Daily Archives: February 1, 2018

Dr. Stanback Stroud Featured in Forbes Online

Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud was recently featured in Forbes magazine’s Civic Nation column as a guest contributor. The article, in full, is below:

The Skyline College Promise Is Helping More Students Complete Their Education. Here’s How.

At Skyline College, we understand and fundamentally believe completing college is the most significant step people can take to improve their life circumstances. We know that the basics of higher education can pose big challenges—paying for college, choosing a major, sequencing courses into a successful pathway—these are all barriers that can throw students off. The truth is, fewer than half of the students who start college with the intention to complete their education ever finish.

That’s an unacceptable reality. The Skyline College Promise is our commitment to directly address that reality and deliver an education experience designed for students to finish college.

To do that, we are redesigning our processes, programs, and services, so applying will be streamlined, students will get proactive academic and social support as they progress through college, and the path to completion will be clear and efficient. Our Promise means more people will be able to pursue education as a means to personal agency, enfranchisement, and prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.

And we are making this commitment to ALL students.

We began this work in the same way we advise students to begin: by doing research. Skyline College found inspiration in the incredible work being done at the City University of New York (CUNY) through their Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, the ASAP program. That work, launched 10 years ago and designed to streamline student pathways to success, has doubled graduation rates for students enrolled in the program.

Those results speak clearly—something is working. Luckily, the innovators at CUNY recognize that great ideas shouldn’t live in silos. We studied their model, traveled to New York, and partnered with a CUNY team to understand their vision and were chosen to replicate the proven model. Thanks to their transparency, Skyline College didn’t need to reinvent the wheel; we were able to begin the work of repurposing it to fit the needs of our own institution with the support of a grant from the Arnold Foundation.

For us, that means a comprehensive redesign of our college—creating signature approaches that actively remove student barriers to success through intentional and impactful design. It’s a three-pronged approach that looks like this:

1) The Promise Scholars Program

The Promise Scholars Program is designed to eliminate barriers that often keep first-year students from the strong start associated with completing college. Students’ college fees are covered, they have access to laptops, a lending library, and an intensive summer bridge program, and they receive dedicated counseling support throughout the year.

We’re already seeing results in students like Naomi Quizon who acknowledged that the question of how she was going to pay for college weighed heavily on her during high school.

“With the Scholars Program,” says Naomi, “we can go to class, study, meet new friends, find faculty mentors, and do all this without having to worry about how we are going to pay that first year of fees.”

In its first year, the program served 140 students who demonstrated an 86.3% persistence rate, significantly higher than the 62.4% persistence rate of the comparison group.

2) Contemporary Teaching

Students who love their classes stay in school, and teachers co-create the attraction. So we’re integrating equity-centered teaching strategies—relevant teaching built on best practices and critical consciousness—to make classes more engaging and effective.

New training for faculty and staff infuses our approach to pedagogy with cultural fluency and digital savvy. And our comprehensive diversity framework applies an equity lens to our teaching practices, strengthening connections across the diverse Skyline College student population.

3) Guided Pathways

Guided pathways support students in declaring a major, encouraging them to connect their studies to careers, and providing simple and clear requirements to finish their education. Guided pathways solve a common community college problem: too many programs with unclear completion tracks that inevitably lead to students taking more time, spending more money, and taking more classes than necessary.

By organizing education and career options within broad fields called meta-majors, we can make it easier for students to explore directions based on their interests and abilities. By mapping the way through programs, we optimize time and money so students can finish college.

Our actions create transformational opportunities that we’re seizing upon to make impactful changes to our college and eliminate barriers to success. This challenging and ongoing work is about intentionality and accountability, and at its heart, it constitutes the very root of our mission to put students first.

Get started building a College Promise program in your community at collegepromise.org/start.

Article by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Congratulations To Our Latest New Faculty Academy Graduates

Please join the CTTL in congratulating seven recent graduates of Skyline College’s New Faculty Academy: Cassidy Ryan (Cosmetology); Safiyyah Forbes (Chemistry); Nicole Porter (Early Childhood/Elementary Education); Alberto Santellan (Counseling); Jessica Truglio (Learning Disability Specialist, DRC); Kenyatta Weathersby (Math); Ching-Yi (Miranda) Wang (Math). New Faculty Academy (NFA) graduates received a certificate of completion during a celebratory lunch that brought together four cohorts of NFA faculty from academic years 13-14, 14-15, 15-16, and, the current academic year, 17-18.

Previously known as BootUp Camp, NFA is a semester-long training program offered in the fall for recently hired full-time faculty. The training is designed to provide new full-time faculty with knowledge, skills, and tools that foster success in their roles as practitioners in the classroom and as College/District employees. NFA faculty commit to participating in two full-day sessions prior to the start of the Fall semester and six half-day sessions throughout the semester in which they explore and engage in transformative activities and assignments rooted in culturally relevant, equity-driven pedagogies and practices.

NFA instruction, activities, and assignments in areas such as active learning, collaborative/cooperative learning, assessment, universal design for learning, reciprocity, and educational technology, are grounded in the core of Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson’s seminal article, “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” (https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED282491.pdf). The CTTL also partners with Student Equity and Support Services to include modules to provide training and resources specifically focused on equity, race, and diversity, including but not limited to topics such as unconscious bias and micro-aggressions. Additionally, NFA participants are introduced (or reintroduced) to key and critical campus academic and student support services, personnel, resources, and processes and procedures.

Graduates of NFA have reported successes both in the classroom and within the college community as a result of their NFA experiences. Furthermore, long-lasting connections and partnerships/collaborations developed during the semester-long training inspire faculty involvement in projects and initiatives that contribute to Skyline College’s commitment to innovation and excellence. Look out for the recent NFA graduates! They have already begun to make their mark in their departments and divisions and are shining ever-so-brightly in our Skyline College community!

Article and photo by Nina L. Floro

Beta Theta Omicron Honored by California Park And Recreation Society

Beta Theta Omicron, the Skyline College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, received an Award of Excellence from the California Park & Recreation Society (CRPS) for its Computer Literacy and Internet Competency for Seniors (CLICS) program.

Beta Theta Omicron officers and members have been volunteering at the South San Francisco Senior Center for several years. Throughout the year our students teach senior citizens to use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. One senior commended the students’ patience, appreciated their support, and was grateful that there are people dedicating their time for this cause.

“I haven’t heard my grandson’s voice for three months.” A senior said. “Thanks to you, I learned how to use Facetime to talk with him. Today is a big day!”

South San Francisco nominated the chapter for this award. This statewide award recognizes the contributions of those who volunteer and provide support and services in their community that improves the quality of their community. The CPRS award is the highest recognition CPRS can award and this honor is a credit to the Skyline College students who make CLICS happen.

Article by Christine Case

Dance Teams Win Awards At National Championships

Our very own Competitive Hip Hop and Pom Dance teams have once again won big at the UDA West Coast National Championships.

They again took the first place title in the College Open Pom category! This means that they out-scored all thirteen other teams who competed in their category this year!

Our Competitive Hip Hop Team raised the bar this year and scored second place in the championship Open College level, and this was only their second year together!

Congratulations to the wonderful team dancers, their skilled and talented lead coach, Gary Ferguson, and the President’s Innovation Fund for supporting our project for these last three years!

Article by Amber Steele

Equity Training Series 2018 Kick Off

On January 26, the Division of Student Equity and Support Programs (SESP), hosted an experience that brought together a cohort of 40 Skyline College staff, faculty, and administrators. The afternoon commenced with welcoming remarks from Dean Lasana O. Hotep, President Dr. Stanback Stroud, and Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia. Dr. Stanback Stroud shared, “When we have our own developed consciousness, when we have our own level of sophistication and cultural fluency, it improves and raises the standards of excellence of our institution of higher education.”

Every spring semester, the Equity Training Series (ETS) brings together a dedicated group of staff, faculty, and administrators, representing a variety of departments, to engage in a teaching and learning experience centered on equity. ETS is designed to equip participants with skills, strategies, and tools in the areas of pedagogy and cultural fluency to address the challenges that impact Skyline College’s diverse student populations. The ETS orientation marked the beginning of an eight-week experience where participants have the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts about various topics including: Critical Pedagogy, Whiteness and Teacher Education, Supporting Men of Color, and Disability in Higher Education. Throughout this experience, participants will develop projects that incorporate lessons learned from ETS into their daily work on campus.

Following welcoming remarks, the cohort engaged in a group activity to examine how race, gender, residency status, economic background, and being first-generation all play a role in shaping a student’s educational journey. The activity transitioned into a presentation, facilitated by Hotep, which provided the context for why our college has made a commitment to become more culturally fluent, racially literate, and knowledgeable about issues that affect our students. The presentation featured a number of interesting research studies, video clips, and theories that highlight the existing disparities in educational institutions. Hotep also explained how philosophies, such as Deficit Thinking and Color-Blindness, prevents educators from addressing the root causes of inequity.

“The natural inclination, based on the narrative in this country is, if you work hard, you can accomplish anything you want.” Hotep said. “But in our work, many of us don’t have the vocabulary, the orientation, the training, and the background to be able to navigate and address issues that have to deal with race, culture, and ethnicity in a way that continues to have harmonious human relationships.”

Throughout the presentation, participants actively engaged in group discussions and raised important questions.

Rick Hough, Professor of Mathematics shared, “The food and company were great. The presentation was fast-paced and engaging. I’m excited to keep discovering during the semester and hopefully will learn to put the theory into practice for our students.”

Article by Katrina Pantig

Skyline College Receives Zero Textbook Cost Degree – Implementation Phase II Award

Skyline College received close to $150,000 from the Zero Textbook Cost Degree – Implementation Phase II 2017/18 program awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree program aims to reduce barrier costs for education and the time it takes for students to complete degree and certificate programs.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office defines a ZTC program as “a community college associate degree or career technical education certificate earned entirely by completing courses with no cost textbooks. The program uses alternative instructional materials and methodologies, including educational resources.” Alternative instructional materials are referred to as “Open Educational Resources” (OER) materials.

Skyline College proposed an implementation plan for its Associate of Science (AS) degree in Respiratory Care to become a ZTC program. This degree was identified as a priority program due to its high unit requirements for major completion, high textbook costs, and high demand from students. Additionally, the Respiratory AS degree is one of only 19 Respiratory Care California Community College programs across the state.

The development of the ZTC pathway will leverage and build on planning activities through an existing President’s Innovation Fund grant for the Open and Affordable Textbooks project ($25,000) and the existing multi-member Steering Committee for the Respiratory Care Bachelors’ of Science of Pilot Program to ensure the better alignment of work and leveraging of existing OER materials. A ZTC Community of Practice that includes faculty from Respiratory Care and prerequisite courses, college, administrators and other content-focused staff will guide ZTC content development and work together to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Identify, develop, and compile OER materials;
  • Review, refine, and adopt OER materials; and
  • Publish and pilot OER materials to be prepared for student enrollment in January 2019.

The Respiratory AS degree program will serve 25 students per cohort beginning in spring 2019, serving approximately 125 degree students over a three-year period after implementation begins. ZTC sections will also be available for the degree’s prerequisite courses in other fields, serving an estimated 350 additional students per year.

To learn more about OER and Zero Textbook Cost activities at Skyline College, join us for on campus activities during Open Education Week, March 5-8th, 2018.


Article by Mara Mahmood, Jim Houpis, & Bianca Rowden-Quince



Spring 2018 International Student Mixer!

The Skyline College International Student Program held the International Student Welcome in the Multicultural Center on January 26, 2018.

The program provides a platform for new and continuing international students to socialize and feel a part of their new campus and get to know other students on campus as well. The event was well-attended and was also an opportunity for international students to showcase their hidden talents.

The Student Mixer was a joyous event. It comprised of domestic and international students, students from Grace International High School in China, as well as faculty and staff members, including the Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud.

The different performances and games amplified the lively energy of the room. The African and salsa dances got everybody’s bodies moving and the Nepalese students showed off their beautiful voices by performing various Nepalese and American songs. The Japanese students organized a chopstick game that brought out the people’s most competitive spirits. Hanqing Bien, President of Chinese Student and Scholar Association closed the event with a Chinese rap that set the crowd on fire.

Next time, don’t miss out on the great food, entertainment and vibrant crowd that made the party an overall success. It proves that Skyline College’s international community really knows how to throw a good party!

The International Student Program is part of Global Learning Programs and Services Division. If you need more information, please contact Chikako Walker, Coordinator at 650-738-7179.

Article by Naledi Mthembu | Photo by Kevin Perez

Interim VPI Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza Kicks off Spring 2018 Science In Action Series

The Skyline College Biotechnology Manufacturing group, the Skyline College Science and Research club, and MESA in conjunction with Dr. Steven Weinstein of the CSUSF Bridges to Baccalaureate program, have combined to present an engaging set of speakers for the spring 2018 semester.

The talks typically take place in room 7106 from 4:30 pm to 5:30pm. Usually the speaker will tell how they came into STEM, how they funded their education and why they have a passion for what they do. For the second half of the talk, they present their research, ideas, or their interesting topic. The speakers will be a combination of professors, postdocs, graduate, undergraduate and even some who did not finish college. All the speakers will have a passion for STEM and school, and will model what some of the next steps in your academic career may look like. So please spend your Monday afternoons with us. We will have cookies and water at all our talks. The bookstore has also donated a $10 gift card that will be raffled to the students who attend the talk.  Many of our professors also give extra credit for attending the talks.

The inaugural talk for spring 2017 was given by Interim VPI Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza.  Dr. Taylor-Mendoza spoke to a room of about 25 students and faculty. She has an interesting background and when she attended Community College and did not do well at first, which is something that many Skyline Students may be able to relate to. Like in any event the discussion turned to General Education GE classes. And many of our students gave their opinions of GE directly to Dr. Taylor-Mendoza, who considers herself a STEMinist as she showed her support for STEM by coming and talking at the Science in Action Seminar series.

These talks are every Monday from 4:30 to 5:30 please come out and participate in our community

Further information on the Science in Action Seminar Series visit the website.

Article by Nick Kapp


Skyline College Welcomes Global Trade and Logistics Students

On January 16, 2018, Skyline College welcomed its first cohort of Global Trade and Logistics students.

This new course is offered by Global Learning Programs and Services and the Bay Area Center for International Trade Development (CITD) and was designed in collaboration with local business leaders to satisfy industry need for trained staff.

We are excited to announce that local businesses have already expressed interest in offering internship opportunities to our students and are keen to interview graduates on completion of the course.

The course will shortly be available online to satisfy requests from across the state and as far away as Colorado and Texas.

If you have any questions or you would like to add a student’s name to the waiting list for future semesters, please contact Emma Briones, Program Services Coordinator at brionese@smccd.edu.

Article and Photo by Lorna Jones

Hospitality And Tourism Management Adult School Bridge Students Earn Guest Service Gold Certificate

On December 14, twenty-two students in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Adult School Bridge Experience received the Guest Service Gold certificate, an industry- recognized certificate that serves to accomplish the goal of creating guest service-oriented employees who know how to engage with their guests to provide memorable guest service.

Students in the bridge program came from South San Francisco and Jefferson Adult Schools and Peninsula Alternative High School. Now in its third year, students take a sequence of Skyline courses taught by Skyline College’s ESOL instructor, Serena Chu-Mraz, at South San Francisco Adult School where they learn contextualized English in subjects focused around hotel and restaurants.

This semester, students also had the opportunity to tour the Skyline College campus and take a field trip to AC Hotel in South San Francisco where they learned about prospective job opportunities and career pathways.

The Hospitality and Tourism Management Adult School Bridge Experience is a pathway of ACCEL of San Mateo consortia and the partnership between South San Francisco Adult School, Jefferson Adult School, and Skyline College.

Article by Stacy Nojima and Serena Chu-Mraz  | Photo by Stacy Nojima