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March and April 2016 Message

I hope you are having a rewarding spring term.  It's hard to believe we are less than seven weeks away from our 2016 commencement ceremony.  Recognizing the value of your time, I want to take a little of it to provide you with an update on a few things currently taking place at ARC.  

Achieving the Dream - As some of you may remember, we began exploring the Achieving the Dream (AtD) program over a year and a half ago when the District brought together all four colleges for a fact-finding visit to the annual DREAM Conference in Baltimore. Subsequent to that trip, ARC sought out more information about AtD through discussions with faculty and staff from other AtD colleges, participating in various webinars and conference calls with AtD staff, and conducting our own inquiry and research.  

Last fall I began sharing information about AtD with the College through convocation as well as my monthly messages. This February, a team of 13 faculty, staff and administrators attended the 2016 DREAM Conference in Atlanta. While at the conference we met with senior AtD staff and others to learn even more about AtD, and how it would align with our efforts to improve student outcomes and close longstanding achievement gaps.  

We will be hosting two information sessions at the College so that you have an opportunity to learn more about AtD.
Tuesday, April 12, 12noon-1:30pm, Raef 160
Wednesday, April 13, 1-2:30pm, Science 420

Members of the ARC AtD Team will be present to share their perspectives as well as answer your questions. If your schedule allows, please consider attending one of these information sessions. As always, my door is open should you want more information about AtD but are unable to make one of these sessions.

AtD team members are Connie Ayala, Tamara Floyd, myself, Kim Herrell, Adam Karp, Lisa Lawrenson, Dennis Lee, Angela Milano, Tammy Montgomery, Robin Neal, Tera Diggs-Reynolds, Jeff Stephenson, and Tressa Tabares.

Hiring - As many of you are acutely aware, we are entering the most intense period of the hiring season. I want to thank all of you who are serving on one or more hiring committees. Identifying outstanding faculty, staff and managers is some of our most important work as we seek to create the best possible learning environment.  

Student Mental Health - We are also at the height of the state's legislative session, with myriad bills impacting our community colleges.  One of particular relevance is AB 2017, which, if adopted, would provide a funding stream for mental health services at public institutions of higher education. Such ongoing resources would truly benefit our students and the learning environment. I share this with you to raise awareness, and also to recognize the efforts of a number of individuals at ARC, including Peg Scott and Dean Murakami (in their FACCC roles), as well as students from the ARC Life is Worth the Walk Club, who all played an important role in getting this Bill sponsored. Thank you!

Faculty vs. Classified - I didn't want to end my message without mentioning the upcoming softball game between the Classified Staff and Faculty on Friday, April 29. The game starts at 11:00am and will take place at ARC Softball Field. Serious bragging rights are on the line, so if you are not on the roster, consider coming out and cheering on one or both sides.  

Again, my appreciation and thanks to all of you for your continued commitment to our students and their learning.