Spring in-service day was held in Crafton Hall on January 10th beginning with a welcome back message from the college president Dr. Kevin Horan. Horan thanked the campus for adapting during the power outages in the fall, welcomed new employees, and provided some areas of focus for the future. He asked the faculty, staff, and administrators to prepare for a deep dive into equity and inclusion, delivered an update on the accreditation process, and identified upcoming projects funded by the new Measure CC Bond.

Horan stated that he is addressing the inequities in resource allocation and that he submitted a proposal to the district asking for a more reasonable share of the bond funds beyond the 20% originally allocated.

Vice President of Administrative Services Mike Strong introduced the safety committee, discussed the annual safety report, and provided a handout with links to safety protocols, communication, training, and projects.

Strong explained that the Maintenance and Operations department has inventoried all doors on campus for lockdown capabilities and is installing updated mechanisms. Additional safety training included active shooter preparation and a group activity to discuss scenarios including power outages, earthquakes, wildfires, and other threats.

Dr. Anne Viricel, the newly elected President of the Board of Trustees, welcomed employees back to campus and assured the audience that the search for a new Chancellor will be comprehensive and transparent. “We really want this to be an inclusive process,” she said. In closing, Viricel thanked the faculty and staff for supporting the 27,000 students in the District on behalf of the board of trustees and ended with, ”Like you, I’m a firm believer in that higher education and career training changes lives for the better.”

Interim Chancellor Jose Torres brought a message of optimism and provided a brief account of his journey. He shared his personal struggles of immigration and poverty, reminding employees that what they do matters. “Your encouragement can make the difference in a student deciding to complete their education. You inspire students to dream bigger,” said Torres.

Faculty presented data from efforts related to AB705, The Free College Promise, STARFISH, and Guided Pathways. Professor Scott Rippy explained the difference in student access and achievement results related to the placement of students into English and math courses. “We had a lot of levels of math before we got to transfer level math, and we had the same in English. What was happening was if the students started at the lowest level of arithmetic, only 8% of them were actually making it to transfer level math.” Changing the math and English sequences will result in a reduced timeframe and students are more likely to make it through a shorter sequence of classes.

Professor Sabrina Jimenez closed the meeting with a message about Guided Pathways. Her approach has been to interview people across campus about the inefficiencies at Crafton. She stressed the importance of increasing the presence of Crafton in the community. Jimenez stated, “We need to go out to the community; that’s important. We have to go to high schools, and really start communicating how valuable we are as an institution, really become community leaders.”