline College!

Taking a moment to remember your “WHY” is not only powerful, but speaks to the reason Skyline College would commit to the work of a comprehensive college redesign, because at the core of what we do is students, their success and equity.  So, “What is your WHY?”

Article by Jessica Hurless | Photo by Skyline College PR & Marketing

Skyline College Successfully Hosted 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Washington DC YALI Group PhotoSkyline College served as an Institute Partner for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. 25 Fellows in the Business and Entrepreneurship Track went through a rigorous 6-week program that took place from June 16, 2017- July 30, 2017. The Fellows studied Global Trade and Logistics while examining the role of technology and the product lifecycle from idea generation through product distribution.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities.  Fellows are from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa and have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations and communities.  The cohort of Fellows hosted by Skyline College was part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows studying at institutions across the United States this summer.  These exceptional young leaders met at the end of their institutes in Washington, D.C., for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they took part in networking and panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Following the Summit, 100 competitively-selected Fellows will spend six weeks in professional development experiences with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Skyline College program introduced the Fellows to the differing industries that are available in the Silicon Valley. The YALI Fellows toured various facilities and discussed how and why businesses were started and why they are now successful. A major goal of the program is for Fellows to take ideas back to their countries in Africa. Kristin Lord, IREX President and CEO states, “The Mandela Washington Fellowship creates a network of leaders advancing peace, prosperity, and more effective governance. That benefits not only people on the African continent, but forges people-to-people and government-to-government relationships that benefit both the United States and Africa.” This Fellowship is truly a two-way exchange with tremendous benefits for the United States. A strong, prosperous, democratic Africa that is aligned with the U.S. will ensure our national strategic interests for decades to come.

The Young African Leaders Initiative invests in the next generation of leaders across the continent.  By providing training in leadership, management, and entrepreneurship that can help future leaders elevate their own communities and countries, the U.S. helps these communities help themselves while building long-term relationships that also benefit the United States.  It is critical to America’s safety and economic strength to engage with young leaders from around the world, who are poised to take over influential roles in government, civil society, and business. In a world where academic research and professional engagement increasingly occurs across borders, that’s not just a feel-good experience – it’s an essential 21st century business skill.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a U.S. government program funded by the U.S. Department of State and supported in its implementation by IREX.  For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2017.

Article by Emma Briones

Skyline College Learning Center Launches Online Tutoring

The Skyline College Learning Center (TLC) is excited to announce the addition of online tutoring for students starting this fall, via the NetTutor platform. The initial priority for outreach and access will be students enrolled in online courses, students taking courses for which face-to-face tutoring is not available in TLC, and students who are not able to be on campus during TLC open hours. NetTutor will be accessed through the Canvas learning management system.

NetTutor is an online tutoring platform that offers several levels of assistance; live one-on-one tutoring online, a Q&A center where students can submit questions for response, and an online Paper Center where students can submit drafts of composition assignments for review. The Q&A Center and Paper Center have a turnaround time of 24 hours and 48 hours maximum, respectively. Tutors providing support via NetTutor hold at least a bachelor’s degree and their training is aligned to the same professional standards as TLC tutors.

Online tutoring will be available for Skyline College students in over 50 subject areas within the broader discipline areas of English, Math, Accounting, Economics, Finance and Business, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, World Languages, General Humanities and Social Science, Nursing and Allied Health, Information Technology and Computer Science. As this service is implemented, TLC will work with individual faculty and departments to ensure that NetTutor provides the correct type of support for students

For more information about Learning Center programs and services, please refer to their website.

Article by David Reed

Newly Developed Partnership Brings Apple Technologies to Skyline College

swiftSkyline College under the direction of Andrea Vizenor, the Director for Career and Workforce Programs (CWP), has partnered with Apple Technologies to bring in the latest in cutting edge Apple technologies and hands-on learning opportunities for Skyline College students, staff, faculty and administration. This partnership has led to Skyline College being one of six community colleges in the nation and the only one in California who will begin offering Apple’s newly released App Development curriculum, featuring “ Swift” – as part of computer science and technology pathways. The Swift curriculum features a series of industry driven modules, support materials, and project-based learning resources,  created to prepare students for careers in computer programming and to teach the elements of app development using Swift, which is a popular programming language for building apps on Apple IOS devices. Students will have the ability to  learn to code and design fully functional apps, while gaining critical job skills in software, app development and program design.

Skyline College faculty from various departments including: Engineering, Network Engineering, Art, and Digital Media and Design have all been heavily engaged in integrating Apple Technology into their courses and are working to expand this partnership to best support Skyline College students in using the most relevant and applicable technology in the current workforce.  Nick Langhoff, Professor, Computer Science/Engineering, participated in the App Development Summit hosted by Apple in August, where he was able to work alongside over 30 professors from across the nation to explore the many possibilities these resources have in the classroom.

Additional pathway partnerships include our Business and Entrepreneurship professors working with Apple Retail to provide students tours and informational sessions regarding the many exciting careers in leadership at Apple retail as well as participation in two training workshops that provide students with core skill development in skills Apple seeks from high performing team members.

Also as part of the Apple partnership Skyline College had the opportunity to purchase 70 iPads and hosted a two-day Career Education Faculty Training Institute, where faculty and partner high school teachers engaged in hand’s-on training using iPads. Participants were able to work with iPads where they learned exciting instructional strategies to build increased enthusiasm in the classroom, a variety of educational apps and tools designed to support deeper learning  while enhancing skill development of students in high demand technology skills.

Those first to experience the innovative Apple technology training elements were close to 75 high school students from Bayview Hunters Point and the Mission as part of our Workforce Readiness and College and Career Connection event with the Garden Project hosted on July 17 – 20 , 25 current Skyline College students and staff on July 18 at our Technology Career Pathways Workshop, and finally, as part of our Future Scholars Camp we hosted 30 middle school students from the Orange Park Boys and Girls Club on July 21 – 24.  Moreover, as part of the July 18th workshop, Professor Soledad McCarthy was able to bring her Entrepreneurship class to join the workshop where the session assisted  them iin developing skills that they were able to get ready for their finals where they were going to be using Apple numbers and graphing programs. Each workshop was very interactive and students were able to receive one-on-one guidance as needed.  Apple App’s featured in all of the trainings were: Notes, Keynote, Garage Band, Pages, Numbers, Everyone Can Code and Swift.

The Center for Career and Workforce Programs is excited to host additional Apple Technology opportunities for faculty, staff and students and is excited to support the integration of Swift App Development tools into Skyline College’ Computer Science pathways and expanded opportunities with Apple Retail for  Business and Entrepreneurship pathway students. A big thank you to Nick Langhoff and Soledad McCarthy for their enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication to bringing innovative and relevant career and workforce opportunities to students.

Article by Andrea Vizenor

Choosing a Major is Hard!

students deliberating majorsIf there was a more clear path for people who had decided their major…if there’s a clear cut path for what classes you should be taking, [It would be easier for the college and students]” (Quote from a Skyline College Student)

In March, Skyline College students participated in seven student focus groups to share insights into how our students choose majors and select courses.  These 51 students identified four keys concerns:

  1.     Choosing a major is hard
  2.     Taking the right courses is challenging due to class scheduling and waitlists
  3.     Campus resources are effective, but not everyone knows about them
  4.    Students want more community and connection at Skyline College

One student shared, “I know a lot of people who have been here for 5 or 7 years, and they switched their major so many times, and that is why they are here for so long…and I think that happens so often because there isn’t really someone to sit down with them and say, ‘Here, these are your strengths, these are careers that would be really good for you, and these ones aren’t.’ So, that’s why they keep jumping around… I think we definitely need a program [to help with] that.”


This feedback illustrates the challenges our students face as they navigate college and Skyline College is using it to inform the college redesign.  Moving forward, to ensure that students remain at the core of the college redesign, the Design Team has invited two student representatives to serve on the Design Team and will provide more chances for students to contribute their ideas and insights through focus groups.

The complete student focus group report can be found on the Meta Majors & Guided Pathways website:

Article written by Jessica Hurless | Photo by Skyline College PR & Marketing

Skyline College is Runner Up 2017 Sputum Bowl Competition

Sputum Bowl ParticipantsSkyline College Respiratory Care Program students attended the annual respiratory professional conference and competed at the state level sputum bowl competition after winning at the regional semi-finals. The California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) hosted this event during their 49th annual conference June 13 – 15, 2017 held at Harrah’s Hotel and Resort in Valley Center, CA.

Eighteen respiratory care program teams from across the State of California participated in the event. Teams included students from both first and second year. During the competition teams were supported by their classmates who cheered from the crowed. Skyline College had two teams; one named “Chicken Nut Bread” (a hilarious acronym for “she cannot breathe”) and the other named “Some Full Cup.” Chicken Nut Bread made it to all the way to the final round and was awarded 2nd place team in the competition.

Dean Ray Hernandez, Dr. Ijaz Ahmed and Professor Brian Daniel were present and graciously supported the teams. The Skyline College program and students were recognized for their participation and contributions during this event. The students demonstrated their knowledge, hard work, and expertise in their profession.

Congratulations to both teams, all the Respiratory Care program students, and Skyline College for a great job.

Article by Dr. Ijaz Ahmed

Summer Scholars Institute 2017

summer scholars studentsThe Skyline College Summer Scholars Institute (SSI) successfully finished its second year with 116 entering freshmen completing either a 2-week accelerated module or the standard 5-week module.  Both modules were designed to accelerate student learning and placement into transfer level math and English as a central component of the Skyline College Promise for students to “Get In, Get Through and Graduate…On Time.”

The Summer Scholars Institute continued to recognize each students humanity and culture by developing relevant curriculum that would enable students to explore their “College Success Story: Personal Identify and College Readiness.” SSI offered an expanded program this year to provide an immersive two-week experience for 24 students to develop the skills to place into transfer level English if they were already placed at transfer level Math or the converse, as well as complete a Counseling 101 course. At the same time, the traditional 5-week module was offered with 92 students participating in English and Math Seminar series along with a Counseling 100 or Career and Life Skills 137 course.  Moreover, to facilitate the development of students’ professional development and co-curricular skills, the program participated in a day-long Workforce Development Conference at the SFO Hilton Hotel enhancing their communication and networking skills, as well as explored the world of entrepreneurship and international education while meeting with the Mandela Scholars.  Students also began planning for their future transfer through college visits to UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.

In addition to accelerating student placement and preparation into transfer level math and/or English, the 2017 SSI enabled students to:

  • Develop their critical consciousness and thinking skills
  • Increase their comfort and confidence engaging the collegiate experience
  • Increase their academic skills and efficacy

A prime example of student growth was exhibited in their math progression.  SSI created a tailored curriculum where students were expected to learn specific math concepts that would both place prepare them for, and place them into, their transfer level math course.

The Program concluded on Thursday, August 3, 2017 with a Graduation Ceremony with over 200 students, family members and guests celebrating the success of SSI students and launching them into the 2017-18 academic year.

Article by Michael Stokes

International Students Attend Orientation

ISP OrientationSkyline College is expecting about 100 new international students from 21 countries during the fall 2017 semester. In an effort to ease new students’ transition, the International Student Program (ISP) hosted multiple orientations. The attendees received valuable information on the following topics: F-1 visa regulations, employment, cultural adjustment, safety and security, immigration laws, health insurance coverage, and academic expectations.

The Global Learning Programs and Services and the Counseling divisions provided informative sessions to help new students adjust to campus life and benefit from the support services available at Skyline College. The three-day orientation included the following activities: International Student Club panel, campus tour, counseling presentation, International Student Club reception, placement testing, and class registration. In addition new international students will have an opportunity to socialize with their peers and student ambassadors during the fall 2017 welcome party on August 25.

For many students, it is their first time away from home, so orientation is an opportunity to become acquainted with their new environment. Mr. Chiedoza, father of one of the new students from Nigeria, was impressed with the orientation and the services, he said “this event is very informative and everybody at Skyline College is willing to help.” The International Student Orientation is a an important event for international students ‘success and it wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the volunteers who helped to prepare ahead of time, and worked during the event itself. ISP will continue to provide services and programs for international students as well as for the entire Skyline College community.

Article by Wissem Bennani