(UPDATED OCTOBER 19, 2023) – Several area chancellors and presidents lead the charge Oct. 20 when the heads of 28 valley colleges and universities and other educators and policy makers convene for the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Summit 2023 in Fresno.
Panel discussions include the historic CVHEC Transfer Project and its Program Mapper software that is widely acclaimed statewide and nationally and other topics such as a student panel sharing their higher education experiences and a federal education legislative update by U.S. Congressman Jim Costa.
CVHEC released its line-up of panelists for the summit which features a keynote address at 9:15 a.m. by another former valley higher education leader and former consortium board member, Dr. Sonya Christian, who became chancellor of the California Community Colleges July 1.
With the theme “Student Success through Equity and Inclusion — Thriving in the Central Valley,” the summit will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Fresno Convention Center’s Ernest E. Valdez Exhibit Hall (702 M Street). See summit agenda).
About 200 higher education officials and educators, legislators and partner representatives are expected to attend the summit sponsored by the College Futures Foundation. The quarterly meeting of the CVHEC Board of Directors – consisting of the chancellors, presidents and campus directors of the consortium’s 28 member colleges and universities in the nine-county region from San Joaquin to Kern – will precede the summit the day before.
CVHEC’s Welcoming & Networking Reception also will be the day before the summit, Oct. 19 following the board meeting to provide summit participants an opportunity to connect with other attendees and the CVHEC Board of Directors in an informal relaxed setting.
Reception music will be provided by Fresno vocalist Merlinda Espinosa, an alumna of CVHEC-members Fresno City College and Fresno State where she studied early childhood education. Merlinda is a preschool teacher at St. Joachim School in Madera and performs regularly at events throughout the Valley.
The summit will feature conversations on Dual Enrollment, Central Valley Transfer Project, Math Pathways and Open Educational Resources starting with Dr. Kristin Clark, chancellor of West Hills Community College District and the chair of the CVHEC Board of Directors, who will open the event with a welcome at 9 a.m.
For the keynote remarks, Chancellor Christian will be introduced by Tom Burke, interim chancellor of Kern Community College District who is temporarily filling the position vacated by her CCC appointment.
Following the keynote, Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, president of Fresno State, will introduce the first topic of the day, “The Central Valley Landscape: Pathways to and through College in the San Joaquin Valley.” Olga Rodriguez, director and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, will share some data and findings about the Central Valley’s educational landscape.
Dr. André Stephens, president of Fresno Pacific University, will introduce the first panel, “Central Valley Transfer Model: The Breakthrough.”
Panelists will be facilitator Stan Carrizosa, CVHEC regional coordinator and president-emeritus of College of the Sequoias in Visalia; Dr. James Zimmerman, special assistant to the executive vice chancellor and provost for Transfer Initiatives at University of California, Merced; and KCCD Interim Chancellor Burke.
Dr. Lisa Aguilera-Lawrenson, superintendent/president of San Joaquin Delta College, will introduce the second panel, “Different Approaches to Equitable Dual Enrollment.”
For that panel, Dr. Benjamín Durán, CVHEC executive director and president-emeritus of Merced College, serves as facilitator for panelists Lynn Cevallos, founder and president of College Bridge; Dr. Vivie Sinou, dean of Regional Education and Distance Learning at San Joaquin Delta College; Dr. Richard Aguilar III, director of Dual Enrollment/Early College at West Hills College Coalinga; and Dario Diaz, principal of McFarland High School.
Following lunch, Chancellor Clark returns to introduce Rep. Jim Costa, 16th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives for his annual “Federal Legislative Update” remarks.
In the panel, “Real Colleges Serving Real Needs,” Madera Community College President Ángel Reyna will introduce fellow community college chief executive, James Preston, president of West Hills College Lemoore, as facilitator. Panelists are fellow CVHEC-board member Fresno City College President Robert Pimentel and Jeff Garner, executive director of the Kings Community Action Organization.
The final panel of the day, “What Does this Mean for Students?,” features student voices introduced by Dr. Claudia Habib, president of Porterville College and facilitated by Dr. Carole Goldsmith, chancellor of the State Center Community College District. The student panelists will be:
- Alondra Veloz, an Open Educational Resources student at Fresno Pacific University discussing her experiences with OER;
- Araceli Tilley, discussing her transfer experience from Merced College to University of California, Merced;
- Hailee Guerra, an OER Student at West Hills College Lemoore transferring to Fresno State;
- Jesús López Nuñez, whose dual enrollment experiences led to an associate of arts degree from West Hills College Coalinga while attending Avenal High School and is now enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The closing session at 2:50 p.m., “Where We Go from Here” will be brief remarks delivered by Durán.
Registration for the free event is now closed. Summit updates are available at https://cvhec.org/event/2023-cvhec-summit/ or email Ángel Ramírez, finance and operations manager, at email@example.com.
- See the original CVHEC Summit news release online
- CVHEC September e-newsletter
- Panelist Bios
- CVHEC Summit 2023 Agenda
ABOUT CVHEC — The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) is a California non-profit made up of 28-institutions of higher education in the nine-county region from San Joaquin to Kern that is the size of some states. Through CVHEC, higher education professionals and academicians in the Central Valley address difficult and complex initiatives, scaling them up across the region for mutual effectiveness to serve our students and communities. CVHEC provides its members a unified voice at local, state and nation levels to address issues of higher education affecting the region.