September 28, 2020
On September 23, 2020, a grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, charged only one of the police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Most importantly, the charges handed down were not related to her death. I know many of you are struggling with this decision, and it has impacted you personally and professionally. More importantly, the decision will have a lasting impact on our communities. Last week, I was so upset with the decision that I decided to wait until today to write about Breonna Taylor. After some self-reflection this weekend, I think it is essential we schedule some time and space this week for faculty and staff to have an open conversation about the decision. I have asked Pilar Huffman, Professional Development Manager, to schedule this open conversation for Friday, October 2, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. via Zoom Meeting. The Zoom Meeting information is available here.
Also, I am encouraged about our work in response to the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Call to Action, particularly our response in the areas of Law Enforcement Training and Campus Climate Dialogue. More information on the Compton College Response to the California Community College Chancellor's Office Call to Action is available in the President/CEO Message - August 3, 2020, President/CEO Message - August 27, 2020, and the President/CEO Message - September 17, 2020. We will be sharing a draft of our response to the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Call to Action in a future President/CEO Message.
The President/CEO Message - September 28, 2020, includes COVID-19 information and other campus-related updates.
Compton College COVID-19 Update
On September 26, 2020, there were 4,071 newly recorded confirmed cases. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from before yesterday. The state now has a total of 802,308 positive cases. There has been a total of 15,587 deaths in the state. For more information, go to www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019. Compton College continues to operate at Level Four - Severe Infection Rate, according to the Compton CCD Pandemic Outbreak - Emergency Operations Plan.
As of September 25, 2020, Compton College has generated 1,398 Full-Time Equivalent Students for fall 2020. Our fill rate is at 57%, and our seats filled is 9,597. Click here for the current fall 2020 Enrollment Snapshot. Mid-term classes begin on Saturday, October 17, 2020. All District residents will be receiving a postcard next week, promoting the eight-week mid-term classes. Advertisements start this week online, on the air, and along the local freeways. All students - new, current, and returning - are encouraged to register for mid-term classes to get ahead and continue progress toward their educational and career goals.
Student Resources for Fall 2020 Students
This semester, we implemented one application for Student Resources, including laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, food resources, financial resources, and housing grants. We have 402 students participating in the laptop loan program (including the students returning from spring 2020 and summer 2020), 438 students have received Wi-Fi hotspots (including the students returning from spring 2020 and summer 2020). As mentioned in the President/CEO Message - August 20, 2020, we have partnered with the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) to implement the Shallow Subsidy Housing Assistance Program. As of today, 169 Compton College students have been referred to this program. CRCD will provide up to $250 per month of housing grants, housing stability planning, and linkage to other services to 112 students during the 2020-2021 year. Additional information on the partnership with CRCD on the Shallow Subsidy Housing Assistance Program will be provided in a future President/CEO Message.
To combat food insecurities, Compton College is providing food and meals delivered directly to students' addresses. Currently enrolled Compton College students can receive six EveryTable meals or a $50 meal voucher to be redeemed on UberEats. Students may choose one of these options and sign up every week. Last week, 75 Compton College students received EveryTable food deliveries, and 88 vouchers have been issued to students thus far.
Finally, through the Compton College (CARES) Act, Compton College is able to offer financial assistance to students in need. The purpose of the funds is to award emergency financial aid grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. On September 25, 2020, the Compton College Financial Aid Office awarded 644 Compton College students with $700 each for a total of $449,400.
President/CEO Virtual Student Forum
Many students participated in the President/CEO Virtual Student Forum held on September 24, 2020. Students mentioned the lack of follow-up from faculty and staff regarding counseling, nursing applications, and student resources. Technical issues with laptops and Wi-Fi were brought up and the return policy for students who register for the next term/semester. Students asked about spring 2021 classes and plans for the 2021 commencement ceremony. Also, one student asked about the 2019-2020 dean's list. I forwarded the comments and questions to the appropriate managers/supervisors for prompt follow-up. A communication will be sent to students regarding the laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot return policy, the dean's list, and whether the nursing application deadline will be extended. Overall, I felt the Virtual Student Forum went very well, and thank you to all the Compton College staff who participated in the form.
Compton College 2021 Commencement Ceremony
With the decision to remain online for spring 2021 announced in the President/CEO Message - September 24, 2020, the question of whether or not commencement will be in-person or held virtually has been asked by faculty, staff, and students. I am leaning toward a virtual ceremony again, where graduates can participate by submitting photos or videos, similar to the 2020 ceremony, which can be viewed online here. Logistically, an in-person ceremony would be challenging to coordinate while still maintaining physical distance and limiting the risk of exposure. And because planning must begin well in advance, a decision needs to be made by Thursday, November 5, 2020. Therefore, I am requesting feedback from faculty, staff, and students to be emailed to Andree Pacheco, Director of Student Development and Athletics, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Consultative Council Goals
In the President/CEO Message - September 10, 2020, I mentioned the Collaborative Governance process and encouraged you to visit the Compton College Campus Committee webpage to review committee meeting agendas and minutes. I wanted to share with you the 2020-2021 goals of the Consultative Council Committee, which are available here. When other committee goals have been developed, we will share them with you in a future President/CEO Message.
California Community College Trustee Fellowship Program
In spring 2020, Compton College was selected to participate in the California Community College Trustee Fellowship Program offered by the California Community College Chancellor's Office, Foundation for California Community Colleges, and the Aspen Institute for College Excellence Program. Board President Sonia Lopez, Board Vice President Dr. Sharoni Little, and Board member Dr. Deborah LeBlanc are participating in the Trustee Fellowship Program. The Compton Community College District Board of Trustees has participated in three fellowship meetings on June 19, 2020, July 24, 2020, and September 25, 2020. At the last Trustee Fellowship meeting, I was asked to present on Managing Budgets, Enrollment, and Policies to Advance Equity in Light of COVID-19 to the participants. A copy of my PowerPoint presentation from September 25, 2020, is available here.
In closing, thank you to the faculty, staff, and students who participated in the African American Male Education Network Development (A2MEND) organization nationwide discussion titled "Reform or Dismantle? Beyond Diagnosing Racism!" It was a powerful discussion. Next week, we will be scheduling a follow-up meeting with the individuals who attended to discuss the event and potential action steps for Compton College.
The next A2MEND discussion is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020, and is titled "Compounded Oppression: Sister Circle." The panel includes Tamika Mallory, Ijeoma Olou, and Dr. Tricia Rose. Compton CCD will provide financial support for employees (including faculty, Classified staff, managers/administrators) and students. If you are interested in participating in this national discussion, RSVP with Pilar Huffman, Professional Development Manager at email@example.com.
Please be safe, and have a wonderful week.
Keith Curry, Ed.D.
(preferred pronouns: he/him/his)