Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Trio picked for annual classified employee excellence award

Veronica Nieves-Cortez
Tiffany Hungerford
Dave Steinmetz

A tutoring specialist, an audio-visual equipment tech and a campus parking staffer are this year’s picks as the top non-instructional employees in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Cuyamaca College Tutoring Center Specialist Veronica Nieves-Cortez, District Services Campus and Parking Services Specialist Tiffany Hungerford and Grossmont College Senior Instructional Media Services Technician David Steinmetz received trophies and warm praise at this month’s Governing Board meeting as the 2015 recipients of the Chancellor/Classified Senate Award.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bill Garrett returning as Governing Board president

From left, Bill Garrett, Mary Kay Rosinski, and Edwin Hiel
Bill Garrett was unanimously selected Tuesday night to lead the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for the ninth straight year.
Garrett, a retired El Cajon city manager, has served since 2008 as board president for the East County college district, which enrolls about 28,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

District's parking cops give more than tickets

Terria Bridgeford takes inventory of the
 latest batch of  unclaimed
lost-and-found items.
The Campus and Parking Services folks at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District may not be known for spreading holiday cheer, given that, among other things, they’re the parking enforcers at the two East County campuses.

But far from being Christmas Grinches or parsimonious Scrooges, the department is involved in charitable efforts benefitting students of modest means, medical clinics in developing nations, and military veterans who have returned home wounded from the Middle East conflicts. Items collected through Lost and Found that go unclaimed for 90 days are donated to such worthy causes, instead of being tossed into the recycling bin.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Grossmont College student a seasoned musician taking the stage at Cuyamaca’s Winter Wonder Jam

Ilya Shatov will sing at Friday's Winter Wonder Fest

 Grossmont College student Ilya (pronounced “ill-ya”) Shatov can’t decide what he wants to pursue more – a career in medicine or a future in music.

So for now, he’s chasing both.

The Russian-born singer/songwriter--one of six acts taking the stage Friday at Cuyamaca College’s Winter Wonder Jam--is a former guitarist and vocalist for the pop punk band, A Dull Science, which toured the western and Midwestern United States and put on about 400 shows during its seven-year existence. Winning numerous Battle of the Bands awards and songwriting competitions, A Dull Science captured    “Best Punk Artist” honors at the Hollywood Music Awards in 2008, and played with the likes of P.O.D., A Flock of Seagulls, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, and the Ataris.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to jam at Cuyamaca's winter music fest

Winter Wonder Jam -- Cuyamaca College’s early holiday gift to the community featuring homegrown bands and musicians playing an eclectic mix of music practically for free – is set for 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the performing arts theater.
Musicians perform at a past Wonder Jam concert.

Open to the public, the sixth annual music fest is put on by students in the Music Industry Studies program as a term project to learn the intricacies of concert promotion and production. Admission is $5 or a donation of three canned goods to the San Diego Food Bank. Ample free parking will be available at the college at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cuyamaca College's Cisco Networking Academy offering 16-week certification program

Instructor Steven Grishkowsky and student William Simmerman
in the Cisco Networking Academy lab
Michael Kelsey was working at a local Starbucks when he enrolled at Cuyamaca College’s state-of-the-art Cisco Networking Academy en route to finding a new career. Today, he’s taken the hands-on training he received and put it to use as a networking consultant for a San Diego internet technology firm.

“I not only would recommend the Cisco Academy to others, but I have recommended it to others,” Kelsey said. “As a matter of fact, a co-worker of mine has gone through the academy as well.”

Cisco is a leader in the Internet’s infrastructure hardware, and the Cisco Networking Academy covers a combination of concepts to understand the foundations of how such systems work. The Cisco classes teach students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities. The Cisco Networking Academy offers eight courses that begin with Introduction to Networks (CIS-201).

And starting this spring, the Academy is revising its curriculum to allow students to earn certification as an entry-level network technician within just 16 weeks.

Spring into action: Register for classes

Cuyamaca College's CISCO Networking Academy trains students.

From accounting to xeriscaping, East County’s community colleges offer a full spectrum of classes, and with the new semester starting Jan. 25, now is the time to register at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

The cost of the courses is $46 per unit, with most classes offering three units of college credit. Online registration for regular semester classes ends Jan. 22, 2016.
A wealth of traditional, online and hybrid classes are offered at both colleges, many of which satisfy general education requirements needed for university transfer.

Monday, November 23, 2015

High school students learning about cybersecurity at Cuyamaca College

Steele Cayon High School Instructor Ruth Maas, Cyberpatriot
coach Richard Lane, and Cuyamaca College instructor
Curt Sharon work with Steele Canyon students Nick Varone,
Joe Principe and Jeremiah Genesse.
Instructors with Cuyamaca College’s Computer and Information Science Department are coaching East County middle and high school students in a prestigious nationwide cybersecurity competition sponsored by the nonprofit Air Force Association in Arlington, Virginia.

The Cyberpatriot competition is aimed at increasing the awareness of cybersecurity by delivering a basic cybersecurity education to high school and middle school students in an exciting format that enhances leadership, communication, and cooperation skills among its competitors.

More than 3,300 teams from schools from around the nation have registered for this year’s competition. Among those participating are teams from Steele Canyon High School and Hillsdale Middle School in Rancho San Diego. More than a dozen students from those two schools are visiting Cuyamaca College each week for lessons, in-person coaching from a faculty of experts, hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art computer lab, and discussions making them aware of the latest cybersecurity issues.

“Our kids are excited about being on a college campus and they love the environment at Cuyamaca,” said Ruth Maas, a computer science teacher at Steele Canyon High. “It is inspiring them and opening their eyes to the kind of programs available and the kind of certification they can receive at Cuyamaca College.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Xavier Daniels: Finding his future at Grossmont College

Xavier Daniels
Just call him the Renaissance Man.

Xavier Daniels excelled at sports in high school, is an accomplished musician, studies theatre in hopes of finding work as an actor, and is planning on attending medical school en route to becoming a physician. Now, just weeks after stepping into the arena, the Grossmont College student already is turning heads as a member of the school’s Speech and Debate team.

“I had no idea what it was, but it looked interesting to me, so I figured, why not?” said Daniels, 21. “I believe people shouldn’t be afraid to explore all their options, follow their passion, and see how things work out, and I felt speech and debate could help me not only with acting, but with my oral communication skills.”

So far, so good. In his third competition this fall, Daniels notched a picket fence – or ranked 1st by all judges in the room – during the preliminary rounds of a tournament at Pasadena Community College for his performance during an impromptu speech.

Though he faltered in the final round, he left many competitors in awe.

Xavier already has become a core member of the advanced team,” said Speech and Debate Team director Roxanne Tuscany, who also teaches small group communication and public speaking at Grossmont College.He has done this not just by success in winning events, but more by being an active member.  He has already performed in a readers theatre for the English Department’s Banned books presentation, he has a dramatic duo selection, a prose selection and impromptu as events for the team.  For a first semester team member this is a lot of dedication, and success.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Native American Celebration and Dance Nov. 24 at Cuyamaca College

Dancers at the 2014 Native American Social
Gathering and Dance
The latest in a growing number of Native American celebrations at Cuyamaca College takes place Tuesday, Nov. 24, with the 5th annual Native American Social Gathering & Dance, an event that last year drew more than 200 people.

The Social Gathering & Dance takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on the Cuyamaca College Grand Lawn. It features the Soaring Eagles, a Native American cultural dance group based in San Diego, whose members will detail the symbolism and history behind each dance and what they mean to individual tribes. Added this year are performances from Aztec dancers.

The celebration is free and open to the public.

“It’s a wonderful educational experience for people from other cultures who may not know a lot about the Native American culture to get a glimpse of our culture, what we do and what we are about,” said Rachel Tsosie, president of the Cuyamaca College Native American Student Alliance that helped organize the event.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Poinsettias on sale at Cuyamaca College

Ornamental horticulture students and poinsettias
Santa has taken up residence in the mall, Christmas decorations are going up in local neighborhoods, and holiday marketing is in full swing. Which means just one thing: It’s time for the annual poinsettia sale at Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture program.

Once again this holiday season, the Ornamental Horticulture program is the community source for poinsettias. This year, the nursery at Cuyamaca College is offering two varieties: the Ecke Early Freedom Red and the Ecke Christmas Feelings Merlot.

All proceeds benefit the Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture program and help it purchase lab supplies and gardening tools.

“We have a great program thanks to the support of industry, gardening clubs and the community, and the poinsettia sale is just one manifestation of that excellence,” said Donald Schultz, the Ornamental Horticulture’s program coordinator.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kudos to the Grossmont College nursing program!

The Grossmont College Nursing Program hosted another successful visit from its accrediting body, the California Board of Registered Nursing. For two days this week, the Nursing Program hosted three site visitors who compared the program to the regulatory body's rigorous set of standards -- and found Grossmont College's program met 100 percent of the criteria.

"My congratulations to the Grossmont College Nursing Program," said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. "To complete the accreditation process successfully is admirable. To receive rave reviews and not a single recommendation for improvement is an endorsement of the excellence in academics and student-centeredness that this program exhibits."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

District awarded $1.2 million state grant to help students coming out of foster system

Students in Cuyamaca College's UP! Program
Students coming from foster-care backgrounds struggling to get through college will get much needed help, thanks to a $1.2 million grant the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will receive from the state starting next year.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors Monday approved the awarding of the grant to 10 college districts throughout the state. The East County college district is the only one in San Diego County awarded Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support Program funds stemming from 2014 legislative action.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges offering three-week intersession courses

Registration begins Nov. 16, 2015, for spring intersession classes at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. Students attend classes Jan. 4-22 and can complete a course, including those satisfying general education requirements, in only 15 days.

The cost of the courses is the same $46 per unit that applies for regular-session classes, with most classes meeting daily for 3.5 hours and earning students three units. Registration for regular spring semester classes also begins Nov. 16 and ends Jan. 22, 2016.

Cuyamaca College student Mariah Moschetti shoots for the stars

Mariah Moschetti is reaching for the sky.

The Cuyamaca College Associated Student Government President was recently accepted into the super competitive NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program and spent Oct. 26 to 29 studying at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“It definitely was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for someone who wants to work in the space industry,” s
Mariah Moschetti talking with an astronomer at
the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
he said. “Incredibly inspirational. I met some amazing people. And I learned so much.”

The NASA program was just the latest in a string of achievements for Moschetti since she arrived at Cuyamaca College.

“Mariah is an amazing student,” said Lauren Vaknin, Cuyamaca’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “She has been involved with the Associated Student Government for more than two years as an Emerging Leader, Vice President, and as the President. She has also served on numerous campus committees, such as Student Services Council, Student Services Program Review Committee, and the Cuyamaca College Council – all while maintaining a high GPA. I am constantly impressed with Mariah’s reasoning skills and how well she interfaces with students, community leaders, and campus administrators.”

Monday, November 9, 2015

Opportunities soar for Air Force veteran at Cuyamaca College

Chris Reaves
In honor of Veterans Day, here is a profile of a veteran now attending Cuyamaca College.
Chris’ Reaves first try at community college 14 years ago ended in disappointment. But after his military service, the Air Force veteran is now earning solid grades as a wastewater technology major at Cuyamaca College, training to become a wastewater treatment operator.

Reaves credits the military for instilling discipline and Cuyamaca College for helping him find direction.

“Back when I had just graduated from Mount Miguel High School, I had no idea what I wanted to do and I enrolled in community college because that’s what my friends did,” he said. “But I was too immature and too busy socializing with my friends. With the freedom to come and go as I wanted, I was skipping classes and when I got my first grades, all I saw was a row of ‘W’s (withdrawals).”

With no career prospects and nothing beyond a high school education, he enlisted in the Air Force. Reaves completed his basic training and was sent to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, where he was assigned to traffic management operations.

“I was the point of contact for all military personnel and dependents flying out of Peterson, making flight arrangements and such,” the former senior airman said.

Friday, November 6, 2015

El Cajon Elks Lodge honors Cuyamaca College veterans

Cuyamaca College veterans and Elks Lodge members
About 30 military veterans, now students at Cuyamaca College, enjoyed a barbecue and received school supplies at a Veterans Week commemoration hosted on campus Wednesday by the El Cajon Elks Lodge.

The event, which also included a raffle for prizes including T-shirts, gift certificates from merchants and a pair of tickets to a Chargers’ football game, marked the second year that Elks Lodge 1812 joined the college in honoring student veterans.

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes said the event is a reminder of the college’s commitment to the academic success of its more than 700 student veterans.

“We are thankful for your service and this is but one way to show you how important it is to us to put into action our commitment to you,” she said.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

For former Marine, college the answer to life after military

Briona Partin

In honor of Veterans Day, here is a profile of a veteran now attending Grossmont College.

Being a wife and mother of five children ages 2 to 12 is tough enough, but throw into the mix the roles of college student, retail sales associate and president of Grossmont College Student Veteran Organization, and you’ve got the hectic life of Briona Partin.

Following her discharge from the Marine Corps in 2014, Partin enrolled at Grossmont College after her husband, a former student, sang the college’s praises.

“I have loved every minute,” said the nine-year veteran who reached the rank of sergeant as as a motor transportation operator, mainly driving military cargo trucks called MTVRs (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement).

Partin said she was initially wary about revealing her veteran status to others on campus, but after discovering the student veteran organization, or SVO, and the Veteran Resource Center (VRC), which provides a central entry point for veterans as they transition from the military to the classroom, she had a change of heart.

“Grossmont has helped me as a veteran by having the VRC, which is a great place to go, relax, be in an environment where you can talk freely without feeling the need to apologize or being judged,” she said. “Within the VRC, you have other service members who have been there, done that, and fully understand.”

Friday, October 30, 2015

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges hosting events honoring veterans

From participating in a parade along Harbor Drive in San Diego to a “Bowling for SVO” fundraiser, both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges plan a number of activities in commemoration of Veterans Day, Nov 11.

With nearly 1,500 veterans enrolled for the current semester at East County’s only public institutions of higher education -- a number that is steadily climbing -- both current and past members of the armed forces are a significant and valued presence within the college communities.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Doug Jenson appointed as district's associate vice chancellor of business services

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s newly appointed associate vice chancellor of business services may spend his days scrutinizing budget minutiae, but Doug Jenson finds satisfaction in taking the broader view of helping to mold students’ futures.

“I have always loved that the end goal is to help a student transition to a better life as they progress through the journey of identifying and completing their education goals,” Jenson said. “What I like most about working for this district is my role in assisting the colleges as they help students reach their graduation milestones and watch as the doors of opportunity open even wider for them.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

Grossmont College OTA students show that necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention

Students in a Grossmont College Occupational Therapy Assistant class have become inventors, creating homemade adaptive devices to help make life a little easier for friends and family members with physical impairments.
Amanda Plascencia explains the benefits of the Comfy Reader.

The 19 students will demonstrate their creations during the OTA program’s Eighth Annual Assistive Technology Show from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in the upper and lower lobbies of Building 34, the Health and Sciences Complex at Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grounds supervisor John Heimester retires after 37 years at Cuyamaca College

John Heimseter
The first time John Heimaster set his sights on Cuyamaca College, rattlesnakes and rabbits were more plentiful than people. There was no library. No cafeteria. No gymnasium. There were hardly any classrooms.

“We turned off Jamacha Road onto a bumpy dirt drive with only concrete curbs directing the way in, passed a sign that said `Cuyamaca College’ and there was not a building in sight,” Heimaster recalled. “No apartments. No shopping mall. No Water Garden. No Heritage of the Americas museum, only open fields.”

In the 37 years since, the grounds supervisor has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the 165-acre college into one of the most beautiful campuses in the region. He was part of the crew when the Grand Lawn was created three decades ago. And he and his crew have planted Torrey pines and cork oaks from seeds that blossomed into mature trees now providing canopies of shade from students, faculty and staff seeking a peaceful oasis in their busy day.

“I’ve watched tipu trees that were planted grow to over 50 feet high.”

But Heimaster, who began working for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in 1978 and came to Cuyamaca College a year later, has decided to retire. His last official day with the district is Oct. 30. 

“John’s really going to miss this place,” said Heimaster’s wife, Pam, whom he met at Cuyamaca College more than 30 years ago. “He’d call me every morning and describe how the sun was rising over the mountains, what the clouds looked like, what the colors were that morning.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Grossmont College Theatre Arts takes 'Martians' on elementary school tour

Thousands of East County elementary school students will be treated to an out-of-this-world adventure when the Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department launches the 19th season of the Fall Elementary School Tour with “Martians!,” an original look at Orson Welles’ 1938 Halloween night radio broadcast that spread public panic about an extraterrestrial invasion.

This year’s Fall Elementary School Tour begins with an Oct. 13 performance at La Mesa Dale Elementary School. Performances will follow on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 3.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide theatre production to elementary school students in the area and expose them to the arts,” said Jerry Hager, a Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department professor who wrote and directed the play.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Grossmont College to stage 'Invisible'

Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department veteran Jerry Hager is staging a special performance of his one-man show, “Invisible,” on Oct. 16 & 17 to raise money for the college’s Summer Conservatory for high school and college students interested in exploring the theatre.
“Invisible” explores the stories of those living on the street. The play features 10 characters, including an old woman, a teenager, a brash woman, a veteran, a man suffering from cerebral palsy and characters with extreme personalities.Nine of the characters wear masks created by David Knezz,a critically acclaimed mask maker from Chicago.

“The idea is to unmask the characters in the performance and illustrate that we’re all people just trying to do the best we can,” Hager said.

All proceeds will go to the Grossmont College Summer Conservatory, an eight-week course where high school students work side-by-side with their college counterparts learning set and costume construction to acting and choreography. The Summer Conservatory recently wrapped up its second season with sold-out performances of “Cinderella - A New Pop Musical.”

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day in Solidarity with African People: Reparations for stolen black lives

Omali Yeshitela, founder of the African People’s Socialist Party and the African Socialist International, is the featured speaker at Cuyamaca College’s Diversity Dialogues workshop, “Day in Solidarity with African People: Reparations for Stolen Black Lives,” set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, in the Performing Arts Center.
Omali Yeshitela, leader of African Socialist International
The African People’s Solidarity Day events held throughout the country are part of APSC’s campaign to raise awareness in the white community about conditions faced by African people in the United States and elsewhere and to raise funds in support of the Uhuru, or Black Liberation, Movement. The movement describes itself as an international organization which advocates the economic and political liberation of black Africans.
The solidarity day events feature Yeshitela, a Uhuru Movement leader, and African People’s Solidarity Committee Chairwoman Penny Hess. The pair will discuss how whites and other allies can support the struggles of the black community.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Free workshop focuses on millennials in the workforce

The Employee Training Institute, the corporate training division of the region’s community colleges, including Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in the East County, is offering “Retaining and Managing the Millennial Generation,” a free workshop for HR professionals and business managers, from 8-10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Corporate Education Center on the San Diego City College campus.

The workshop, the first of a series launched for 2015-16 to promote corporate training services available through the region’s community colleges, is designed for managers to learn how to maximize the strengths and contributions of millennials, and to learn how HR practices can be updated to best suit a multi-generational workforce. Millennials now make up the majority of the workforce and while they bring fresh new skills and aptitudes to companies, they also present distinct HR and management challenges.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New scholarship to offer free year of community college to East County high school graduates

Can college really be free?

            It can for East County high school students under a new scholarship program announced today in which all qualifying graduates of Grossmont Union High School District schools will be offered a free year of classes at Grossmont or Cuyamaca College.

            The scholarships, known as the Higher Edge, will first be offered to Class of 2019 graduates within the Grossmont Union High School District.

            In addition to the scholarships, high school students will be offered support services and opportunities to explore careers to help them discover a field that excites them and obtain the education they need to meet their goals.

             The Higher Edge scholarship program is the first in San Diego County to offer high school students a year of free community college classes. It was created through the East County Education Alliance, a partnership between the East County high school district and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Work progresses on Proposition V projects at two East County colleges

 Energy conservation measures, parking lot and roadway repairs, and prep work for new facilities are among the projects completed or underway at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges that are being funded by the Proposition V construction bond. 

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board was recently updated on the status of the $398 million construction bond approved by East County voters in fall 2012. The measure’s passage paved the way for the district to continue the work started with Prop. R – the $207 million facilities bond passed in 2002 that resulted in the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities at the colleges.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Grossmont College awarded $2.62 million federal grant

            Grossmont College has been awarded a five-year $2.62 million federal grant that will fund a proposed program aimed at helping Hispanic and low-income students succeed in their classes and progress toward graduation.

            The Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education was awarded Thursday to the East County college, where about 31 percent of its 18,000 students identify as Hispanic.  “I am delighted that our college received this highly competitive and prestigious grant,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D. “It is truly demonstrative of our college’s commitment to our students’ success.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cuyamaca College scholarship recipient Tommie Post

Tommie Post, center, with Wei Zhou, interim president
Cuyamaca College, and John Valencia, foundation CEO
Tommie Post was raised to believe that going to college and earning a degree was critical for success in life. She hasn’t been disappointed. The Cuyamaca College scholar, who attended four different primary schools and moved more than 10 times during a childhood plagued by poverty, is on track toward earning an associate of science degree and transferring to San Diego State University en route to becoming an environmental engineer.

Post was among the 128 Cuyamaca and Grossmont College students honored during Sept. 11scholarship ceremonies hosted by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.

In many ways, Post, 19, is Cuyamaca College. Though struggling financially, she has never hesitated to help others, and for three years helped raise money and run a booth for the Santee Relay for Life. She also helped established a LEO club – a youth organization of Lions Club International – at Santana High School, from which she graduated with honors. Her career plans include working toward developing the technology and infrastructure needed to build a stable source of water for a thirsty and drought-stricken California.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cuyamaca College working to boost success rates for men of color

Cuyamaca College is partnering with a national organization to boost student success rates for men of color through an online faculty and staff training program aimed at building better teaching strategies and a greater awareness of casual, unintended slights.

“We want to help men of color at Cuyamaca College advance their goals, whether that be earning a certificate, an associate degree, or transferring to a four-year college or university,” said Tammi Marshall, who serves as chair of the Mathematics Department at Cuyamaca and is leading the new effort with the Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA).  “You often hear people talking about closing the achievement gap. We want to eliminate the achievement gap.

CORA’s mission “is to support the development of educational and training professionals in advancing their capacity to serve historically underrepresented and underserved students in education.” Under the new collaboration effort, CORA will provide Cuyamaca College with professional development training to all instructional faculty on the most effective ways of teaching and reaching men of color.

The one-week program, developed by researchers J. Luke Wood and Frank Harris III, includes videos, readings, live interactive sessions and learning assessments. The program is designed to improve relationship-building and encourage research-based strategies to support learning. 

Cuyamaca College fall concert series begins Sept. 22

Musical styles from the Middle East to Indonesia and from classical to jazz will be featured when the annual Fall Concert Series returns to Cuyamaca College’s Performing Arts Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

            Kembang Sunda, an Indonesian Gamelan ensemble, opens the 2015 Fall Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22. Kembang Sunda has performed throughout Southern California, including the Cacao Festival in Balboa Park and at San Diego State University. Gamelan ensembles developed in the ancient courts of Java and Bali, and primarily consist of tuned bronze percussive instruments. Directed by Amy Hacker, a Cuyamaca College music instructor, Kembang Sunda has been performing throughout the region since 2007.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trio picked as year's best faculty at two colleges

Academic Senate President Tate Hurvitz,
Chemistry professor Jeff Lehman
A chemistry professor, a counselor and an English instructor have been selected by their peers as the academic year’s best faculty members, honored with top awards recognizing exemplary service to the campuses. The coveted committee-selected plaudits from each college’s Academic Senate are announced at fall semester convocations.

 At Grossmont College, receiving the Distinguished Faculty honor was chemistry professor Jeff Lehman. At Cuyamaca College, receiving the Outstanding Faculty Award for full-time faculty was counselor Jesus Miranda; the honor for part-time faculty was given to English instructor Seth Slater.

Academic Senate President Alicia Muñoz
 Counselor Jesus Miranda

Academic Senate President Alicia Muñoz
English instructor Seth Slater

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Graduates of Cuyamaca College's GM-ASEP program put careers into overdrive

The Cuyamaca College students who graduated this week from an intensive, General Motors-sponsored training program have more than their associate degrees to show for their two solid years of classes and hands-on training – 100 percent employment as automotive technicians.

Rodney Flores, GM-ASEP grad, with his daughters.
Like nearly all who have earned their degrees through college’s GM Automotive Service Education Program, the nine at Tuesday’s commencement ceremony representing the first graduating class since 2009 had jobs waiting for them after completing the program. Alternating classroom instruction with paid internships at GM dealership and AC Delco service centers means two solid years with no semester breaks, but the program’s rigor and its instructional and training excellence has a payoff that’s tough to beat.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Scholarships awarded to 128 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges

     More than $85,000 in scholarships were awarded to 128 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca College in events Saturday that celebrated student achievements despite sometimes overwhelming obstacles.

          The scholarship award ceremonies were presented by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, the philanthropic arm of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

District leaders congratulated the students for earning the awards and praised the donors who contributed the money to make the scholarships possible,

"We want to honor you for the hard work you have done and inspire you to continue," District Chancellor Cindy L. Miles told the honorees. "And we want to thank our scholarship sponsors, who are paying it forward so our students can achieve their dreams."

Grossmont College Osher scholars and
 President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh (3rd from left)
At Grossmont College, 69 students received scholarships totaling more than $43,000, while at Cuyamaca College, almost $42,000 was awarded to 59 students.

Many of the students were awarded Osher scholarships, the result of a statewide community college scholarship fund established by the Bernard Osher Foundation in 2011. Osher, a Bay area philanthropist, donated $50 million to the fund and challenged colleges to raise money to establish the scholarships.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

8-week classes starting Oct. 12 at Cuyamca and Grossmont colleges

       Interested in earning college credit in just two months from Grossmont or Cuyamaca colleges?

        Eight-week courses beginning the week of Oct. 12  are a great way to pick up general education or subject-specialty classes in less time, but at the same affordable cost of regular semester-length classes. The classes ending Dec. 7 offer from one to five credits at a cost of $46 per unit. They consist of traditional, online and hybrid classes, which require both in-classroom and online attendance.

For students looking to complete general education course requirements, classes offered include Introduction to Physical Anthropology, History of Jazz Music, History of Rock Music, Interpersonal Communication, English Fundamentals, Modern American History, Principles of Humanities, Introduction to Philosophy, Spanish, College Composition and Reading, Public Speaking, Intermediate Algebra, English as a Second Language and more.

Other courses offer specialized training and instruction such as Grossmont College’s Culinary Arts classes in food purchasing, bread making and chocolate preparation, and Nursing program classes in nursing pharmacology and neurologic and psychiatric nursing. Cuyamaca College’s specialized courses include Water/Wastewater Technology classes in water conservation and water treatment plant operations and the Ornamental Horticulture program’s urban forestry class.

Business office training is available in online, self-paced courses such as Keyboard/Document Processing, and Using Microsoft Outlook. Students can also improve how they learn by enrolling in Study Skills and Time Management or find help in their educational and career paths in College and Career Success and Transfer Success.

Lists of class offerings at Grossmont and Cuyamaca  are posted online at www.gcccd.edu/now.

Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in the community of Rancho San Diego. College applications and online registration are available at www.cuyamaca.edu  and www.grossmont.edu.

 The deadline for registering is Oct. 16.