Over the past two years, we all experienced an once-in-a-lifetime event: the COVID-19 Pandemic. To adapt, all of our colleges needed to switch almost all of our courses from in-person to online learning in a span of one week. By working with our faculty, staff, and students, our district made a quick yet smooth transition to a new style of learning with minimum impact on our students. Although we had to tackle many hardships during the past two years due to the CoVID pandemic, our district still accomplished a great deal since I joined the board.
At the Dec 2019 meeting, our board approved the California College & Career Access Pathways (CCAP) agreement for the first time with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD). It allowed us to offer college courses on SRVUSD campuses and allowed SRVUSD students to take community college courses without their high school principal’s approval.
Unlike 4-year colleges, textbook costs, rather than tuition fees, are major financial burdens for most community college students. Soon after I joined the board, I took the challenge and became a proponent of Open Educational Resources (OER) and supported the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) initiative. The program resulted in students saving over $3 million in textbook costs across the district. The impact made by this successful outcome demonstrates our district’s strategic endeavors to improve student learning and completion, and to decrease/close equity gaps for all students.
When I was a candidate 4 years ago, one of my goals is to promote online education. I became a strong advocate for it after I joined the board. When the pandemic hit, our district was well prepared for it and made the transition to online learning smoothly with minimum impact on our students. Recently, our colleges were among the first 15 in the state to serve as Teaching Colleges on the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) Exchange cross-enrollment platform.
As a strong advocate of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I worked with my fellow board members to make sure that our district honors all minority heritage months for the first time in our district’s history. In addition, our district proudly flew the LGBTQ+ flag in the month of June 2021 for the first time in its history during my presidency.