District Will Use Federal Funds to Provide Debt Relief for Students and Defray Costs of Attending College

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.

District Adopts Budget that Supports Students and Funds Free Community College Initiative

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.

Notice of Public Hearing on the 2021-22 Annual Budget

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.

Colleges Hosting Free Pop-up Vaccine Clinics

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.

Tuesday, August 10

Cañada College – Lot 7

10 am. – 6 p.m.

Thursday, August 12

Skyline College – Lot C

10 am. – 6 p.m.

Friday, August 13

College of San Mateo – Beethoven Lot 2

10 am. – 6 p.m.

Signing up is easy!

  1. Go to https://myturn.ca.gov/
  2. Click “Make an Appointment”
  3. Complete the required information
  4. When asked for an address, type in the College where you want to be vaccinated (i.e. Cañada College, College of San Mateo or Skyline College)

A few things to know…

  • For those ages 12-17, parental permission is required through the registration process
  • Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be available
  • The clinics are pen to students, employees, and community members
  • Reservations are preferred but no one turned away
  • Face coverings are required

Update to Students on SMCCCD WebSMART Access

MESSAGE TO STUDENTS FROM CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER DAMAN GREWAL

Over the weekend, the San Mateo County Community College District began an update process to our various technology systems in order to increase efficiency and ensure greater data security .  As you might have encountered, the SMCCCD WebSMART system is still going through the update process that is taking longer than anticipated.  As a result, students have not been able to complete various functions in the system, such as registering, adding, dropping, and paying for courses.

As the District gears up for the start of the fall semester, we realize the stress the system delay may have caused, and the District IT team is addressing the issue as quickly as possible.   Please be assured that your student data remains secure.

In order to restore access into WebSMART as quickly as possible, the SMCCCD has created a direct access process.

Within the next few hours, you will receive two emails regarding accessing your WebSMART account. 

  • The first email will contain a weblink to the WebSMART portal and your Student ID # (G#). 
  • The second email will contain a randomly generated PIN to access the system.  Please utilize these credentials to access WebSMART during this transitional time.  Please DO NOT share your PIN with anyone.

The District will inform you when you can resume using the WebSMART link in the OneLogin Student Portal.  NOTE:  All other systems including the Student Success Link (SSL), Canvas, Library Databases, Google Suite and Zoom are still able to be accessed through the OneLogin Student Portal.  We appreciate your patience as the District completes this WebSMART update, and we will provide you with additional information as it becomes available.

SMCCCD Board of Trustees Declares Monday, June 28, 2021 as Holiday in Observance of Juneteenth

At its meeting on June 23, 2021, the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees adopted Juneteenth National Independence Day as a District-recognized holiday.  Juneteenth recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. 

Due to the timing of the federal action late last week creating the holiday the District was not able to observe the holiday on its actual date of June 19.  In observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day, the Board has set Monday, June 28, 2021 for the District to recognize the holiday this year.  In future years, the holiday will be recognized on June 19. 

As such, the District, including Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College, will be closed and there will be no classes on Monday, June 28, 2021.  

Registration Opens for New Green Building Certificate

Online certificate program prepares individuals for the ICC CALGreen Inspector Plans Examiner Test and LEED Green Associate Exam

San Mateo, CA May 27, 2021– Today, the San Mateo County Community College District’s Community, Continuing and Corporate Education (CCCE) division and ID360 announced the launch of the Green Building Certificate Program. The not-for-credit certificate program is open to the public for registration at www.id360academy.com/CCCE and designed to help individuals prepare and pass the ICC CALGreen Inspector/Plans Examiner Test and LEED Green Associate Exam. The certificate will offer continuing education units (CEUs) to the International Code Council (ICC), the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The eight week on-demand bootcamp-style program will provide technical training for individuals involved in building permits related to single-family, multi-family, and commercial buildings. The certificate was designed with building inspectors, plan checkers and special inspectors in mind, but it will benefit other architectural, engineering, and construction professionals by providing in-depth technical training on current and planned green building policies both locally and statewide. 

“We have heard from the community that there is a shortage of qualified individuals to assess and verify the sustainability attributes of green buildings,” said Michael Claire, Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District. “The Green Building Certificate program will help solve this problem by providing our community with another innovative and relevant continuing education opportunity that will lead to good jobs in an in-demand field.”

The program features an accelerated learning model organized with four intensive weekend days spread over an eight-week period using the ID360 Academy portal. Participants will complete the certificate using a primarily on-demand model with access to technical trainers for questions and support. The Green Building Certificate Program was designed in partnership with ID360, a local women-owned sustainable design and green building compliance company, and is being offered in partnership with SMCCCD’s CCCE division, with collaborative support from the College of San Mateo.

“We have developed a unique offering that best serves the needs of building officials providing compliance enforcement and design professionals looking to demonstrate compliance of their buildings to these complex codes,” said Melanie Jacobson, ID360 Founder and Principal. “We are excited to deploy our years of experience in this area to co-create the Green Building Certificate with SMCCCD’s Community, Continuing and Corporate Education. The program aligns with our company’s commitment to sustainability, electrification, and carbon reduction.”

Registration for the Green Building Certificate is open and summer session will begin June 16. Students benefit from a rolling admissions cycle although early registration is encouraged with each course capped at 200 students. For more information about the Green Building Certificate, or to register, visit www.id360academy.com/CCCE.

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About ID360

ID360 is a women-owned sustainable design and construction consulting company: boots on the ground, team in green hard hats, making a global impact in sustainability. In business for 10 years, projects throughout the United States, and dozens of local California green building and energy policies. The company recently expanded to include an educational division (ID360 Academy) to achieve their mission of global transformation of the built environment. Visit www.ID360.green to learn more or follow ID360 on twitter @ID360_Green.

About San Mateo County Community College District’s CCCE Division

Community, Continuing & Corporate Education (CCCE) is a division of SMCCCD offering not-for-credit programs, trainings, and initiatives designed to educate and create impact for community residents, families, businesses, nonprofits and agencies seeking educational and training support from SMCCCD. For additional information, visit https://edthatworks.smccd.edu.

Employee Update on Masks Outside and In the Workplace

New CDC Mask Guidelines
The CDC has updated its guidance on wearing masks. You do NOT need to wear a facial covering when:

  • In personal offices and individually occupied District vehicles
  • In shared smaller offices, District vehicles, and work spaces where ALL employees have been vaccinated
  • Working or recreating outdoors
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated occupants
  • Participating in defined athletic engagements

Facial coverings are still required at all times while indoors, including all District buildings and the SMAC Gym, as well as crowded outdoor events like farmers markets. Facial coverings are also required for Public Safety employees on emergency medical responses.

Vaccination Clinics in San Mateo County
The COVID-19 vaccine is available at several locations in San Mateo County. These clinics are open to everyone who lives or works in San Mateo County. For clinic times and locations see https://www.smchealth.org/vaccine-clinic-calendar .

Sign up for an appointment (not required) at MyTurn.gov

Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza Named Next President of College of San Mateo

Begins new role on July 1, 2021

San Mateo, CA – San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Michael Claire announced that he will recommend  Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza to the District’s Board of Trustees as the next president of College of San Mateo. The Board of Trustees will take formal action on Dr. Taylor-Mendoza’s appointment at their meeting on April 28.

“Dr. Taylor-Mendoza is positioned to lead College of San Mateo through its centennial year and beyond,” said Claire. “Her passion for educational equity, and her skill as an innovator and collaborator, make her the ideal person to lead College of San Mateo into its second century.”

Dr. Taylor-Mendoza will be the third woman president and the first person of color to lead the 99-year-old College of San Mateo. Her selection comes after a national search that began in November 2020.

Dr. Taylor-Mendoza brings over 20 years of educational experience in both instruction and student services. A longtime leader in the San Mateo County Community College District, she has been vice president of instruction at Skyline College in San Bruno since 2017. Prior to this, she served as founding dean of Academic Support and Learning Technologies (2014-2017) and the founding director of the Learning Center (2011-2014) at College of San Mateo.

“I am honored to work alongside CSM’s talented students, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to continue the college’s rich history of educational excellence,” said Dr. Taylor-Mendoza. “CSM has been the vehicle for upward economic mobility for generations of San Mateo County residents. I pay tribute to the great work of my predecessors by continuing to build on this important mission, ensuring equitable access and outcomes for all students.”

Prior to joining SMCCCD, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza served as a tenured counseling faculty member and part-time psychology instructor at San Bernardino Valley College. She began her career as a part-time counselor at Pasadena City College.

A first-generation California Community College student, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts from El Camino College, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU Los Angeles, a master’s degree in counseling from CSU Northridge, and a doctor of philosophy in education from Claremont Graduate University.

In 2021, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza was named a winner of the Carter Doran Leadership Award, given to recognize leadership among statewide community college vice presidents of instruction. She is an Aspen Institute Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence (2019 – 2020). Dr. Taylor-Mendoza serves locally on the Board of Directors of HIP Housing, and she is actively engaged with the NOVA Workforce Board.

Dr. Taylor-Mendoza will start her new position on July 1, 2021. Her selection is subject to approval of a written contract, the terms of which will be available for public review prior to the April 28 board meeting.

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