The Skyline College Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) held its final meeting for 2016 on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Eloisa Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services gave a quick update on the Facilities Planning underway at Skyline College.  She noted that the Pacific Heights building will be upgraded instead of the original plan to demolish and construct a new building in its place.  Due to an escalation in construction costs, the funding that was allocated to build three new structures is only adequate for two new structures.

Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction was available to provide the group with an overview of three major grants that are available to Skyline College.  Currently in process is a technical assistance grant from the Laura and Arnold Johnson Foundation to facilitate implementation of the Skyline College Promise.  The grant of $836,607 for two years will allow the college to model the best practices from the highly successful City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (CUNY-ASAP) which allows students to attain Associate Degrees within 3 years.  CUNY-ASAP graduation rate is over 50%.

Two other major grants from the State with a deadline of February 3, 2017 are the Award for Innovation in Higher Education from the California State Department of Finance of up to $2.5 million per award and the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office for $750,000.   Both grants will allow the college to fully implement and expand the Skyline College Promise of “Get in. Get through. Get out…on time!”

Karen Wong, Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness and Zahra Mojtahedi, Planning and Research Analyst, gave a hands on presentation of the highlights and implications of the results of last spring’s college wide survey, the Community College Survey for Student Engagement (CCSSE).   CCSSE, which was created in 2001, is designed to capture the institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention.  Skyline College has administered the survey once every four years since 2008.   The survey was administered in 51 randomly selected courses to ensure a decent sample, resulting in 1005 students taking the survey.  The survey allows the college to also compare results against the 2016 cohort of colleges that administered the survey. The highlights will help inform faculty, staff and administrators on how to improve upon institutional practices that enable students to meet their educational goals and increase student engagement. Please see the accompanying article on the CCSSE in this edition of “Skyline Shines.”

Article by Judy Hutchinson