Vice President's Message
Barbara Perez

Barbara PerezAt ECC Compton Center, the No. 1 priority is student success. We are here for the benefit of the students and our mission is to help them achieve their educational goals. Often institutions of higher education must evolve as necessary to accommodate changing student needs. The time has come for ECC Compton Center to make new systemic and organizational changes needed to help students succeed and fulfill their goals.

Following an extensive process, involving much research, discussion and planning, a decision was reached to go forward with a reorganization of the Academic Divisions at Compton Center. This is an important improvement in support of student success, and I am excited to see the outcomes it will yield for Compton Center’s current and future students!

For the reasons outlined in this message, the divisions will be realigned effective July 1, 2013 to create a new division that focuses on the key disciplines for student success and student support services. To view the new Academic Division Organization Chart, click here.

Similar to many community colleges, ECC Compton Center is experiencing a large number of students enrolling who are underprepared for college-level work. Many of them lack both the educational and cultural experience, as well as the fundamental academic competencies to succeed in collegiate and professional environments. This is a statewide concern, with the widening disconnect between students’ goals and their skills prompting the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to identify the Basic Skills agenda as one of its top priorities.
To address this challenge, discussions have taken place over the past six months regarding the structure of the Academic Divisions at Compton Center. The current structure was examined including consideration of a new position, director of Library and Student Support Programs, which had been proposed and supported in 2010. The importance of having someone focus on the support programs, which are key to student success, rose through the planning process. 

Under the direction of the dean of academic programs, the Student Success committee (composed of teaching faculty, counselors, Learning Resource faculty, and student services professionals) took the results of the Chaffey Report to generate a Student Success Plan.  The committee identified five primary strategies to address the needs of the underprepared student and increase student retention and persistence enabling students to accomplish their goals.  After the passage SB 1456, Student Success Act of 2012, the committee aligned the Chancellor’s Office Student Success Task Force recommendations with the strategies they had already identified. 

Research shows that students typically don’t exceed their own expectations, particularly when it comes to academic work; however, students will go beyond what they think they can do under certain conditions. One of these instances is when their instructors, counselors and mentors expect, challenge and support them to go beyond their own expectations. This can be achieved through Compton Center’s reorganization, which aligns with a number of student success initiatives systemwide.

Close examination of the Student Success Plan and the Student Success Institute proposal shows that they have the same goal—increase student retention, persistence, graduation and transfer rates.  The Student Success Plan is more complete as it includes the recommendations dictated by the Student Success Act of 2012. However, ideas introduced in the institute proposal will help strengthen the plan. The institute’s proposal recognizes the importance of administrative oversight of a student success plan, student orientations, faculty professional development, faculty cohorts, and learning communities.

The Student Success Plan also addresses each of these elements with the five strategies:

  1. Establish Student Success Committee and Administrative Leadership
  2. Evaluate and modify/enhance the matriculation processes and policies focusing on barriers to student success identified in the Basic Skills assessment (Chaffey Report)
  3. Provide support for discipline faculty to revise basic skills courses
  4. Provide academic support resources and services, including tutoring, in all disciplines as appropriate
  5. Institutionalize and expand learning communities

Although it would be easier to sit back and let the status quo continue, I believe that would be a mistake. The needs of ECC Compton Center students must be addressed, and they are the ones who will benefit most from this reorganization.

The ECC Compton Center Student Success Plan and this reorganization are intended to address the skills gap and provide the necessary components to improve student retention and persistence, and enable all students to succeed in occupational, degree, or transfer programs.

Student Success

Degrees and Certificates Steadily Increase

GraduatesAccording to a recently released report from El Camino College Institutional Research & Planning, degrees and certificates awarded at El Camino College Compton Center continue to steadily increase, reaching a five-year peak in 2011-12.

At ECC Compton Center, a total of 332 degrees and certificates were awarded in 2011-12. From the previous year, degrees and certificates increased by 9 percent and 100 percent, respectively. The Health Sciences & Athletics Division experienced the highest one-year increase in degrees of 44 percent, while Childhood Education certificate counts grew by 71 percent. For more details about degrees and certificates awarded at El Camino College and ECC Compton Center, click here.

Tartar Baseball Player Named Southern California Pitcher of the Week

Nick SanchezCongratulations to Tartar baseball player Nick Sanchez who was voted southern California Pitcher of the Week on March 20 by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). Sanchez, a sophomore from Lakewood High School, went 1-0 that week as a starting pitcher for ECC Compton Center. Sanchez led the Tartars to victory with 10 strikeouts against Cerritos College, while giving up two walks, six hits allowed, and only one unearned run after throwing 115 pitches. From the 35 batters he faced, only six made it as far second base. This was Sanchez’ second straight complete game of the season. In the conference opener versus East Los Angeles College, he pitched nine innings allowing five hits, no runs and striking out seven batters to win the game 4 to 0. 

District News

Dr. Keith Curry Appointed Permanent Chief Executive Officer for Compton Community College District

Keith CurryCompton Community College District (CCCD) Special Trustee Thomas Henry, in consultation with El Camino College Superintendent/President Thomas Fallo, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Keith Curry as the permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Compton Community College District. Curry will begin his permanent post on July 1, 2013.

The selection process included a committee of representatives from the CCCD, ECC Compton Center and El Camino College who reviewed all applications submitted and selected a number of individuals for an interview with the committee. From that group, three finalists were forwarded by the committee to Special Trustee Henry and Superintendent/President Fallo for final interviews. Prior to the final interviews, each of the candidates participated in an open forum at the Compton Center. Employees and students of the Compton Center, as well as community members attended the open forum, which provided an opportunity for the finalists to answer questions and provide information relative to their qualifications for the CEO position.  

“All three finalists were very experienced and demonstrated an excellent understanding of the CCCD and Compton Center,” said Special Trustee Henry. “I am most pleased that Dr. Keith Curry was the successful finalist and was selected for the CEO of the CCCD. He brings excellent knowledge of the needs of the District, and the importance of building relationships. During the interview process, he demonstrated his commitment to continuous quality improvement and a positive understanding of the accreditation process. His commitment to quality instruction and focus on student success will be a tremendous benefit to the CCCD and Compton Center."
“I am extremely pleased to have been selected as the CEO for the Compton Community College District. I have wanted this job since I was twelve years old,” said Curry. “I look forward to continuing to build on the successes we have established at the District and the ECC Compton Center in the coming years. Thank you to everyone for their support and words of encouragement.”

As part of the ongoing community outreach efforts, Curry is working to get community members more involved in District affairs. Through a series of “CEO Roundtable Discussions” he is working to build a better understanding of the partnership with El Camino College and its successes. To date, Curry has held CEO Roundtable Discussions in Carson, Compton, Lynwood, Paramount and Rancho Dominguez. His presentations are open to all community members served by the CCCD. The roundtables address a number of important topics including the process to accreditation, newly adopted trustee area boundaries, the facilities master plan, and fiscal stability for the District.

Curry was recently selected to serve as a member the Advisory Committee for Education Services for the Community College League of California. The Chancellor of California Community Colleges also appointed him to four Oversight Boards to local city Successor Agencies and Redevelopment Agencies; he serves as vice chair on two of them.

CCCD Announces Retirement of Two Faculty Members

The Compton Community College District (CCCD) wishes to express its gratitude to Dean of Academic Programs Susan Dever and Director of Athletics Albert “Lefty” Olguin, both of whom retired at the end of the 2013 winter session. Each of these individuals has contributed significantly to the CCCD and the students served by the District.

Susan DeverSusan Dever, Dean of Academic Programs
Susan Dever became dean of Academic Programs at El Camino College Compton Center in 2008 and had oversight for several academic divisions including the library, Learning Resource Center, and the Distance Education program. In addition, she coordinated implementation of the Basic Skills Initiative and development of ECC Compton Center’s Academic Technology Plan. She first joined the faculty at El Camino College in 1989, where she distinguished herself in a number of positions including assistant director for the California Virtual Campus Professional Development Center, academic technology coordinator, and faculty coordinator of the Learning Resource Center. She served as president of the El Camino College Academic Senate from 2004-2007, and as faculty co-chairperson for the 2008 El Camino College Accreditation Self-Study.

Lefty OlguinAlbert “Lefty” Olguin, Director of Athletics
Albert Olguin began coaching baseball and football more than 36 years ago, and joined El Camino College Compton Center as director of the Athletics Program in 2008. During the past five years, he was instrumental in establishing women’s sports teams in badminton, softball and soccer to the Tartar Athletic Program. In addition, Olguin worked with the Foundation for the Compton Community College District to conceive and host the District’s inaugural Tartar Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011 as an annual fundraiser for the Tartar Athletic Program.  He represented ECC Compton Center in the Southern California Football Association, where he served as president of the Mountain Conference, as well as served on the executive committee and constitution committee. Olguin also served as the Coast Conference baseball representative.


Welcome Classified Staff!

Please extend a warm welcome to the full-time classified employees who have joined the CCCD staff recently.

Shelton Bass, Payroll Specialist
Victor Kowalski, Laboratory Technician
Clifford Seymore, Adapted Computer Technology Specialist

Keith Curry Appointed to the Community College League of California’s Education Services Advisory Committee

CCCLCKeith Curry, CEO for the Compton Community College District, was selected to serve on the Advisory Committee for Education Services for the Community College League of California (CCLC). The CCLC is a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose voluntary membership includes the 72 local community college districts in California.

The CCLC Advisory Committee on Education Services is responsible for identifying and reviewing needs for the educational and professional development programs provided to the colleges, particularly those targeted to trustees and CEOs. Committee members are expected to assess and evaluate the need for board, CEO, and leadership development services, prepare for and attend meetings of the committee, contribute to discussions and program design, participate in or attend events as available, and work on committee projects as time allows.

Compton Community College District Board to Meet in May

The next meeting of the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at 1111 E. Artesia Boulevard, Compton, CA 90221.

Closed session begins at 5:00 p.m. for anyone wishing to address the Board on closed session agenda items.
The Board Agenda is posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting on the District website, All regular session Board meetings are open to the public.


Show Your Pedal Power! Bike to Work Day is May 16

ECC Compton Center faculty, staff and students are encouraged to ride bikes to work/school on May 16 in support of Bike to Work Day. The Los Angeles County Metro is sponsoring Bike Week May 13-19 as a way to help encourage employees to consider an alternative mode of transportation to work, school, and for leisure trips. Cycling promotes a healthier lifestyle through exercise, which in turn can help reduce stress levels. 

The Compton Community College District Human Resources Department is collaborating with the Metro by hosting a pit stop for commuters in the local community who participate in Bike to Work Day.  Bicyclists are invited to stop by pit stops for refreshments, such as water, apples and yogurt, as well as giveaways. The pit stop will be located on Artesia Boulevard, near the front entrance to ECC Compton Center, and is marked with the letter “M” on the Metro Bike Week LA Pit Stop Map. The pit stop will be open from 6:00-11:00 a.m.

Bike to Work Day is a way for the District to reduce its footprint on the environment and help address the pollution problems in local communities. Cycling to work can be fun, and is a cost-effective way to help reduce pollution and support sustainability.

Show you pedal power on May 16, and don’t forget to join us at the pit stop!

Cesar Chávez Day Observance

Cesar Chavez DayEl Camino College Compton Center celebrated civil rights leader Cesar Chávez with a series of activities on March 28. The Associated Student Body (ASB) and Office of Student Life hosted the day’s festivities, which included a produce exhibit with samples; music by “Mariachi Cachanilla de Mexicali” directed by Arturo Cortez; and a selection of Mexican cuisine for purchase.

The highlight of the Cesar Chávez Day Observance was a performance entitled “Cesar Chávez, The Man” by Adolph Lopez.

One of our country’s most inspirational labor leaders, Chávez founded and led the first successful farm workers' union in the United States. When he passed away on April 23, 1993, he was president of the United Farm Workers of America. Against all odds, 1960s grape pickers made history when they won the right to bargain after beginning their fight thinking their chance at success was close to zero. Generations that followed have one man to thank for decades of tireless leadership and nonviolent tactics used in the fight for social justice, especially for migrant farm workers. Cesar Estrada Chávez was a common man with an uncommon vision for humankind who firmly believed in equality, justice and dignity for all Americans.

In 1994, Chávez's family and the officers of the UFW created the Cesar E. Chávez Foundation ( to inspire current and future generations by promoting the ideals of Chavez's life, work and vision. Today, Cesar Chávez Day is a legal holiday in 10 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin), and the Cesar E. Chávez National Holiday organization continues to lobby to win a national holiday for the late labor leader and activist

Black History Month Celebration

Black History MonthMusic, film and drama were among the featured events showcasing Black History Month for three weeks in February at EC Compton Center. The special series kicked off with an African drums and dance performance by the all-women ensemble, S.H.I.N.E.

The keynote event was a special lecture entitled, “A Call to Action,” by Dr. Ikaweba Bunting, professor in the Social Science Division. For 28 years, he worked abroad in various parts of East Africa, including service as director of former Tanzanian President Julis Nyere’s foundation. It was through that association that he had the opportunity to work directly with former South African president Nelson Mandela on a variety of projects.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Associated Student Body, the month-long Black History celebration at ECC Compton Center also featured:

  • “The Meeting,” a play based on a mythical encounter between Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • An African Film Festival
  • “Martin & Music,” a dramatic portrayal of Dr. King’s speeches with music
  • A student Songwriter’s Showcase hosted by the Music Department
  • A Gospel Extravaganza, featuring Joshua Generation in concert
  • “Simba Wachanga” (The Young Lions) presented by the Child Development Center

Students, staff, faculty, alumni and members of the community were invited to attend all of the complimentary Black History Month events at ECC Compton Center.

ECC Compton Center to Host One-Stop Event for Free Tax Preparation Assistance and “Cash for College” Fair

Free Tax PreparationEl Camino College Compton Center hosted the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), who provided free tax preparation and filing assistance to community members on one Saturday in February.

A “Cash for College” fair for parents and students took place on the same day and included an in-depth presentation in both English and Spanish on available financial aid and scholarships. The fair offered online computer assistance and expert guidance with the Federal Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) to meet the March 2 Cal Grant deadline. Information was also provided for non-residents about Assembly Bill 540, which provides for improved financial access to higher education for eligible students. In addition, there was a workshop about the Federal Dream Act. Those who attended the Cash for College event were entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

Budget News

The Governor’s 2013-2014 State Budget Proposal continues to make its way through the legislative process, leading to the May Revise. One proposed revision from the Governor is to move adult education and apprenticeship programs from K-12 schools to the California Community Colleges. Approximately $315.7 million has been budgeted for this shift. The Governor’s plan indicates that community colleges are better positioned to address the needs of adult learners and have the faculty and facilities to accommodate such programs. Eligible categories of reimbursement would include classes in vocational education, ESL, elementary and secondary education, and citizenship. In this “work in progress” proposal, there are still many implementation issues to be discussed. The Governor will release his revised 2013-14 budget proposal in mid-May.

Campus Calendar

25      Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Meeting

10      Last Day to Drop with a “W”
14      Continuing Student Registration Begins
19      Academic Awards Tea
21      First Year Experience (FYE) Celebration
24      Transfer Center Admit Celebration
27      Memorial Day Holiday (Compton Center Closed)
30      EOP&S/CARE Spring Banquet
Fee Payment Deadline (for students who register 5/15-30)

4        Nursing Pinning Ceremony
6        2013 Commencement
17      Special Trustee Advisory Committee Meeting
19      ASB Banquet