The academic term began on August 16. We are delighted to be serving 3,137 students! The trend is for students to enroll in fewer units; however, we are still serving them. This number is due to the incredible resiliency of our students and the tremendous work of staff, faculty, counselors, librarians, managers, administrators, and everyone in the district to connect with students over the long pandemic. District employees continue to go above and beyond to keep higher education accessible to our community. Health and safety remain our touchstone.
On August 27, I had the pleasure of attending performances by the Mendocino College Repertory Dance Theater. This was the first live performance on campus since the beginning of the pandemic. It was inspirational to be outside under the oak trees watching our talented students. This was a collaborative effort amongst the dance, theater, and music departments. The arts fill the soul with hope during these challenging times.
In community college districts throughout the state, vaccination mandate for employee and/or students are being discussed and implemented. Approximately 37 districts of the 73 California Community College Districts have initiated board dialog or policy implementation regarding vaccination requirements. Most district have focused on vaccination/testing mandates for employees.
I know everyone connected with our district has the people effected by the recent wildfires in Lake and Mendocino Counties in our hearts and minds. If any one part of our community is hurt, it is felt by all.
During our Week of Welcome, the college held a vaccination clinic open to all. It was great to see students, employees, and community members go to the Lowery Student Center to receive their vaccine. Many district employees were instrumental in making this happen. Thank you for being champions. There will be a second dose clinic on campus in September.
I was delighted to spend September 1 in Fort Bragg. I was able to connect with the Fort Bragg Rotary, met with city staff and stopped into the Coast Center. In addition, Lake County News interviewed me about Mendocino College and our commitment to serving Lake County residents.
I also want to congratulate MLCCD Student Trustee Rodriguez on being elected to the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board for the 21/22 academic year. The press release can be read at /article/mendocino-college-student-trustee-selected-join-ccct-board-2122-academic-year.
The Centers are excited to be welcoming students back on ground and planning for the future. Each Center maintains their relationships with our dual enrollment partners, welcoming 45 dual enrollment classes across 12 high schools supported by the Centers. This includes the addition of a new Digital Arts and Media pathway supported by the Lake Center at Upper Lake High School. This term’s Photoshop classes are taught by adjunct instructor Heather Jones, who specifically moved from southern California to the Mendocino-Lake Community College District to instruct these courses. We are very excited to have her and be able to open up this educational pathway to our dual enrollment students.
The North County Center’s Weekend’s to Success class offerings began 8/30/21, with a diverse offering of courses including biology, health, communications, English, and psychology. These classes are Friday evening and Saturday hybrid classes with four on ground meetings and the rest of the content will be available online.
The Coast Center is very excited to begin implementing the over $70,000 raised by the Friends of the Mendocino College Coast Center, Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation, and the Strong Workforce Grant to establish a physiology lab and overarching health pathway at the Coast. Physiology is set to be offered in Spring of 2022, with Anatomy to take place in Fall 2022. These pre-nursing courses are an amazing asset for our Coast students to have access to local training for an in demand and lucrative career.
Over the last month, faculty, classified staff, and managers in student services have been providing daily in-person support for our students. While students are appreciative of these offerings, the number of students assisted is significantly lower than in previous years. And although we have fewer enrolled students, the reduction in requests for in-person support does not match the dip of overall students. We are attributing the large reduction of in-person visitors to the many improvements being made within student services to provide assistance remotely. Within the last two years, and certainly during the pandemic, students are now able to submit their documents online, meet with staff/faculty virtually, handle many transactions virtually through the launch of our college app, request transcripts in a faster and more streamlined way, and get many of their questions answered by Eddie the Eagle through our website and social media. We are also doing a better job of reaching out to students in more ways than before. This has all resulted in students receiving the service they need much faster and without needing to seek transactional services in person.
Mendocino College Vaccination Challenge
Starting September 13th, Mendocino College will provide a $100 Visa gift card for each student who provides proof of being fully vaccinated. This incentive program, currently being marketed to students through internal emails, our webpage, and social media, is in line with the White House’s COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, which encourages institutional participation to get as many of our students vaccinated as possible. The insentive also comes on the heels of new local and federal efforts that make it easier and more accessible for people to get vaccinated. To receive a $100 Visa gift card, students must meet the following:
- Be enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester in any number of units (Credit or Non-Credit)
- Must show student or government issued photo ID
- Must show completed vaccination card
Staff at each of our locations are ready to distribute the gift cards in an effort to get more of our students vaccinated.
The Financial Aid Office staff are busily working on completing student files and awarding students their financial aid while also closing out the 2020-2021 academic year. Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds are still available for students experiencing financial needs due to COVID-19. The staff is also getting ready for the 2022-2023 FAFSA and CA Dream Act application which opens on October 1, 2021. We are in communication with our local high schools to offer virtual FAFSA/CA Dream Act workshops for students and parents. We are also strategizing on how to possibly offer in-person workshops to our current and incoming students and parents.
The EOPS program had 32 students attend the New Student Welcome who were accepted into EOPS. We currently have 70 students who are new to the EOPS program for Fall 2021 and 298 continuing students. Like last year, we are seeing a decline in students applying for the program and an increase in students who are not completing program requirements. We have 43 students who are eligible for EOPS but haven't completed the online orientation or Mutual Responsibility Contract. We are contacting these students by phone/text to remind them of the next steps for them to start receiving services. We continue to invite students to apply to the EOPS/CARE program. Final numbers for EOPS show that we served an unduplicated headcount of 437 students in 2020-2021, compared to 590 in 2019-2020. CARE served an unduplicated headcount of 11 students in 2020-2021, compared to 30 in 2019-2020. Although there has been a decline in students participating in EOPS, it is not surprising since we are seeing a decline in enrollment. In 2020-2021, 10.21% of the student population participated in EOPS compared to 11.28% in 2019-2020.
College Assistance Migrant Program
CAMP scholars have been connecting with recently hired CAMP Counselor Jose Hernandez, who comes to us from Central California where he graduated from CSU Stanislaus. Students are connecting with him and getting settled in the college experience. This includes participating in the CAMP Summer Bridge program, with CCS 124 and LIB 200 as the main courses. Approximately two-thirds of new CAMP scholars took part in the CAMP Summer Bridge. CAMP scholars also participated in the New Student Welcome. This fall semester we have Counselor Meztli Avina as the CAMP CCS 119 instructor (she previously served as CAMP counselor). All eligible CAMP scholars are now registered in the CAMP CCS 119 class. All, except for newly accepted CAMP scholars, have received their Fall Book vouchers and are starting their semester on the right path.
During the pandemic, the College has been often asked what percentage of our schedule is online. Because of the way sections are scheduled with sometimes multiple sections “stacked” into one course, this question is harder to answer than some would realize. A good way to look at online versus face-to-face instruction, is to look the ratio of enrollments in each modality. An enrollment is counted each time a student enrolls in any class. If one student enrolls in one class, that counts as one enrollment. If another student enrolls in three classes, that counts as three enrollments. The enrollment table below shows the tremendous shift that occurred from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, and the continued emphasis on online education this semester in Fall 2021.
ONLINE VS FACE TO FACE ENROLLMENTS
FACE TO FACE
Agriculture (submitted by Instructor Kurt Voigt)
- We are excited to announce that our annual Fall Plant Sale starts September 20 and runs through October 15. Visit www.mendocino.edu/plant-sale to place your order and schedule a pickup time. You order will be filled by the Agriculture Department staff and volunteers and be waiting for you to drive-thru and pick it up! Pick up times are from 9AM to 4:30PM daily. Contact email@example.com or call 707.468.3148 for more information or to make special arrangements.
- We are also having a T-shirt design contest for the Horticulture Club which is up and running. First prize is a $50 gift certificate to the plant sale AND a free t-shirt with the winning design on it.
- We are hiring 3-4 people and have a job description for an STNC laborer.
- We are also starting a new landscape project down in the gardens- a yin/yang design with plants and hardscape materials. Going to be epic!
- Last, but definitely not least, Jessica Jacquin, finished the program with her AA degree and also worked here, is currently transferring to Oregon State. WooHoo!
Utility Line Clearance (ULC) Arborist Training (submitted by Program Coordinator Lauren Simmonds)
Utility Line Clearance (ULC) Arborist Training continues at Mendocino College Ukiah campus through the Career Education department. Northern California has been afflicted by wildfires which unfortunately continue to intensify over the last several years. An effective form of fire prevention is to prune vegetation and trees near electrical infrastructure. Programs like the ULC Arborist Training are designed to build a local qualified workforce to keep our region and community safe. This program was started in the Spring of 2021 by Jim Xerogeanes, long time Agriculture Faculty who has since retired, in partnership with Butte Community College. Currently, Lauren Simmonds is ULC Training Program Coordinator working with Butte Community College and industry professional trainers. Upon completion of the 200-hour training, there are multiple local employment opportunities providing livable wages, health, and retirement benefits. We are pleased by the diverse representation of trainees benefitting from this FREE Career Education training opportunity. There will be future ULC Arborist Training cohorts (likely quarterly) and we will continue trainee outreach efforts with an equity lens.