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Commencement 2017 – Job Well Done

Welcome to the first day of summer school 2017. I am pleased to share that our headcount enrollment this summer is up 3.6 percent and our FTSE is up just over 1 percent. Our positive movement with enrollment stability and growth continues.

The 2017 Commencement exercises, held just two weeks ago, will go down in the PVCC history books as perhaps one of the best. The event highlighted by a record number of graduates marching, excellent student speakers, poignant remarks by Board President Gutierrez,  and an overall “finely tuned” and organized event made for a memorable evening. My sincere thanks to the faculty and staff who planned and executed the commencement exercises. A special thanks to all of the staff and students who volunteered and contributed greatly to the success of the event. I received numerous affirming and complimentary comments from students and their families during the reception.  Job well done!

Summer 2017 will be a very productive time for college leadership. Last week the President’s Leadership Team (including faculty and classified staff leadership) held our annual planning retreat. Over the next several months we will be working on: final alignment of the PVCC Strategic Plan with the MCCCD Strategic Commitments, further planning on the implementation of the Critical Thinking Academy with an expansion to the co-curricular arena, preparing for the 30th Anniversary celebratory activities, and accelerating further enrollment growth and student persistence efforts. Watch for further updates throughout the summer.

Again, my deepest thanks to all involved in the 2017 Commencement exercises. I look forward to an engaged and productive summer.




Reflections – HLC Annual Conference 2017

I wanted to share with you reflections from several of the faculty and staff who attended the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) 2017 Annual Conference recently held in Chicago. As you will read, there was substantial personal and organizational learning.

My most important take away is that I’m pleased we’ve already established many practices that make our accreditation process easier: tying the college’s mission, values, and strategic goals to the HLC core criteria; engaging in high-impact practices to ensure student success, etc. Now it is simply a matter of better communicating these successes to our community. – Denise Digianfilippo

Challenges with 4b (assessment of student learning outcomes) are not closing the loop, not completing full cycles of assessment, major programs not participating, and one we need to work on, not assessing co-curricular programs. – Christine Tabone

The sessions I attended helped me to understand, holistically, how we are all united in helping our students achieve their goal to become life-long learners. It’s a much more complex system than I previously understood. Specifically, obtaining more assessment data from our faculty and gaining a better picture of how out-of-class assessments are linked to the general education learning outcomes. – Paula Crossman

According to Tom Bordenkircher, Vice President for Accreditation Relations, HLC, the criteria most commonly met with concern or not met were 4B (31.5%) – assessment – which suggests colleges have difficulty demonstrating that data/information is used to improve learning, that methodologies reflect good practice, or that there is substantial participation. PVCC will need to determine what substantial participation means and identify the most compelling evidence that shows we use assessment information to make changes at both curricular and co-curricular levels. – Felicia Ramirez

Next to assessment Retention is probably the topic I heard most talked about at HLC.  This is an extremely important area for focus.  It is important that everyone understands that Retention belongs to the COLLEGE as a whole not just a handful of departments.  – Kathaerine Johnson

…it seems to be time for institutions across the country to inspect their culture as it relates to free expression on campuses. I was reminded during the keynote by Geoffrey Stone, of a fundamental skill that higher-learning institutions are charged with –  development of the skills that enable citizens to argue and criticize views they find are unwise, offensive or even immoral, and the ability to recognize freedom of expression that allows others to hold and voice such views unimpeded. – Heather Nothum

We will soon be re-engaging our HLC Steering Team in order to effectively move through the Open Pathways process. Look for more information before the end of the semester.

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