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Berkeley City College President's Report – March 26, 2024

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Berkeley City College Community Partner Breakfast

On Wednesday, March 20, Berkeley City College hosted its annual Community Partners Breakfast. 75 people representing East Bay high schools, technical schools, scholarship and mentor programs, and UC Berkeley attended the event.

The program provided an opportunity for BCC to familiarize its partners with its Hispanic Serving Institution status, degrees & certificates in programs and career education, transfer excellence, and the growth of BCC's Dual Enrollment program.

It also provided an opportunity to educate the audience about BCC’s growing Society of Scholars learning communities, including Umoja, Puente, AAPI Lead, IGNITE, and the Undocumented Community Resource Center, as well as the resources students have in EOPS, CARES, CalWorks, and NextUp.

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The event’s highlight was a student panel discussion where the audience heard about the backgrounds and goals of students involved with the SOS and EOPS communities. BCC students Celine Rouabah, Miguel Sanchez Perez, Tenzin Choezin, Esther Nyantika, Janai Perry, and Fevan Defere responded to questions posed by BCC Society of Scholars Counselor Skyler Barton about their challenges and successes in navigating higher education, their experiences with BCC faculty and classified professionals, and their goals in transfer and career. With every answer, students received a raucous round of applause from the audience. We thank the panel of students for their time and openness in sharing their experiences!

After the agenda, attendees could take part in a tour of the campus led by BCC student ambassadors.

“I’m very happy with the positive feedback we’ve received from our partners about this event and recognizing the work of Berkeley City College,” said Dr. Amy Lee, Dean of Enrollment Services at Berkeley City College. “The students’ stories about the opportunities they’ve built for themselves by choosing BCC energized the room – big thanks to them!”

BCC would like to thank Dr. Amy Lee, Susan Truong, Gail Pendleton, Lissette Flores, and Zaira Sanchez for their inspiring work putting this event together.


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Andrea Williams Featured in LIFT Your Voice Newsletter

Berkeley City College Career and Transfer Center Coordinator Andrea Williams is being featured in an upcoming LIFT Your Voice newsletter published by the Leadership Institute For Tomorrow at Cal State Fullerton. This edition of the newsletter is focused on stories of mentoring excellence. In her article, Andrea shares how her experience as a community college student molded her ability to connect with students with authenticity and intentionality. An excerpt from the article reads:

“Students initially visit me to learn the transfer process, and what shows up again and again is their reluctance to apply to multiple universities. Some first-generation, non-traditional, Black, and Brown students believe that some higher educational institutions are unattainable or inaccessible.

The myth of not being “good enough” shows up often. Their hesitation cannot be labeled imposter syndrome, which is why my mentorship begins the moment students walk into my office until they leave our campus. My connection with each student is specific, authentic, and intentional. I share my own struggles and accomplishments to continuously reaffirm that they are capable of succeeding at any four-year institution.”

“I was inspired to read about Andrea’s methods and successes with students and her continued dedication to mentoring students after they graduate and transfer to another institution,” said President Denise Richardson. “I would like to congratulate Andrea for the recognition of her work to support students in achieving their goals.”

The Spring edition of LIFT Your Voice will be published on their website later this month.


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Basic Needs Hosts Free Children’s and Toddler’s Clothing Giveaway

Berkeley City College’s Basic Needs Center hosted a free toddler and children’s clothing event on Monday, March 18 in the Atrium. Over 250 donated children’s shirts, pants, dresses, and shoes were available for students with no limit to the number of clothes they could take home.

The event was a preview of the Basic Needs Department’s upcoming Buddies Closet Flea Market happening during Basic Needs Awareness Week running from April 15-19. The Basic Needs Center has been collecting clothing donations from March 1 through 22 and has stocked up an impressive inventory of new and gently used clothing items available for students – stay tuned for more details!

Many thanks to Basic Needs Coordinator Izzie Villanueva and the Basic Needs student workers for their work in organizing the event!


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Midsemester Flex Day at BCC

On Tuesday, March 12, BCC held its Spring midsemester Flex Day. For this Flex Day, the Professional Development Committee flipped the program to host department meetings in the morning session and hold workshops in the afternoon in an effort to invite more faculty to visit campus. After breakfast, faculty members attended their department meetings while classified professionals continued their community of practice work to identify and solve challenges.

Members of the community met for lunch at noon. After that, the leadership cabinet provided general updates on the state of the college. President Denise Richardson informed the body about the development of the strategic master plan and identified areas to achieve the master plan’s goal of increasing black student success. She also informed the community of the upcoming 50th-anniversary block party & groundbreaking of the new 2118 Milvia Street campus to be held on April 23 from 11:00am to 2:00pm. VP of Instruction Kuni Hay, Dean Lilia Celhay, and Dean Chris Lewis provided updates in their areas, including the introduction of the college’s new MESA program and its director Armando Franco.

After lunch and the leadership cabinet updates, Flex Day continued with concurrent breakout workshop sessions, one being a reevaluation of BCC’s Institutional Learning Outcomes led by faculty Kelly Pernell and Lisa Crallé, the other was a workshop about responding to the advancement of generative AI lead by Dean Celhay and faculty Matthew Freeman and Jennie Braman. After those sessions, faculty participated in a concurrent session with all four colleges about Part-Time and Tenured Faculty Evaluation led by Peralta’s Faculty Diversity Internship Program Coordinator Vanson Nguyen. After those presentations, everyone took a break for cake and celebrated the Zero Textbook Cost courses with librarians Jenny Yap and Heather Dodge. During the afternoon, there were 3 concurrent workshops to choose from: “Changing Approaches, Change Outcomes” with Heather Dodge, Scott Hoshida, and Alejandro Wolbert-Perez, “Course Design for ALL Modalities (Part 4 of 4)” with Nima Kianfar & Cora Leighton, and “Success Inc Mental Health Ambassador Series (Part 4 of 4): Self-care Summer!” with Tyler Bennett and Cassie Benton.

The first set of afternoon sessions included continuing the work of the Culturally Relevant Pedagogies grant titled “Changing Approaches, Changing Outcomes: Three Faculty Perspectives,” a Distance Education workshop titled “Course Design for ALL Modalities,” and a workshop on community and self-care with Success Inc Mental Health ambassadors. The second set of mini-workshops included a Zero Textbook Cost invitation to redesign GE classes to include no-cost materials, a Program Pathway Mapper and Curriculum update for Guided Pathways at BCC, and a Teaching and Learning Center Meet and Greet for part-time faculty. The day closed with Dean and Departmental Meetings.

We want to thank the Professional Development Committee, especially co-chairs Scott Hoshida and Heather Dodge, for their hard work in organizing another successful Flex Day. Since they have reached the end of their term in these roles, we also want to acknowledge the excellent leadership that Scott and Heather have demonstrated over the last year. Their dedication and thoughtful planning have provided invaluable insights and guidance as we have navigated a shifting educational landscape.


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Cash 4 College at BCC

As part of a series of sessions to guide students in completing their FAFSA and CA Dream Act Applications, Berkeley City College hosted a Cash 4 College workshop on Wednesday, March 13. The event drew 37 students, many of whom brought their families to campus. The sessions were facilitated by BCC’s partner the East Bay Consortium along with members of BCC’s HSI, Undocumented Community Resource Center, Financial Aid, and MESA teams. A big thank you to all for supporting students in navigating the changes to this year’s applications!


This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Denise Richardson, Berkeley City College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Berkeley City College, President's Report


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