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Chancellor’s Report March 2010

Pima Community College Seal

Chancellor's Message

It is easy to dwell on the significant economic challenges facing the College. (Those interested in learning more about the College’s financial situation are encouraged to read a January letter to employees.) But this month I would like to focus on the many ways that PCC is fulfilling its mission to its students and to the community. The College’s achievements over the past few months are numerous and are worth noting. Below are just a few:

Dr. Cynthia MeierThe College’s Speakers Series, co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate and Provost Dr. Suzanne Miles, got off to an excellent start in February.

The Community/Board Room was filled with 163 people, including many retirees and winter visitors, who came to hear Dr. Cynthia Meier, Speech Communication and Theatre faculty, give a presentation on “The Theatrical World of Samuel Beckett.”

The presentation featured actors from a local theater company performing excerpts from three of Beckett’s plays.

The College’s redesign of Student Services was capped in December by the simultaneous dedication of Student Service Centers at each campus. In January, a team from PCC shared information about the redesign as part of the nationwide Bellwether Award competition. The College was one of 10 finalists in the Instructional Programs and Services category. The College’s presentation raised the bar by featuring more than one-half hour of video, capturing the perspectives of staff, students and the Board. Thanks to Community Campus’ Center for Learning Technology for taking hours of video footage and editing it into a concise, compelling story.

Northwest Campus’ enrollment continues to be remarkable. Since its inception in 2003, the fall enrollment has increased nearly 48 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing community college campuses in the state.

The 42 students at Community Campus’ Fire Science Academy recorded a 100 percent pass rate on the state’s practical exam.

Desert Vista Campus has made a Title V grant request to expand its Medical Assistant program and develop a Phlebotomy program.

At Downtown Campus, campus employees and students formed the Vets4Vets Club. The club has more than 50 members who are military veterans. Club members provide peers with academic support and networking opportunities.

West Campus completed construction of a Patient Care Simulation Laboratory, which lets Nursing and Respiratory Care students gain skills prior to their clinical rotations in hospital settings.

College Update

Articulation agreement: Chamberlain College of Nursing

I am pleased to note that the College is helping to provide another pathway toward a bachelor’s degree through a new articulation agreement with the Chamberlain College of Nursing.

The agreement has several notable facets. Students who complete the 72 credit-hours needed to receive an associate’s degree from PCC and who become licensed as a Registered Nurse receive 80 credit-hours toward an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Chamberlain. PCC students also will receive a 10 percent discount on tuition.

Thanks to Provost Dr. Suzanne Miles, Vice Chancellor for Community Relations and Institutional Outreach Dr. Raul Ramirez, West Campus Dean of Instruction for Nursing and Health-Related Professions Marty Mayhew and Director of Curriculum and Articulation Jennie Scott for their work on the agreement.

Partnerships and Initiatives

MHC Healthcare's East Campus center

Ribbon cutting at MHC East Campus centerThe opening of the MHC Healthcare Center at East Campus not only benefits the students who attend East, but also residents who live near the campus as well.

Like a similar facility open since 2007 at West Campus, the East Campus clinic provides affordable primary care. It is operated by MHC Healthcare, Arizona’s oldest community health center and multi-service provider serving rural and metro Pima County.

East Campus President Charlotte Fugett may have put it best in her remarks at the dedication ceremony in December. “Community has always been the forefront of what we do,” President Fugett said.

Thanks to President Fugett, MHC Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Clarence Vatne and Board of Governors member Dr. Brenda Even for seeing the project through.

Awards and recognition

Nursing program's pass rate best in state - again

For the second straight year, PCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination-RN was the best in the state. PCC topped the scores of the other 27 nursing programs in Arizona, including all other community colleges and public and private universities.

PCC’s 2009 pass rate of 96.67 percent exceeded the national rate of 88.42 percent and the state rate of 89.28 percent.

My congratulations go to our students, faculty and Marty Mayhew, Division Dean for Nursing and Health Related Professions, for their accomplishment.

PCC student wins advertising scholarship

When other children were playing with dolls, PCC student Michelle Thayer says she was building Web sites and creating Photoshop illustrations.

Michelle’s precocious intelligence and creativity have paid off handsomely. She recently received a $1,000 scholarship from the American Advertising Federation’s Tucson chapter.

Michelle is a Digital Arts student with a concentration in Web Design. She intends to transfer to Northern Arizona University to complete the final units for her Bachelor of Science in Humanities degree from NAU.

Michelle’s interest in advertising was sparked by her parents, who ran an advertising firm from the family home. Michelle’s goal is to open her own Web design company. “The sky is not the limit,” she says confidently.

Patti Gardiner of PCC’s Digital Arts program says of Michelle, “She loves the advertising industry, and her professional attitude and drive will make her successful in whatever path she follows.”


Desert Vista Endowment update

I am pleased to report that the Desert Vista Endowment has reached a milestone. As of February 8, the Endowment had totaled $160,815, more than halfway toward the goal of $310,000 by 2011.

The Endowment is a fund-raising component of a $5.4 million Title V grant awarded to Desert Vista and West campuses. Funds raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the federal government up to $310,000.

When fully funded at $620,000, interest from the endowment will generate approximately $31,000 a year for scholarships, program development and facilities at Desert Vista. The educational opportunities funded by the endowment will strengthen the county’s workforce as it emerges from the recession. The entire community will benefit.

The College is grateful for recent gifts from the Martha R. Neff Foundation, the estate of Alice and George Papcun, and contributions made in honor the retirement of longtime PCC Foundation support specialist Joyce Gee.

If you would like to support the Desert Vista Endowment fund-raising campaign, you can find details on how to contribute on our Web site, or call 520-206-4646.

Teacher Education Program

The College’s Teacher Education Program is working with the Tucson Unified School District to help train reading specialists for TUSD.

The program is offering TUSD teachers five Reading Endorsement courses, each lasting six weeks. By July, as many as 30 teachers will have completed coursework for the Reading Endorsement.

In recognition that TUSD’s teachers have full-time jobs, each course is offered in a convenient hybrid format that combines face-to-face meetings with online coursework. Students meet teachers once a week on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Online work comprises 29 of the required 45 hours of coursework for each class. The teachers are taught how to improve student literacy development through lesson design and assessment, and to diagnose and remediate student reading problems. The majority of course readings and resources are delivered through PCC's online portal.

Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Jo McLaughlin

Barbara Jo McLaughlinFor seven weeks during the summer of 2008, Desert Vista Campus art instructor Barbara Jo McLaughlin journeyed through northern India and Kashmir. The trip included an intense six-day trek through the Himalayas, reaching altitudes of 14,000 feet.

Barbara Jo says it took her a year to process the experience – “all that I saw, smelled, and heard, all the colors, the forms, the culture” – and turn it into a series of sculptures, which currently are on display at a downtown gallery.

Many of the sculptures inspired by her journey recognize that ancient aspects of India’s culture have survived to the present. For example, “Well” is an appreciation of centuries-old farming and irrigation techniques still in use today.

Much of Barbara Jo’s sculpture is created from ordinary materials, such as burlap or the materials used to pack mailing cartons. “I packrat stuff,” she says. A cherry-wood log that she purchased in 1986 became a sculpture 23 years later. “I finally figured out what to do with it,” Barbara Jo says with a laugh.

Barbara Jo has taught art at Desert Vista since its opening in 1993, except for a two-year hiatus taken to manage a local art gallery. In addition to India, she has visited Tibet and plans trips to Mexico and South America.

Barbara Jo shares what she has seen and learned on her travels with her colleagues and students. She says it is increasingly challenging to get today’s art and art history students to leave the virtual worlds they often inhabit and focus on the real world around them. But Barbara Jo relishes the challenge. “I’m glad I’m teaching the classes I teach,” she says. “It’s easier for me to engage my students.”

Dr. John Carroll: On loan to TUSD

Dr. John CarrollMore than 1,300 employees. Facilities at 127 sites. And 311 school buses. Dr. John Carroll’s responsibilities as Interim Chief Operating Officer of the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) are indeed huge.

John is Director of Administrative Services at Downtown Campus, but since Jan. 11 has been on loan to TUSD through an Intergovernmental Agreement with the College. Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Celania-Fagen reached out to TUSD’s community partners following the resignation last year of its Chief Operating Officer (COO). John will remain at TUSD for a maximum of six months as TUSD searches for a new COO.

TUSD benefits from John’s 12 years at PCC and can take advantage of his extensive background in information technology and as a former interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities at the College.

The College benefits as well, John says. He will be able to share with PCC colleagues the knowledge he gains from his unique experience. “TUSD is such a complex organization,” he says. John works with public oversight committees, advises the TUSD Board and Dr. Celania-Fagen on operational issues, and interacts with the district’s K-12 academic leadership on how to employ technology in the classroom. “It’s education from a completely different perspective,” John says.

For example, in K-12 the transportation of students represents a major responsibility, as does ensuring the safety of the hundreds of young student-athletes who compete in elementary school, middle school and high school.

Dr. Celania-Fagen says John has been “an absolute lifesaver for my leadership team and operations departments. Dr. Carroll has hit the ground running and is doing a spectacular job . . . . It is truly an example of collaboration and partnership and the creation of a win-win solution.”

John points out that in the end the biggest beneficiaries of the arrangement are the county’s taxpayers, who will reap the savings inherent in the smooth, seamless operation of TUSD as it transitions to a new COO. Says John: “Everyone comes out ahead.”

Alumni Spotlight:  Dr. Chris Bustamante

Dr. Chris BustamanteDr. Chris Bustamante last month took over as interim president of Rio Salado College in Tempe. It is the latest stop on a career path that began in 1977 with a daily drive from Chris’ home in Marana to Pima Community College’s West Campus.

Chris graduated with honors from Marana High School in 1977. He was offered academic scholarships to the state’s three universities but chose attend PCC, which also had offered him a scholarship. “I came from a small high school in a small town. I was not ready academically or socially” to attend a large university. “Pima was just perfect for me,” Chris says.

At PCC, Chris says he gained confidence in his abilities and improved his studying skills. He went to school during the day and worked full-time for the Pima County Parks and Recreation Department in Marana, living at home to save money.

Chris left Pima with the equivalent of an Associate in Business Administration degree, and attended the University of Arizona. He graduated from UA in 1983 with a bachelor’s in Business Administration/Finance, and later earned master and doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Chris has served as Rio Salado’s Vice President of Community Development and Student Services since 2006. Prior to his career at Rio Salado, Chris served the Maricopa Community College District in a variety of government relations positions, and also worked in the Phoenix Union High School District and Arizona Legislature.

Roy Flores

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