Fast Forward: Los Rios Colleges Convocation 2015-16

Fast Forward: Los Rios Colleges Convocation 2015-16

August 23, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


>>Good afternoon. [ Cheering ] Nicely done. And welcome to Folsom Lake
College’s fall 2015 convocation. Yeah. Yeah. [ Applause ] So, we’re going to kick off
convocation this afternoon with greetings from
the Board of Trustees. And so I’m going to welcome
to the podium, John Knight, who is representing the Los
Rios Community College Board of Trustees. And you need to know
a little bit about John is John is a
long time community leader. He served on the El Dorado
County Board of Supervisors and on the El Dorado
County Fire Board. Both his children graduated
from Oak Ridge High School and they attended
a Los Rios College. So, please welcome John Knight. [ Applause ]>>Thank you President
Rosenthal. And good afternoon and
welcome to everybody. And actually not only did
they go to a Los Rios campus, they actually ended up
graduating from college, which was really
actually more important than anything else [laughter]. But, again, on behalf of
the Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure and honor
to be here with you today to launch the fall semester for
the 2015/16 school year for, here at Folsom Lake College. As one of your trustees, it is
very meaningful and personal to be invited to celebrate
the new school year at Folsom Lake College. This is a beautiful campus. As for those that
have been around here for quite some time know what it
was like 10, 15, 20 years ago. And the educational economy
of this region depends upon it as well as the city of Folsom. Convocation is an enjoyable
mix of seeing familiar faces and meeting those who
are new to the district. For you new ones, I
know how you feel. Congratulations and
welcome to this fine family. I hope that we will
see more of each other in the weeks and months to come. This has been a particularly
exciting year for Los Rios as we celebrate 50
years anniversary. Throughout the past
half-century, Los Rios colleges have educated
more than 1.5 million students. That is a remarkable legacy. We should and all be proud
for this role and the success that they’ve brought
to this region. School years come and go. And so do the semesters. But your commitment to
our students never fades. It never waivers. Remember, the ladder of success
doesn’t care who claims it. And all of you have started so
many students on that climb. So, that you for your hard
work, passion, and perseverance. So, it is my pleasure, and
please join me in welcoming and providing a warm welcome
to your Chancellor Brian King who will present his
fall 2015 convocation.>>Thank you very much, John. [ Applause ] Good afternoon.>>[Crowd] Good afternoon.>>How are things going?>>[Crowd] Great. Very well.>>Great to be with you. This is such a wonderful
venue to speak with you where we have this
intimacy and a chance to have a conversation
for a little while. And I know that just
like it is for me, the final day before the start
of the new semester and you feel like you’re in a little
bit of a whirlwind. Lots of stuff is
going on, isn’t it? And that doesn’t even count the
stuff in your personal life. How many of you have kids
who are back in school? That’s the end of one
whirlwind and the beginning of another one, isn’t it? And here in Folsom
already in the second week. So, lots of things
going on in our lives. And we all have whirlwinds
both at home and at work. And what we want to
talk about today is how to see behind the
whirlwind and focus on some of our wildly important goals. It takes a lot of
discipline to do that. And technology theoretically
helps lessen the whirlwind, right? Maybe not? How many of you have
a smartphone with you? How many of you have it
in your hand [laughter]? A lot of you do. And there’s evidence that we may
be addicted to our cell phones. Recent surveys said about 60%
of people check their smartphone at least once an hour. How many of you admit that
you do check your smartphone at least once an hour? How many of you are Googling
this statistic to see if you can verify it [laughter]? So, when we think about
cell phones, it connects us. And as I look, I realize I
want to take just a moment to introduce the colleagues
from the district office staff who helped prepare the
presentation and spend the day with me with convocation. So, if you’ll just stand
as I acknowledge you. Sue Lormer [phonetic]
Vice Chancellor of Education [applause]. I don’t want anybody
else to feel bad. You know, Sue used to work here. So, she has a fan
club [laughter]. Don’t make Teresa Matista
[phonetic] our Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration
feel bad. Teresa [applause]. Our General Counsel
JP Sherry [phonetic]. Vice Chancellor of Resource
Develop Matt Sandine [phonetic]. Associate Vice Chancellor
Jamie Nye [phonetic]. Our birthday boy for today is
Mitchell Vinson celebrating a milestone birthday. Mitchell [applause]. And also we’re fortunate
enough to have with us today our new CEO of
the Community College League of California, Derek Lucio. Derek, nice to have you
with us too [applause]. Now how many of you got back to your cell phones while I
was making those introductions and took a look. How many of you have had
your phone lost or stolen? How many of you? OK. So, I had my phone
stolen a couple weeks ago. Oh, that’s hard isn’t it? So, busy day. And I had, I was working late because our 16-year-old daughter
was going to fly in about 10:00. So, I thought I’ll just work. And then finally I thought well,
I’ve been here long enough, I’ll stop and I’ll
do a quick workout on the way to the airport. I did that. And when I went to take a fast
shower, I didn’t lock my locker. So, what’s the lesson so
far [multiple speakers]? Don’t work out [laughter]. That’s right. So, the phone is gone. And how do you feel when
your phone is missing? What do you think? How many of you are panicked
when you can’t find it? Desperate, sick, relieved? Anybody relieved when you
can’t find it [laughter]? There’s a little relief. And I found that when I
didn’t have the phone. But the immediate problem was
I’m going to the airport to pick up a 16-year-old girl
flying by herself. And I can’t call her because
my phone has been stolen. So, I get to the airport. And as soon as I pick her
up, I tell her the story. And she says, “Well, Dad, I’ve
got Find my IPhone on my phone. So, we logged in. And we found where the phone
was moving around the gym where it had been stolen. And then it stopped. It stopped moving. So, Cecelia says, what do
you think my daughter says? “Let’s go find him.” [Laughter]. Does that sound like
a good idea?>>[Crowd] Yeah [multiple
speakers].>>She’s 5’4″ and 110 pounds. So, truthfully, she
wouldn’t be much help if we did find the thief. And being a good father I take
her home and call the police. And they say, well, if
you have an address, we’ll meet you there. So, I drive back in. And it stopped moving. And it’s an older phone,
the phone that was lost. So, you couldn’t turn it off. So, the thieves were figuring at some point we’re
not able to disable it. So, I get there. And as it turns out,
there’s not one, not two, but three police cars there. And my phone is not that
important [laughter]. But the address is the address
of someone who had a long record of felony convictions. So, the police were interested
to see what was going on. So, when I get there they
had me describe the car. I rolled down the window. And the officer comes
and says do you have, let me see if this
is the right address. Now, they had already
gone into the house. It was interesting to watch as
I’m sitting there in the car. They knock on the door. They go in. They come back out and he says,
“Now will you hit that button that makes the sound.” And you want to know
what happens next? I’ll tell you. In just a few minutes
[laughter]. The whirlwind is all
around us though. Stuff like that is happening
all the time in our lives. And finding a way to see
beyond the whirlwind. Even in the last few years, you
think of the things we’ve been through as a district. We’re very proud as we should
be of our bucket principle in allocating our
resources for personnel. There just hasn’t been a lot
of money in the bucket lately. And the good news is, how
many of you have more money in your account today
than you did on Tuesday? [Applause] So, in a good
budget year we’ve been able to take care of our
employees the way we want to. And John Knight is here
on behalf of the Board. Let’s show John our appreciation
to the Board [applause]. Even in a good year though,
it feels like we have a lot of money, but we
have to remember that there’s caution
on the horizon. At our spring convocation
a few months ago, I talked about our liability,
the costs we’re going to have to pay for retirement
[inaudible]. Anybody remember the number
over a five-year period on our ongoing operating costs? $16 million. So, we are and should celebrate
a good year in the budget but also have to be
aware of the reality that there are challenges ahead. Prop 30, which helped us in the
world years of the recession, parts of it are expiring. So, we need to look at our
revenue sources as move forward. And one thing we’re going
to do this year is at each of our colleges have
budget workshops. So, how many of you have
been with the district or the college three
years or less? OK. Quite of few of you. How many of you are
new this year? So, we have a lot
of people coming in. And it’s really important that we help everyone understand
the principles of budgeting that have allowed us to be a
truly exceptional district. We don’t want to lose
that knowledge over time. California budget has those huge
ups and down based very heavily on income tax revenues
that vary wildly. We’ve been successful
because our approach, while we still have ups and
downs, we’re more cautious in planning our budget. We still have some
ups and downs, but we don’t have
those huge shifts that happen at the state level. Three quick reasons why our
budget process works so well. We’re always planning
for the next down turn. We enjoy the good times. We spend the money well. But we’re aware that
the recession is coming. And we need to plan for it. It sounds awfully simple. But most of the districts
don’t follow this principle. We don’t allocate
and spend dollars until we have them in the bank. So, many districts around the
state feel the good feelings of the potential of money
and spend it before it’s here and then when resources
contract, they have to lay off
staff and do other things that our district did not have
to do in the great recession. And then the magic of our bucket
approach in allocating resources for personnel that a
certain amount of money goes in what we call the bucket. And we have formulas for
allocation for salaries. So, a lot of organizations
spend so much time arguing over compensation issues. And we have a system in place that is time tested
and very fair. So, we’re able to avoid
some of those challenges. So, the budget is
one of those things. In good years it’s
in the whirlwind and in bad years it’s
in the whirlwind. It’s always with us. But this year we want
to talk about one of our annual challenges
and opportunities, access and enrollment. And it’s a wildly important
goal that we have to take out of the whirlwind a little
bit and focus very specifically on providing access to students. How many of you have
read this book, I really recommend
it, “Our Kids. The American Dream in Crisis.” I was listening to,
what did you think? You like it? “Bowling Alone” was the book
that made the author famous. And “Bowling Alone” is
a book about the idea that people aren’t doing
activities together anymore. And “Our Kids. The American Dream in Crisis”
is about this idea that the gap between the rich and the
poor keeps getting wider. And he goes back to his time in
high school how almost anyone who was willing to work could
have a middle class life without a lot of education. And now that is no longer true. And in the last three
or four years, the top 1% income has
increased by about a third. And the rest of the lower 99%
there really hasn’t been any movement and some declines. So, that really is why we do
what we do and why we need to make sure that we provide
access to as many students as we can because we’re on the
front lines of closing that gap between the rich and the poor. So, our goal is to
serve students. That’s what we do. And we want to provide access
to our funded capacity. Now, I know there are years where we’ve been well
over our capacity. There are years now where we’re
trying to meet the full ability of funding to serve students. Really the broad goal every
year is we want to serve as many students as we
have resources to serve. So, we have to be
responsive and nimble when circumstances
change from year to year. In a year where there are
more resources from the state, we have additional resources
to serve more students. Anybody have a sense
what percentage increase of students we could
serve this year? Have an idea? Two percent more than
last year as a district. And there are variances
between the colleges. Folsom Lake, for instance,
with the center going online, we allocated additional
resources for enrollment. But district-wide, we’re
funded as a district. So, as a district,
the goal would be to serve 2% more students
than we did last year. And we budgeted for that. We have resources in place. Teaching resources
and other resources to serve more students. So, in terms of providing
more resources, what do you think it
means in our budget to provide access
to 2% more students? What additional resources
do you think come with that? It’s about five million
for a 2% increase. So, our budget is large. Five percent is not a
tremendously huge percentage of our overall budget, but
it is very significant. So, we want to make sure
that we are able to serve as many students as we can. So, some of you see the
daily enrollment numbers and look at them the way I do. How are we doing this year
compared to last year? Are we up? [ Inaudible ] Some of our colleges are? Are we up as a district? Which is really the we
that matters in terms of the bottom line [laughter]? It’s important to be looking
at specific circumstances, but at the end of the day
what’s happening district-wide determines the finances. So, how are we doing this
year compared to last year? We’re down a tenth of a percent. So, almost, I guess almost
two tenths of a percent. Our, I’m glad that
Teresa is helping with my math here [laughter]. So, rule one of holes I say
from time to time, you know, what’s the way to
get out of a hole, sometimes people say I’m going
to dig my way out of the hole. That makes the hole deeper. The first rule is
to stop digging. So, we’re almost to
the point where we’re where we were last year. So, that’s positive, but
that’s not where we need to be. So, the wildly important goal
is that we’re 2.2% behind where we are relative to the
total access we could provide and the total funding
available to us. So, that, two reasons
why this matters? The most important
is that students who need us are not
here across the district at each of the colleges. We have capacity to serve more
students at all of our colleges with the schedule we have. And we leave resources
on the table. If we don’t provide access to
as many students as we’re funded to serve, there are resources
that either go unallocated to any college or go
to another college. And we want to make sure that
we access those resources. And as I said, it’s
not a problem of not having adequate classes. If our classes were just
filled to a normal capacity, we would achieve
the access goal. So, a lot of reasons why
enrollment goes up and down. Anybody want to offer insight as to the number one reason
why enrollment might be down this year? I hear jobs, the economy. If it’s not number one, the
improved economy and the ability for students to find jobs
is one of the major reasons that impacts our enrollment. And course repeatability
limits and other changes that have been made at the state
level have downward pressure on enrollment. We have a long discussion
about the pros and cons of some of the changes. But it does have an
impact on enrollment. And we’re also seeing that
our old playbook doesn’t work. That things we’ve
done in previous times to rapidly grow enrollment and
provide more access are working but they’re not working
as quickly or as well as they have in the past. So, the environment has changed. And we need to be open
to doing new things. So, August 6th wasn’t the
beginning of the discussion, but we did bring people from all
over the four colleges together and spent the day talking
about the access challenge. So, when do you think
my phone got stolen? August 5th in the wee
hours of the morning. So, again, the whirlwind
intrudes even in the wildly important goal. So, back to the house
where I’m ready to push the button, and I did. And the good news is
we found the phone. The bad news. I’ve got a picture of it. But I actually have
the phone itself. So, that’s what it
looks like now. So, the good news the
data wasn’t stolen, but the phone is useless. And when the beeping
went off it still worked, and it was actually in a tree. So, the thieves realizing
they couldn’t turn it off, stomped on it, threw it in a
tree, and probably had no idea that it would ever be found. So, we talked about what do you
do without a phone for a while. And the new iPhones are coming
out soon, so I didn’t want to rush and replace my phone. So, my 16-year-old
daughter had a friend who had an iPhone
4 I guess it is that wasn’t being
used [laughter]. So, at least for
now, I have a phone. So, that’s part of
the whirlwind too. And now I know what the
icon looks like for Tumblr and Instagram, so I’m
learning a whole lot about how teenagers
use their phones. So, on August 6th we spent
the day talking about how to improve access and increase
access and had representatives from all of the colleges
and the district office. And as I said, it wasn’t at the
beginning of the discussion, but a way to focus
the discussion. And it’s not a discussion
that ended on August 6th. We want everyone here
involved in talking about how to meet our access goals. And the focus was on that, which is to get 2.2% more
students enrolled now and also to develop a plan
for implementation. And I think we all know,
planning is not easy. But actually putting a plan
into action is much harder. So, figuring out a way
to implement a plan on a wildly important
goal is essential. And two areas of
focus for this wig on access is increasing
persistence. And think about that. It’s obvious but not easy. We know how many students
we’re going to serve in the fall fairly soon
in the next week or so. If we can just have more
of those students continue to persist from the fall
semester into the spring. That would make a lot of
sense in increasing access. And also the likelihood
of students succeeding if they persist from
semester to semester. And also we need to find
those students who need us who haven’t found us yet. So helping students who are
here to do better and persist and finding new students
whose lives will be changed by what we do. So, the goal, again, every
year is providing access to our funded level of capacity. That number will change
depending on what’s going on in the state budget. But the focus remains the same. And the time that we have to impact the 15/16 fiscal
year is really not that long because our enrollment will
be set in the next week or so for the most part for
the fall semester. And then we have a fairly clear
idea at the first census date when we turn in our
enrollment numbers for the spring on February 1st. So, for the first time maybe
in our district’s history, one possibility that we have to
plan for is stability funding. What that means is
that when a college or a district doesn’t reach
the baseline level of funding, you have one year where
you’re funded at that level. You’re held harmless. So, you have some time
to build up the capacity for excess in the next year. And we want to postpone being
in stability as long as we can. But it’s possible on February
1st, we’ll look at the numbers and say we worked hard,
we did everything we can, but because of all these
factors in the whirlwind, we need to reevaluate what our
budget plan is for 2016/17. Our Board, as all of you
know, have been very focused on prudent fiscal choices and are holding a special Board
workshop on September 2nd, not to just talk about access
in enrollment but to talk about the overall budget
process and how it works. And as we pivot towards
strategic planning for the district
and the completion of our last strategic plan,
we need to think really hard about being strategic
and making decisions about enrollment
for the long-term. So, two other big projects
that have taken place in the last five years in
our whirlwind, accreditation. Have you heard anything
about accreditation? It’s been a big focus. And October 5th through 8th,
we’ll have peers and colleagues from around the region,
around the state and in some cases
Hawaii and Guam will come to our campuses as
peer reviewers. They’ll look at the self-evaluation
report we’ve prepared, and it will provide
us some insights. And we have very thoughtfully
planned our strategic planning process around utilizing
the input from accreditation to make our next plan. And we’re also concluding 2011
strategic plan, and you have or will have, do you have at your place the document
that looks like this? So, that’s a progress report
for 2015 strategic plan. Many wonderful accomplishments
to celebrate. District-wide in the last
few years, our degrees and certificates
are up 10 to 12%. Our online courses
are up 10 to 15%. And for fundraising and
during the period of the plan, we’ve raised over $7
million in private funds. $25 to $30 million in grants. So, let’s get yourselves
a round of applause. Many achievements reflected in
the progress report [applause]. Now, it’s the time to pivot
from our past successes and develop together a
vision for the future and what we’re going to do next. We do have a planning process for our district
strategic plan in place. This fall, we’ll
select a consultant to help us begin the
process and outline in greater detail how we’re
going to do the work together. Early in January,
February in early 2016, we’ll have opportunities
for all of you to provide valuable insights
and feedback into the direction of our strategic plan. How many of you remember
the 2011 plan where had opportunities
[inaudible] and other large groups where
you got to come and participate? We’ll keep that tradition alive. And then in the spring at the
end of the spring semester, we’ll take the strategic plan
to the Board for approval and have the plan approved. How many of you get all
excited about planning? Sue does. That’s good to see. So, when you think
about Martin Luther King and changing the world, remember
his famous I have a plan speech? The truth is that
planning is important, but it has to be
based on a vision that really hits
us in the heart. So, the process is
about dreaming. And another really nice
book is [inaudible]. And I think President
Rosenthal has talked about that at convocation before,
this idea that a lot of organizations
know what they do. If you ask what we
do, we provide classes and educational resources
to students. You can ask how you do it, and a
lot organizations focus on that, but remembering why we do what
we do is what is catalytic in the planning process. So, that idea of moving
students from poverty to prosperity is
exceptionally important. And the big idea is hard
to implement but not that complicated to outline. But in terms of access,
we want to serve access. We want to provide access to the extent we have
resources to do it. The number will change
from year to year, but the calculation
is fairly constant. We know what the state
has available to us. We want to make sure we
serve as many students as we can based on
the resources. But access without success
is an empty promise. If we are not focused
with a laser focus on our students being
successful, we are not going to realize our possibilities
as an organization. And when we have
access and success, we’re providing the
pathway to prosperity. So, that’s the why. We’re changing our students’
lives by serving them. So, measuring success,
when you talk about access, there are fairly
clear measurements. For success, is it easy to
measure student success? It can be very hard. And from a starting point, does
it make sense that we ought to be thinking about what
students say their goal is and whether or not they’re
achieving the goal they tell us they want to achieve. What do our students
say they want to do? They want to get a
job in some cases. They want to get a
degree or certificate. They want to transfer. Our students have a
lot of different goals. So, when we start planning for
what goals we want to achieve, we need to take a look at what
our students are telling us they want to do and how
effective we are in helping them achieve
their goal. So, completing the student’s
goal is what matters. And there are a lot
of different goals. We’re not going to talk
about all of them today. We’re going to talk about
degree completion and start with our friends at
Sacramento State University, the new President Dr. Robert
Nelson is very focused on completion. How many of you have read
an article or seen him talk about the completion goal
for Sacramento State? Several of you have. So, think for a second,
the group of students that we’re talking about at
Sacramento State is first time freshmen. So, these are students who have
enrolled for the first time. And their goal is to complete
a baccalaureate degree. What percentage of
first time freshmen at Sac State do you think
complete a baccalaureate degree in four years? What would you guess? Thirty-five? Twenty? Forty? Twenty-five [multiple speakers]? Nine percent of a Sacramento
State students currently complete their baccalaureate
degree in four years. And sharing this number
is not to cast dispersions on our college at
Sacramental State. There are a lot of reasons
why completions are hard. We could list a laundry
list of reasons. The students are not prepared. They are economically working
outside of the college. So, they’re not able
to complete it on time. But Dr. Nelson is working
on graduation initiative where initially they
want to go to 9 to 25 over a four-year period. And I think it would
be hard to argue that 9% is the finish
line, right? So, in hearing Dr. Nelson
talk in his early weeks about this goal for Sacramento
State, the question came into my mind, I wonder how our
first time freshmen do in degree and certificate completion. So, again, this is not
all of our students. This is students
who have identified. They’ve checked the box when
applying that their goal is to earn a degree
or a certificate. So, it’s not all
of our students. And it’s only first-time
freshmen who have checked that box. Are you with me on
who the cohort is? First-time freshmen. They’ve told us what they want to do is get a degree
or certificate. So, transfer students, students who have identified another
goal are not in this number. So, what do you think
our percentage is? And we know that two
years is very difficult. The benchmark we
used as a comparison of some sort was
six-year completion for degrees or certificates. So, first time freshman,
six-year window. They tell us their goal is
a certificate or a degree. What do you think our number
looks like as a district? Twelve percent of our
students receive a degree or certificate in six years. Now, that doesn’t mean
we’re not improving. And we already talked
about the fact that we substantially
increased the number of degrees. But when we’re looking at
a goal for improvement, the first thing we have
to do is be really honest about where we are. And this sort of discussion
doesn’t answer the question. It really begins the discussion
about how do we define what in this case the degree and certificate completion
looks like. What’s the right
cohort to measure? And where do we want to be? So, the question on that topic
would be what’s our wildly important goal to improve degree
and certificate completion? Don’t have the answer today. That’s the type of thing we
need to be doing together in our strategic
planning process. Identify what’s the appropriate
goal, how do we measure where we are and
where we want to be. So, a meaningful goal when
you think about the elements, X to Y by Z. So,
X is where we are. Y is where we want to be. And Z is when we
want to be there. Make sense? If you don’t have
all three elements, you’re probably not going to
get where you needed to be. So, how many of you, like me,
would like to lose some weight? How many of you have
ever been on a diet to lose weight sometime
in your life? That’s most of us. If I say, I think I’m
going to lose some weight. How is that going to work as
far as actually losing weight? I want to lose some
weight some time. You know, I might
accidently lose weight. Maybe I get sick. You know, there’s no plan. But if I have a very
definite goal. So, I’ll give you a
really personal example. October 22nd will be
my annual physical. What I don’t want to
hear is, you’re doing OK, but it’d be nice if
you lost five pounds. So, October 22nd is the
Z. That’s the by when. Now, true confession, I had to
change the first number of my X because I wanted to be
honest and I weighed, and I had to bump it
up a couple of pounds. So, 214 was where
I was on a scale. 12:30 a.m. Wednesday night. So, to get to the
five-pound goal, I would be at 209
by October 22nd. Make sense as far as
an X to Y by Z goal? No. You will. So, I will tell you it’s OK. If you want to email me on the
23rd and say did you make it or not, I’ll tell you the truth. To achieve the wildly important
goal is we need good tools. And the weight loss
example is a good one. Weight is not the only
measure of health is it? It may not even be a
particularly good one. But it is somewhat indicative
of your overall health. So, you need the right
tools and you need to be measuring the
right things. And for about the last year, our district has been
partnering with Civitas. And we are rolling out the
first application called Loom [phonetic]. And what Civitas and Loom will
do for us is give us a level of detail in making our planning
goals and measuring them that we’ve lacked before. So, a quick example of how we
can use the data from Civitas. Persistence. We talked about that
being one of the two areas of focus to increase access. Do you think it matters when a student enrolls whether
they’re going to persist from the fall semester
to the spring semester? I see a lot of heads nodding. When do you think
is the sweet spot? February. I mean, we have
a lot anecdotal evidence. So, this chart shows
on the right hand side, it starts at 150 days
before the start of classes. And zero is the first
day of classes. So, green means a
student persists. So, you know, over
here, 10% of students who enroll 100 days before
persist on the green line. And the red line will
be slightly less. What we’re looking
for in a graph like this is a big variance
between the red and the green. When is something
happening significantly. So, the spike up you see is
somewhere between 25 days in the first day of classes. See that red spike up? So, persistence is going down
when the red line goes up. Are you surprised? No. Are you, did anybody know
though that that’s where it was? We might have had a sense, anyone who is taught has
a pretty strong sense that what this shows us after
day one, students are not going to persist at as a higher rate
as if they had enrolled earlier. But it also shows us that
something is going on 25 days to the first day of classes
that isn’t good in terms of persistence either. So, now we’ve narrowed
down where the window is for our area of focus. Does this tell us what to do? Does it tell us how to do it? It doesn’t. But it’s a level of granularity
in data that’s very different than what we’ve had before. And the next slide is
for one of our colleges. And look at the top. Same trend. How many days out
did a student enroll? Did they persist or not? But this time we’ve
sliced it down to one of our colleges,
students 18 to 19. And you see some of
the same patterns. But something is going on
between 50 days and 25 days for this group of students
that looks a little different than the overall student
body district wide. So, you’re going to have
a tool at your college who looks specifically that’s
going on at your college within specific demographic
groups by age, by ethnicity. We can look at Latino students,
African American students. We can look at students under
40, students over 40 and look at what is happening very
specifically for those students. So, I’m excited about
the potential of Civitas to give us data at a level we
haven’t had before to be able to slice and dice in a way that
we haven’t been able to before and to do it more quickly. But you can almost be looking
at real time data and questions that might have taken
days or weeks. You can have some
data on the side. So, data is important
to make good decisions. But the broader idea about
our mission goes back to changing the lives
of our students. And I like Putnam’s
summary in “Our Kids. The Crisis of the
American Dream,” community college’s
potential is greater than that of any other institution. Any other institution
in our culture today. Because our concern
is with the people in most need of assistance. Those are our students. We’re dealing with the
people most in need of assistance in our culture. If the community
college succeeds in moving even a slightly
greater proportion of their students
towards achievement, it is as though we
change the world. Think about that. We don’t have to improve 100%
overnight to change the world. We just need to make small
improvements along the way to continue to have
the impact on students that you already are having
on students every day. So, I want to close
with a student from Folsom Lake College. Anybody recognize
this smiling face? Several of you do. And if you Google Chanelle
Sadler and I can afford college, she’s featured in the statewide
I can afford college campaign. And the video is just beautiful. So, if you need some
encouragement over the weekend as you prepare for students
arriving, go look at her video. And her story is that,
not unlike that of many of our students that
she was a single mom with two kids who was homeless. She had no idea how she was
going to break that cycle. And through financial
aid and being enrolled at Folsom Lake College,
she is now on track to complete her associate’s
degree, transfer to a four-year college, and her life has
been transformed. So, give yourselves a round
of applause [applause] for the impact on this student. And I know that every one of
you have a story like that of a student you
interacted with where you saw that there was a fork in the
road for them and because of the impact you and
your colleagues had, they’re in the right
direction and are going from poverty to prosperity. So, I know there are many,
many stories like Chanelle’s. And we have 50 years of student
success stories as a district. Los Rios is now in
its 50th year. We are celebrating
a 50th anniversary. And I want you to make
October 23rd on your calendar. Now, earlier all
of you acknowledged that you have some money that
you didn’t have before, right? Here is a great way to
spend just a little bit of that money you have
you didn’t have before. For the first time in
our district’s history, we’re going to have an honors
and awards gala, and we’re going to honor outstanding alumni
from all four of our colleges. We’re going to honor
outstanding philanthropists. So people who have been
very generous in giving. And our other three colleges
I am pretty sure are going to be well represented. So, if you’re not there,
you want to step up, right? So, that’s going to be
a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the
many success stories and spend some time
together as a district and at the same time we’ll be
looking at our strategic plans. I think the validation of seeing
all the good work already done will be very powerful. So, it’s always a pleasure
to spend some time with you. And I know there are things
that I’d like to hear from you, I need to hear from you. So, please feel free to
shoot me an email anytime. If you have a great student
success story that you’d love to share, I’d love to hear that. Or if there’s something
that I’ve said that you think there’s a
better way I can say it, I always like to hear that
too because in this setting, we don’t have a chance
for a lot of dialogue, but I want that dialogue to continue throughout
the semester. So, thank you for the
good work that you do. Thank you for the good
work you’re going to do in changing the lives
of our students. So, I wish a wonderful
semester for all of you. I look forward to
seeing you soon. Have a good rest of the day. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Music ]