Message from Vice President

As we continue our work toward independent accreditation, there are some important updates to note. El Camino College has received a letter from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) informing us that we have resolved all recommendations and concerns as previously identified.

The letter follows the visit from the ACCJC accreditation team last November, where team members met with representatives at both El Camino College and ECC Compton Center. A confidential draft report was prepared by the team following that visit.

The commission reviewed the report at its Januarymeeting. The report is now available for review online:

In other accreditation news, the ECC Compton Accreditation Steering Committee (ASC) met recently and identified five subcommittees to assess and respond to the ACCJC’s 21 eligibility criteria for accreditation.

The subcommittees are divided into the following areas: Organization, Instruction/Faculty, Student Services/Public Information, Financial Integrity, and Planning/Evaluation.

It will take the support and participation of faculty, staff, students and managers at the ECC Compton Center to complete the work that lies ahead. Thank you in advance for your participation and contributions toward our goal of an accredited college in the Compton District

Student success

William Allen Young to Deliver 2011 Commencement Address

William Allen Young PictureEl Camino College Compton Center is pleased to announce that William Allen Young will deliver this year’s commencement address on June 9. Young is the founder/president of a nonprofit organization, an acclaimed actor and sought after motivational speaker.

Young will draw on his extraordinary life experiences to motivate ECC Compton Center’s new graduates to become future leaders and advocates for positive change. He is known as an advocate for higher education and for inspiring young people—two things that led him to establish his nonprofit organization, the Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment.

Young’s personal journey to higher education began when he discovered acting. A Washington D.C. native who spent his formative years living in South Central Los Angeles, Young began acting at age 13 and studied at the famed Inner City Acting Academy. He honed his skills at the University of Southern California (USC) where he earned a master’s degree in Sociolinguistics and a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Debate.

Now, Young is recognized by millions as Frank Mitchell from the television series, Moesha, or as Judge Ratner from CSI: Miami. He also held roles in the Academy Award-nominated films, A Soldier’s Story and District 9.

A talented orator, Young also finds time to speak at organizations such as Northrop Grumman, NAACP, Los Angeles Community College District and Stanford University. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, educator Helen Young, and their two sons.

Be sure to join us on June 9 at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the success of our students.

First Year Experience Program Now Accepting Applications

FYE Group PictureThe First Year Experience Program (FYE) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 freshman cohort. Students accepted into this program experience a myriad of benefits including early registration, an FYE bilingual counselor and dedicated FYE faculty, university field trips, peer mentors and more. All of this is intended to help students new to college increase their chances of success by setting their academic and career plans on the right track.

It is the intention of the FYE program to attract diverse and well-prepared transfer students. Students enrolled in the FYE program can simultaneously complete the requirements of other programs. In fact, the most successful students are those enrolled in multiple programs and utilizing a wide range of ECC Compton Center services.

Students must be graduating from high school during the 2011 school year in order to participate in the FYE program beginning fall 2011. All interested applicants may submit an application online at:

Information sessions for the program are first come, first serve and applicants are required to attend a session prior to June 10 to receive early registration for summer and fall 2011 classes. Students must reserve their spot online: Upcoming dates for information sessions include: 5/25, 6/1 and 6/8.

Please encourage students to apply for the FYE program if you believe they are qualified. For more information, please contact Rebecca Mason at 310-900-1600, ext. 2505,

SB 1440 to Ease Transfer Process for ECC Compton Center Students

In our ongoing effort to improve student success and provide quality educational programs, ECC Compton Center, and higher education institutions across the state, are now receiving support from the government in the form of new legislation. Passed in September 2010, Senate Bill 1440 established the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act (Senate Bill No. 1440.pdf)

The STAR Act requires a student who receives an associate degree for transfer to be deemed eligible for transfer into a CSU baccalaureate program.  Further, the law guarantees admission to the CSU system at the junior level for such students and prohibits the CSUs from requiring transfer students from repeating similar courses already completed. The law intends to help fill the anticipated college-graduate gap and shortage of educated workers by motivating students to pursue their AA/AS degrees while preparing for transfer. (SB 1440 Fact Sheet)

The statute supports ECC Compton Center’s efforts to help students achieve their academic goals. The benefits to students include reduced confusion about the complex transfer process, a passport to the CSU system, and considerable cost savings for both students and the state, thus allowing for access to education for more students annually.

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is coordinating a statewide response in the form of a transfer model curriculum (TMC). To review the drafts that have been completed, go to the Transfer Model Curriculum Review Area at

Of course, there is work required on our part to comply with this new legislation, but in the long run the benefits are worth our dedicated efforts. We will keep you updated on the progress of implementation of SB 1440 in future issues of Center News.

Student Profile: Prisyla Ramirez

Prisyla Ramirez PictureFeeling positive and a part of a friendly and personal educational environment, Prisyla Ramirez enjoys attending ECC Compton Center. “I go home every day pleasantly surprised by the people I meet here.” Ramirez says. Ramirez is thankful for the sense of community she feels at Compton Center. “During an episode caused by my Lupus disease, which compromised my ability to walk one day, students carried me out of class,” recalls Ramirez. “Even students I don’t know are willing help me.” 

Ramirez transferred from El Camino College to ECC Compton Center in May 2010. “Upon starting at ECC Compton Center, I fell in love with the personal feel of the environment, from the teachers to the students I have received a lot of support and care,” says Ramirez. She was also inspired to make a difference at school, and currently serves as ASB Commissioner of Activities. “I believe I can be useful here,” she said. “My positive experience at Compton Center motivated me to run for ASB, to help grow its capabilities and get more students involved.”  For example, Ramirez has worked toward enhancing the current recycling program.

Ramirez appreciates the services provided by the Welcome Center, which has provided support and extra motivation in her studies. “They walk you through things step-by-step with a business first, play later attitude,” she said. “If you want to be successful, you have stay focused on the work at hand to obtain larger goals.”

Ramirez is planning to transfer to California State University, Fullerton to major in liberal studies after graduating from ECC Compton Center with an associate degree. Having an interest in disabled children, Ramirez would like to start her career as a special education teacher. “I would also like to match families to services and resources that help children with special needs,” Ramirez adds.   

Math Professor Participates in Jaime Escalante Legacy Project

ECC Compton Center Math Professor Ruth Zambrano will spend this summer as an instructor for the Jaime Escalante program. The Escalante program is an integrated sequence of intermediate and advanced mathematics coursework intended to help middle and high school students gain acceptance into university-level math and science programs. Jaime Escalante was a math teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles who inspired his students to achieve remarkable success. His “hard work for student and teacher alike” approach is chronicled in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver and lives on today through the Escalante program.

A trademark of the Escalante program is that students and teachers immerse themselves in a demanding academic regimen in order to cover one year of high school math in seven weeks. Since students attend class four hours per day, five days a week during the summer, instructors for the Escalante program are carefully selected based on their teaching skills and a passionate dedication to their students.

Zambrano has been an instructor with the program since 2007. Her approachable, attentive teaching style is a benefit to students in the Escalante program, as well as to students at ECC Compton Center. “After spending four hours per day, five days a week with students, you really get to know their strengths and weaknesses and are better able to meet their needs,” says Zambrano. “I try to do the same thing with my students at Compton Center by giving step-by-step instruction, creating a comfortable environment for questions and making myself available for one-on-one tutoring.”

Zambrano spent her formative years in Huntington Park and Lynwood. One aspect of participating in the Escalante program and teaching at ECC Compton Center that she finds particularly rewarding is working with students in the communities where she grew up. “I see myself in my students and want to show them that anything is possible. One of the greatest feelings in teaching is giving others the skills they need to achieve their goals,” she said.

Status of Compton Center’s Compliance with Accreditation Eligibility Criteria

Recently the ASC released the results of its assessment of the ACCJC Eligibility Criteria and Compton Center’s compliance with each. Currently, the Center does not meet five of the eligibility criteria.

It is important to note that of the 21 eligibility criteria, Compton Center meets ten of these because of processes and programs being provided by El Camino College. Since Compton Center is currently part of El Camino College, this is appropriate for establishing eligibility but not for full independent accreditation. Compton Center will need to establish the processes for all functions in order to meet the criteria on its own.

Areas of Deficiency:

Administrative Capacity – Independently, the Center does not have sufficient staff, with appropriate preparation and experience, to provide the administrative services necessary to support all of its programs. At this time, many administrative functions and student services for Compton Center are performed by El Camino College; Compton Center will need to establish the resources and processes for these functions independently.

Institutional Planning and Evaluation – The completion of an Educational Master Plan is critical for the planning and evaluation of eligibility in the process to accreditation. The plan still needs to be completed and it must clearly document that results are linked to budget planning and allocation, as well as Student Learning Outcomes.

Student Learning and Achievement – Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are the specific measurable results that are expected at the end of a learning experience (i.e. a course; a program of study; a degree or certificate; or set of interactions with student or library services). SLOs are measured at the course, program and institutional levels. The assessment, evaluation, and documentation of evidence for SLOs in many areas has not yet begun and is a critical area of deficiency in meeting the eligibility criteria.

Areas of Concern:

Financial Resources – A full assessment of financial resources is still pending, however it is evident some areas are significantly under-funded. While enrollment grew to a record level providing the necessary financial resources to support the Center, the state’s current fiscal situation will have an adverse impact on Compton Center’s ability to support student learning programs and services independently.

Financial Accountability – While the Center can show that two years of the required external financial audits have been conducted, there are several findings without documentation to show how or if they have been addressed. A certified follow-up audit will be conducted to include an explanation of all outstanding issues that have been addressed.

Facilities Update

Measure C Facilities Bond Update

The following are projects supported by Measure CC and state funds, and are either under construction or scheduled to begin within the next year. The total capital construction budget is $89,140,650 (State Capital Budget of $72,378,000 plus Measure CC Bond Fund of $16,762,650).

It is important to note that while we recognize the amount of work still to be done, there is an established process that must be followed. Facilities projects have had to be prioritized and this prioritization is continually reevaluated and updated. Updates to our last report in the March Center News are reflected here.

Capital Projects in Construction Phase:

LRC Barrel Vault Completion
Budget: $2,178,950
Status:  Construction Phase
Completion:  August 2011

LRC Interior Programming Enhancements
Budget:  $840,000
Status:  Construction Phase
Completion:  February 2012

LRC HVAC Modifications
Budget:  $17,700
Status:  Construction Phase
Completion:  January 2012

Little Theater (Music Building #19 North Wing Renovation)
Budget:  $1,400,000
Status:  Approved for Construction
Completion:  April 2012

Infrastructure Replacement Phase 1
Budget:  $36,204,000
Status:  Approved for Construction
Completion:  October 2012

Campus Wide Lighting Phase 1
Budget:  $1,511,000
Status:  Construction Phase
Completion:  October 2012

Capital Projects in Design Phase:

Server Room/MIS Building Enhancements
Budget:  $1,160,000
Status:  Design Phase
Completion:  November 2011

Allied Health Renovation
Budget:  $10,946,000
Status:  Design Phase
Completion:  October 2013

Infrastructure Replacement Phase 2
Budget:  $18,696,000
Status:  Ahead of schedule
Completion:  December 2012

Campus Wide Lighting Phase 2
Budget:  $875,000
Status:  Ahead of schedule
Completion:  December 2012

Final Project Proposals:

Instructional Building 1 Replacement
Budget:  $17,275,000
Status:  Funding contingent upon state passing general obligation bond

Other News

New Interim Administrators Appointed

Two interim administrators were recently appointed to positions in the Student Services area. Both have demonstrated their dedication to students and have a proven track record of success.

Valarie O’Guynn is an alumna of the former Compton Community College and is the new Interim Dean of Student Services. For 17 years, she has supported students in the EOP&S/CARE office as an EOP&S specialist, CARE coordinator, EOP&S/CARE counselor and, most recently, as the EOP&S/CARE Director. O’Guynn earned both her master’s degree in education and counseling and bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Elizabeth Martinez will be filling in for Valarie as Interim Director of EOP&S/CARE. Since 2005, Martinez has played an integral role in helping students transfer to four-year institutions as the Transfer Center coordinator. Prior to joining ECC Compton Center, she was a counselor at the Center for Community Counseling at California State University, San Diego (SDSU). Currently, Martinez is a doctoral student at UCLA in the Educational Leadership program. She earned a master’s degree in education, specializing in multicultural counseling, from SDSU and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCLA.

Compton Community College District Special Trustee Presents Update
During State of the District Address

Dr. Genethia Hudley-Hayes PictureOn April 8, 2011, during her first State of the District Address, Compton Community College District (CCCD) Special Trustee Dr. Genethia Hudley-Hayes acknowledged that the constituency of approximately 200 people before her “are not only interested in the Center, but are concerned about the future of the District and its ability to once again have an accredited institution within its boundaries.

Addressing the students, community members, District employees, elected officials and partners from El Camino College in attendance, Hudley-Hayes confirmed, “You are here to get facts and data that will allow you to understand where we really are, and where we really need to go in order to have a fully accredited institution in the Compton Community College District.”

Hudley-Hayes stressed the importance of the partnership with the El Camino Community College District and compared the arrangement to the CCCD being like a patient on life support. “Had it not been for a 2006 agreement with the El Camino Community College District to provide accredited curriculum and programs at ECC Compton Center, our District would have closed its doors,” she said. “We are a District that has no college; we are the landlords—we have buildings, a maintenance staff, and a fabulous campus, but we don’t have an accredited institution.”

She went on to explain that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which specifically accredits community colleges, operates independently from the Governor, the state legislature, and the Chancellor of California Community Colleges. The Commission’s only obligation to students and the public is to ensure that any school it accredits meets basic standards. The ACCJC is an independent institution empowered by the federal government and provides its services under the auspices of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Hudley-Hayes also clarified the role of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) in the equation and warned against placing hope on FCMAT scores alone. “FCMAT has no official impact on the accreditation process,” she explained. “FCMAT is basically an executive coach for public education institutions. It has a history of helping K-12 schools and community colleges get back on track from a financial and management responsibility perspective.” She likened FCMAT to a tutor who helps a student prepare for an annual test in which the exact same knowledge and professionalism must be sustained every year succeeding the first test.

During the State of the District Address, Hudley-Hayes clearly indicated the District does not yet have the level of sustainability necessary to have local governance and there are many improvements still to be made in areas such as financial systems and structures, business operations, facilities upgrades and maintenance, sound Foundation management practices, and building a positive relationship and reputation with the ACCJC.

To address these issues, Hudley-Hayes has already appointed Interim CEO Keith Curry, hired new legal teams, reports progress to the Chancellor monthly, and is meeting with area educational leaders, city councils, and legislative leaders to provide them with access and accurate updates. In addition, she is working with the CCCD Board to develop a strong, collaborative Board of Trustees in order for the ACCJC to see that District has elected officials in place who can, and will, govern responsibly and professionally.

Hudley-Hayes concluded her remarks by describing herself as an “unapologetic agitator.” “The road to accreditation is going to be a long one that won’t happen until we demand and deliver excellence inside the institution,” she said. “I’m asking you to discern the facts from fiction.”

Also participating in the State of the District Address and lending full support to Special Trustee Hudley-Hayes were the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges Dr. Jack Scott; the Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor of the Second District County of Los Angeles; Dr. Ray Cortines, former Superintendant, Los Angeles Unified School District; and Reverend Norman Johnson, First New Christian Missionary Baptist Church.

Ridley-Thomas followed up on Dr. Hudley-Hayes address by stating that the traits of character and candor count, and then he made a call for solidarity. “If you respect someone, use your resources to help them carry out the job they have been assigned,” he said. “If there is a will, there is a way, and I believe this institution will yet again distinguish itself—and it can.”

A video of the State of the District Address in its entirety is available online:

Inaugural Tartar Athletics Hall of Fame Event

The Compton Community College District hosted an inaugural Tartar Athletics Hall of Fame event on April 23 that raised funds for current athletic programs. Inductees, ECC Compton Center faculty, students and staff, as well as community supporters, gathered in the Student Lounge for a VIP reception and later in the gym for a program to celebrate the past, present and future of the Tartar Athletic Program.

“I have never seen such a line-up of talent and history honored by a single athletic program in the state,” said Albert “Lefty” Olguin, Athletic Director, El Camino College Compton Center. A former professional scout for the Cincinatti Reds and hall of fame inductee from Los Angeles Harbor College, Olguin emphasized the “need to recognize and remind people of the crucial role community colleges and their athletic programs play in our community, especially during these tough economic times. What better way than by creating the Tartar Athletics Hall of Fame and recognizing our past.”

The history of the Tartar Athletic Program begins in 1927. Early luminaries include gold medalist Cornelius “Corny” Johnson. Johnson won the gold medal in the high jump and helped lead an American sweep of the medals at the 1936 Olympic Games. Pro football hall-of-fame running back Hugh McElhenny’s 1948 Tartars rolled to a 11-0-0 season, and a world record was set by Olympic Discus Champion Sim Iness in 1952. In 1956, Charlie Dumas became an Olympic Gold Medalist and the first human to high-jump seven feet. These are just a few of the inductees recognized during the Inaugural Tartar Athletics Hall of Fame event.

Ron Richardson, a 6’ 10” center from the undefeated 33-0 Basketball State Championship Team from 1970, was also inducted along with his teammates. The team’s scoring record of 166 points in one game will never be broken since it happened before the 3 point shot. Richardson explains the significance of this tribute, “This was more than a team. Up to this day, we are a family that takes care of each other. For us, the opportunity to specifically honor Coach Newman as an inductee is something extremely important and well deserved.” Coach James Newman recorded two State Championships, and coached one of the only undefeated basketball teams in California Community College history.

ECC Compton Center Recognizes Retiring Faculty

The faculty members listed below have retired from the Compton Community College District. El Camino College Compton Center would like to thank them for their service, knowledge and leadership. Their contributions to student success will be remembered and their day-to-day presence will be missed.

Hilda Hathman, Childhood Education
Robert Morgan, Real Estate
Eleanor Sonido, Library
Mohammad Sharifian, Physics
Ella Stewart, Speech
Herkie Williams, Psychology
Hung Wu, Chemistry

News & notes

More Students Applying for Financial Aid

ECC Compton Center is seeing positive results from its ongoing “Need Cash for College?” financial aid awareness campaign. In 2010, ECC Compton Center had 2,903 students submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. This year that number increased to 3,244 students.

The campaign was designed to help students manage the rising cost of college, and seeks to inform them about financial aid opportunities. ECC Compton Center’s outreach to students leading up the March 2, 2011, FAFSA deadline was comprehensive and included financial aid workshops at local high schools. A “Cash for College” fair; website updates and portal notices; student emails; message points for faculty, outreach staff and counselors; as well as fliers, posters, banners and news releases are all a part of this very successful campaign.

Northern California University Tours

ECC Compton Center students packed their bags for a Spring Break trip to visit several Northern California Universities. Priority selection for the tour was given to students who are on a transfer track, planning to transfer in Fall 2012 and have a GPA of 2.8 or higher.

Elizabeth Martinez, director of EOPS/CARE and former transfer center coordinator, led the tour that made stops at the University of California campuses of Berkeley, Davis and Santa Cruz; and California State University campuses of Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose. On each campus students spent time touring the grounds and facilities, as well as meeting with students and representatives from the school. This provided them with the opportunity to gain insight into each school’s admission process, programs of study, student services and campus life.

The Transfer Center facilitates the Northern California University tour every year because it believes campus visits are critical in making the right college choice. In addition to this five-day tour, the Transfer Center hosts representatives from many colleges and universities throughout the year.

ECC Compton Center Celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month Drummer PictureClick here for a photo gallery of the events.

Compton native Gerald C. Rivers, professional actor and motivational speaker, gave two performances of his one-man show “What Do You Dream Of” as part of El Camino College Compton Center’s month long celebration of Black History Month. Rivers, who performed the show first for students and later for members of the community, brought the voice, spirit and teachings of Dr. King to life with his dynamic interpretation of the “I Have A Dream Speech,” as well as passages from other speeches. The “What Do You Dream Of” program was the feature event in a series of special activities that took place throughout the month.

The kick-off ceremony included a drum processional, dance performance, and an African marketplace. Students also attended the Pan African Film Festival to see the hip hop documentary “Black August”; showcased their original works with a series of theatrical productions; enjoyed a bus excursion to the “Malcolm X Festival; and participated in “Karamu”, a communal sharing of African and African American cuisine.

Women’s History Month

The worldwide theme for this year’s Women’s History Month was, “Our History is Our Strength.” The Child Development Department, Associated Student Body and Office of Student Life formed a special Women’s Month Planning Committee. Committee members planned and sponsored three events that celebrated this year’s theme and the significant contributions of women to society.

The first event was a cultural tea and Women’s History Month kick off. Attendees gained insight into women from around the world with an international women’s film screening, by hearing from inspirational speakers and viewing cultural dances, apparel, hats, poetry and more. On March 26 in the Student Lounge, the annual Women’s History Month Conference took place. It featured interactive workshops and a keynote by Dr. Ernie Smith, MD from Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital/Charles Drew University.

Annual Career Resource Expo Provides Opportunity

ECC Compton Center hosted its annual Employment/Career Resource Expo on March 30. Representatives from various industries presented full-time and part-time opportunities to students and local community members in the Student Lounge. Attendees gained valuable experience talking to employers about careers in everything from customer service to law enforcement.

Partners for this event include: ECC Compton Center Career and Technical Education (CTE), CalWorks, Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and the Employment Development Department Los Angeles South/Compton.

Fashion Students Stage Local Fashion Show

Fashionistaz Fashion Club PictureIn March, ECC Compton Center’s Fashionistaz Fashion Club hosted “Priscy’s Prom Fashionista Event,” an annual spring fashion show spearheaded by the club’s advisor and mentor Professor Priscilla “Priscy” Ratcliff. The fashion event, which took place at the Southbay Pavillion mall, featured the stylish creations of students enrolled in beginning clothing construction, advanced sewing and fashion merchandising/ entrepreneurship classes. Professor Ratcliff also showcased her personal Prom and Evening Collection. Students from the Cosmetology department at El Camino College styled student models from ECC Compton Center with futuristic hair and make-up, which added a theatrical flair to the event. Special attendees including Barbara Perez, Vice President, El Camino College Compton Center; Jim Dear, Mayor of Carson; Patty Gebert, Dean of Cosmetology at El Camino College; and Sheila Murray, Instructor of Cosmetology at El Camino College; enjoyed the overall fashion experience. In addition to two fashion shows, all attendees were also treated to an appearance by a celebrity guest model from the Ebony Fashion Fair tour, complimentary gifts and the chance to win a makeover.

Cesar Chávez Day Celebration

Cesar Chavez PictureActor Roberto Alcaraz recently inspired and informed students, staff and local community members with his engaging portrayal of civil rights leader Cesar Chávez. His “Cesar Chávez Speaks” performance featured excerpts from speeches, fictional interpretations about the “movimiento” (the Movement), and offered insight into present day civil and worker’s rights. The 45-minute performance was part of a series of activities that took place on March 31 in observance of Cesar Chávez Day. ASB and the Office of Student Life hosted the day’s festivities that entertained with music, poetry readings, a delicious Mexican cuisine for purchase and a produce exhibit. The produce exhibit samples were taken home by students at the end of the program, but served as a symbol of the plight of those who were catalysts of a movement designed to improve conditions of migrant workers and their families. 

Enrollment Report: Spring

El Camino College Compton Center increased the number of sections offered in the spring by 16 percent; and seats are up by 19 percent. With a headcount of 5,444 students, ECC Compton Center has 646 additional students over the same time last year. At 2,617 FTES, ECC Compton Center is at 120 percent of its census day target and has exceeded its final FTES goal of 2,500. After the second eight-week session, additional FTES will be added for future enrollments.