Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Second East County school district joins the East County Education Alliance

Board members and leaders of the 3 districts
The Mountain Empire Unified School District has joined the East County Education Alliance, a partnership formed five years ago to ensure a seamless educational path between high school, college and a career.

An agreement was signed yesterday at a joint board meeting of the Mountain Empire district, the Grossmont Union High School District and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District held at Cuyamaca College. It was the first time the boards of the two East County school districts have met jointly with the college district board.

“With Mountain Empire as part of the team, every public high school student in East County has the opportunity to benefit from the work of the Alliance,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. 

The Mountain Empire school district, which serves more than 3,100 students in rural southeastern San Diego County, consists of four elementary schools, two middle schools, Mountain Empire Alternative Education, and one high school, Mountain Empire High School in Pine Valley.

“We’re pleased to join the Alliance,” said Kathy Granger, superintendent of the Mountain Empire Unified School District. “We look forward to an even closer working relationship with our education colleagues in East County.”

By joining the Alliance, the school district will join in the work that began in 2014 with a collaboration between the college district and the Grossmont Union High School District. The goals of the Alliance are to inspire students to focus on college and careers, foster collaboration between the districts, and prepare students for an ever-evolving workforce.

“In the five years of the Alliance, our districts have made great strides in smoothing the pathway between high school and college, benefitting thousands of students,” said Tim Glover, superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District.

Through the Alliance, high shool principals are collaborating wth the two community college presidnets, and high school counselors are meeting with community college counselors to provide better guidance to students. High school teachers are partnering with their community college counterparts to ensure students are learning the material they need to be successful in college.

The Alliance also administers the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Promise, which offers a free year at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges to first-time students attending full-time. More than 800 students were Promise scholars at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in the 2019-20 school year, and more than 500 of those students came from the Grossmont Union High School District.

As a result of new state legislation, the Promise is being extended to offer a second free year at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for students who continue to enroll full-time and maintain at least a “C” average. More information about the Promise is available at

Erin Williams

Sean Hancock, vice chancellor for student and institutional success at the college district, announced that a new Promise Plus scholarship is being offered this fall to current Promise students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca College. The $1,000 scholarship for books and supplies will be offered to 300 students who will be chosen based on an essay they write, with priority being given to students with the greatest financial need.

Erin Williams, a 2018 graduate of El Capitan High School who is now a Promise student at Cuyamaca College, described the impact the Promise has had on her life.

“Without the Promise program, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” she told board members. “This program has been life-changing. It was very important to me.”

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Take Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges' summer classes; you'll still have time for that summer tan

Summer’s just around the corner, which means summer session starts soon at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
Whether you’re a university student looking to take a transferable class during summer break, a high school student wanting to get a head start in college, a working adult looking to upgrade or learn new skills or someone wanting to get into shape or to learn a new language, short-term summer classes are a great way to quickly expand your knowledge.
Most classes begin June 10 and are four, six or eight weeks long. Online registration using Web Advisor continues through June 9, but some classes offer late registration until the end of the first week of classes. Class schedules and information about enrollment at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are available at

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

New opportunities for Cuyamaca College student Armando Arevalo

Armando Arevalo
Armando Arevalo would be the first to tell you he wasn’t much into studying while in high school. He came to Cuyamaca College nearly four years ago mostly to take a few music classes.Everything changed when he signed up for a course in physics.

“It made me think like no other class had made me think before. It made me think a lot,” Arevalo said. “It helped me make sense of the world. I wanted to learn more about it. A lot more about it.”Arevalo is getting his wish. The Chula Vista resident graduates in June with a grade point average just one “B” shy of a 4.0 and transfers to UC Berkeley this fall. His goal: becoming a theoretical physicist steeped in research discovering why the universe works the way it does. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

East County Career Expo at Cuyamaca College always a big draw

A near-record 60 exhibitors were on hand at Wednesday’s 27th annual East County Career Expo put on by the Career Education Department at Cuyamaca College. More than 100 students registered in advance for the event and many from the community stopped by to meet company recruiters and  potential employers representing a wide swath of career and job fields, including healthcare, education, municipalities, military, law enforcement and more.

One newcomer to the popular event was the U.S. Census Bureau, looking to recruit census takers as the 2020 Census draws near. Also new this year was a practice room for job interviewing and a food truck for hungry exhibitors and attendees.

“This is always such a great event for students, as well as the public,” said Cindy Morrin, associate professor of counseling and coordinator of the college’s career center.

This year, Morrin made attendance mandatory for students in her college and career success classes. They prepped in advance by practicing elevator speeches and presenting themselves well with firm handshakes and a confident demeanor.  

And although business attire wasn’t a requirement, Morrin was pleased to see a number of her students dressed professionally.

For many, the event is an introduction to the real world of job-hunting and finding that promising career.

Cuyamaca College chamber music series concludes May 22 with Mozart sonatas for piano and violin

Cuyamaca College’s ECHO Chamber Music Series concludes its 2018-19 season May 22 when violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu and pianist Orion Weiss return to the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre for an evening of Mozart piano and violin sonatas.

Wu has enjoyed a versatile international career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator who performs regularly in Asia, Europe and North America. Weiss, one of the most sought-after soloists of his generation of young American musicians, has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony and New York Philharmonic, among others.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Grossmont College events mark Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month

May marks national Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Grossmont College is hosting a series of events starting with a May 1 campus mixer and continuing through May 16 with lectures, dance, food trucks and more. 

This marks the second year that Grossmont College, with a nearly 10 percent enrollment of Asians and Pacific Islanders, is paying homage to the generations who have added to the nation’s rich tapestry and continue to contribute to its multicultural success. The events are coordinated by the API Student Club and API Committee, and sponsored by the World Arts and Cultures Committee and Student Affairs. The events are free and open to the public.