In accordance with Government Code Section 3547(d), on July 18, 2022, the San Mateo Community College District presented to the California School Employees Association and its San Mateo CCCD Chapter 33 (CSEA) a proposal containing a new subject of bargaining relating to Article 4 – Organizational Rights bringing it into compliance with recent changes in the law and clarifying release time for bargaining unit members.
It is the intention of the San Mateo Community College District to meet and bargain in good faith with CSEA over this issue, in addition to other articles that have been sunshined by the parties.
San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Michael E. Claire has announced that he will retire from his position and from the District in June 2023, at the end of the 2023 academic year. Claire assumed the role of Chancellor in 2020, after serving for a year as interim chancellor, and the prior 13 years as president of College of San Mateo.
In a letter to the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) employees, Claire explained his plans: “I will have completed a total of 37 years with our District when I retire next year. At a personal level it is the right time for me to step away, spend more time with my family, and pursue other interests in my life. I also feel that it is the right time for the District. As chancellor I have focused on steadying the District, maintaining forward progress on important initiatives, and building a new team, all while steering the District through a major pandemic.”
Claire’s history with the SMCCCD began 42 years ago, while a student at Cañada College. He later went on to be a professor, dean, vice president and college president, all within the SMCCCD, prior to becoming chancellor.
“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the amazing journey our colleges allowed me to experience,” notes Claire of his career in the District. “I leave with the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to a place I have called home for over 40 years, but also with the confidence of knowing that our community college district is stronger than it has ever been.”
Claire will continue in his role through June 2023 and the District’s Board of Trustees will hold initial discussions about the search process for a new chancellor at an upcoming meeting.
The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) is undertaking the development of our Districtwide Facilities Master Plan (FMP). Please join us for a series of virtual community meetings to learn more about this effort at Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College.
The District has completed their review of previously completed physical assessments and analysis, site visits, multiple meetings with College’s stakeholders, departments, students, and thecommunity. They have identified and incorporated educational needs, identified issues that require creative solutions, reviewed the options with our College communities, and identified the viable solutions that will comprise the 2022 FMP.
Register to Join Our Community Forums to Share Your Thoughts on San Mateo County Community College District Campus Facilities
San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Michael Claire has announced that he is recommending Kim Lopez as the next president of Cañada College. The District’s Board of Trustees will take formal action on Lopez’s appointment at their May 11, 2022 meeting. Ms. Lopez has served as interim president of Cañada College since August 1, 2021.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Kim Lopez for several years and in several capacities,” said Claire. “I know her to be a leader of integrity and compassion with values that align to put students first and create a college environment that is equitable, diverse, inclusive and anti-racist. I am confident that she will lead Cañada College into a new era of success and commitment to the community.”
Though serving in a new role at Cañada College, Ms. Lopez is not new to the campus. She originally joined the college as dean of enrollment services and counseling and later became vice president of student services before moving to College of San Mateo (CSM) in 2017. At CSM, Ms. Lopez served as vice president of student services and later as acting and interim president following the appointment of then-president Michael Claire as interim and permanent chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District. Prior to joining the SMCCCD, Ms. Lopez previously served three years as the Assistant Dean of Students at the University of California, San Diego and for two years as the Upward Bound (TRIO) director at the College of Micronesia on the island of Kosrae. She also worked at the College of the Siskiyous for 13 years as a counselor and student services director.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve Cañada College and our broader community in my new role as president of this great institution,” said Ms. Lopez. “As a second generation Mexican-American, I know the challenges many of our students face as they work to gain access to a higher education so they can gain economic and social mobility. I am excited to work with our community to support the students and families who need us and to make Cañada College an indispensable partner of businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and all groups who support students and higher education.”
Ms. Lopez currently serves on the JobTrain Board of Directors, Chamber San Mateo County Education Committee and as an Executive Team member for Redwood City Together. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in educational counseling from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Ms. Lopez will start her permanent role as president on July 1. Her selection is subject to approval of a written contract, the terms of which will be available for public review prior to the Board’s meeting on May 11, 2022.
Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) and the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) are jointly announcing a new pathway for SMCCCD students to complete a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at NDNU.
This unique bachelor’s degree completion program will provide a pathway for SMCCCD students who have completed their associate degree for transfer in Business Administration to complete their bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from NDNU in two years.
Starting in January 2022, classes will be offered on the Cañada College campus but available to students at all three of the District’s colleges – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College. NDNU will be providing generous financial aid and endowed scholarships for students in this pathway program.
“This is an exciting partnership that will help students take the next step in their career,” said NDNU President Beth Martin. “This program is designed to be flexible and affordable – with classes offered in the evenings and generous scholarships available for qualified students in this program.”
SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire added his support for the program: “This partnership will help SMCCCD meet the educational needs of students in our community. Having an affordable, four-year university option for bachelor’s degree completion allows students to pursue their higher education goals without financial barriers and while balancing their family obligations.
We continue to meet our students where they are.”
To meet the needs of the region, NDNU has narrowed its curricular focus, modified existing programs, and is developing new programs, including this new bachelor’s degree completion pathway. This program will complement NDNU’s master’s degree program offerings in Business Administration and Public Administration. The program will be a seamless pathway for SMCCCD students, particularly for those participating in its Promise Scholars program.
To assist students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) will be using more than half of the funds it has received from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which was authorized in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to clear debt owed by students incurred during the pandemic and to provide assistance to defray costs for attending college.
“We are proud that, for the third time, we are allocating more than the minimum required by the federal COVID-19 relief funds program, to directly support students.” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire. “This round of federal funding allows us to put much-needed financial resources directly in the hands of students and also clear them of unintended debts at our colleges that have occurred during this extraordinary time.”
The SMCCCD’s three colleges – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – have collectively been allocated $23,248,192 from the recent (third) round HEERF, nearly $12 million of which will go directly to student aid and more than $700,000 to student debt relief. Direct aid to students will range from $1,250 – $1,625 for non-Pell-eligible students (non-need based) to $2,000 – $2,750 for Pell-eligible (need based) students, depending on the number of academic units in which each eligible student is enrolled.
The SMCCCD will relieve $678,000 in outstanding student debt incurred as a result of the pandemic for a total of 3,719 students between the summer 2020 and summer 2021 academic terms. The average per student debt is $182. By relieving this debt, students will be able to register for classes for future semesters and will not have any holds on their records.
At its meeting on September 9, 2021, the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Board of Trustees adopted an annual budget that invests $6.75 million to make college more affordable and accessible for students through a Free Community College strategic initiative. This initiative grows the District’s dual enrollment programs with high school and unified school districts in the county, increases the number of students in the District’s Promise Scholars Program, and expands the use of open educational resources (OER) and zero textbook cost (ZTC) degree options.
“This major investment for the Free Community College initiative underscores the Board’s and District’s commitment to putting students first,” said SMCCCD Board of Trustees President Thomas A. Nuris. “By making this $6.75 million allocation this year, we believe the District will be able to build out programs that will expand opportunities for residents of our region to access and complete a college education now and for years to come.”
The three components that make up the Free Community College initiative provide distinct areas of focus and support:
The dual enrollment partnerships allow high school students to take and get credit for college courses while still at their high school. Participation in dual enrollment is free for students taking up to 15 credits per semester.
The Promise Scholars Program includes the Promise scholarship, a dedicated counselor delivering personalized academic and sociocultural support, and performance-centered interventions. Participants also receive a monthly incentive (either transportation support or meal plan support), a bookstore voucher for books and course materials, and access to loaner laptops.
The OER and ZTC initiatives eliminates the costs of textbooks and course materials for students, which in many cases cost more than the actual course itself.
“The SMCCCD’s focus on social justice and equity is at the core of the components of the Free Community College initiative,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire. “This initiative meets students where they are and factors into the equation that the financial commitment of attending college is more than simply the cost per course, it’s the cost of books, materials, food, housing, transportation, childcare and so many other factors that often create barriers for students to enroll, persist and complete at our colleges.”
To expand the Promise Scholars Program, the District received a $2 million grant – over two years – from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to provide direct aid and support for students. The SMCCCD has also entered into agreements with five high school and unified school districts in San Mateo County to offer dual enrollment courses.
The San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-22 on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. Members of the public may participate in the meeting in-person at the District Office Board Room located at 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo, CA, or virtually, via Zoom. A copy of the proposed budget can be accessed here and is also available for public examination at the above location through September 9, 2021 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Any stakeholder affected by the San Mateo County Community College District budget may appear before the District’s Board of Trustees at this public hearing.
The District will be hosting pop-up vaccination centers on the three college campuses during the week of August 9. All employees, students and members of the community are invited to access these sites.