Daily Archives: May 17, 2018

Learning Center Shines at 44th Annual ACTLA Conference

The 44th Annual Conference of the Association of Colleges for Tutoring and Learning Assistance (ACTLA) took place in San Diego, CA from April 26 – April 28. The theme of the conference was “The First Mission: Student Success,” which recognizes learning assistance programs’ dedication and mission to meet the needs of their students.

Skyline College was well-represented at this conference: Christina Trujillo, Learning Center Instructional Aide II, served as a member of the conference planning committee and as a member of the ACTLA Board. In addition, Learning Center Manager Chelssee De Barra, Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program Coordinator Timurhan Vengco, Instructional Aide Scott McMullin, and Basic Skills Retention Specialist Raymon Gutierrez attended the conference to learn best practices and innovative approaches for the Learning Center’s academic support programs.

Further, three proposals from Skyline College were accepted and presented. Presentations included:

* “Learning Assistance is Backwards…Designed: Adapting Innovative Training Practices to Empower Student Learners and Leaders”  Presented by Christina and Timurhan

* “From Paper to Canvas: Coordinating a Supplemental Instruction Program through a Learning Management System” Presented by Timurhan Vengco

* “Make Learning Assistance POP: Developing Professional Online Portfolios for Students, Staff, Faculty, and Beyond” Presented by Scott McMullin

Presentations were well-received and sparked lively exchanges about training student leaders, utilizing campus technologies to make our work more efficient, and leading academic support programs among participants, who included learning assistance professionals from the California Community Colleges, the CSU and UC systems, and higher-education institutions from out-of-state.

Next year’s ACTLA conference will be held in Las Vegas in April 2019. The Skyline College Learning Center staff look forward to participating and representing the college and district.

Article by Christina Trujilo and Timurhan Vengco


Financial Aid Hosts Cash For College

The financial aid office hosted its spring Cash for College event attracting over 160 students, staff and faculty on May 15, 2018.

Colleges across California host various iterations of Cash for College workshops and events to promote and increase awareness of financial aid to eligible students. The event included Jenny’s Churro truck which provided free churros to students who completed a survey regarding their current use of financial aid and to promote the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act application for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. The survey also included new information such as the name change of the Board of Governor’s (BOG) fee waiver, now known as the California College Promise Grant (CCPG), which covers part-time and full-time student’s enrollment fees for the academic year.

Students were also exposed to the weekly financial aid workshops that assist students and their families to complete their applications and the federal work-study program which allows students to gain on-campus employment or with the America Counts tutoring program. The financial aid office intends to host additional Cash for College workshops in the upcoming 2018-2019 year for students who were unable to attend the event. For more information or questions regarding financial aid, visit the financial aid website.

Article and Photo by Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos

Design + Develop + Demystify = 3D News

The Online and Hybrid Learning Community of Practice (CoP) launched 3D News at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. 3D News is a Canvas course containing resources for instructors who teach online and hybrid courses. Each month CoP members add new articles and resources to this archive, then promote the content in the 3D News newsletter.

3D News highlights resources for helping students navigate Canvas successfully, creating successful video lectures, and conducting effective and engaging online discussion. New content will be added with the launch of the May 3D newsletter later this month. Ongoing 3D News discussion boards enable instructors to engage in interactive dialogues with other faculty members about concerns and best practices in the facilitation of online courses.

3D News fulfills the Skyline College mission of transforming and empowering a global community of learners by demystifying online teaching and supporting the use of the course management system currently in use. We look forward to exchanging resources and ideas to build a transformative environment for the professional development of faculty who teach online and hybrid courses.

It is important to stay on the cutting edge of best teaching practices. 3D News provides the magic you need to recharge your online courses and effectively engage our students in a dynamic and meaningful way.

If you are currently an online and/or hybrid instructor at Skyline College and want to join the CoP, or simply sign up for access to 3D News, please contact Kim Saccio-Kent (sacciokentk@smccd.edu) or Christopher Collins (collinsc@smccd.edu).

Article by Christopher Collins, Kim Saccio-Kent, and Bianca Rowden-Quince

Find Your Strengths, Values And Passion with PwC

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) has created an unique opportunity for students to explore a one day program focused on helping participants identify and analyze their strengths, values and passions to better understand who they are and what they want to do.

Students learn alongside PwC professionals who provide real life examples of how they have enriched their careers by aligning their strengths, values and passions personally and professionally. Participants left the Explore conference with a stronger sense of who they are, who PwC is and what future opportunities might exist for them in professional services.

Eligible students are freshmen/sophomores planning to complete a 4-year degree program or juniors planning to complete a 5-year degree program interested in the professional services industry.

Skyline College students selected for 2018 PwC Explore are Katrina Chaeng, Paul Dzul, Michelle Huang, and Justin Yu.

Article by Linda Whitten

SparkPoint Presents at Basic Needs Summit

SparkPoint played an integral role in planning and presenting at The Basic Needs Summit held in Sacramento, California on April 26 and 27.

Administrators, faculty, staff, an student leaders from community colleges across California came together to address the role we play and the collaboration needed to impact the alarming amount of our students who do not have their basic needs met. The summit featured a variety of workshops from leaders and innovators from across the state in which Director of SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, Chad Thompson, was called on to present. Chad spoke about “Innovative Strategies in Taking a Holistic Approach to Overcoming Non-Academic Barriers”. The workshop was designed to educate on the challenges students face in the classroom when their basic needs are not met. He shared strategies to help students and their families overcome these barriers to achieve their educational and financial goals.

More than ever before, colleges are seeking innovative and best practices to address basic needs insecurity among their students. The California Community College Chancellors Office approved a new initiative that includes the formation of a workgroup to identify and share best practices regarding food, housing, and other basic need resources available to students, to assess gaps in resources. That group laid the foundation for what would become the Basic Needs Summit. The summit featured a powerful keynote presentation by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder of the Wisconsin HOPE LAB, which is the nation’s only transnational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She shared information gathered from a cross-section of colleges across the country, which Skyline College proudly participated in. She also shared information that detailed how the price of attending college is higher than ever while the average family income has become stagnant. Part-time jobs don’t cover as many costs as they used to and competition for these jobs has risen which negatively affects students with impacted schedules. California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley also participated in the summit and discussed the role that administrators and campus leadership play in addressing these issues and meeting the needs of students. His speech and attendance at the summit reinforced the position of the Board to engage issues of basic needs on campus. The San Mateo Community College District was well represented having staff and leadership from all three campuses, as well as the district office in attendance.

Students who face hunger, malnutrition, unstable living situation, or homelessness will struggle to reach their full potential in a classroom. Changing the way we address, interact, and intervene on behalf of these students can make a monumental impact in students’ lives and the lives of their families. We continue to look to improve the way we serve these students and remove the barriers they face to reach their goals.

For more information regarding the SparkPoint at Skyline College, the Food Pantry or the Benefits Office, please contact the SparkPoint at 650-738-7035 or skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu

For more information on the summit visit http://www.cccstudentmentalhealth.org/training/basic-needs-summit/

Written by Raul Amaya