Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Accreditation reaffirmed for Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Students at Cuyamaca College
Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have received notice of reaffirmation of their accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. 

The commission notified the colleges Monday of the decision made at its meeting earlier this month. Regional accreditation is crucial for an institution of higher education because it provides quality assurance to the public, allows students to transfer credits to other colleges and universities, and allows the institution to be eligible for federal financial aid. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges celebrate Black History Month

Food, movies, dance and cultural and educational presentations are on tap in February at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for Black History Month.

With the exception of fundraisers – a barbecue at Grossmont College and a night of jazz and comedy at Cuyamaca College – all other events are free. The public is welcome to all events.

Also known as National African-American History Month, Black History Month grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans in 1926, with the month of February selected because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were in that month. In the late ‘60s, Negro History Week was transformed into Black History Month due to the civil rights movement, and in 1976 Black History Month was officially recognized by the federal government.

College district sets 16-year record for clean audits

The fiscal practices of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District have once again received the highest possible rating from independent auditors, marking a 16-year streak of financial transparency.
The accounting firm CWDL audited the 2018-19 fiscal year for the district and the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges. It conducted a separate audit of funds from Proposition V, the $398 million bond measure approved by East County voters in 2012. 
John Dominguez, a partner with CWDL, told the district’s Governing Board Tuesday evening that all of the audits resulted in unmodified opinions, meaning the financial information reviewed was accurate and complete, and done in accordance with accepted accounting principles.
Chancellor Lynn Neault said the audits provide an independent accounting of the district’s ledgers and are used by financial institutions and government agencies for bond ratings or oversight purposes.
“Our district is extremely conscientious in accounting for the taxpayer dollars that allow us to provide an education for Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students,” Neault said. “These clean audits demonstrate our commitment to carefully managing our district’s finances.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cuyamaca College Powwow Returns February 1

A young participant at the 2019 Cuyamaca College powwow

Native American history and culture will be celebrated when tribes from throughout the West congregate at Cuyamaca College’s 6th Annual Powwow on Saturday, Feb. 1. Up to 2,500 people from throughout the region are expected to attend the free event that is open to the public.

 The powwow begins at 9:30 a.m. with a traditional blessing, followed by the Ashaa Takook Bird Singers at 10 a.m., gourd dancing at 11 a.m. and Grand Entry at noon. The celebration continues until 8 p.m. and vendors will be selling Native American arts and crafts, fry bread and Indian tacos. Admission is free.

“The Cuyamaca College Powwow has been vital in dispelling any misconceptions or misinterpretations about Native American history and culture,” said Michael Ryan, president of the Cuyamaca College Native American Student Alliance that is sponsoring the event in partnership with the Student Affairs Office, Equity Engagement and the Associated Student Government. “We’re here to bring a better understanding about the culture and community in a setting that everyone can enjoy.”

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Scholarships awarded to more than 500 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students

2020 scholarship recipients 

More than 500 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students who received scholarships totaling almost $450,000 this academic year were celebrated at a breakfast held Saturday by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.
 The event featured compelling stories from students about how the scholarships help them focus on school and moving tales from donors about the reasons they established a scholarship.
 Scholarships were awarded to 537 students from the two East County colleges in the 2019-20 academic year.
 “For our students, getting a scholarship makes the difference in whether they can go to college and pursue their dreams,” said Sally Cox, CEO of the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.
 Lynn Ceresino Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District,   the scholarships they are receiving are a way of showing support for students in their efforts to attain an education.
 “Today someone believes in you and has invested in your future,” Neault told the students. “Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the weapon to change the world.’ You have the opportunity to change the world.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Elizabeth Felix: Growing into a leader at Grossmont College

Elizabeth Felix 

Elizabeth Felix was hoping to enlist in the Marine Corps right after graduating from high school, but being just 17 years old at the time, she was unable to get her parents to sign off on the move. She enrolled at Grossmont College instead. It changed her life.

The 20-year-old Lemon Grove resident graduates in June with associate degrees in computer science and psychology and plans on transferring to a University of California or California State University campus for her bachelor’s degree before enlisting in the Marines as an officer and then launching a second career in the Behavior Analysis Unit at the FBI.

“Being at Grossmont has prepared me so well for my future,” said Felix, a former treasurer with the Grossmont College Indivisible Club, a former vice president of SOGI, an acronym for the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Club, and an active participant in the campus PUENTE project, which is part of a national program aimed at increasing the transfer rates of disproportionately impacted students. “I couldn’t have made it this far without the support from staff and my friends on campus.”

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Cuyamaca College student Jonathan Reyes: A promising future

Jonathan Reyes
Jonathan Reyes wasn’t thinking much about his long-term educational plans until he heard about the tuition-free Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise during his senior year in high school. Cuyamaca College was just a few miles from his home in Spring Valley, so he enrolled. 
Now he’s an outreach ambassador promoting Cuyamaca College to high school students throughout the East County. 
What does he tell them? 
“That it’s a chill place,” Reyes said. “It’s really welcoming, it’s really easy to get along with people, the education is excellent, the professors are really engaging, there’s a 100 percent acceptance rate and it’s essentially free.” 
Born in Oxnard and raised primarily in San Diego County, Reyes graduated from Mt. Miguel High School in the spring of 2018. Although he played trumpet in the marching band, took part in the theatre program and enrolled in JROTC, Reyes said what he was really good at was procrastination – which didn’t earn him the best of grades. “I got mostly C’s, with an occasional A or B,” he said. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Third Annual Women in Water Symposium to be held Jan. 16 at Cuyamaca College

Participants at the 2019 Women in Water Sympoium

Whether you’re exploring a career in the water industry or already a professional in the field, the 3rd annual Women in Water Symposium will provide valuable information about job and advancement opportunities in the water and wastewater industry.
The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Cuyamaca College, followed by a tour of the Water Conservation Garden. Registration is free for students, and $35 for others.
“The water industry in San Diego County has more than 4,000 employees and needs men and women,” said Joe Young, coordinator of the Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College. “At the Women in Water Symposium, you can learn about the available jobs and find your passion in a rewarding career.”

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Christine Sestak: Grossmont College changed her life

Christine Sestak

The 2013 motorcycle accident that nearly severed Christine Sestak’s right arm sent the lifelong outdoorswoman into a physical and emotional tailspin. Grossmont College proved to be the perfect elixir.

“They wanted to amputate my arm. I was in surgery for five hours and I was in the hospital for nine days,” Sestak said. “From then on, I was just in and out of multiple surgeries and going through rehab. There wasn’t much for me to do when I got home except sit on the couch and watch TV. Finally my mom said, ‘You gotta go to school, take some classes, do something with your life.’”

It was great advice. Sestak, now 32, would not only earn associate degrees in geology and mathematics, she also worked as a tutor and teacher’s assistant in the Earth Sciences Department. She graduated from Grossmont College in June and transferred this past fall to San Diego State University, where she is majoring in geology.

“I love Grossmont College,” Sestak said. “It literally changed my life.”