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Chapter 1: Introduction


The 2007 Gavilan College Educational Master Plan is the foundation upon which to address and meet the instructional and support service needs of Gavilan College.  It provides the basis for Gavilan College's capital, facilities, technology, personnel and budget plans.

Since 1995, Gavilan College has engaged in a collaborative process of strategic planning to envision and prepare for the future. All segments of the campus (and to a lesser extent, members of the community) have contributed to the creation of this Educational Master Plan, a living document to guide planning and decision-making on campus.

The Educational Master Plan is dynamic in nature.  It is reviewed and updated annually through a participatory process  (along with the Strategic Plan) to incorporate emerging educational trends and the evolving needs of students and the district.

Objectives of the Educational Master Plan

  • To create a vision for future educational program offerings.
  • To support current instructional programs and student services and identify those programs and services which need modification
  • To keep pace with and anticipate the changing needs of the students and communities served by the college.
  • To encourage consideration of alternative strategies for delivering instruction.
  • To provide guidance for creating a balanced curriculum.
  • To provide the foundation for a facilities plan that supports the anticipated courses, programs and services of the college for the next decade, and to assure that the plan is flexible enough to accommodate changes in instructional methodology, technology, and delivery systems.
  • To serve as a decision-making tool and reference for the future.
  • To support the strengthening of Gavilan College's educational program and student support services.


Gavilan College

Gavilan College was established in 1919 as San Benito County Junior College.  It operated under this title until 1963, when a new community college district was drawn that included both San Benito and southern Santa Clara Counties.  Successful passage of a local bond in 1966 provided the needed funds to construct a campus at Santa Teresa Boulevard and Castro Valley Road in Gilroy, California.  A second facilities improvement bond was approved by voters in March 2004 to renovate the existing facilities, and acquire property for future sites in Coyote Valley and San Benito County.

The Gavilan Joint Community College District serves residents of the Gilroy Unified, Morgan Hill Unified, Aromas-San Juan Unified, and San Benito High School districts.  The Gavilan District is comprised of approximately 2,700 square miles in southern Santa Clara County and most of San Benito County.

The main campus in Gilroy rests against the foothills that form the western boundary of the Santa Clara Valley.  Master-planned to accommodate an enrollment of 5,000 students, the campus rests on a 150-acre site that has been carefully planned to take advantage of the beautiful, natural and tranquil setting.

In the spring of 1997, the Gavilan District Board of Trustees approved the creation of two instructional sites in Hollister and Morgan Hill to augment curricular offerings at the main (Gilroy) campus.  These two sites are an integral part of the district's effort to enhance student access to a college education. Plans to build full-service campuses at the northern and southern ends of the district will expand this access.

Gavilan College offers a two-year lower division college program that prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university.  The college also offers a variety of one- and two-year technical, occupational and pre-professional courses of study that lead to employment.  Currently, student can choose among 26 associate degree programs and 13 certificate and career programs. 

Gavilan College currently enrolls more than 6,000 day and evening students.  In 2005-2006, 246 students received Associate in Arts or Science degrees and another 98 students received certificates of completion for technical or career programs. 

Gavilan's Organizational Structure

A seven-member Board of Trustees governs the Gavilan Community College District.  Voters within the district elect the Trustees for a four-year term.  Board meetings are held monthly and are open to the public.

The administrative structure of the college operates under the direction and oversight of the college president, who oversees three vice presidents carrying responsibility for administrative, instructional, and student services.  Deans and Associate Deans provide direct oversight for the tasks related to the provision these services.

Gavilan's Mission Statement

In an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity, Gavilan College serves the community by providing a high quality learning experience which prepares students for transfer, technical and public service careers, life-long learning and participation in a diverse global society.

Purpose of the College

Gavilan College provides the educational opportunities that help community members attain job skills, new careers, post-secondary education, and lifelong enrichment. The college environment promotes student success through a wide range of services that strengthen and augment the learning experience.

Philosophy of the College

Gavilan College is committed to educational excellence.  The college aspires to be an exemplary, student-centered community college through leadership, planning, and a commitment to ongoing improvement.  Its services and programs are designed to instill the values of critical thinking, life-long learning, cultural understanding, and community service.  Gavilan's quality of service to students is closely bound to the quality of the college staff.

The college strives to accomplish its mission with creativity and innovation and with a proactive, accessible and sensitive presence in the diverse communities it serves.  The college is dedicated to fulfill its mission with compassion, caring and understanding and holds in high regard the respect and worth of all individuals.

Gavilan's Vision for the Future

Gavilan College will be known for its innovative instruction and quality service to students. Outreach and retention strategies will attract and retain students and staff members that reflect the diversity of the communities the college serves. Instruction and student services will be fully integrated, sharing the goal of helping all students achieve educational excellence in transfer, vocational, and technical programs of study. Appropriate technology will be used to enhance instructional programs and support services. Community and contract education will be responsive to the needs of residents, business, and industry.

Gavilan College will continue to increase its accessibility to the communities it serves through the expansion of satellite campuses. All college facilities will be well maintained and equipped to serve staff and students. The Gilroy campus will be noted for its park-like setting and facilities that attract the community for private and public events.

As the college continually evaluates and improves its programs and services, following the direction of the strategic plan, operations will become more efficient, producing higher quality service. Leadership values and skills will be demonstrated at all levels, as authority, responsibility, and accountability are shared among all. Collaboration and integration of programs and functions will be encouraged, with cross-functional teams and task forces carrying out daily operations and planning wherever possible. The goals identified in the strategic planning process will be achieved through staff development and budget, personnel, and technology planning. Marketing and public relations will be geared to achieve optimal growth and development. All planning and activities will include outcome measures to assess success. 

Visionary Educational Goals of the College

To be known for educational excellence, the college will:

  • Offer quality accessible transfer, technical and public service programs that can be completed in a timely manner and are supported by responsive student services.
  • Promote continuing education for faculty, staff and students.
  • Provide students the resources to realize their potential.
  • Provide quality remedial programs and services to support students' educational goals.
  • Attract, recruit and retain a diverse staff and student body representative of the communities served by the college.
  • Build a residential learning community for full time traditional aged students to establish a cohort of full time students and to assist in establishing Gavilan as a destination college with a university like lifestyle.
  • Build a residential learning community for active older adults who want a lifestyle where lifelong learning is part of daily activities.

To increase accessibility, the college will:

  • Meet the needs of working adults and other non-traditional students through flexible scheduling and distance education.
  • Make facilities available for community use.
  • Provide opportunities for life-long learning including programs for older adults (age 55 and over).
  • Develop two additional college campuses to supplement existing satellite centers to serve local communities.
  • Enhance the cultural and intellectual growth of the community through arts and lecture programs.
  • Offer community education and summer youth programs.

To lead in the application of appropriate educational technology, the college will:

  • Develop the community, instructional and institutional potential of Gavilan College television and distance education.
  • Lead the region in public access educational television.
  • Promote electronic literacy and access.
  • Establish and maintain efficient campus telecommunications and data processing services to support research and development.
  • Use innovative technological facilities, resources, and ideas to enhance student learning.

To demonstrate involved and responsive community leadership, the college will:

  • Support the economic development of the community through business and industry partnerships in education.
  • Offer training programs that develop students' knowledge, skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Encourage community members to participate in the college's growth and development through an active alumni association, the Educational Foundation, and other opportunities.
  • Develop a community based learning project that will be a residential learning community for active older adults (age 55 and over), through conversion of property currently used as a golf course.

To encourage innovative instruction, the college will:

  • Develop interdisciplinary courses and programs that help students recognize connections between disciplines.
  • Create college/community partnerships that offer students opportunities to investigate and conduct research within their communities.
  • Encourage pursuit of innovative teaching and learning methodologies to improve student learning.
  • Develop resources to support campus programs through grants and the Gavilan College Educational Foundation.

To promote a harmonious learning and working environment, the college will:

  • Project the joy of learning, teaching and working at a small dynamic college.
  • Collaborate and cooperate for the common good in decision-making and planning.
  • Recognize the value of students, staff, and community through events, awards, and college-wide programs.

Last modified: August 8, 2007
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800