Thursday, May 30, 2019

A record year as graduation day approaches at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Almost 2,700 graduates from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be receiving 5,652 degrees and certificates at this year’s commencements, setting a new record as the largest graduating class from the two East County colleges. 

With many earning multiple degrees and certificates, 1,860 graduates are expected to receive 2,752 degrees and 1,596 certificates at Grossmont College on June 5. The next day, 839 graduates are due to receive 1,202 degrees and 202 certificates at Cuyamaca College.  

“I’m proud of all of our graduates for the hard work they have put in to reach this milestone,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “We know they got an excellent education at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, and their lives will be transformed forever by what they learned here.” 

The numbers of graduates and the degrees and certificates that are awarded has continued to grow over the past decade as the colleges focus on more student support, increased university transfer rates, and greater career education opportunities.  In the past 10 years, the number of degrees and certificates awarded at the two colleges has increased by 178 percent, and the number of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College graduates has risen by 78 percent.

Grossmont College’s commencement begins at 5 p.m. June 5 in the Main Quad, while Cuyamaca College’s commencement starts at 5:30 p.m. June 6 on the lawn outside the Communications Arts Center. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Danika Lund: From Cuyamaca College to a premier dental school

Danika Lund
Danika Lund has overcome more than her share of obstacles on her journey toward dental school. Whether it was not being credited for two years of science classes or a clerical error keeping her bachelor’s degree from being posted on her official transcripts, Lund refused to give up.Her determination has paid off. A lead tutor at the Cuyamaca College STEM Center, Lund this fall is heading to the nationally renowned University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, with tuition and housing costs covered through a prestigious Army scholarship.

“I’ve seen Danika go through a lot of ups and downs, but her determination never waned and she never lost her focus,” said Cuyamaca College Chemistry Professor Robert Anness. “Hers is one of the more inspiring success stories I’ve seen.”Lund credits Cuyamaca College for her success. “I really can’t tell you how grateful I am,” she said. “I really can’t thank the people here at Cuyamaca enough.”

It has, she agreed, been a long road. “I like to call it ‘the scenic route’ to dental school,” quipped Lund, who is now 26.

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.”

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.