Friday, December 18, 2020

Grossmont College makes Top 100 list for degrees for minorities

Grossmont College was recognized as a Top 100 associate degree-awarding college for minorities by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, which released its annual rankings this month. 

This year’s Top 100 list examined national data from the 2018 – 2019 academic year, the most recent year available. The rankings were assigned based on the number of minority students who received degrees. Grossmont College ranked:

No. 69 for awarding degrees to students who identify as a minority (African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American or Pacific Islander)

No. 70 for awarding degrees to Hispanics/Latinx students

No. 58 for awarding degrees to Asian American students

No. 32 for awarding degrees to students who identify as two or more races

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Brad Monroe new Governing Board president


Brad Monroe has been unanimously selected by his fellow board members as president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for 2021.

 Monroe, who founded Cuyamaca College’s highly regarded Ornamental Horticulture program and retired in 2012 as its chair after 32 years, was elected to the board in 2018. Board members also voted to have Linda Cartwright as vice president, and Debbie Justeson as clerk of the board.

 Also at the virtually held Dec. 15 meeting, oaths of office were taken by newly elected trustee Julie Schorr and trustee Adams, re-elected to a second term in November. 

Dates were also set for the 2021 board meetings which will be held electronically during the current COVID-related public health emergency.  When public health conditions permit, meetings will resume in-person and alternate between Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. The Governing Board regular meetings will be held at 4:15 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month on January-August 2021, and on the second Tuesday of the month from September-December. 

 The district’s two colleges, Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, together serve more than 26,000 students. 

For information about the college district, go to

Monday, December 14, 2020

Cuyamaca College, National University partner to benefit water industry students

Center of Water Studies Field Operations Skills Yard
Cuyamaca College and National University, San Diego’s largest private, nonprofit University, announced today that they are partnering to offer degree pathways aligned with workforce needs in water and wastewater management. 

The partnership is designed to increase access to high-quality, affordable degree programs to train and educate the next generation professionals in this sector, as industry experts anticipate a shortage of up to 20,000 workers throughout California in the coming years. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Navy veteran now views her duty as serving Cuyamaca College

Cuyamaca College employee Kaylin Rosal has stayed true to the “Can Do” motto of the Navy Seabees, the Armed Forces construction battalion where she served for three years.

Rosal now serves double-duty as coordinator of Cuyamaca College’s Veterans Resource Center and as coordinator of Cuyamaca Cares, which addresses basic needs of students with a drive-thru food pantry, housing referrals, emergency assistance funds and mental health resources.

At the Veterans Resource Center, Rosal’s primary role is supporting the needs of veteran students and backstopping the work of Veteran Student Specialist Allan Estrada. She coordinates the center’s pantry program, which helps veterans and their families; manages book loans and vouchers; and arranges for Troop Talks, a monthly presentation by a veteran-focused community partner. Social media and the center’s promotion are also part of her bailiwick.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Water Studies student finds reservoir of support at Cuyamaca College

Alana Christman credits her father for her strong work ethic. The Cuyamaca College student is a Water Resources Management major with her eyes set on a career in the environmental field.

Dogged determination is a quality that’s served her well as she juggles her roles as a student and mother of a 6- and 3-year-old with another on the way.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Marsha Gable appointed interim Grossmont College president

Marsha Gable, Grossmont College’s vice president of Student Services, has been selected to serve as the college’s interim president beginning Jan. 1 following the retirement of Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh.

Gable, whose career in higher education over the past 18 includes eight months in 2019 and 2020 as interim president of San Diego Miramar College, will lead Grossmont College on an interim basis until a permanent president is selected next summer.

“Dr. Gable is a natural choice for interim president,” said Lynn Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “She has demonstrated that she has the skills and the talent to guide the college through this leadership transition.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Volunteers sought for citizens' bond oversight committee

Two East County residents - a representative of a senior citizen group and an individual with expertise in finance or accounting -- are needed to fill a pair of vacancies on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s citizens’ bond oversight committee.

The CBOC is tasked with assuring accountability for funds connected to Proposition V, a $398 million construction bond measure approved by East County voters in 2012.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Grossmont College Office Professional Training program recruiting for Spring 2021 semester

The Office Professional Training program at Grossmont College is recruiting students for a free one-semester program that can lead to a rewarding career as an office professional.

Applicants must be California residents and desire to be placed in a job. The program offers specializations for working in Accounting, Insurance, Office/Administrative Support and at a medical office. 

Students who complete the program will earn 12 to 24 community college credit units that can be applied toward a degree or certificate. Student support services including counseling, job placement assistance and internship opportunities for graduates. 

The 17-week program begins January 12, 2021 with a two-week pretraining module. All students take the following courses: keyboarding, office procedures, job search, business English/communications, and Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Successful completers will earn the B.O.T. Certificate of Proficiency called Office Professional. Other certificates may be earned as well, depending on specialization and electives. 

Interested students should contact Candy McLaughlin at or by calling (619) 644-7548. Information is also available on the Office Professional Training page on the Grossmont College website. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

More help for students on tap as spring semester approaches

 Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are preparing for the spring 2021 semester with a focus on supporting student success through the dual impact of the pandemic and economic uncertainty. 

The spring semester begins Feb. 1 with some intersession classes to be held Jan. 4-30 during the semester break. Registration begins Monday, Nov.16, for returning students, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, for new students enrolling at the East County colleges.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Trustee Bill Garrett lauded at his final board meeting

As Tuesday night’s board meeting drew to a close, so did a chapter in college district history with the retirement of Bill Garrett, a beloved and esteemed member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for more than 16 years.

Noted for his unwavering commitment to the college district and especially its students, Garrett was thanked by fellow trustees and colleagues at his final meeting held virtually because of the pandemic. He was applauded for his steady leadership as board president between 2008 and 2018 and the example he set for respect and civil discourse.

Grossmont College named Champion of Higher Education

For the third year in a row, Grossmont College is being recognized as a Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity for its work to significantly increase the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, an associate degree that guarantees transfer to a California State University institution.


“We are honored to receive this award for the third year in a row,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. “Our college is proud to have shown leadership in transfer success and helping our students find their paths to a California State University campus. As the No. 1 transfer institution to San Diego State University, we are also gratified to see their campus honored among the CSUs.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Grossmont College student Robert White: meeting the challenge

Robert White’s goal of working as an occupational therapy assistant with children who have special needs has been challenged by the pandemic.

While taking classes at Grossmont College, White had been handling a caseload of young clients so he could support himself and his new wife. When the pandemic hit, his caseload was cut in half and his billings were dramatically reduced.

White said the scholarships he received through the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges helped him stay in school and pay his bills.

“It made me feel like all of the hard work I was doing was acknowledged,” White said of receiving the three scholarships. “It made me motivated to keep going and finish.”

White, 35, already had a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Brockport and was working with special-needs children when he decided to move to San Diego 10 years ago. He enrolled in the occupational therapy assistant program at Grossmont College after seeing the work that occupational therapists did with the children.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Free fresh meals provided to Grossmont College students

Grossmont College announced a new partnership with San Diego-based nonprofit Kitchens for Good to provide free fresh meals to students each week. The East County community college is the first to become a Project Nourish College partner, with its first distribution taking place from noon-2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.


“We know that the pandemic has deeply affected community college students’ families and their livelihoods. From rent to food, many of our students are having a difficult time making ends meet,” said Marsha Gable, Grossmont College Vice President of Student Services. “We hope that this new partnership can help provide some relief to our students so that they can continue to transform their lives through education.”

Grossmont College, district capture NCMPR gold Medallions

Grossmont College and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District have won a trio of first-place 2020 Medallion awards from District 6 of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations.

District 6 includes community colleges in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Territory of Guam.

The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication by community colleges. This year’s winners were announced during a virtual District 6 awards celebration.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Success on tap for Cuyamaca College water studies student

Born and raised in Tijuana, Natalia Blake moved to San Diego three years ago to explore new opportunities. At Cuyamaca College, she found the answer to what she wanted to do with her life.

Blake, who already has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the State University of Baja California, said that background melds perfectly with her plans to pursue a career in the water industry. She started at Cuyamaca College last spring and is working toward an associate degree in Water and Wastewater Treatment.

The honor student, who has a perfect 4.0 grade point average, was recently awarded the Otay Water District’s Watton Scholarship, a $500 award for top students in Cuyamaca’s Center for Water Studies program. She plans to use the money to pay for books and fees to apply for industry certifications from the California Water Environment Association.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Grossmont College dance students 'Tap the Vote'

Forget your yard signs and call campaigns – some students in Grossmont College’s dance program have turned to tap dancing to get out the vote. 

Directed and choreographed by dance instructor Nancy Boskin-Mullen, “Tap the Vote” is a catchy video featuring former and current students, as well as members of a tap dance company, the California Rhythm Project. 
Tapping their way around the Grossmont College campus to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ R&B cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” the students lend a youthful vigor to a time-honored message of American democracy.

“I was raised in a politically aware family and I had been wanting to do a piece about voting,” said Boskin-Mullen, an adjunct instructor who also teaches at Mesa College and MiraCosta College. “When I discovered Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings R&B version of Woody Guthrie’s iconic song, everything fell into place.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Cuyamaca College Culture and Community Circle workshops abound in November

Cuyamaca College’s Culture and Community Circle workshops covering an array of equity and cultural issues continue in November, addressing the fall election,  Veterans Week,  Native American Heritage Month, racism and more.

Sponsored by the college’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Success and Equity; Student Affairs; and Associated Student Government, the free Zoom presentations are open to the public.

They include:

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Colleges join for Undocumented Student Action Week

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are joining in a host of activities Oct. 19-23 as part of a campaign by community colleges across California to advocate and provide resources for the undocumented student population.

California’s community colleges are holding numerous virtual activities in a commemoration led by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Community College League of California, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Immigrants RisingCalifornia Student Aid Commission, the California Undocumented Higher Education CoalitionAcademic Senate for California Community Colleges and the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Grossmont College Named No. 55 Nationwide for Associate Degrees Awarded to Hispanics

 Grossmont College was named No. 55 in the country for the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanic, or Latinx, students during the 2018 – 2019 academic year by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine. The college was also recognized as No. 65 in the country for Latinx student enrollment during the same period. The announcement came as part of Hispanic Outlook’s annual special issue announcing its Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics.

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Grossmont College is proud to have high Latinx student enrollment, but it’s more gratifying to see an even higher ranking for a mark of student success – obtaining their associate’s degrees,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D. “This is also a particularly meaningful ranking as it comes at the end of our college’s sixth annual Latinx Heritage Month celebration.”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Cuyamaca College offers a busy month of virtual cultural and equity-related events

Cuyamaca College’s Culture and Community Circle workshops covering an array of equity and cultural issues continue in October, commemorating Disabilities Awareness Month, Filipino Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month.

Sponsored by the college’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Success and Equity; Student Affairs; and Associated Student Government, the free Zoom presentations are open to the public.

They include:

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Munching goats give fire prevention effort some teeth at Cuyamaca College

 Cuyamaca College’s newest kids are on a mission.

College turns to goats to clear dry brush.

A herd of 275 baby and adult goats are grazing on 50 acres of dry brush on the outskirts of the pastoral campus for the next six to eight weeks to mitigate a fire risk.

Oblivious to TV cameras and a pair of drones hovering overhead, the four-legged masticators -- docile and tolerant of curious humans with their cellphone cameras – were officially introduced to the public Thursday.

“Using goats will mitigate environmental impact and ensure responsible use of public funds,” President Julianna Barnes said at the media day function, where she introduced the “Goat Guy,” Johnny Gonzales, herd manager with Environmental Land Management.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Taxpayers group gives district a high grade for Proposition V transparency

Grossmont's PVAC

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has received the highest grade granted to school and college districts by the San Diego County Taxpayers Education Foundation in its 2020 school bond transparency report.

The watchdog agency graded 25 school and college districts with school construction bond programs for their transparency in providing information to the public, including posting of meeting agendas and minutes, project descriptions, progress updates, and annual reports by citizens’ bond oversight committees. In all, 17 districts received an A-, the top grade issued by the taxpayer group, which noted scores were slightly lower this year, a trend it attributed to the distraction of the coronavirus pandemic and a shifting of priorities.

Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh announces retirement


Dr. Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh

Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, who since 2015 has led the academic and physical transformation of the El Cajon community college, announced his retirement today.

“I am leaving my post after 31 years of service in the California Community Colleges to spend more quality time with my wife,” Abu-Ghazaleh said in an announcement to campus. “As we have spent more time together working from home in the past six months, we have revisited forgotten plans. Long before I left the classroom in 1999 to become an administrator, we envisioned living simply and retiring early to travel and pursue a more active lifestyle.”

Thanks to his long-standing commitment to equity for students, Abu-Ghazaleh leaves the college much changed from his start there five-and-a-half years ago. During his time as president, Grossmont College has been recognized twice as eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges, that placed it among the top 150, or top 15 percent, of community colleges nationwide. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Spring 2021 classes at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges to remain mostly online

student in Zoom session
With the coronavirus still dominating as a public health crisis, all but a very few classes at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will continue to be taught online or remotely through spring 2021.

Lynn Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, cited health experts’ concerns about a potential spike in COVID-19 as the flu season approaches. As with the current fall semester, intersession and spring 2021 classes will include a limited number of on-campus classes that are difficult to deliver remotely, particularly career education and laboratory classes.  

The colleges are currently deciding which additional spring 2021 classes need to be taught in person but can also meet safety protocols, such as physical distancing and regular sanitizing. The district is also looking into providing limited student support services on the campuses if public health conditions permit, Neault said.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Food distributions benefit Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students

Drive-through food distributions at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges this week aided students in need at the two colleges.

On Tuesday at Grossmont College, cars lined up at the lot outside Building 10 to receive the donated food, which included lentils, raisins, soup, frozen eggs and sausage. To ensure physical distancing, the recipients stayed in their cars and opened their trunks to have the food delivered. The event was organized by Gizmo’s Kitchen.

Grossmont College employees volunteered to hand out the food. “I’m glad that we’re able to do something, even if it’s just a little thing,” said Jeanette Calo, a media communications instructor.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Eight-week classes starting soon

Looking to earn some quick college credits, update your skillset to help with career opportunity, or simply wanting to gain some knowledge? 

The second eight-week classes of fall 2020 at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are set to be held mostly remotely Oct. 12- Dec. 7, 2020 (some course begin Sept. 21) and at only $46 a unit for California residents, are a bargain. Most classes carry three units of credit, with financial aid available to those who qualify. Online registration is available. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Grossmont College marking 42nd anniversary of PSA Flight 182 crash

 The 42nd anniversary of the PSA Flight 182 crash in San Diego that killed 144 people and transformed North Park into a swath of wreckage and carnage will be remembered Sept. 25 with an online commemoration by Grossmont College’s history department.

Organized by history instructor Marty Ennis, the 1 p.m. free Zoom event will include a lecture, video clips and discussion about the still ongoing campaign for an official memorial honoring crash victims.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges hail top faculty

Sue Gonda

Craig Milgrim
 Noted for their passion for teaching and as stalwart advocates for students, four instructors at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are recipients of top faculty awards.

The Distinguished Faculty awards for Grossmont College history instructor Sue Gonda and biology professor Craig Milgrim were announced at fall convocation, as were the Outstanding Faculty awards at Cuyamaca College for physics instructor Keenan Murray and biology instructor Christina Burnett.

Gonda and Milgrim tied for their awards, a first for Grossmont College faculty. Murray is the winner of the Outstanding Faculty Award for full-time faculty, while Burnett, a 12-year veteran instructor, is the standout winner of the adjunct award.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Grossmont College math instructor a winner of radio station's unsung heroes contest

Math instructors Susan Working, left, and Beth Smith

Grossmont College math instructor Susan Working was puzzled when she received a call from radio announcers at Channel 933.

Her puzzlement turned to emotion when broadcast personalities Geena the Latina and Frankie V – a popular drive-time pair – informed her on air this week that fellow math instructor Beth Smith had nominated her for the station’s unsung heroes contest. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Grossmont College Theatre Arts going virtual for fall 2020

Grossmont College’s Theatre Arts program is making the best of these pandemic-stricken times by
staging plays that can’t be seen in person, but can still be experienced remotely. 
It’s a season unlike any other for the Stagehouse Theatre and the opportunities for innovation, along with free access, have the theatre program hopeful that more people than ever will watch a Grossmont College production.

“We are equal parts excited and nervous because we have been kind of left on our own to figure things out,” said department chair Brian Rickel, explaining that the virtual performances will be free and accessible by links to be posted on the Theatre Arts web page.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Culture and Community Circle workshops at Cuyamaca College

 From women’s voting rights to the racial and economic disparities surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Culture and Community Circle workshops at Cuyamaca College cover a variety of important political and cultural issues.

All sessions, which will be offered through Zoom, are free and open to the public. To obtain the Zoom link, call the Cuyamaca College Student Affairs office at (619) 660-4612.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Cuyamaca College Arabic instructor and interpreter helps ESL students endure COVID-related hardships

In pre-pandemic times, Aklas Sheai, an adjunct Arabic instructor at Cuyamaca College, was known for the extra things, like bringing homemade desserts and snacks to share with her students.

Additionally, her yearly efforts to increase awareness of Middle Eastern culture were epic: elaborately staged events featuring students in intricate costumes she stitched herself. She also established the Middle Eastern Students Club, or MESC, to culturally engage students in and out of the classroom.  

Even with the pandemic quashing on-campus interactions, Sheai’s contributions to the college and the students she holds dear to her heart still persist. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Expanding help to students top priority as fall semester nears at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

More laptop distributions are planned for fall. 
Registration is now open for fall semester classes starting Aug. 17 at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, where a range of support from technology to basic needs is available to students for mostly online classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More than 95% of the courses offered at the two colleges will be online. Many faculty have spent the summer learning ways to make online classes engaging and accessible. The in-person, socially distanced classes on campus will consist of science labs, allied health classes and career education classes that don’t lend themselves to online instruction.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Grossmont College grad Jocelynn Johnston: Hooked on acting

Jocelynn Johnston

From her first acting role in elementary school, Jocelynn Johnston was hooked. She knew her passion was performing on the stage.

Her love for acting grew at Grossmont College, where she appeared in several plays while taking Theatre Arts classes. The last play in which Johnston appeared, Clybourne Park, only had one performance before the college campus shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnston, 21, hasn’t let the pandemic stop her from performing. She recently appeared in Breathtaking, a play put on over Zoom by Moxie Theatre and Common Ground Theatre. Johnston, a June 2020 Grossmont College graduate, portrayed a student about to graduate who is talking to her mother on Zoom because the mother, suffering from COVID-19, is quarantined.

“It was so weird not being in the same room with the other actor,” Johnston said. “When you’re performing on stage, you can feed off the energy of the audience. On Zoom, you don’t know if a joke landed or if the audience is even enjoying the play.”

Johnston was around eight years when she got her first acting role as the narrator in Charlotte’s Web. Her love of acting developed quickly.

“I love that I can create a character from nothing,” she said. “I can use a character to tell a story to an audience and make them feel a certain way and make them think about their own thoughts and behavior.”

Johnston began attending Grossmont College after graduating from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. She said Grossmont College seemed like a good alternative when she realized she couldn’t afford to attend the arts schools to which she had applied.

“The arts at Grossmont College are so good,” she said. Asked to name her favorite instructors, she listed the entire Theatre Arts Department faculty and staff.

“Grossmont has been amazing for me,” she said. “I’ve learned so much and developed so much.”

Johnston will be attending the University of California at Irvine in the fall. Classes will be offered online, and she has already auditioned and gotten a callback for a play to be performed online at the university. She hopes to focus her acting career in the theatre.

“I love the craft and I want to do this,” Johnston said. “I love being on stage.”

Monday, July 27, 2020

Cuyamaca College's youngest graduates "Cross the Bridge"

On Thursday, July 23, the Cuyamaca College Child Development Center (CDC) hosted a

socially-distanced “Crossing the Bridge” ceremony for students moving on to kindergarten. At the end of each academic year, children leaving the Center and moving on to kindergarten are invited to cross over a wooden bridge on the CDC playground to symbolize their transition from preschool to kindergarten. This year’s ceremony was different, but no less important.

“This is such a special time for the children, their families, and our staff,” said Melanie Roberts, Coordinator, Cuyamaca College Child Development Center. “Despite the pandemic, we wanted to make sure we celebrate and reflect upon the children’s time with us at the CDC.”

Nearly 20 families participated in a drive-through, parade-style celebration in the Cuyamaca College parking lot. Staff lined the route with celebratory signs/ decorations, and waved, clapped and cheered for each student as he or she drove by with their family in the car. At the end of the route, families received a certificate of completion and a small gift for the child. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Grossmont College Outreach and DA's office pair to provide Information and Community Resource Night

Like the coronavirus, crime is ever-present, and the county’s top prosecutor wants to alert the public about new risks arising in the era of COVID-19.

Grossmont College’s Outreach Office is partnering with the District Attorney’s office for a free virtual Information and Community Resource Night 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, accessible via Zoom videoconferencing.  

According to the District Attorney’s office, reports of internet crime against juveniles, such as the sharing of illicit photos of minors, have tripled since the pandemic started. The information night is an opportunity to get the latest on crime, as well as educational resources available at Grossmont College. The college’s outreach office will offer application assistance in English, Spanish, and Arabic during the event.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Grossmont College English language program for international students gains reaccreditation

Students in the ACE classroom

American Collegiate English (ACE), an intensive English language program for international students at Grossmont College, recently gained 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).

ACE is a not-for-credit program that serves international students on an F-1 visa and helps them develop their English ability enough to succeed in the credit program in English as a Second Language classes. Most go on to earn a degree or certificate from the college and transfer to a 4-year university.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Grossmont College CalWORKs student workers receive student leadership awards

Sudad Abdulrazak
Uhmbaya Laury
As student workers in Grossmont College’s CalWORKs department and as members of the CalWORKs Club, Sudad Abdulrazak and Uhmbaya Laury help some of the campus’ neediest students.

CalWORKs serves students who qualify for Temporary Aid for Needy Families, a federal assistance program, and often face challenges relating to life’s circumstances: poverty, refugee status, joblessness, domestic violence.

With challenges of their own, Abdulrazak and Laury have helped fellow students and made such an impact  that they received special recognition as recipients of the  President’s Student Leadership Award.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Marshall T. Fulbright III hired as Grossmont College vice president of academic affairs

Marshall T. Fulbright III
Grossmont College announced today that it will hire Marshall T. Fulbright III, Ed.D., as its new vice president of academic affairs. Fulbright will join the college on July 1. 

“Dr. Fulbright is known for being innovative, collaborative and collegial, and he actively engages with students and his colleagues to support initiatives that encourage students’ success. His commitment to education is not only demonstrated by his dedication to students, faculty and staff, but is also evinced in his ability and willingness to support all students on their academic journeys,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. “I am excited to have Dr. Fulbright join our team and I look forward to his contributions at Grossmont College.”

Fulbright comes to Grossmont College from Norco College, a Hispanic-Serving Institution in Riverside County, where he served as Dean of Instruction for the School of Arts & Humanities and the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences. During his  time there, Norco College participated in the pilot program of the California Guided Pathways Project and implemented guided pathways for its students.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

College district wins statewide PR awards

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District received two 2020 PRO Awards Wednesday from the Community College Public Relations Organization, a professional development organization that seeks to promote excellence in California's community college public relations and related professions.

Each year, CCPRO recognizes the marketing and communications efforts of the 115 California community colleges with the PRO awards. This year, more than 440 entries were submitted from across the state.

The awards announced during a virtual awards presentation were for:

First place, Catalog, Division B for the Grossmont College Catalog 2019-2020. The catalog category is among the most competitive, typically drawing scores of entries.
First place, news release for “The Slants musician and Grossmont alum returning to campus,” which promoted former Grossmont College student Simon Tam’s visit to give a reading of his memoir, “Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court.” The presentation was part of the English Department’s Fall Reading Series. The award marked the fifth time in six years that the college district won first place for news releases.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Applicants sought to fill vacancies on college district's citizens' bond oversight committee

Grossmont College's PVAC 
Two East County residents -- a representative of a senior citizen group and an individual with expertise in finance or accounting -- are needed to fill a pair of vacancies on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s citizens’ bond oversight committee.

The CBOC is tasked with assuring accountability for funds connected to Proposition V, a $398
million construction bond measure approved by East County voters in 2012.

A total of four seats will be vacated with appointees completing their terms, but two are for a student representative and a member of a college advisory committee and will be filled internally.
An application form is posted online at and must be emailed by July 6 to

Monday, June 8, 2020

Grossmont College OPT program recruiting for fall semester

The Office Professional Training program at Grossmont College is recruiting students for a free one-semester program that can lead to a rewarding career as an office professional.
Applicants must be California residents and desire to be placed in a job. The program offers specializations for working in Accounting, Insurance, Office/Administrative Support and at a Medical Office.
          Students who complete the program will earn 12 to 20 community college credit units that can be applied toward a degree or certificate. Student support services include counseling, job placement assistance and internship opportunities for graduates.
       The 17-week program begins August 17 with an assessment and a one-week pretraining module. All students take the following courses:  keyboarding, office procedures, job search, Business English/Communications, Microsoft Word and Excel.  Successful completers will be eligible to earn the B.O.T. Certificates of Proficiency:  Office Professional, Account Clerk, and Office Software Specialist-Level I.
    Interested students should contact Candy McLaughlin at or by calling (619) 644-7548. Information is also available on the Office Professional Training page on the Grossmont College website.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Grossmont College graduate Shannon Master: On the right path

Shannon Master 

By all appearances, Shannon Master had all the ingredients for a successful life. She had an established career as a writer and producer for countless television shows, a happy marriage, and a thriving young daughter.
However, she didn’t have a college degree, leading Master to return to Grossmont College two years ago after a 25-year career. On June 4, Master, 46, was one of 1,957 graduates who received their Grossmont College diploma in a virtual commencement ceremony.
“We may be the collective class of 2020 graduating without the hugs and handshakes from our friends and professors,” Master said in the draft of a speech she wrote for commencement. “But we have proven to ourselves that we had the tenacity to finish what we started against all odds, in no small part thanks to our resilient teachers who have worked tirelessly during this crisis.”

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges assisting students affected by coronavirus pandemic

More than 4,200 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students who face financial challenges as the result of the coronavirus pandemic have been approved for emergency grants from the colleges to help them continue their education.

The grants come from the $5 million the colleges collectively received from federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, along with grants from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, and other program and college funding.

As of mid-May, more than 2,500 students at Grossmont College and over 1,700 students at Cuyamaca have been approved for emergency grant funding, which is being disbursed in phases as quickly as staff can process the applications. The students are receiving either a $500 grant or a $250 grant if they previously received $250 through the district’s Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise program for first-time students. The grants can be used for food, housing, course material, technology, childcare and healthcare.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Key person behind Grossmont College's online conversion wins special award

Richard Heuft/photographer
Grossmont College faced a daunting challenge when the campus was abruptly closed March 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic: train scores of instructors on how to make a speedy conversion to online teaching.

Instructional design technology specialist Dawn Heuft rose to the challenge, working with colleagues to lead dozens of boot camp sessions with instructors over a two-week period. Her efforts earned her plaudits as the first recipient of the college’s aptly named Grace Under Pressure Award.

At Grossmont College’s 21st Annual Recognition Awards ceremony – held virtually for the first time – the instructional design technology specialist was described by President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh as “the one individual who we as a campus have perhaps leaned on the most.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Virtual commencements for very real accomplishments at Cuyamaca, Grossmont colleges

The Grossmont and Cuyamaca College classes of 2020 will make their mark in history in virtual commencements as graduates in the era of COVID-19.

Almost 2,745 graduates from the two colleges will receive 5,754 degrees and certificates in virtual ceremonies held June 3 for Cuyamaca College and June 4 for Grossmont College.

Digital processions of electronic slides featuring the accomplishments of individual graduates will take the place of the traditional march of regalia-adorned students, faculty, staff and administrators. With the spread of COVID-19, the colleges opted for online commencements to protect the health and safety of the community.