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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San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Awards $2 Million Grant to Promise Scholars Program at San Mateo County Community Colleges

Grant Provides Full Scholarship for 500 Local College Students

San Mateo, California – The San Mateo County Community College District announced today that the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors has funded a $2 million grant to the Promise Scholars Program at the San Mateo County Community College District. The grant pays for two years of tuition, books and fees for 500 local college students to attend Cañada College in Redwood City, College of San Mateo in San Mateo, or Skyline College in San Bruno. The grant is being allocated from County Measure K funds.

“We are investing in college and career training for 500 students in our county,” said San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President David J. Canepa. “This funding sends people to college, trains them for jobs, and helps accelerate the recovery of our economy.”

The Promise Scholars Program combines financial support with intensive counseling in a program that has been proven to increase college graduation rates. The program is available for first-time, full-time students at Cañada College in Redwood City, College of San Mateo in San Mateo, and Skyline College in San Bruno. Students receive full tuition and fees, as well as credit for $750 in books per year. The students also meet monthly with counselors who keep the students on track and arrange for other support if necessary. Participants in the Promise Scholars Program are more than twice as likely to graduate in two years than students not in the program.

This unique program recently received a grant of $2 million from County of San Mateo Measure K Funds to expand the program to 2,500 students districtwide. The program currently previously had capacity for only 2,000 students at the three colleges.

“The County has given a big vote of confidence in our community colleges and especially in our local students,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire. “We know this program works, and we know this funding will help educate critical workforce for San Mateo County.”  

 The application for the fall 2021 Promise Scholars Program is open on WebSMART, and prospective students can find information about eligibility and applying to the program on the Promise Scholars Program webpage. Students must first apply to the college.

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Apply Now for the Promise Scholars Program!

San Mateo, California – The San Mateo County Community College District announced today that applications are now open for the Promise Scholars Program for the 2021-2022 academic year at Cañada College in Redwood City, College of San Mateo in San Mateo and Skyline College in San Bruno. The Promise Scholars Program offers up to three years of scholarship and comprehensive support services for first-time, full-time students. The Program aims to address barriers that students face in both accessing and succeeding in higher education by easing the financial burden of attending college through fee waivers, textbook credit and monthly transportation incentives. The application for the fall 2021 Promise Scholars Program is open on WebSMART, and prospective students can find information about eligibility and applying to the program on the Promise Scholars Program webpage. Students must first apply to the college. This unique program recently received a grant of $2 million from County of San Mateo Measure K Funds to expand the program to 2,500 students districtwide.

The Promise Scholars Program is a full replication of the evidence-based and highly successful City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model. The model includes specific requirements for student-to-counselor ratios (150 to 1) providing more focused and dedicated academic counseling for students and benchmarks the student must meet in terms of academic planning and career exploration. The model was chosen due its ability to double graduation rates within three years for participating students according to longitudinal data.

“Apply now, fill out your FAFSA or Dream Act application and get your scholarship,” said Aaron McVean, Vice Chancellor, Educational Services and Planning.

The program is proving to increase graduation rates at all three colleges. The Fall 2018 Promise Scholars Program cohort have earned degrees above the historical comparison 2-year rate at each campus, doubling the comparison rate at CSM and quadrupling the rate at Skyline College. When considering Promise Scholars Program students who also earned certificates or transferred without degree, the overall 2-year completion rates are 15% at Cañada College, 20% at CSM, and 30% at Skyline College.

The Promise Scholars Program is funded through the generosity of many community and corporate donors, support from the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees and the County of San Mateo Measure K Funds.

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Message from the Chancellor on California Reopening Plans

April 6, 2021

Dear SMCCCD Students, Colleagues, and Community Members,

Earlier today, Governor Newsom announced a conditional plan to open all segments of California and eliminate the color tiers by June 15, including the education sector.  We do not yet know the full details of his plan and we are working to understand the requirements so that we can make informed decisions.  The District’s Emergency Operations Center has been planning the recovery of operations for many weeks but our timeline had a longer recovery period than that announced by the Governor. We are working quickly to gather information and adjust plans as necessary.  As soon as we have information for you, we will share it. 

I remember when we first evacuated our campuses in March 2020.  There were many unknowns at the time and we made the best decisions possible based on the limited information available.  I asked for your patience then and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated your support.  I ask for your patience again so that we can take the time to gather and prepare accurate information and plans to share with you about next steps.

I wish you all my best,

Mike

Michael Claire
Chancellor
San Mateo County Community College District

Student/Employee Travel Advisory for Spring Break 2021

Spring Break 2021 is coming next week, and we want to remind all employees and students that the Bay Area is still under Orange shelter-in-place restrictions. These rules apply for domestic and international travel, and are consistent with guidance from the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and San Mateo County Health.

Students and employees who are returning from travel should follow the guidance below:

If you travel within 120 miles of the Bay Area (which includes the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma) for less than 24 hours, you do not need to quarantine, but you must answer the below three questions and forward your response to your supervisor or instructor prior to return to the physical campus.

If you travel more than 120 miles outside of the Bay Area for more than 24 hours, you may pose a risk to others. 

  1. Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  2. Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  3. If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.  Report to your supervisor or instructor for further directives following the District’s COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.
  4. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  5. Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Prior to return, you must answer the below three questions and forward your response to your supervisor or instruction prior to return. While quarantining, you must remain indoors and only go outside for critical needs like medical care, including getting tested for COVID-19.

  1. Do you have a cough, fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, headache, new fatigue, nausea or vomiting, or congestion or runny nose? 
  2. Have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus? (Close contact means having been within 6 feet of that person for an extended time or being exposed to their cough or sneeze.).
  3. Have you been notified by a public health official that you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please do not come to work and follow the guidance in the C-19 Health and Safety Plan.

Note: Individuals who are 2 weeks post their completed COVID-19 vaccination series (2 doses for Pfizer and Moderna OR single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen) are exempt from these quarantine guidelines.

See CDC guideline for Spring Break travel
See CDC guidelines for Travel During COVID-19

Support for Our International Students from Myanmar

March 15, 2021

Dear SMCCCD Faculty and Staff: 

As you may be aware, the escalating political and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar continues to create severe hardships, uncertainty and fear for the people who live there. You may also be aware that our District currently enrolls more than 50 students from Myanmar and has long had students from that country enrolled at our colleges as part of our International Student Program. Most of the current students had returned to Myanmar due to the pandemic and are continuing their education online. Due to the military coup and subsequent crackdown on civilians, students there may experience power outages, prolonged interruptions in internet service, access to financial institutions or other disruptions to daily life. 

If you have any students from Myanmar in your class or in your program, please recognize the extreme situation they find themselves in and extend to them all the patience and flexibility they need to continue their studies with us. They are facing great hardships, possibly even issues relating to their own personal safety. As a District committed to student success and social justice, we are encouraging compassion in supporting these students.

If you know of a student from Myanmar who is in need of guidance or support, please contact your college International Students Program (see contact info below). The ISP program staff have contacted our Myanmar students personally and have reached out to their instructors. ISP staff will maintain regular contact with these students to offer support and help to address issues, and can offer support and guidance to faculty and staff if issues arise.

Our District continues its commitment to global learning. Our students from Myanmar are an important  part of the college communities and District family. Please do whatever you can to help support these students as they face this challenge in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic. 

With gratitude, 

Mike Claire, Chancellor
Kim Lopez, Interim President, College of San Mateo
Jamillah Moore, President, Cañada College 
Melissa Moreno, President, Skyline College 
Aaron McVean, Vice Chancellor, Educational Services and Planning
Jing Luan, Provost, International Education

International Students Program Offices: 
Cañada College
College of San Mateo
Skyline College

San Mateo County Community College District Distributes more than $8 Million Directly to Students from Federal Pandemic Relief Funding

District Receives total of $13.3 million in Federal Pandemic Relief Funding to support students and respond to COVID-19

March 4, 2021 – The San Mateo County Community College District has received $13.3 million in federal relief funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II). Of that funding, approximately two-thirds will go directly to students as cash payments to offset hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining third of the funds will be used to offset costs incurred by the District and its three colleges for COVID-related expenses such as technology, health and safety equipment, and training.

“Our community college students were already struggling to make ends meet, and COVID has made it tougher than ever,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire. “The majority of the federal funds we’ve received are going directly to support students, and this will make a difference in students being able to stay in school.”

The most recent federal funding, combined with $5.6 million received as part of the CARES Act from spring 2020, brings total federal pandemic relief funding for the San Mateo County Community College District to almost $19 million. Of that total funding, two-thirds ($16.8 million) is directly supporting students at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College.

Federal guidelines allow for HEERF funding to be used for direct student aid and institutional expenses related to COVID-19 to ensure learning continues for students during the pandemic. The federal programs require at least half of the funding to go as direct aid to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child care.  The District allocated more of the funds it received to directly support students than the federal programs required.

In spring and fall 2020, almost 5,000 students from Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College received CARES funds payments ranging from $500 to $1,100. In spring 2021 and fall 2021, students will receive direct payments ranging from $750 to $1,650. 

The District’s colleges have remained mostly online since March 2020. Classes will continue online through December 2021, though more programs may be converted to in-person classes if circumstances allow in the fall semester.