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

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  and

 The deadline for registering is Oct. 16.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges celebrate Latino Heritage Month

The Grossmont College Latino Film Festival and a Cuyamaca College Latino Heritage Celebration highlight an array of special events honoring Hispanic Heritage Month at the two East County colleges beginning Sept. 15.
All of the events are free and open to the public.
The Latino Film Festival explores Latino/a culture and history and is coordinated by the Latin@ Alliance, co-sponsors of Grossmont College’s Hispanic Heritage Month, along with the World Arts & Culture Committee. The Latino Film Festival runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 13, and films will be shown at Grossmont College in Building 26, Room 220. All films are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges plan public events to mark Constitution Day

In celebration of Constitution Day, both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have set up events to herald a document that is the cornerstone of America’s legal system.
Constitution Day was officially established in 2004 with the designation of Sept. 17 as the day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
The local Sons of the American Revolution will be at Grossmont College.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

GM donates cars to Cuyamaca College Automotive Technology program

U.S. automaker General Motors has donated three vehicles to Cuyamaca College for its automotive technology program.
A 2013 Corvette is among the cars donated by GM to the college.