We have reached the second month of the spring 2022 semester. For many, I am sure it feels much longer. We have implemented Board Policies 2900/2900 and Administrative Procedures 2900.1/2901.1 related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The implementation of these important decisions were not taken lightly. In the weeks leading to the beginning of spring classes, many students were dis-enrolled for not being in compliance. Before this painful step, students were called, texted, and emailed multiple times. People have worked one-on-one with students to overcome any technical reporting issues.
Working the welcome table, a couple of times over the past two weeks I heard messages of thanks and appreciation from students for all the hard work we have done. The increased opportunity for in-person courses, services, and activities is meaningful to them. Everyone has a hand in creating and nurturing this welcoming and caring environment. Thank you.
As reported at spring in-service, a vast majority of students enrolled in in-person courses are vaccinated. The percentage is about 93%. Students are committed to doing what it takes to return to in-person education. This high percentage is linked with the high percentage of employees who are vaccinated. Combining universal masking requirements, high vaccination rates, social distancing measures, facility upgrades, and low density on campus, we can welcome the return of increased in-person services, instruction, events, and performances to meet the needs of our students and community.
I anticipate over the course of the semester there will be revisions to CDC, CalOSHA, or County Health orders as we learn more about the virus. The district will continue to communicate changes with you.
February is Black History Month, a celebration acknowledging the achievements of the African descendants who have shaped American history.
The recognition effort of Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, beginning with the advocacy of Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland.
In 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History week, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures. In 1975, President Ford issued a Message on the Observance of Black History Week urging all Americans to "recognize the important contribution made to our nation's life and culture by black citizens." Since 1976, February has been officially designated as Black History Month.
We commemorate Black History Month by continuing the essential work of self-reflection and strengthening our resolve to stay engaged in equity work in our district and to work harder against racism (overt and structural) and toward social justice.
The Mendocino College Librarians have put together a LibGuide for Black History Month with resources and information. View the page.
Overall enrollment for the Spring semester is a mix. Our year-over-year number of students has increased, however our total FTES has declined. This implies we have more students enrolling in fewer units than last year. Given everything facing students, this is not surprising. We have a good foundation to support students to remain engaged with the college and increase units in future semesters. Compared to our last pre-pandemic semester, spring 2020, the decline is 16 % number of students, 15% number of sections, and 24% total FTES.
Number of Sections
As mentioned in previous reports to the board and in the facilities presentation in November 2021, we are making steady progress on planning the secondary emergency access road. Over the past decade, the Mendocino College Foundation has strategically purchased property to connect the college to Orr Springs Road for emergency access. This milestone has been completed. The Cal-Fire accessible emergency access road will be almost a mile in length and paved. This road will be for emergency access only; there will not be additional facilities along the road or open public access.
At the December 2021 Board of Trustees meeting there were suggestions to infuse the project with student learning activities. Butte College was mentioned as a partner because they have a heavy equipment program. I contacted Butte College, and while flattered, this type of project is outside the scope and parameters of their program. It would not be something they would construct on their property. The size, complexity and liability associated with the project are formable. The Mendocino College Foundation, nor the district, would want to assume the liability related to the road. The project will need to follow the public bidding process.
The district can work with the company that is awarded the project to have an opportunity for students in related programs to receive real-world experience/exposure. Examples include working with the agriculture department on wetland mitigation, construction students for blueprint reading and project management experience, and fire science in terms of studying the design and purpose of the road.
We are reviewing several potential grant opportunities upon the advice of CalOES.
At the January Millview Water District Board meeting they agreed to work with the district on re-painting the eagle on the water tower behind campus. We will work together on the technical aspects of the RFP. The water districts required a licensed company to complete the work on the water tower.
Grant Period 2022-2024
Mendocino College service area encompasses 14 federally recognized Native American tribes. This project aims to plan and implement a speaker series in collaboration with local area tribes to present content that is faithful to the Native American experience and will enhance the teaching of history and other related humanities disciplines.
At least seven speaker sessions will be planned and implemented that will cover local Native American History and its application to Mendocino College Faculty teaching and learning.
I want to acknowledge the grant proposal team of Minerva Flores, Rebecca Montes, Robert Parmeter, Briana Zuber, Monica Flores, Antonio Lopez, and Joe Atherton.
Letters of support from our community partners were instrumental for a competitive grant submission. Thank you to Leona L. Williams, Pinoleville Pomo Nation; Melanie Rafanan, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Debra Ramirez, Redwood Valley River Band of Pomo Indians; David Burton, Grace Hudson Museum; Brock Falkenberg, LCOE-Superintendent; Debra Kubin, UUSD- Superintendent; and Lois Lockhart, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians.
I went to Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State University - HSU) to meet with Provost Dr. Capps and Dr. Jason Meriwether, Vice President of Enrollment Management to introduce myself and brainstorm potential avenues of collaboration. Many thoughts were shared about transfer agreements, advising, program alignment, and research opportunities. As HSU transitions to a Polytechnic over the upcoming years, it will be great to strengthen pathways for our students to attend Humboldt.
MAP allows colleges to create, approve, store, and adopt (from other colleges) articulations that link Credit Recommendations from the ACE Military Guide and your local college courses. This makes it possible for colleges to award up to one year of transcripted college credit for prior learning (CPL) to veterans and active-duty service members. The MAP Initiative is supported by seed funding from a legislative grant focused on scaling the platform statewide at no cost to colleges.
The project was launched with 12 California Community Colleges. In 2022, the cohort will increase to 50 California Community Colleges. Mendocino College will join the cohort of colleges.
Greater Northern California Regional Healthcare Hub
We were approached to learn more and join an initiative being developed by UC Davis. I want to thank Assistant Dean of Health Careers Suzanne Hewitt for joining me at the information session on January 24. More information will be released later in the spring. Below is a synopsis of the envisioned project.
The Center for a Diverse Healthcare Workforce at the UC Davis School of Medicine (SOM) is convening a powerful network of partners to establish the Greater Northern California Regional Healthcare Hub (GNCRHH). This network will seek to establish a contract with the recently launched California Medicine Scholars Program (CMSP) to serve as one of four new regional healthcare hubs across California.
In response, GNCRHH’s vision is to establish a set of healthcare pathway ecosystems (mini-hubs) that will prepare and support community college students to move into pre-medicine programs at a California public university, and ultimately to apply and be accepted to medical school at UC Davis or elsewhere.
At each participating community college district, student advisors and counselors will receive targeted training related to the medical school pathway and linked to their healthcare ecosystem. Through this process, advisors and counselors will be prepared to effectively guide students to determine a clear course of action to successfully transfer into a pre-medicine program at a GNCRHH partner university. Once admitted into a University of California or California State University Campus, undergraduates will experience a seamless pathway to an MD degree at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
An innovative course idea boosting enrollments in the Agriculture department is AGR 147 Greenhouse Projects. A complete modern greenhouse has been purchased and will be assembled from the ground up by students enrolled in this course. This project model resembles a current day “barn raising” event to be completed over the 17-week semester.
Agriculture students are currently working to prepare the building site by digging the greenhouse perimeter footings for a cement pour. This project is being guided by Agriculture instructor Kurt Voigt and Agriculture Technician Jacob Kyle. This resulting structure, along with our current greenhouses, will grow plants, fruits and vegetables for the Caring Kitchen Project, our Culinary Arts department and the annual community plant sale.
Financial Aid Update
Financial Aid Staff have resumed hosting FAFSA/Dream Act Workshops in order to have students complete their 2022-2023 applications by the March 2nd Cal Grant deadline. This is an effort to have multiple options for students as they work towards completing their applications.
Students who had their financial aid file complete were disbursed their Pell Grant on January 12th for the spring semester. In addition, we have been contacting students who were enrolled last fall and are still missing requirements to complete their financial aid file.
Emergency Grants are still available to students who are facing financial hardships. Students can visit our Basic Needs page /resources-online to see the multiple resources that are available or can contact the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The EOPS office is currently accepting applications. Students who are new to EOPS attend an online EOPS Orientation to be admitted to the program. During the orientation, new students are given information about the EOPS program and services. The EOPS drive-thru Kick-off events were held at the Ukiah campus and Centers the week before the start of the semester and the first week of classes. At the Kick-off, students were given their “Tools for School”, a set of school supplies, and they had an opportunity to request textbooks and calculators from the EOPS lending library.
Counselors have returned 100% to work on campus, accommodating in person meetings when requested. Arrangements have been made so that these in person meetings are held in alternative safe rooms rather than the counseling offices. To date there are limited request for in person meetings. Most meeting requests are via remote services, Zoom, telephone and email.
Transfer Talk Tuesdays
Transfer Counselor/Coordinator Mark Osea has developed a Transfer Talk Tuesday series for students. Every Tuesday in March, the Mendocino College Counseling faculty will be hosting a series of virtual talks to help students explore the transfer process, and how students can maximize their time here at Mendocino College. From Financial Aid options, to selecting a major, applying as an undocumented student, to student support services, these talks will help our students transfer in triumph!
Mental Health Counseling
To increase our capacity to address the mental health needs of our students, the department is in the process of adding an additional Adjunct Mental Health Counselor. The plan is to add an additional eight hours a week of mental health services. The department was also notified that the Chancellors Office has made available additional ongoing funding to support health services, including mental health. The Dean will work with the VP of Student Services to develop a fulltime position in this area.
The Outreach Team has been busy getting out to our Reg2Go schools. They are in regular contact with our K-12 partners regarding COVID trends that at times limit in person services. They have continued to maintain their remote service through Google Classroom. The Outreach Team, including Equity Counselor Apryl Guisasola followed up their December registration visit to Covelo, with a day of services on Thursday January 6. On this visit they included staff from the Admissions & Records and Financial Aid Offices. The Outreach and Equity Counselor is scheduled to visit Covelo again on Thursday, February 3, and continue a monthly visit throughout the semester.
The College Art Gallery kicks off the semester with “The Russian River and its Watershed” by Richard McDaniel. Over the course of three years McDaniel created more than 50 paintings and drawings as he traversed the river’s 110-mile path, from its headwaters in the Laughlin Mountain Range north of Ukiah to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County. In partnership with Sonoma Water and Sonoma Land Trust, McDaniel also published a book (available in the gallery) of his work with contributing essays discussing the history of the river, its role in Native life and current conservation efforts. “This show is extra special as it kicks off our return to in person art exhibitions at the college since 2019," says Art Gallery Director Lisa Rosenstreich. "We also look forward to bringing back our popular juried student art show coming in April and May.” A full description, along with gallery hours and covid protocols can be found here: /article/mendocino-college-art-gallery-presents-russian-river-and-its-watershed
Austin Confluence, 2017, oil on panel, 12x24"
The Art Department is once again offering on ground courses despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic. Arts instructor, Jazzminh Moore, has embraced the challenge with great success. “Teaching Portrait Painting during a pandemic which requires the model to wear a mask came with obvious challenges. To mitigate this, I taught constructive drawing techniques. These techniques helped students understand how to imagine and construct the parts of the face that were covered, allowing them to draw and paint a masked model without including the mask. I am currently teaching the same techniques in my Figure Drawing class.” Ms. Moore is an accomplished artist with an active studio practice and her classes are popular! To see her work, visit https://jazzminhmoore.com/
Jazzminh Moore lecturing on constructive drawing techniques
Jazzminh Moore, demonstration drawing
Student painting of masked model by Kate Gould
Guided Pathways Faculty Lead, Catherine Indermill
Beginning last fall and continuing this Spring, Guided Pathways Faculty Lead, Catherine Indermill has been participating in monthly webinars sponsored by the California Community College Foundation focused on developing, highlighting and celebrating learning that has diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront. The theme this year is Learn, Act, Change.
- "Learn - Discover how to create meaningful, student-centered changes at your campus."
- "Act - Create a plan to develop equity goals with student centered design strategies."
- "Change - Implement equity reforms at your college."
A key component of the webinars is for participants is to intentioanlly convert knowledge into action. During the Fall, Indermill partnered with Lassen College to present the work our Guide Pathways Leadership Team has done to include students on planning committees, including how the two colleges shared resources, and supported one another to increase the number of students who participate and to methods to compensate them for their work.
Janice Timm on Jeopardy
Music Faculty Janice Timm who teaches choir and the vocal jazz ensemble fulfilled a lifelong dream of hers to be on Jeopardy! The show aired January 26, and it was a historic night as it was long-time champion Amy Schneider's final game (she won 40 in a row with well over $1.3 million). While Timm did not win the night, she says she would like to think that she was part of the "team" that defeated her [Schneider]. "Being a contestant on Jeopardy was a long-time dream of mine and I did reach my goal of "Final Jeopardy" without embarrassing myself or going into the negative", said Timm.
Timm says she has been trying for several years to get on the show, which requires taking an online test on their website. "I guess I finally got past the first hurdle of getting enough answers correct! After that, it is paperwork, interviews, and practice games, and they tell you whether or not you are in the contestant pool", said Timm.
Janice Timm on Jeopardy, January 26, 2022