Significant Enrollment Increases
Dear Gavilan College Community,
I am excited to welcome you back to the start of a new academic year, and I am delighted to begin my second year as President of Gavilan College!
Thanks to the dedication of our classified professionals, faculty, administrators, and students, I believe we made significant progress this last year in our themed focus on unity and trust. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this fantastic community and motivated by all we accomplished last year.
Last week, we had a noticeable increase in students on campus due to our excellent work in recovering enrollments. In Spring 2023, we reached a 23% increase in student headcount (second highest in the state). This summer, we grew 13.8%; this fall, we're currently at 14% growth but are still enrolling students. Students are also taking more units and more in-person classes.
I want to thank everyone committed to our enrollment efforts across the institution, with special thanks to our Marketing department. Enrollment management is everyone's responsibility, and for Gavilan College, this success reflects each of your efforts.
We still have much work to do to reach our pre-pandemic enrollment numbers and improve our enrollment efficiencies and productivity, which will help us avoid future fiscal issues. Dr. Fayek, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and our Academic Senate will lead our enrollment management efforts. I encourage you to get behind them and support their efforts.
Thanks to the efforts of our Administrative Services team, we balanced our budget and improved our reserves to provide ongoing fiscal sustainability. I want to thank our negotiation teams from CSEA, GCFA, and the district, who worked collaboratively to settle salary negotiations from the previous year. Most recently, in May, we reached a two-year agreement for 2023-24 and 2024-25. This is unprecedented because salary negotiations historically have dragged into the next fiscal year. This is the first time our district has reached a two-year salary negotiation agreement.
We also established dual enrollment agreements with all high school districts in our service area to teach college courses as part of their regular high school schedule. This fall, we will offer classes to 273 dual-enrolled high school students. Special thanks to our Interim Director of Educational Partnerships, Lelannie Mann, and Assistant Superintendent/VP of Student Services, Dr. Renee Craig-Marius, for their efforts in establishing these agreements.
In May, we hosted a very well-planned graduation (kudos to Grace Cardinalli) to award a combined 1,200 degrees and certificates. This summer, we broke ground and began the construction of our San Benito Campus. Our new campus is on target to be completed in fall 2024. We accomplished so much in one year! There's more that I want to share, but I'll stop here to keep my message brief.
This academic year, we will continue to focus on unity and trust, but we will expand our focus on fostering caring relationships. Caring relationships are essential to our success as a college community. They create a sense of belonging and support, and they help us to learn and grow together. They make a more welcoming, supportive, and thriving college community.
There are many ways to foster caring relationships at Gavilan College. We can start by being more intentional about getting to know each other. We can create opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to connect outside the classroom. We can always be mindful of our words and how we treat each other while staying true to our established Principles of Community.
My father passed away this July, and I miss him so much. He was the most humble and kind man I have ever known. He lived a positive life, always smiling, and treated everyone respectfully, even when they didn't deserve it. I am committed to leading with humility and respect, just like he did, and I hope you will join me.
Thank you for your continued dedication to Gavilan College. I look forward to working with you all this year.
Dr. Pedro Avila