The Countdown Begins: Preparing for the Accreditation Site Visit

AccreditationThis past Tuesday and Wednesday, Skyline College community members attended two sessions to demystify accreditation and the upcoming site visit. The first featured a broader view of accreditation from Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Senior Vice President Stephanie Droker, and the second highlighted what to expect during the actual site visit, with panelists who served on site visit teams at other colleges. The upcoming site visit is a follow-up to Skyline College’s self-evaluation (the ISER) of how well we fulfill our mission and meet the accreditation standards. The ACCJC standards are considered best practices in operating a two-year college and aligned with federal regulations. The team that will visit Skyline College consists of nine (down from the original ten) administrators and faculty from member institutions of the ACCJC.

Senior VP Stephanie Droker assured the audience that accreditation has evolved, which was echoed by panelists’ recent experiences. A major shift is in how the site visit team is trained. As opposed to seeking out problematic areas, they are on campus primarily to validate what we stated in our institutional self-evaluation report (ISER). How? They’ll do so through meeting with leaders on campus, perhaps asking for further clarification and evidence. They won’t impose their own practices on Skyline College, but rather will evaluate the College based on how well it fulfills its mission. Meetings with college leaders are intended to be dialogues, not interrogations. As Senior VP Droker emphasized, accreditation is a peer driven process.

Skyline College’s site visit is only two weeks away, from September 30 to October 3, 2019. Even if you are not asked to meet with site visit team members, you have an opportunity to share your views with them at one of the forums. Please attend and spread the word!

  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Building 6, Rooms 6-202, 6-204, 6-206
  • Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Building 1, Theater

On a last note, special thanks to Interim President Jannett Jackson, Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones and Vice President of Instruction Jennifer Taylor Mendoza for sharing their accreditation experiences.

For more information, please see the accreditation site visit web page.

Article by Karen Wong | Photo by Brittney Sneed

Forensics Team Kicks Off Their Competitive Season

forensicsStudents from Skyline College’s Forensics Team attended The Northern California Forensics Association Speech and Debate Camp at Solano Community College in early September. At the day-long event, students attended workshops and lectures given by esteemed speech and debate coaches from different event categories such as Parliamentary debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Individual Events.

Specific topics covered in workshops ranged from how to build an affirmative case, platform speech composition, constructing and refuting topicality, and how to “flow” a debate. The day culminated with students competing in sample rounds as a way to put into practice what they learned over the day. The team left excited and ready for more!

Students will be competing in the first district tournament at the end of September held at San Francisco State University.

Article by Lindsey Ayotte | Photo by Benjamen Gao

First Lunch and Learn of the Academic Year

The first Lunch and Learn talk of the 2019/20 academic year started out with Dr. Jing Folsom talking about an overview of the Biotechnology Manufacturing Program at Skyline College. Dr. Nick Kapp then spoke about how the Biotechnology Manufacturing Program classes can be used to gain useful skills for pursuing further education and careers in the biotechnology field.

These valuable talks provide students with an opportunity to hear about and work on their career goals while eating lunch, and take place throughout the academic year. Information and dates can be found on the website. Students will also be introduced to resources available to them, including job and internship placement provided by Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development.

The most exciting part of the day was when Dr. Ying-Tsu Loh presented the BioSCope project that Skyline College is collaborating with Bay Area Biotechnology Education Community (BABEC). Together the Skyline College Biotechnology Manufacturing Program and BABEC are making scientific materials more affordable to local high schools by manufacturing them in our classrooms. Skyline College students are gaining work-based experience through this project while also practicing communication and coordination in this collaboration.

Dr. Loh also announced a job opening where students may apply for the Bioscope On-Site Operations Coordinator position. More details of the position can be found here. The Skyline College student who gets hired in this position will get paid to learn how to work in a biotechnology contract manufacturing environment. Apply today!

If you need help applying, please see Else Jimenez or Jing Folsom, or contact them at their respective emails: jimenezsamayoae@smccd.edu and folsomj@smccd.edu.

Funding for the position is through the State Chancellor’s Office Regional Joint Venture. Food was provided by a grant from Genentech.

Article by Jing Folsom and Elsa Jiminez-Samayoa | Photo by Nick Kapp

Kicking off the Fall Job Shadow Internship Program at BAEC

BAEC job shadowingThe Internship Job Shadow Program welcomed 11 new interns this fall semester! This promising group of Skyline College students range in a variety of both aspirations and career interests. These interns will be working both on and off campus in personally selected programs during the fall semester.

Students will be participating in the following programs this semester: San Bruno Chamber of Commerce; GP Aspiring Artists Foundation; Skyline College Bookstore; Global Learning Programs & Services; Student Equity and Support Programs Division; Center for Student Life and Leadership Development; Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations (MCPR); Cosmetology; and Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development – thank you to all of our Job Shadow Partners for their commitment to our student success!

Throughout the semester, student interns will learn, expand, and fine-tune their career readiness with variety of technical and soft skills such as marketing and outreach, business communications, client relations, use of design software, office organization and customer service.  All student interns will get the opportunity to experience innovative events at Skyline College and throughout the community.

Each semester the BAEC recruits a new cohort of hard working, self-starters to join the Internship Job Shadow Program. For more information on the Internship Job Shadow Program or to serve as a job shadow site, please contact baec@smccd.edu.

Article by Jasmine Pon & Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by Samantha Panganiban

Biotechnology Faculty Meet with Dr. Pat McKay

On Wednesday September 11, 2019, Biotechnology instructors met with Dr. Pat McKay at Genentech to learn more about a protein purification machine that they donated to Skyline College’s Biotechnology program. Dr. McKay is a long-term adjunct professor of chemistry at Skyline College. He works as a researcher for Genentech during the day and teaches chemistry at night. While his job discovering new lifesaving drugs is important, Dr. McKay is also dedicated to his students here at Skyline College, helping develop a new generation of chemists. Dr. McKay is a perfect example of how Skyline College attracts local industry to enhance our students’ education.

The Biotechnology program appreciates using the AKTAexplorer in order to demonstrate the large scale purification of proteins. The Skyline Research club will be the first using the machine in order to purify GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) to use as a demonstration at the Bay Area Science Festival that will be held in November at the Giants Stadium.

Article and Photo by Nick Kapp

Community Members Experience Ireland’s “40 Shades of Green”

SMCCD IrelandThis September, community members of San Mateo County explored the Emerald Isle during the fifth San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Community Travel Program.

The SMCCCD Community Travel Program is a curated, small-group travel experience for adults. With the Community Travel Program, members of our community have the opportunity to travel around the world with an SMCCCD representative and local tour manager as they enjoy local food, special attractions, and guided sightseeing.

The 2019 Ireland tour started in Dublin, with visits to places such as the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College. After Dublin, the group made its way to the quaint seaside villages of Kinsale and Cobh in the south—two winners of the national “Tiny Tidy Towns” contest. They then ventured up a portion of the “Wild Atlantic Way,” experiencing the innumerable shades of green, rugged cliffs, ancient stone walls and crashing Atlantic waves of the west coast. They stayed in the city of Galway, where in many places Irish Gaelic and ‘trad music’ (traditional Irish music) can be heard in pubs and on the lively pedestrian streets. Finally, the group ended in Belfast in Northern Ireland, visiting the Giant’s Causeway and various sites of historical importance.

The Community Travel Program was created as a way for the District to connect with the larger community of San Mateo County, as well as to help our students live and learn in other countries. For many college students, study abroad is a special goal of their undergraduate years; however, financially, the experience is often out of reach. With the Community Travel Program, $500 (tax-deductible) of each participant’s registration fee goes directly into the SMCCCD Foundation for Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, helping to make transformative global opportunities more accessible for our students.

Upcoming Community Travel Programs will include India (February 2020), France (June 2020), and Japan (October 2020).

The Community Travel Program is part of the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program—a district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about SMCCCD Study Abroad and Community Travel Program opportunities, please visit the SMCCCD Study Abroad website or contact Zaid Ghori at ghoriz@smccd.edu or Stephanie Wells at wellss@smccd.edu.

Article and Photo by Stephanie Wells

BAEC Hosts Delegation from Republic of South Korea

BAEC KoreaOn September 4, 2019, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC) welcomed a delegation of esteemed public officials and entrepreneurs from the Republic of South Korea, to discuss the unique programs and initiatives at Skyline College and throughout the District. The delegation was received by BAEC staff, the Business Education & Professional Programs Division, the Global Learning Programs & Services Division, and Enterprise Operations at both Cañada College and College of San Mateo.

The meeting featured an engaging discussion about the spirit of entrepreneurship and the importance of access to hands-on resources for students and members of the college community. The group also listened to presentations that highlighted robust international student offerings and opportunities for future partnerships. BAEC was one stop on their visit, as part of the U.S. State Department’s premiere International Visitor Leadership Program, where the distinguished group set out to learn more about the future of the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement. BAEC appreciates the opportunity to participate in international relations as visits such as this furthers our commitment to empower and transform a global community of learners.

Article by Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by Sam Panganiban

The Learning Commons Open House Welcomes Hundreds

students touringOn Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 and 29, the Skyline College Learning Commons (Learning Center & Library) welcomed hundreds of students for our second bi-annual Learning Commons Open House and Tour Week! The campus community was invited to learn more about Learning Commons programs and services as well as meet representatives from programs housed within the Learning Commons.

Visitors received personalized tours of the Learning Commons spaces and programs and were invited to have a pastry and coffee or tea on us! We were honored to welcome over 600 students as part of the group tour experience. Over 200 other students, staff, and faculty also stopped by to say hello and grab a treat. Thank you to the faculty members who brought their classes to take part in this special fall 2019 semester kick-off event!

The Learning Commons will host another Learning Commons Tour Week for the Spring 2020 semester from January 27-31. As always, we welcome and accommodate requests for tours before or after these dates.

If you missed the Open House, please stop by the Learning Commons to learn more about the programs below:

Learning Commons:

  • Tutoring (Writing/English/ESOL/Math/Science/Business/Social Sciences)
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Workshops
  • Student Success Lab
  • Group & Quiet Study Areas
  • Computers & Printing
  • ReUSE Hub (FREE school supplies!)
  • Library & Reference / Research
  • Human Library & Poetry Corner
  • Zero Textbook Cost

Other Programs:

  • BAM (Brothers Achieving Milestones)
  • WMLA (Women’s Mentoring & Leadership Academy)
  • Honors Transfer Program
  • Learning Communities
  • TRiO Student Support Services

This event was made possible with the financial support from the Honors Transfer Program and the Academic Support & Learning Technologies Division! Thank you to the Skyline College Bookstore for the generous donation of coffee and hot water and the World Cup Coffee & Tea student staff for keeping the coffee flowing for our visitors!

To view all photos from the event, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/LearningCommonsOpenHouseDays

Article by Chelssee De Barra and Marisa Thigpen | Photography by Marisa Thigpen and Maya Thigpen Carmody


Skyline College Library Upcoming Events

The Library is excited to share details about upcoming cultural and civic happenings, both new and returning, with our campus community.


Wednesday, September 18 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Students, staff and faculty are invited to the Library for Poetry Corner Series. Future Poetry Corner Series readings to be announced soon.

Friday, September 27 | 2:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Banned Books Reading Celebration. Get started by selecting your favorite banned book! Banned Books events and activities will take place all week.

Tuesday, September 24 | 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

National Voter Registration Day as San Francisco Peninsula People Power returns to campus to sign up new voters.

WEEK of October 15-19.

Undocumented members of our community are the focus of campus-wide activities during the college’s Second Annual UndocuWeek. Help us to create a Wall of Support at the Library. Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, October 23 | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Skyline community is invited to return to The Human Library. For this popular event, please plan ahead by completing a Participation Interest Form. Additional sessions will take place November 21, March 10 and April 16.

WEEK of October 24 – 31.

Join us for Global Media and Information Literacy Week in the Library.

Thursday, November 7 | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Library continues its deep focus on civil liberties with an opening event for traveling exhibition Wherever There’s a Fight: A History of Civil Liberties in California. On display October 22 – December 13.


Stay tuned for additional event details. Questions? Contact Pia Walawalkar, Outreach and Equity Librarian at walawalkars@smccd.edu.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp

Students Attend 4th Annual Women in Life-Science Event

biotech West Coast PDAThe West Coast Chapter of the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) held its 4th Annual Women in Life-Science event on August 22, 2019 on the Genentech campus in South San Francisco. Skyline College students were invited to be a part of it and worked on their networking skills in preparation. After the event, students stayed to network with sponsors and speakers. Skyline College student, Catherine Capitana (pictured right) is shown speaking with Sangita Ghosh, the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing at Spruce Biosciences (pictured right). Catherine got some takeaways about working in biotechnology stating, “I got some good advice about having a can-do attitude during the interview, and that we should align ourselves with the business goals.  We should find a mentor who can coach and guide us through our career. I especially like the advice that you have ambition and you should follow your ambition, to not be the harsh voice in the room that can hold yourself back.” The biotechnology students also in attendance were Pricsilla Sanchez-Pena and Christine Ann Aquino.

During the event, the panel talked about their personal background, how they got their start in biotechnology, and their positions in their biopharmaceutical companies. The major topic they focused on was being a woman in biotechnology and being in charge of a biotechnology company.  While being a woman may have some disadvantages in the workforce, they all emphasized that women can do executive level work and that more women should be in leadership positions in biotechnology. Dr. Ghosh, a head of manufacturing herself, shared her stories of realizing how deserving she is as a woman to have a leadership role in the workforce.

Parenteral drugs are those that are administered elsewhere in the body than the mouth and alimentary canal. While the manufacture of drugs is an exacting science, drugs that go directly into the blood have stricter requirements in order to be safe. The PDA is a professional organization that connects people, science, and regulation of the manufacture and marketing of parenteral drugs. This group works directly with federal regulators and drug companies to ensure current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). Members of the PDA publish journals, monographs and hold training sessions in order to ensure that its members who work for pharmaceutical companies are producing safe and effective drugs.

Article by Christine Aquino | Photo by Nick Kapp