On November 3, 2017, in a well-attended event, over 75 classified staff members participated in an open forum to learn about and discuss the development of guided pathways, the implementations of the Promise Scholarship Program, and the revamping of general education to engage students in meaningful learning. Participation in this forum was an opportunity for those who are often first in line engaging and interacting with students to learn about these efforts and to ensure staff feel they have a seat at the table with the rest of the college as these efforts continue to develop.

The forum opened with Dr. Angélica Garcia providing a succinct and clearly articulated look into the College Re-Design, defining Meta-Majors, and discussing the Guided Pathways project. Academic Counselor, Lorraine DeMello and Classified Senate President, Michele Haggar then led several community building activities that gave staff the opportunity to explore in smaller groups why the college was engaged in this work, how these efforts might impact their area of work, roles and responsibilities, and in what ways leadership could help support them via professional development opportunities.

Overall the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the forum proved to be a great start to helping ensure all employees are engaged in the work of student success. In a survey, participants shared that “thanks to the forum I was able to understand Meta-Majors and Guided Pathways. I understood why it is important to make a change and help our students succeed.” Others echoed this sentiment while also stating that “the forum was super helpful in raising awareness of the college’s effort…it was mind blowing to hear some of the statistics! I hope to hear more updates and ways to help!” For some, the forum provided the insight they were looking for, but also shared that they hope to attend more forums to continue to develop their knowledge of how they can support the college efforts and student success.

We look forward to see how these efforts will be implemented, but the conversations will not stop there. This forum was so well received, it was requested that we host additional ones, and we are excited to announce that a second forum for Classified Staff will be held on March 2! Furthermore, to help the conversation around these efforts move forward and to inform the discussion that will be taking place at the second forum, all staff are highly encouraged to attend and participate in the January 12 Flex Day activity starting at 8:30 am until 10:15 am. A portion of this all college event will center on “Beyond Meta-Majors & Guided Pathways: The Skyline College Comprehensive Redesign”. This discussion will serve as a continuation of the information shared and discussed at the first forum, while also helping to inform the agenda for the up-coming forum for classified on March 2.

Finally, a special thank you to the President’s office for hosting our lunch, to the Design team members who worked closely with your Classified Staff leadership team to prepare the agenda, and to all classified staff. Together, as a college, we will be able to continue to serve our students in the best possible way.

Article written by Michele Haggar | Photo Credit: Marketing Department

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