Gavilan College celebrates ‘Growing through Change’ theme and return to campus at Convocation 2021by Jan Janes on Sep 23, 2021
Gavilan College hosted Fall 2021 Convocation with a reduced footprint, bowing to the continued pressure of COVID pandemic guidelines.
The opening of the academic year, steeped in tradition, would normally fill the Art Quad and Theater. By contrast, this year’s event was held in a classroom with fewer than 30 people, socially distanced, attending in person. More than 250 people joined the opening remarks via Zoom.
Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College, noted the pandemic’s effects on students and the institution. “We must have a call to action around our college, system, people, and students,” she said. “With the strategic plan going into year three, what do your students need to be successful?”
Moving quickly through the slide presentation, Dr. Rose noted key successes.
- Vision for Success aligned with the Chancellor’s Office
- Recovering with renewed focus on equity
- Smart Start days, enrolling an addition 150 students days before classes started
- Installation of Wi-Fi in parking lot A
- Success with Guided Pathways
- Continuing food drives, with almost 30,000 individuals served
“The entire scope of education has changed across the country,” said Dr. Rose. She outlined the five trends shaping the future of higher education: Dynamic online learning, work integrated learning, attribute measurement, data and analytics, and wellness.
Dr. Rose highlighted some of the key findings from the Panetta Institute. She spoke in detail about the face of recovery, the expanding needs the college has identified, and the challenges students face to remain in school.
The college continues its budget recovery. “We invited the Chancellor’s office to come with the FCMAT team and give us a technical review,” she said, acknowledging a difficult audit, with findings in the areas of compliance, financial, and departure of key personnel. Those key positions are being refilled quickly.
“This college has served for 100 years,” said Dr. Rose. “We have to look at growth – where we haven’t, where we have, where we need to.”
She outlined a three-year projection, anticipated surpluses for FY 2020 and FY 2021, and the invaluable benefit of the federal HEERF funding.
Dr. Rose spoke of the progress in all areas of Measure X, the plan to replace the walking bridge, and continuing safety measures for all classrooms and work areas.
“There has never been a more important time to lead authentically with your colleagues,” she said. “Growing through change only happens because of you. You are educators at your heart and soul, care about Gavilan students, and you inspire every day.”
Following Dr. Rose’s presentation, Executive Vice President Denee Pescarmona talked about direct student funding using HEERF funding, expanding student services, encouraging students to complete financial aid applications to apply for Pell grants and the Two-Year Promise.
Rob Overson, GCFA president, shared changes with former faculty returning, bringing institutional knowledge, and an overview of progress. Four students shared their experiences about diversity, equity and inclusion, and Lucy Alvarez, Human Resources director, discussed building and implementing EEO goals.
Following the morning remarks, everyone was invited a lunch barbeque hosted by
Dr. Rose. In person for those on campus, grab-and-go for Zoom attendees.
The college offered professional training in three afternoon time blocks, 15 different topics ranging from health and wellness, support with online teaching tools and students with special needs.
Jacob Spaulding, student Peer Mentor, worked
his last day in the Welcome Center before heading
off to his next academic destination, San
Francisco School of Art and Design.