September and October 2015 Message
The moment has finally arrived for our accreditation site visit. Over the past few years - with a focused effort starting in mid-2013 - ARC has performed a rigorous self-assessment, which found written form in our Self Evaluation Report of Educational Quality and Institutional Effectiveness. If you have not already reviewed this report, I encourage you to do so.The accreditation team arrives next week. During its stay the team will be visiting our outreach centers on Monday and the main campus Tuesday through Thursday. The team will be conducting interviews, examining our programs and reviewing our systems, processes and procedures. I encourage each of you to get involved as your schedules permit. For example, please consider attending one or both of the two open forums: Tuesday, October 6, 12:15-1:15pm, in the Student Center Community Rooms, and Wednesday, October 7, 3-4pm, again in the Student Center Community Rooms.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who has worked so hard in preparation for accreditation. This has truly been a college-wide effort, so I appreciate all of you who have given so much of your time, energy, and insights.
I also want to thank all those who shared their thoughts, concerns and suggestions regarding campus safety via email, in-person or during the two Listening Sessions that I held last week. Please know that the college continues to take a proactive approach to safety, and remains very open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions on how we might further improve our efforts in this area. As yesterday's tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon reminds us, constant diligence in the area of campus safety is of the utmost importance.
In my last newsletter, I had the pleasure of sharing with you a number of successful grant initiatives. This month is no different. A couple of weeks ago ARC was the lead agency awarded a $5 million Department of Labor grant to support apprenticeship programs in the region. ARC is collaborating with four other community colleges in the region to support partnerships with local industry, boost training to meet businesses' employment needs and establish an apprenticeship model for advanced manufacturing where none currently exists.
Immediately after the conclusion of the accreditation site visit, our focus will turn toward the future. Specifically, we intend to use what we've learned through the self-evaluation process as a springboard for developing a shared vision of our intended future. This will involve, among other things, revisiting our mission and vision statements as well as our strategic plan. In today's rapidly shifting landscape of California higher education, having a clear direction to guide and align our efforts has never been more important. A clear vision, moreover, allows each of us to connect and contribute. In the coming weeks and months, therefore, you will begin to hear more about Pathways Into, Through, and Beyond ARC-a structure intended to frame our upcoming strategic visioning and planning work.
Thank you for your outstanding effort on behalf of our students' learning and success.