The job search for major roles at this college is underway.
By Wally Perez
The college administration is discussing implementing certificates for students who complete the 42 credit hours of the core curriculum.
The certificate was discussed during the monthly College Council meeting April 12 in Room 120 of the visual arts center.
President Robert Vela clarified, saying in this college’s transcripts, once students complete their 42-hour core curriculum, there’s a designation on the transcript that says “core curriculum complete.”
“We want students to be awarded for accomplishing this feat; it’s a big deal for a community college and a milestone for students pursuing an associate,” Vela said.
When students meet this milestone, they will receive a certificate, a credential to show they met state criteria.
Along with the recognition of accomplishing the milestone, Dr. Johnnie Rosenauer, program coordinator for real estate in the business department, said it represents a significant component for students who may not finish a degree, but have completed the foundation for it.
There are already about 62 certificates offered here, which require students to meet certain credit hours to obtain a Level 1 or 2 certificate.
“Some certificates, such as a Level 1 real estate certificate, require as few as 16 credit hours to achieve, so why not have one for 42 credit hours?” Rosenauer said.
Vela said the state already treats core completion as an award; it doesn’t count toward graduation numbers, but it does count as a success point for this college and its students.
It will be used as a stackable credential for associate of arts or associate of science degrees and it shows the community and the state that we should be counting the credential, he said.
“This is our journey to begin to tell our story that this 42-hour core curriculum complete matters and it’s an important milestone for students, which means a lot when they transfer to other institutions,” Vela said.
In other business, Dr. Teanna Staggs, chair of the district Chairs Council, brought up the work on the new 12-month chair contract, which is being worked on with chairs and Vela.
After the chair job description is finalized, the next phase will be working on a job description for program coordinators.
Current chairs will be meeting with Dr. Vela April 29 to discuss the draft of the role and what’s expected.
“The program coordinator role is going to be just as critical as the chairs … ” Vela said.
Staggs said the chairs have recognized that this job is important and they’re working to finalize the coordinator outcomes as soon as possible.
Vela said the meeting is so they can receive feedback and incorporate some of the realities of the position in job descriptions and compensation packages.
Spanish Professor Tammy Perez followed the discussion with an update on the accreditation process at Northeast Lakeview College.
There’s a site visit scheduled Feb. 6 and submission of its document is expected in the fall. If the visit is successful, then notification will be received in June and will be retroactive until Jan. 1, she said.
Perez continued by saying there’s concern that the impact of Northeast Lakeview separating from this college hasn’t really been identified.
Perez will be working on this during the summer to see how it will affect the college, including enrollment, money and other possible areas that aren’t known at the moment.
“We want faculty and administration to be aware that there are areas that may feel impact during the separation,” Perez said.
Vela followed the concern saying the relationship between this college and NLC has been great.
“There are some students from this college who are taking classes at NLC who want to walk the stage over there for graduation,” Vela said. “If we’re student-centric then they should be able to walk the stage wherever they feel is home.”
Vela said he had no issues with that and he wants students to graduate whether it is here or at another college.
The meeting closed with Vela updating the council of positions that need to be filled around the college.
With the recent death of David Mrizek, former vice president of college services, the search for a new VP is underway. The administration has opened the search nationally, and is already creating buzz internally, Vela said.
He has redistributed Mrizek’s duties to himself; Dr. Lisa Alcorta, interim vice president of student success; Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president of academic success; and Dr. Kristine Clark, chief of integrated planning and performance excellence, for the time being.
Clark will be extending her stay at the college until the end of the summer to help with the extra responsibilities, and a search for a replacement for her is also underway.
The position she holds was not advertised before her hiring but Vela is looking to hire a dean of performance excellence position that will also look over the IPPE department, which will fall under the vice president of college services.
“Dr. Clark was here on an interim basis and has stayed longer than planned,” Vela said. “It’s a testament to her commitment and love for this institution and I thank her for that.”
The search for vice president of student success is still ongoing in addition to these two major roles, and we hope to fill these positions before the start of the next fiscal year, he said.
“We’re going to do the best we can; David (Mrizek) is missed and I think about him every day and his presence here at the college,” Vela said. “We can all rally around each other and continue to champion this college like he did every day of his life.”