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Southwestern College’s Student Veteran Organization Hosts “Sisters in Arms”

Southwestern College’s Student Veteran Organization Hosts “Sisters In Arms”

CHULA VISTA – The Southwestern College Student Veteran Organization (SVO) hosted a “Sisters In Arms” ceremony during Women’s History Month to honor and celebrate women who have served in all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Members of the Student Veteran Organization each highlighted remarkable women who have served and excelled in the United States Armed Forces. 
        Jim Jones, co-advisor for the SVO, began the event with a history of the SVO and what the club stands for. 
        “The Student Veteran Organization’s primary mission is to assist veterans in their transitions from military life to academia through camaraderie,” said Jones. “Student Veteran Organization serves as a support group for these veterans to assist them as they transition to their critical first year of college.” 
        Guest speaker Retired Army Captain Sarah Oury, current President of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, spoke about her experiences as a women serving in the United States Army. 
        “There are some unwritten rules for females going into the military,” said Oury. “Dress professionally . . . be assertive . . . know that it’s okay to be human . . . and understand that knowledge is power.” 
        Chula Vista Councilwomen Mary Salas presented a proclamation by Mayor Cheryl Cox declaring March 21st as Sisters In Arms day, designated to honor and remember women veterans. Salas also praised Southwestern College’s commitment to veterans. 
        “This is a fabulous campus and a great institution of learning,” said Salas. “It’s no surprise that Southwestern Community College has been named the top veteran school in California.”

Chula Vista Councilwoman Mary Salas presents proclamation to SVO VP Crystal Higgs

Honoring Women Veterans: Chula Vista Councilwoman Mary Salas (L) presents a proclamation by Mayor Cheryl Cox to Crystal Higgs, the Vice President of the Student Veteran Organization. The proclamation marked March 21st as Sisters In Arms Day, to celebrate and honor women veterans.

National Organization Honors Two Southwestern College Leaders

National Organization Honors Two Southwestern College Leaders

        Southwestern College Governing Board Member Norma L. Hernandez and Assistant Professor Dr. Sylvia Garcia-Navarrete have earned two of the highest awards bestowed by The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) for their contributions to higher education and support of Hispanic communities.
        Hernandez has been selected to receive the Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr., Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award and Garcia-Navarrete will receive the Outstanding Latina Faculty: Service/Teaching in Higher Education Award.
        They will receive their awards at AAHHE’s 8th annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 30.
Hernandez was selected because of her sustained contributions and efforts to showcase the significant accomplishments this award represents. Each year, this award is given to an outstanding administrator in the field of higher education who has demonstrated excellence in the profession. The award is named in honor of Dr. Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr., a leader, faculty member, mentor and champion in higher education. 
        “I am incredibly honored to receive such a prestigious award,” Hernandez said. “Southwestern College has been my home for more than 30 years and I am privileged to serve such a diverse community filled with the next generation of leaders.” 
        AAHHE President Dr. Loui Olivas said the organization was proud to present the award to Norma Hernandez.
        “This award reflects her outstanding leadership, dedication to her students, and her strong involvement in community activities and issues dealing with education and equity,” he said.
        Dr. Garcia-Navarrete’s innovative work in teaching developmental reading to students who come from diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds earned her the Outstanding Latina Faculty: Service/Teaching in Higher Education Award. The award recognizes an individual who has provided outstanding service through programming and direct work with students in a teaching oriented institution. 
        In recognizing Dr. Garcia-Navarrete, AAHHE called her “a proactive leader in the field of higher education who inspires other educators to reach out to students. She is dedicated to cultivating a solid educational foundation that empowers individuals to discover and achieve their fullest potential within a safe learning environment.” Her outstanding work ethic and professional integrity provide a role model for her students, as she never asks them to work any harder than she is willing to work. 
        Dr. Garcia-Navarette said she was honored to be the recipient of this distinguished award. 
        “Southwestern College is a melting pot of cultures and ideas,” said Dr. Garcia-Navarrete. “To be able guide students with diverse backgrounds and enormous potential, and to witness their academic transformation has been incredibly rewarding.”  

Award winners Norma Hernandez and Sylvia Garcia-Navarette pose with the Governing Board

AAHHE Award Winners: Governing Board Member Norma L. Hernandez and Assistant Professor Dr. Sylvia Garcia-Navarrete (center) show their awards at the April 10, 2013 Governing Board Meeting. L-R: Trustee Tim Nader, Trustee Terri Valladolid, Garcia-Navarrete, Hernandez, Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr., Student Trustee Juan Luis Espinoza and Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish.

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Releases Student Success Scorecard

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Releases Student Success Scorecard
Helps public track rate of students completing certificates, degrees and transfer

CHULA VISTA – The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office released the Student Success Scorecard this week, giving colleges and the public a clear way to measure student performance. 
        The scorecard tracks the rate of students completing certificates and degrees and transferring to four-year universities. The scorecard also measures how effectively colleges move students through remedial and career technical instruction. 
        The scorecards give college-by-college views of student performance and were a major recommendation of the Student Success Task Force
        “This new set of performance metrics makes the California Community Colleges the most transparent and accountable system of public higher education in the nation and is designed to help more students achieve their educational goals,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris. “The scorecard results make it clear how important preparation for college is to student success. If students come to college well prepared, they complete certificates and degrees or transfer at rates exceeding 70 percent. And for the first time, colleges will have clear data regarding student success by race, ethnicity, gender and age to help them focus on closing performance gaps.” 
        For Southwestern College, the scorecard outlines the successes in student achievement, but also highlights areas for improvement. 
        Southwestern College students have a 72.2% persistence rate, meaning they remain enrolled in the first three consecutive terms. Research shows students with sustained enrollment are more likely to succeed. That persistence rate is even higher for students who come to Southwestern unprepared for college-level work (73.2%). 
        Overall, 64.4% of students have achieved at least 30 units, another measure of likely completion.
The percentage of students who come to Southwestern College prepared for college-level work who complete a degree, certificate or transfer-related outcomes is 63.3%. Only 36.5% of those students unprepared for college-level work complete, however, giving Southwestern College an overall 43.1% completion rate. 
        “We have been closely monitoring student achievement data for the past year and collaborating with faculty, staff and administrative leadership to target areas for improvement,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish. 
        “Our efforts will align with six research-based success factors,” Nish said. “We are in the process now of studying how to best use our limited resources to give students the greatest opportunities for success.” 
        During the Fall Semester Opening Day Ceremony, Nish challenged college faculty and leaders to increase the student completion rate to 58% in three years. College-wide breakout sessions attended by more than 300 staff members during the Spring Semester Opening Day Ceremony strategized most effective practices to improve student achievement. 
        Those efforts are being further refined this semester for implementation in the fall. 
        Southwestern College’s Student Success Scorecard can be found at www.swccd.edu/studentscorecard

Crown Cove Aquatic Center Receives $42,000 Grant

Southwestern College’s Crown Cove Aquatic Center Receives $42,000 Grant

CORONADO – On-the-water boater safety will be enhanced at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center (CCAC), thanks to a new $42,000 grant. The grant –awarded by the California Department of Boating and Waterways—will be used to purchase a new electric-start outboard motor for the center’s 17’ Boston Whaler. The grant will also be used to partially support the costs of youth aquatic camps.

The Crown Cove Aquatic Center has been part of Department of Boating and Waterways’ (DBW) grant program for over 10 years and has utilized their support to maintain their educational and recreational aquatic activities for the community. Previous DBW funding has been used to maintain equipment, support youth camps, provide training and promote boating safety in the community.

This year’s grant also requests a small fleet of sailboats, that will enable the aquatic center to develop a Youth Sailing Academy for youth ages 7 through 17.

“Character development through sport, especially sailing, yields positive outcomes,” said Patrice Milkovich, director for Crown Cove Aquatic Center. “Students are empowered as they learn lessons of discipline, respect dealing with adversity and gain self-confidence.”

The funding support of DBW and partnership with the California State Parks & Recreation has helped provide the Crown Cove Aquatic Center with quality boating curriculum, while also promoting the center as a leader in affordable boating and aquatic recreation opportunities.

Citizens’ Bond Oversight Application Deadline Extended

Those interested in applying for the At-Large position on the Proposition R Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) have a few more weeks to prepare their application. The deadline has been extended to Friday, April 26, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

Members of the committee are responsible for informing the public and the college’s Governing Board about the expenditure of bond proceeds, review expenditures to ensure they are in alignment with voter-approved projects and providing an annual report summarizing the committee’s proceedings and activities.

The current Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meets quarterly, with occasional interim meetings to discuss certain topics or make site visits.

Interested individuals are asked to fill out the committee’s application—available here. Applications are due by Friday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. and should be sent to the attention of Janell Ruiz in the office of the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs, Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910 or applicants can email the application to jruiz@swccd.edu

All applications will be reviewed by college staff for a recommendation to college Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish. Final approval will be made by the Southwestern College Governing Board at the May 8 meeting.

Southwestern College Presents New Educational, Facilities Master Plans

Southwestern College Presents New Educational, Facilities Master Plans

CHULA VISTA – In a standing-room only workshop recently, Southwestern College faculty, staff, elected officials and members of the community caught a peek at the future of Southwestern College as district officials and Cambridge West Partnership consultants presented the new integrated educational and facilities master plans for the college. 
        The presentation included a vision for the college that would maintain Southwestern’s strong academic core in the middle of campus while creating new access for community uses on the underutilized land at the corner of Otay Lakes Road and East H Street.
        The Prop R-funded plans redistribute several departments from costly-to-maintain buildings and moves them to new reconstructed, state-of-the-art buildings while creating a new, welcoming environment. 
        Among the redistribution proposals is moving the Math and Science buildings to the area currently occupied by the gym and Athletics Department. A new wellness center with swimming pools and a gymnasium would be constructed on the underutilized land on the corner of Otay Lakes Road and East H Street, making them more accessible to the community. Also in consideration is construction of a Performing Arts Center next to the new wellness center.
        The Cesar Chavez One-Stop Student Services building is being proposed to be moved to the front of campus, making prospective student accessibility a priority. The One-Stop building will be reutilized as a one-stop Academic Success Center. 
        A crucial concern in the facilities master plan is student safety. The plan calls for moving the road to the perimeter of the campus , while opening new entryways into the college to help minimize congestion and eliminate vehicular and pedestrian contact. 
        Other visions on Southwestern College’s horizon include solar projects, a planetarium and parking structures. 
        The College chose to present a draft of both plans to the community and welcomes input that will help Southwestern College to better meet the needs of students and community. 
        The presentation of the facilities master plan can be accessed here.

rendering of location of buildings throughout campus

Conceptual future: The conceptual campus layout for the Southwestern College Chula Vista campus. The redistribution is intended to maximize community involvement, create a better flow through campus, eliminate pedestrian-vehicular contact, and make student services more accessible all while meeting Southwestern College’s educational goals and vision.

Southwestern College Seeks Motivated Individuals to Apply for Board Vacancy

Southwestern College Seeks Motivated Individuals to Apply for Board Vacancy

Motivated and interested residents who live in the College District are encouraged to apply to serve as an appointed member of the Governing Board (Seat 1) to fill the balance of a four-year term up for election in November 2014 and 2016.

Application materials and information are available at www.swccd.edu/govboardapp

Application deadline is 4 p.m., Thursday, April 18, 2013.

Governing Board to fill board member vacancy with appointment

Governing Board to fill board member vacancy with appointment

CHULA VISTA – The Southwestern College Governing Board unanimously voted Wednesday to provisionally appoint a member to fill the board vacancy created by the resignation of William R. Stewart.

The Governing Board’s appointment for Seat No. 1 will last until the next regularly scheduled election for District Governing Board members, and will save an estimated $900,000 to $1 million by not ordering a stand-alone election.

The college will widely publicize the process to the community. Information on how to apply will be made available at www.swccd.edu as soon as the procedure is finalized. Prospective candidates will be reviewed and interviewed by members of the Governing Board. A final decision will be made with a majority vote at a public meeting specifically for the appointment.

Southwestern College Hosts 40th District State Senate Candidates’ Forum

Southwestern College Hosts 40th District State Senate Candidates’ Forum

CHULA VISTA – Three of the four candidates running to replace Congressman’s Juan Vargas’ California Senate seat made their way to Southwestern College Friday. Each candidate made one final push for their election to the campus community days before the special election on Tuesday, March 12.

Hector Raul Gastelum (R), Anna Nevenic (D), and Ben Hueso (D) discussed education, the economy and touched upon social issues. While all four candidates confirmed their attendance, Xanthi Gionis (R) did not attend.

Hueso, current assemblyman for California’s 80th district, spoke about the correlation between education and the economy.

“We need to focus on stabilizing our tax revenue, we have to close tax loopholes,” said Hueso. “This way we can earmark more money to education.”

Gastelum, a local businessman, is opposed to raising taxes for education and instead looks to reevaluate the current system to help fund adult education and special education.

Gastelum said it’s time for the state of California to implement more online education, which is significantly cheaper.

“We have to be more efficient,” said Gastelum.

Nevenic, an author and nurse, wants a re-examined legislative system to better address educational needs.

“We need to provide quality education,” said Nevenic. “Money alone is not going to do this. We need collaboration.”

When asked by Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish about supporting the City of Chula Vista’s vision for a four-year university in the eastern part of the city, all candidates unanimously agreed that higher education must be expanded and supported.

Southwestern College’s 2012 Students of Distinction

The Student Activities office proudly announces the 2012 Students of Distinction. Each of these students were selected based on their outstanding academic success, active leadership in campus or community activities and commitment to a goal.

Each recipient will receive a $750 scholarship sponsored by the SWC Foundation, and a medallion at the 19th Annual Student Awards Ceremony on May 9, 2012 in Mayan Hall.

We hope you will join us in congratulating the following SODA recipients:

Ana Bahena, Biology
Angel Castro, Psychology
Alejandro Chavez, Biology
Angel Flores, Business Admin.
Jesus Flores, Engineering
Alexia Gutierrez, Engineering
Juan Huerta, Architecture
Dulce Mota, Nursing
Paulina Pineda-Medina, Philosophy
Ayded Reyes, Biology
Amerika Rocha-Aboujaoude, Self-Improvement
Ramiro Rodriguez, Engineering
Esther Sakhi, Paralegal Studies
Susana Sanchez, Psychology
Christian Santiago, Transfer
Arturo Sotomayor Gayosso, Mechanical Engineering
Amber Sykes, Journalism
Denyse Tontz, Telemedia
Jesse Ward, Management
Imran Yasin, Engineering