A glimpse at the first half of 2023
This year Central Valley Higher Education Consortium presents our first summer issue as we take a three-month hiatus from publishing the monthly newsletter. This special edition recaps highlights of the first half of 2023 captured each month from January to May when we reached our 30th edition milestone in three years of publication:
In January, we announced that the Dual Enrollment Math Bridge Project — a partnership between the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, College Bridge and the Rand Corporation — was awarded a five-year $4 million federal grant in late December. The project, with a total budget of $6.7 million, involves six CVHEC community college members providing college-level math classes at 21 rural high schools that will improve and support college readiness for underprepared students in those colleges’ respective service areas beginning next fall. UPDATE: A kickoff for the participants has held in May. The participating CVHEC colleges are: Cerro Coso, Columbia, Madera, Reedley, Taft and West Hills College Coalinga.
The CVHEC Transfer Project with the Program Pathways Mapper that began in 2019 was invited to present at several state and national events as the consortium continues to lead a concentrated effort to increase the number and success of community college transfers from the nine-county region to four-year colleges and universities. The project has grown to nine community colleges and three four-year institutions early research compiled for the project showing a direct correlation between students using the Program Mapper and important student success metrics.
CVHEC continued featuring the revamp of its website undertaken in the past year with a new section presented each month including the staff page in January. CVHEC’s 11 team members includes several who are retired from careers dedicated to serving students at their respective institutions of higher education – a service that now continues through CVHEC. All lend their energy, enthusiasm and experience to enhance student success and achievement throughout the region by collaborating with the consortium’s member institutions and the CVHEC Board of Directors.
Feb. 23, Dr. Sonya Christian, CVHEC board member who is featured in this summer issue with a vlog, made history when she was appointed as chancellor of the California Community Colleges System — the first Asian-American and the first woman to serve as chancellor for the largest and most diverse system of public higher education in the nation as well as a first-generation college graduate. Chancellor Christian began her term July 1 and for our Mach issue, she is featured in our “What the CVHEC is Happening” Blog discussing her time in the KCCD where she was president of Bakersfield College before serving as KCCD chancellor until her new assignment. In this issue, she is featured in the vlog discussing what lies ahead for the CCC.
Two veteran Kern County educators were named faculty mentor coordinators for the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium’s Kern Master’s Upskilling Project that was launched last year to help high school teachers earn master’s degrees in Math or English so they can teach dual enrollment courses on their campus: Dr. Liz Rozell (math) and Dr. Vikash Lakhani (English). UDPATE: The first cohorts of 21 math students and 25 English students in the Kern Master’s Upskill Program are underway through Fresno Pacific University and National University respectively.
The February issue’s website feature presented the CVHEC Dual Enrollment Page with the strategies undertaken by CVHEC’s Central Valley Dual Enrollment for Equity and Prosperity (CVDEEP) Task Force established in 2019 to identify and establish the best elements of an intentional and sustainable strategy for dual enrollment. CVDEEP is made up of more than 150 secondary and postsecondary education leaders who gather annually for dual enrollment convenings.
In March CVHEC announced that the movement to promote equity and college-readiness in mathematics via dual enrollment courses for underprepared students at rural Central Valley high schools next fall will formally launch May 18 with the Central Valley Math Bridge Kick-off in downtown Fresno presented by co-hosts College Bridge, Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and the Rand Corporation. UPDATE: 95 representatives of the first cohort of 13 Valley high schools in the new Central Valley Math Bridge Program convened with nine community college members for the May 18 kick-off where they began planning the program’s implementation. Rural high schools may still sign up for groundbreaking project that is a model for meaningful dual enrollment pathways that can be replicated statewide.
The Kern Master’s Upskilling Project announced the recruitment of community college professors to serve as mentors for high school teachers enrolled in the project. The teachers can earn master’s degrees in math or English qualifying them to teach dual enrollment course at their high school campus.
The historic Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Transfer Project and its Pathways Program Mapper continues to break ground across the state for transfer reform with a presentation at another statewide convening: the 2023 Chief Student Services Officers Association (CSSO) Annual Spring Conference March 15 in Los Angeles.
(APRIL 20, 2023) — A new state-funded math dual enrollment program will “positively impact” approximately 630 non-traditional students at seven rural high schools next fall through four area community colleges that are members of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium. The Dual Enrollment (DE) Math Bridge – a partnership between CVHEC, College Bridge, the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative, the Tulare-Kings College & Career Collaborative and CVHEC-member Fresno Pacific University – will provide equitable access to transfer-level math courses with embedded support for high school students who are disproportionately impacted, and/or are not traditionally college-bound.
(APRIL 20, 2023) — Dr. Benjamin Duran, executive director of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, joined Complete College America for its CCA Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. May 16- 17 where “a network of higher education experts shared strategies and lessons for the implementation of higher ed strategies at scale.” Complete College America is a national non-profit alliance of state and higher education leaders. He met with Valley Congressmember Jim Costa.
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Higher Education Summit 2023, originally set for May, has been rescheduled for Oct. 20, 2023. The CVHEC Board of Directors will meet the day before the summit (Thursday, Oct. 19).
Recruitment for the second cohort of Kern high school math teachers to enroll in the Kern Dual Enrollment Teacher Upskilling Pathway for English and Mathematics that qualifies them to teach dual enrollment courses began in April with classes set to begin this August.
Dr. Sonya Christian, California Community College system chancellor, was the guest speaker for the Central Mother Lode Regional Consortium’s “Enrollment Growth & Pathways: A Strategy Session” April 25 hosted by Fresno City College President Robert Pimentel. CVHEC’s Angel Ramirez, operations and finance manager, and Elaine Cash, grants and programs coordinator, presented on the regional dual enrollment efforts taking place across the Central Valley.
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium’s new Zero Textbook Costs/Open Educational Resources Task Force will form in the coming months, West Hills College Lemoore President James Preston reported to the CVHEC Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting May 11 in Fresno. The action highlighted a full agenda of information for the board made up of the chancellors, presidents and campus directors of 28 institutions of higher education in the Central Valley’s nine-county region. The next CVHEC board meeting is set for Oct. 19.
Representatives of the first cohort of 13 Valley high schools in the new Central Valley Math Bridge Program convened with nine community college members of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium May 18 in Fresno to formally launch the program and plan for its implementation. Presented by co-hosts College Bridge, Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and the Rand Corporation, the event drew 95 participants to kickoff the project that promotes equity and college-readiness in mathematics via dual enrollment courses for underprepared students at rural high schools in the region next fall. Dr. Lynn Cevallos, founder and president of College Bridge, warned in her keynote, “The State of Mathematics in California,” that the dire reality of academic disjuncture which has culminated in a pending crisis could see “the doors to STEM careers closing for our students. Fortunately, the Math Bridge project is designed to keep those pathways open,” she said.
The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium was featured nationally on Radio Bilingue April 13 as a co-sponsor of one of 20 Broadband for All Digital Equity and Broadband Equity, Adoption, and Deployment (BEAD) Planning Regional-Local Workshops being held throughout the state by the California Department of Technology. CVHEC Executive Director Benjamín Durán served as a spokesperson at the Merced event held April 14 and was interviewed the day prior for the Spanish-language show Linea Abierta on Radio Bilingüe, the nation’s only daily Spanish-language talk show in public radio.
Merced College observed the 60th anniversary of its Commencement Ceremony held May 26 by presenting a full commencement ceremony at its Los Baños campus May 25 for this first time. The Los Baños ceremony was the latest in a series of investments and initiatives to grow the campus and give Westside students a complete educational experience close to home.