Thursday, October 30, 2014

East County college, high school districts form alliance

          A unique partnership designed to provide East County high school students with a smoother path to college and a career was announced today by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and the Grossmont Union High School District.
Seated left to right:
Bill Garrett, Cindy Miles, Ralf Swenson, Robert Shield

            An agreement formalizing the East County Education Alliance was signed at Cuyamaca College by Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board; Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the college district; Robert Shield, president of the Grossmont Union High School District Governing Board; and Ralf Swenson, superintendent of the high school district.

            The Alliance was formed to increase collaboration between the two districts so that students are better informed about their college and career options after high school and have a smoother path to college. The partnership has set goals of increasing the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for college, along with increasing the numbers of students who graduate from college ready to enter the workforce.

            “Too often, college and high school districts work in silos – they have different funding streams, different governance structures and different cultures,” Miles said. “What we need to remember is we are serving the same students – just at different times in their lives. The East County Education Alliance helps us to do just that.”

            Within the next year, Alliance members plan to

·         align curriculum so that the  lessons students are taught in high school better matches  the knowledge and skills they are expected to have at college,

·         provide communications to high school students, parents and counselors about how best to prepare for college or a career,

·         increase programs allowing high school students to take college classes,

·         raise scholarship funds for students who commit to goals that prepare them for college or a career,

·         launch a website and communications to keep students, educators, and community members informed about resources, progress, and how to get involved.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Caleb Martinez: Finding redemption at Grossmont College

Caleb Martinez
This is another in an occasional series of student success stories at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
Grossmont College academic standout Caleb Martinez has experienced quite the journey. The 25-year-old East County resident grew up in a series of neighborhoods rife with crime, and he often found himself in trouble as a teen. His mother had to work two jobs to make ends meet, and his brother was murdered in a gang shooting in El Cajon.

Today, Martinez maintains a 4.0 grade point average, is the president of the campus EOPS Club, is planning to transfer to a University of California campus with plans of becoming a lawyer and is raising a young daughter as a doting single father.

Grossmont College has been pivotal in the transformation.

“Grossmont showed me that education is the way out, the way out for a lot of people who come from challenging backgrounds,” Martinez said. “The school helped me connect with the community and interact with different groups. It taught me so much about life in general."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Grossmont College president Sunny Cooke selected to lead MiraCosta College

Sunita V. Cooke
After seven years as president of Grossmont College, Sunita V. Cooke has been chosen to serve as the new superintendent/president of MiraCosta College in northern San Diego County beginning in January 2015.

             Cooke was unanimously selected today by the MiraCosta Community College District Board of Trustees to replace Interim Superintendent/President Dick Robertson.

            "Sunny Cooke has been an exemplary leader for Grossmont College, and her focus has always been on providing the best services possible so that our students can succeed," said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “This is a bittersweet moment for us. We’ll miss her smart, caring and charismatic leadership, but we congratulate her on achieving this new phase in her career.”

            Cooke began serving as president of Grossmont College in 2007 after spending 12 years in the Lone Star College System in north Houston, Texas, culminating in a position there as vice chancellor for workforce development. 

            Grossmont College, on a 135-acre campus in El Cajon, serves more than 18,000 students. It offers over 150 degree and certificate programs, including renowned programs in nursing and allied health, administration of justice, culinary arts, and theater.