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Berkeley City College President's Report – November 15, 2023

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Berkeley City College Named 2023 Champion of Higher Education

The Campaign for College Opportunity announced Berkeley City College is a 2023 Champion of Higher Education and an Equity Champion for Black students, gaining recognition for its work in equitably awarding Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) in the 2021-22 academic year. This is the sixth year Berkeley City College has been recognized as a Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity for our work awarding ADTs.

Of the 399 associate degrees conferred to students by Berkeley City College in the 2021-22 academic year, 65% were Associate of Art for Transfer and Associate of Science for Transfer. In that same year, 65% of Black associate degree earners at Berkeley City College earned an ADT. This underscores Berkeley City College’s commitment to closing equity gaps. “Berkeley City College is proud to be a premier destination for students looking to transfer to four-year institutions. Our diverse offerings of over 40 different degree programs provide students with many avenues to achieve success,” said President Denise Richardson, Ed.D. “Receiving recognition six times as a Champion of Higher Education speaks to the collective and intentional work of our esteemed faculty, classified professionals, and administrators.”

Since the passage of SB 1440 (Padilla) in 2010, the California Community Colleges have awarded over 480,000 Associate Degrees for Transfer, providing a streamlined pathway between community colleges and the California State University (CSU) system. In the 2021-22 academic year, Berkeley City College supported 201 students in achieving their goal of transferring to a CSU campus. Additionally, 398 students transferred to a University of California campus, in-state private, or out-of-state institution.


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Basic Needs Awareness Week Events at BCC

The Berkeley City College Basic Needs Center hosted its first-ever Basic Needs Awareness Week over the week of October 23. Basic Needs Coordinator Izzie Villanueva and student employees put together a schedule of events focused on introducing the campus to basic needs resources on campus including housing assistance, financial wellness, food and groceries, and clothing offerings. The first event was a housing workshop hosted by The Unity Council in collaboration with El Centro Legal De La Raza. The workshop titled housing workshop titled “Know Your Rights” discussed legal rights as a tenant, tenant practices, and other housing-related information.

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On Tuesday, October 24 the BCC Buddies Closet hosted a Free Clothes Flea Market in the Atrium. Students were able to shop hundreds of new and lightly used clothing items donated by students and BCC employees. Items included sweaters, pants, jeans, shoes, and accessories. Students took home over 330 pieces of clothing. The remainder of the clothing has been moved to our Basic Needs Center in Room 15 where students will be able to continue to shop for the remainder of the school year. Major kudos need to be given to Basic Needs Center Student Assistant, Ashley Mujica, for spearheading this project, continuously organizing all the clothes, keeping an inventory of items, planning day-of logistics, and maintaining inventory post-event.

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Basic Needs Awareness Week ended with a Mental Health Art Day in collaboration with the Wellness Center. Students were able to paint and create art with their peers and decompress from an overwhelming fall semester. Mental Health Ambassadors were on hand to talk or vent stresses in school, life, and more.

Big thanks to Izzie Villanueva and the Basic Needs Center Student Assistants for their work in organizing and hosting the week of events.


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Celebrando Día de los Muertos

On October 25th, BCC celebrated Día de los Muertos. Scholars representing Puente, Latinx Unidos, & the UCRC came together to build an altar, host papel picado & flores de papel making stations, and share about how we celebrate and reunite with our loved ones and ancestors who have transitioned during Día de los Muertos through an interactive Kahoot. Students danced and grubbed on tamales & pan de muerto!

BCC sends a huge shout-out to Puentistas Ashley, Natalie, and Julian for emceeing the event, as well as a huge shout-out to Puentista Migs for leading our Abuelita Chocolate station!

The altar will continue to be up in the BCC Atrium through mid-November. The community is invited to contribute photos of loved ones to the altar.


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Hundreds of High School Students Visit BCC for Earn & Learn Job Fair

On Wednesday, November 8, Berkeley City College hosted Earn & Learn’s Apprenticeship and Internship fair. Over 300 students from 11 local high schools met with over 20 employers in the BCC Atrium. BCC students also took part in meeting with employers from diverse sectors including plumbing, electrical, and emergency services. It was also an opportunity for high school students to meet with BCC counselors and outreach specialists to learn more about career education programs.

“It’s good to have experiences with jobs at an early age because you’re able to build toward a career after high school,” said one visiting Berkeley High School student.


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BCC Puente Scholars Visit UC Davis

On 10/21, BCC Puente scholars attended the Annual Puente Transfer Motivational Conference at UC Davis, along with Puente Counselor Dri Regalado and HSI Coordinator Zaira Sanchez. BCC Puentistas networked with over one thousand Puente scholars from community colleges across Northern CA while attending workshops on transfer, admissions, financial literacy, career, and wellness. The trip included an Amtrak adventure, a stroll exploring Downtown Davis, and empowering messages from the incredible Keynote Speaker, Dr. Christopher Emdin. The Puente familia sends a huge shout-out to HSI Director Lissette Flores and Zaira Sanchez for all of their support in coordinating this experience for Puentistas at BCC.


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Hue Are You?

On Thursday, November 9, Berkeley City College Art students transformed the fourth floor into an art gallery for the Hue Are You? exhibition. Students displayed their oil and watercolor paintings, collages, charcoal drawings, and multimedia pieces. Snacks were provided and attendees were encouraged to explore the entire gallery by filling a stamp card located at strategic areas, as well as leaving a note of encouragement for the artists. Special thanks to the stellar student-led curatorial team for the tremendous creativity, organization, and thoughtful work they’ve put into this exhibition, which runs through November 22.

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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, November 14, 2023. To view it as a PDF, click here.


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