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Berkeley City College President’s Report – October 11, 2023

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Berkeley City College Awarded Second Hispanic Serving Institution Grant

We are excited to announce that Berkeley City College has been awarded a Title V Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grant from the Department of Education to continue advancing the educational attainment of Latino students and low-income students. Building on the work of Conocimiento Los Caminos -BCC’s original five-year Title V Developing HSI grant awarded in 2020- the Adelante Project will increase the number of students earning certificates and attaining postsecondary degrees. The new $2.9 million grant will support high-impact practices for Latino students and further the goals of equitable student completion outlined in BCC’s most recent Educational Master Plan. The project will facilitate improvements in:

  • Access through bilingual outreach to students and their families in our local K-12 schools with the purpose of increasing awareness and familiarity with higher education options, major selection, career opportunities, and financial wellness.
  • Persistence and Retention by implementing both a peer mentoring and a Success Coach model that utilizes caseload management and wrap-around services to support students.
  • Completion outcomes via coordinated links to transfer/career advisement, and a professional development strategy for faculty and staff focused on culturally responsive curriculum, pedagogy, and practice.

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Over the next month, BCC’s HSI team will organize forums for the community to learn about the objectives and goals of the grant and how to get involved. Thank you to the entire BCC community for providing input and energy to the development of the second grant.

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A special acknowledgment to Dr. Stacey Shears for her leadership and for the guidance to the HIS Director, Lissette Flores, and the Principal Investigator, Dr. Martin De Mucha Flores. Without her support, this would have not been possible.


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Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practices Project First Meeting

In late April, Berkeley City College was awarded a $290,650 Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practices grant by the CCC Chancellors Office. The authors of the grant proposal were BCC faculty Scott Hoshida, Heather Dodge, and Alejandro Wolbert. Funding will take place over the next two years beginning Fall 2023. This project aims to collaboratively change teaching and learning at Berkeley City College with the goal of increasing retention, persistence, and learning of students, especially those from the African diaspora. By facilitating 3 or more Communities of Practice (CoPs) with 50 participants, faculty will work across disciplines and with student advisors to implement and assess equity-minded practices, such as those included in DEI in the Curriculum. These CoPs will model inclusive community-building, encourage faculty to discuss and address the most challenging achievement gaps at our college, and transform how we work and learn together as a college.

On Wednesday, September 27, Hoshida, Dodge, and Wolbert hosted their first brown bag meeting with the campus community. The meeting laid out the initial draft agreements in group work: to be inclusive, reflective, curious, anti-racist, and understand the difference between intent, and make mistakes and learn from them. It also laid out a timeline of proposed activities over the course of the 2-year grant, beginning with the recruitment and launch of the CoPs and begin work on developing a survey to recruit a team of students. We’ll continue to provide updates on the progress of this grant, as culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy and practices are a goal of the college’s Educational Master Plan.


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BCC Buddies Closet Meets Students’ Clothing Needs

The Berkeley City College Basic Needs Center launched the Buddies Closet program this semester, providing free donated clothes to students in need. Over the summer, Berkeley City College faculty, classified professionals, and administrators donated over 400 pieces of clothing – including casual and business attire. So far this semester, the Buddies Closet has given away over 375 pieces of clothing to students.


“Students have utilized so much of the Basic Needs Center resources, and our Buddies Closet is no exception. Thank you to the BCC community for donating their time, energy, and items,” said Basic Needs Coordinator Izzie Villanueva. “And a huge special thank you to my amazing team of five student assistants who are some of the best visionaries on campus. It takes a village to make positive impacts and change, and I cannot wait to see how the BCC Basic Needs Center continues to flourish and grow with the support of all BCC community members and advocates.”

Beginning October 2, the Buddies Closet began accepting more donations and is including the pool of donors to students who would like to help out their classmates in need. Students can drop by the Basic Needs Center in Room 125 between 10:00am to 3:00pm through October 13 to donate clothes.


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BCC Transfer Fair Hosts 40 Universities and Colleges

Berkeley City College hosted its annual Transfer Fair in the college atrium on Thursday, September 28. Students met with representatives from 40 in-state, out-of-state, public, and private universities to learn more about programs, campus life, and the transfer process. They also received college swag and took part in a raffle with fabulous prizes, including a lunch with BCC’s own Transfer Coordinator Andrea Williams, who planned and implemented the event. Thank you to everyone who showed up and supported the event with your energy and positive vibes,” said Dean of Counseling and Student Equity Dr. Martin De Mucha Flores. “Thank you to each of the staff, faculty, and admin who supported the event by volunteering your time, treasure, or talent.


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Castlemont High School Seniors Tour BCC

On Wednesday, September 26th, over 90 Castlemont High School seniors visited Berkeley City College! The positive energy spread throughout the auditorium as the enthusiastic group of Castlemont scholars interacted with Berkeley City College scholars during a student panel and Q and A, headlined by six student leaders from our BCC Society of Scholars communities, including three Castlemont alumni! Castlemont scholars also engaged in a career exploration activity and learned about BCC pathways, including dual enrollment opportunities for this upcoming spring semester. We look forward to supporting the next class of Castlemont scholars as they prepare to begin their postsecondary journeys!


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BCC Students Learn How to Get a Strong Letter of Recommendation

EOPS/CARE Counselor Alejandra Oseguera hosted a Student Success Workshop on October 3 focused on letters of recommendation. The workshop was hosted in person and online and went over strategies and practices for students to acquire strong letters of recommendation for scholarship applications, jobs, internships, and college and university admissions that will help Berkeley City Scholars stand out from other applicants.



President’s Message: Solidarity with the DACA Community

This message was shared with the community on September 28, 2023


On September 13, a Texas federal judge ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, holding that the program was unlawful. I want to express solidarity with Berkeley City College’s undocumented students who may be facing fear and anxiety in the wake of this latest ruling.

I would like to remind current DACA recipients that they may continue to renew their status, even after this concerning court decision. While the Department of Homeland Security is still accepting applications for new DACA recipients, they are not processing those applications. As a result, many Dreamers graduating high school and entering college do not have DACA protections.

I want to make it clear that Berkeley City College is an open-access institution, providing services and quality education for anyone who seeks it – no matter your country of origin, legal status, ethnicity, or any other factor. Our mission includes the stated goal of providing equitable opportunities for our students in the name of social justice. We remain steadfast in this commitment.

The Undocumented Community Resource Center offers the following resources and tips:

Free Immigration Legal Support: All students with DACA can make a free appointment to renew their DACA application with a legal services provider at FindYourAlly.com.

All students attending a community college can make an appointment with a legal provider. This is FREE!

Advocacy: Participate in this year’s Undocumented Student Action Week from October 16th-20th. This is a statewide week of action. The Undocumented Resource Center has planned a series of informational, inspirational on-campus events. You can learn more here: https://www.berkeleycitycollege.edu/ucrc/undocu-week-of-action/

Mental Health Support: To request a personal counseling appointment this semester, complete this form- Mental Health Referral.

Information & Resources: Additionally, you can make an appointment with academic counselors Angelica Peña or Anthony Zelaya-Umanzor here: https://peralta.craniumcafe.com/group/undocumented-community-resource-center/scheduler

We are committed to protecting our Undocumented/DACAmented scholars and providing unconditional support and love during these uncertain times. I wanted to give recognition to your continued hard work in the face of this adversity.

In Solidarity,

Denise Richardson, Ed.D.

Interim President, Berkeley City College


This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Denise Richardson, Berkeley City College Interim President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Berkeley City College


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