On Friday, September 17, the SMCCCD outreach offices hosted its’ annual districtwide campus ambassador training at College of San Mateo (CSM). College Recruiters, Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos (SKY), Estela Garcia (CSM) and Olivia Cortez-Figueroa (CAN) welcomed twenty new and returning campus ambassadors from all three colleges in-person to participate in engaging activities and learn about the functions of outreach and student recruitment. The training provided an opportunity to strengthen connections among the three outreach teams and focused on resocialization; after being remote for more than year.
The day kicked off with warm welcomes from Vice Presidents of Student Services, Dr. Newin Orante (SKY) and Dr. Manual Alejandro-Perez (CAN), who shared insight and thoughts about the value of campus ambassadors for our district and colleges; and the critical roles they play in ensuring we provide educational access for members of our community. Dr. Orante highlighted the importance of sharing one’s story to begin cultivating and building relationships with future students. “Providing them awareness of programs and services you’re utilizing as current students allows for meaningful dialogue and overall student success.”
The group was also joined and welcomed by SMCCCD Chancellor, Mike Claire, Acting President of Canada College, Kim Lopez, Acting Vice President of Student Services (CSM), Kristi Ridgeway and Director of Marketing (CSM) Dave McLain; all who shared hellos and stories about their backgrounds and experiences working for SMCCCD.
Jeremiah Sims, Director of Equity (CSM), facilitated the “Game of Life” with campus ambassadors, an activity that addresses the root causes of systemic inequity based on identities and experiences. “I wasn’t aware of the privileges I had based on being able bodied, versus those who are not – I thought privilege was only based on race and gender.” – Student participant. The activity allowed campus ambassadors to critically think about various life scenarios that may influence opportunities, or lack thereof, for certain communities and student populations.
Sandy Allen, Director of (CRM) Salesforce, introduced the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) tool to campus ambassadors. The campus ambassadors have been trained and are following-up with hundreds of perspectives students who haven’t applied to Skyline College after receiving automated messages after submitting a Request for Information (RFI) form. They help answer questions individuals may have about coming to the college through phone calls daily.
The College Recruiters ended the day with presenting unique academic and student service programs offered at the respective campuses; such as Skyline College’s Bachelor’s Degree Program in Respiratory Care and the Nursing Program at CSM. Overall, the campus ambassadors received a comprehensive training on various components to support student recruitment activities. Skyline College’s outreach office is excited to expand its’ team and continue in-person outreach efforts this academic year.
Article by Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos
Photo by Sandy Allen