The Chancellor’s Cabinet anticipates another outstanding academic year and welcomes the many new colleagues who have been hired in the past year throughout the San Diego Community College District. The District encourages all members of the faculty, classified professionals, administration, and student leadership to be active and participate in governance. Your critical analysis and suggestions are always welcome.
Executive Vice Chancellor of Business and Technology Services Bonnie Ann Dowd, is currently finalizing the District’s proposed budget for 2018-19, which is based on the final state budget. At its September 13 meeting, the SDCCD Board of Trustees will review the budget, which must be adopted by September 15. The District’s budget priorities include student success, expanded workforce training programs, and meeting increasing pension fund obligations. In addition, employees can expect a modest salary increase in the coming year. This is the District’s first budget which is based on the state’s controversial “Student Centered Funding Formula.” The Chancellor’s Cabinet will remain active in statewide advocacy efforts as legislative changes to the funding formula for 2019-20 are considered likely.
The Chancellor’s Cabinet continues to closely monitor enrollment and to develop strategies for the District to meet its targets for enrollment, fill rates, and productivity. Two weeks after the credit colleges’ start of classes, enrollment is down slightly compared with the same time in 2017. This is consistent with continued soft enrollment statewide as the state and national economies remain strong. At the credit colleges, online enrollment is up 7 percent and constitutes 15 percent of all offerings. Headcount at the colleges is also up slightly. Continuing Education began fall classes September 4.
With increased state and donor funding, the San Diego Promise continues to grow and provide more students with a tuition-free education. Approximately 2,100 students at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges are currently enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year, a significant increase over the previous year when 661 were enrolled, and 2016-17 when 186 were enrolled. The San Diego Promise pays for enrollment fees for up to two years of full-time study toward an associate degree and provides other support, including textbook grants for students with need. While state funding is available to cover each student’s first year, the District is raising funds to provide tuition for each student’s second year as well as to support eligible students with the cost of textbooks. The success of these fundraising efforts remains a high priority for the Chancellor’s Cabinet. Notably, on September 20 the District will host “An Evening with Annette Bening, to Benefit the San Diego Promise.” The District’s first-ever fundraising gala will feature Bening, a four-time Academy Award nominee and Mesa College alumna. The event is now sold out having attracted more than $118,000 in new revenue to support the San Diego Promise.
California’s Baccalaureate Pilot Program continues to make steady progress and hit important milestones. In May, 137 students across the state were awarded the first four-year degrees conferred by California community colleges. Mesa College was among nine colleges to confer degrees with 15 graduates from its Health Information Management program participating in commencement ceremonies. All 15 pilot colleges are expected to award degrees in the coming academic year – fueling California’s workforce. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 1406 received overwhelming support in the state Legislature and is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his signature. Authored by Senator Jerry Hill, (D-San Mateo), SB 1406 would extend the pilot program’s current sunset provision and allow students to begin their bachelor’s degree programs as late as the 2022-23 academic year and graduate by July 2026. Without Senate Bill 1406, students – including those who just enrolled this fall as freshmen – will be required to complete their bachelor’s degrees by July 2023. The District, and SDCCD Chancellor Constance Carroll, remain at the forefront of advocacy efforts on behalf of California’s Baccalaureate Pilot Program.
Chancellor Carroll will conduct a series of State-of-the-District Forums in order to discuss District progress and plans, and provide an opportunity for interaction with faculty and staff. The following Chancellor’s Forums have been scheduled:
Tuesday, Sept. 1 - MS 162 - 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 10 - MC 211 A/B - 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 - L-105 Auditorium - 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 24 - ECC – Room TBD - 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 17 - Room 245 - 2:30 - 4 p.m.