Berkeley City College’s First Annual Career Fair
Berkeley City College hosted its First Annual Career Fair on Thursday, April 7. The event was organized by Hispanic Serving Institution Director Verónica Montoya, Outreach Program Specialist Christine Trowbridge, and FDIP Counseling Intern Angelica Peña. The all-day event engaged students in creating career pathways and prepared them for life in the workforce.
The career fair kicked off with a student & alumni panel discussion about their experiences at Berkeley City College and preparing for transfer to 4-year institutions. Students & alumni told their stories and fielded questions from their peers. Faculty members Pieter DeHaan, Tasha Henneman, Melina Winterton, and Mary-Clarke Miller then took the stage and led a panel discussion about their own college experience and lent advice to students about preparing for their futures after Berkeley City College.
Peralta District Trustee Dyana Delfín Polk then introduced the highly anticipated keynote speaker Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez, author of For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts. Rodriguez spoke about her college experience and breaking through barriers on her way to becoming a published author. She shared stories of being a first-generation college student who was told by her high school counselor that she wasn’t suited to take AP classes because of her heritage; breaking through that mold to go on and earn a master’s degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Rodriguez spoke about what it takes to overcome imposter syndrome and find her own voice in a society that puts pressure on brown women’s identity and skills. She then fielded questions and gave advice to students to not focus on the negatives and make their own mark on society.
Students then joined virtual break-out rooms to meet with employers and take part in resume workshops led by Career Counselor Salvador Victoria. Participating employers included BUSD Berkeley LEARNs, Bay Area Video Coalition, Roots Community Health Center, Oakland Unified School District, and more. Over 50 students took part in in-person and virtual events. We look forward to hosting more career fairs at BCC in 2022!
Berkeley City College Featured in Forthcoming Book
It’s our pleasure to announce that Berkeley City College will be profiled in a forthcoming book titled The Community College: The Pursuit of Democracy, Economic Development, and Success by Robert L. Pura and Tara L. Parker (Stylus Publishing, AAC&U). The book examines the ways community colleges serve as a catalyst for social and economic mobility, fulfilling the promise to provide educational opportunities for all who seek them. The authors visited Berkeley City College, along with four other community colleges across the nation, to meet with faculty, staff, administrators, and students documenting ways their institutions are fighting for economic and social justice and democracy.
Berkeley City College is honored to be highlighted for our work in serving our community. “Berkeley City College has a rich history of community engagement, rooted in the fundamental college mission ‘to provide our diverse community with educational opportunities, promote student success, and to transform lives,’” said President Angélica Garcia. “We partner with students as they pursue their career and academic goals in a community environment that values equity, racial justice, and equitable student outcomes. I am honored that BCC was included in this book and recognized for its commitment to serve as the community’s college.”
“The participation of the Berkeley City College Community in this work will help to shed light on the important role that community colleges play in helping to build a democracy with a more civically engaged population,” said Berkeley City College Academic Senate President Matthew Freeman. “As a first-generation college graduate, community college alumni, and President of the BCC Academic Senate, I was personally honored to have been included in the work of helping to tell our story.”
A recent article published on the AAC&U (American Association of Colleges & Universities) website previews the forthcoming book, which will be published in June 2022. It’s available for preorder through Stylus Publishing and other major booksellers.
We thank you all for your continued work in transforming the lives of our students and colleagues! We are BCC!
ConexED Launches at Berkeley City College
On Monday, April 4, the Peralta Community College District launched the ConexED platform. ConexED is significantly improving and modernizing how PCCD employees interact with and serve students both remotely and at the campus. It allows them to use one platform across many Peralta services to provide the students with a uniform and user-friendly experience as they access the support needed on their paths to success. Employees will be able to consolidate the functions of various current tools and technologies into one web-based platform that interfaces with Peoplesoft. Students and staff have access to live chat, virtual and on-campus drop-in services, group calendars that link with Outlook, schedulers, caseload management, and detailed reporting tools.
BCC Students Receive Phi Theta Kappa All-California Award Honors
The Community College League of California announced the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa All-California Award Winners. Two Berkeley City College students, Kim Pantoja and Noel Arikew, received Third Team Honors!
Kim Pantoja started at BCC in August 2019, earning 5 AA’s in Communications, Social and Behavioral Science, Sociology, Arts and Humanities, and the AA for transfer in Social Work. Alongside her studies, she has worked as a mental health navigator and is a member of the California Associate of Peer Professionals and a student member of the National Association of Social Workers. She’s applied to transfer to UC Berkeley for the Fall 2022 semester, where she hopes to study for a Master's in Social Work and a Juris Doctor degree.
“Service is my life,” said Pantoja. “I was very excited and proud of myself because not only did I think that I could attempt higher education, but I’m succeeding.”
Pantoja also gives a shoutout to HUSV Faculty and Program Coordinator Melina Winterton for her support and work in building the Social Work program at BCC.
Noel Arikew is double majoring in Sociology and Biology. He is interested in the intersection between science and sociology. Arikew is active in his community organizing programs to assist first-generation, low-income students to succeed in their studies. He plans on transferring to UC Berkeley and is working towards his goal of being a Public Health Educator through active community service. He would like to shout out to his family and friends for their never-ending love and support. “This award will propel my academic career to new heights and will open new doors for me in my career journey,” said Arikew.
The Phi Theta Kappa All-California Award recognizes students for their grades, leadership, and community service and is nominated by the Phi Theta Kappa advisor at their campus. Of the 2 million community college students enrolled in the state of California, only 114 are chosen for this prestigious award.
PTK Advisor Denise Jones says “Congratulations, Noel and Kim, for the great things you’ve been achieving both inside and outside the classroom. The BCC Community and the PTK Beta Gamma Nu Chapter are proud of you and the lasting impact you’re making. You deserve every accolade. Best wishes for your bright futures!”
ASBCC Visits Student Senate for California Community Colleges Conference
On April 1-3, ASBCC President Harry Mapodile, VP of Finance RJ Ishimaru, VP of Public Relations Mazin Saeed, and Advisor John Nguyen attended the Student Senate for California Community Colleges general assembly conference in Sacramento, California. During the conference, students had the opportunity to learn about how to pursue policies to promote student success and empower local student leaders. They were also able to vote on resolutions to forward to the state legislature.
President’s Message: Register for Black Student Success Week!
I am excited to announce Black Student Success Week is returning from April 25th to 29th. This year’s theme is A Vision for Black Student Success: Creating a New Landscape to Succeed focusing on innovative approaches to ensure Black and African American students succeed at California Community Colleges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am inviting all students, faculty, administrators, and staff to register for a host of informative webinars and discussions held throughout the week, including opening remarks from the U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the resources and programs available to succeed in the community college system; as well as ways our faculty, staff, and administration can better serve our students. I am also proud to say our Transfer and Career Center Coordinator, Andrea Williams will be present at a panel discussion Wednesday, April 27 titled The Path to Transfer Success through Courageous State Leadership. She will speak about our efforts to support Black students in transfer and career guidance. Congratulations Andrea, we are looking forward to seeing you represent Berkeley City College!
Berkeley City College is committed to equitable student success. As an Aspen Presidential Fellow, I have engaged our institutional data to learn about the ways in which we are successful in supporting students to completion. BCC faculty, staff,
and administrators have devoted time and reflection to creating equitable standards of completion for historically minoritized communities. When we look at the data, African American student success, retention, and persistence rates are at the standard
of other demographics in our student body. Yet African Americans make up 15% of Berkeley City College's student body, the fourth largest on campus. Enrollment of African American students is a smaller proportion of eligible students in our service area compared to other demographics. At the state level, 61% of community college students are African American, but unfortunately, only 35% of African American Students transfer to four-year institutions even after 6 years of college. We are committed to confronting the brutal facts of the data, as we continue to focus on and design structures that lead to equitable student outcomes in our strategic planning efforts. Participating in Black Student Success Week will afford BCC faculty, staff, and administrators with additional perspectives and knowledge to include in our work.
We recognize the pandemic has impacted minoritized communities the most, creating economic and emotional hardships that compound the difficulty of attaining an education. It is incumbent on Berkeley City College to elevate our levels of engagement with the local community and promote the values of pursuing higher education in our community. I am especially proud of the work our Society of Scholars counselors and outreach professionals have done to bring students into the fold, especially the growing Umoja Community at Berkeley City College. Their tireless work is essential to promoting completion and transfer rates, and I thank you for your service.
For updates regarding Black Student Success week, follow @cablackstudents on Twitter and Instagram. Please follow @berkeleycitycollege on Instagram for updates and reminders from us. I am planning to attend as many of these webinars as possible and look forward to hearing students’ experiences and stories with the hope of improving the college experience.
Dr. Angélica Garcia (she| her| ella)
Berkeley City College
This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Angélica Garcia, Berkeley City College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. To view as a pdf, click here.