The Messenger – July 2023

Student Success

Apply and Register for Fall 2023 at Compton College

Fall 2023 Class Schedule CoverCompton College offers a convenient, affordable education for traditional and non-traditional students - all in an encouraging environment that provides personalized student support to put you on the road to success. We offer 42 degree programs and 41 job training certificate programs. 

Registration is currently open for all students for the fall 2023 semester at Compton College. The fall 2023 semester begins August 19, 2023. Students are encouraged to register for classes immediately to ensure the best class selection!

All students enrolled during the 2023-2024 school year will receive a FREE student parking permit and one FREE meal per day at the Everytable Café on campus. In addition, Compton College provides financial, academic, and technical support for those in need such as financial aid, tutoring, book vouchers, free laptop and Wi-fi hotspot loans, and referrals for those with housing insecurity.

Register Online Today! 

Apply and register online, 24 hours per day via the Compton College website For new students, it takes four easy steps to apply online and enroll at Compton College. For assistance or more information, please call 310-900-1600, ext. 2765 or visit the website. 

Fall Class Schedule:

Promise Program Expanded to Include All First-Time College Students

Compton Promise Logo
All eligible first-time college students will now be able to attend Compton College nearly fee of cost! Beginning in fall 2023, the Compton College Oliver W. Conner Promise program will expand to include all eligible first-time college students regardless of whether they live within the Compton Community College District service boundaries or not.

All first-time college students (full- or part-time) who meet the following eligibility criteria will have their $46 per unit enrollment fees waived at Compton College for two years (up to 15 units per term):

  • Must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for the term the student is applying for and receive an “award package.”
  • Remains enrolled in a minimum of six units at census
  • Receives a 2.0+ GPA
  • Maintains a 66.7% completion rate
“We hope this expanded program will encourage many more students, of all ages, to enroll at Compton College through this life-changing program,” said Compton College President Keith Curry. “The Compton Promise was established to develop a college-going culture and support the academic, personal, and professional success of young adults in our communities; break access barriers to higher education; and increase the economic vitality of our region.”

Compton College established the Oliver W. Conner College Promise Program in 2018 that waived enrollment fees for students who live within the college district’s service area (Compton, Lynwood, and Paramount unified school districts) and the success of the program has led to this expansion, which was approved by the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees through a resolution on May 16, 2023.

View more information on the Compton College Promise program and a list of benefits and resources enrolled students receive here.

Interested eligible, first-time college students may apply for the Compton Promise Program for fall 2023 here.

Tartar Food Pantry is Open on Campus

Food Pantry LogoThe Tartar Food Pantry, located in the multipurpose room by the cafeteria, reopened on May 1, 2023. Students enrolled in the current semester or summer session may visit the pantry twice per week to stock up on some non-perishable food items for home. The current hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Compton College 2023 Commencement:

107 Local High School Seniors Graduate with Both Diplomas and Degrees

2023 Graduation Class PhotoCompton College celebrated the academic achievements of its students at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony on June 9, held at the Dignity Health Sports Center Tennis Stadium in Carson, Calif. Addressing the Class of 2023 was keynote speaker Su Jin Jez, CEO of California Competes. View a gallery of photos from the Commencement Ceremony on the Compton College Flickr account here.

Compton College’s class of 2023 includes 347 students who earned associate degrees and 180 students who earned certificates. Among the graduates are 83 Compton Unified School District Early College High School students and 24 students from the Paramount Unified School District’s College and Career Access Pathways inaugural graduating class. A total of 107 graduating high school seniors from these two districts earned an associate degree or certificate while enrolled in high school.

Established in 2015, the early college pathway partnerships with local school districts provide highly motivated high school students at Compton Unified School District and Paramount Unified District with the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and two years of college credit toward an associate degree. Local high school students who participate in these programs will be taking college classes offered by Compton College. 

Since the first cohort graduation in 2019, a combined total of 290 students from Compton Early College High School and Paramount College and Career Access Pathways have graduated with both a diploma and an associate degree through Compton College’s partnership with the Compton and Paramount unified school districts.

At the Commencement Ceremony, Compton College President Keith Curry delivered opening remarks, “Graduates, this ceremony marks the completion of your work at Compton College. It gives you the chance to formally acknowledge your academic achievements. We are especially proud of the graduating seniors from both the Compton and Paramount unified school districts who have simultaneously earned both a high school diploma and an associate degree. The early college graduates have put in the hard work, saved time and money, while also following an accelerated path to earn a four-year degree.”

Commencement Student Speaker Creates His Own ‘Field of Dreams’

Armando Arguello Compton College 2023 graduate Armando Arguello has played baseball since age 4 and has fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a collegiate baseball player. A member of the Compton College baseball team for the past two years, the right-handed pitcher will be attending Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri, this fall on an athletic scholarship.

The honors student with a 4.0 GPA was invited to apply and audition to be the 2023 student speaker for Compton College’s Commencement Ceremony on June 9 at the Dignity Health Sports Center. After being selected, the first-generation college student delivered his speech to his graduating peers, friends, and family members with a message focused on the premise that each person will have a different path to success. “Some people will face more adversity than others, however, I want to encourage everyone to remain strong and positive through rough times. He admits there are times where he has felt like the standards he is held to by people close to him are too high, yet he continues to work on being a better person every day. He strives to not only fulfill these standards, but often sets the bar even higher.

“I’m inspired by my parents,” he said. “They are respected, and they are genuine; what you see is what you get. They instilled in me good values. They taught me to be loving and caring, and to treat people as you would want to be treated.”

At Avila University, Arguello will pursue a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, with a concentration in behavioral and social science, while also playing for the Avila Eagles baseball team. After completing his undergraduate studies, Arguello plans to return to Southern California to earn a master’s degree in academic advising and counseling. He hopes to one day return to Compton College to serve as an academic counselor, helping students achieve their educational and career goals. “Through my interest in communication studies and leadership roles in athletics, I discovered a passion for helping people, so I want to pay it forward in the future by returning to Compton College and serving on the counseling team,” he said.

Arguello says Compton College has provided a safe space for him to explore his interests, both on and off the field. During the past three years at Compton College, he has earned three associate degrees for transfer, five additional associate degrees, and two certificates of achievement. Arguello served as pitcher for the Compton College baseball team, and says he is grateful for everything that has come of his decision to attend Compton College. He was named to the Dean’s List, selected as a Scholar Athlete of the Year, and awarded a Presidential Scholarship. Arguello would like to recognize the many coaches, instructors, counselors, and staff members at Compton College that have contributed to his success.

“I never felt like just a number at Compton College, but rather felt like I was in the right place,” he said. “I used the smaller class sizes to my advantage and was able to get a lot of assistance from my instructors. All the resources were available to me, and it was up to me to access the student services when I needed them.”

Arguello encouraged everyone in attendance at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony to be helpful and kind to others, but also to “always believe in yourselves and what you can achieve.” 

“To my fellow graduates in the class of 2023, whatever your end goal may be, know today that you have proven that there is no task too big, but rather, you are up for the challenge,” said Arguello to close out his speech. “You are a Compton College graduate; you are a story of success!

More Than 200 Students Honored at 2023 Academic Awards and Scholarship Ceremony

Academic Awards RecepientsCompton College held its annual Academic Awards and Scholarship Ceremony on May 24 and recognized the academic achievements of 209 honor students (3.5 or higher GPA), five Presidential Scholars, and 21 scholarship recipients. Scholarships awarded to the students totaled $39,000.

The 2023 Presidential Scholars are Bryan Benitez, Adrian Lopez, Tiffany Perez, Shyanne Bradley, and Tiffany Arellano. Presidential Scholars represent students who have shown academic strength, singular focus, and the desire to reach their highest potential while overcoming obstacles in the pursuit of their dreams. The Presidential Scholar program recognizes outstanding students who are graduating with a 3.7 grade point average or higher. The 2023 Presidential Scholars each received a check for $2,000 and a medallion.

“In addition to Compton College offering state and federal Financial Aid that many students are eligible to receive, the Foundation for the Compton Community College District annually awards scholarships to students to help finance college attendance,” said Compton College President Keith Curry. “In the past five years, the Foundation has awarded more than $170,000 in scholarships to Compton College students. We encourage all students to apply for scholarships during their first year at Compton College.”

Scholarships are beneficial to students trying to offset the cost of a college education. Scholarships do not need to be paid back and are awarded based on specific qualifications, talents, or merit often without regard to financial need. Current Compton College students may apply online for multiple scholarships with just one application. The annual scholarship application period is usually the beginning of October through the end of February of the following year.

“We are proud of Compton College’s numerous 2023 student scholars who have worked hard for these academic achievements,” said Barbara Calhoun, Compton Community College District Board of Trustees president. “The Board is extremely grateful for the generous donations the Foundation for the Compton Community College District receives each year from businesses, organizations, and individuals in our surrounding communities to enable the funding of these scholarships for students, many of whom face financial barriers to obtaining a college education.”

Compton College offers scholarships to students across all academic disciplines and 24 categories, including students working toward a certificate in Career Education programs, Dream Act students, Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition (F.I.S.T.) program participants, first generation students, women re-entering college, and more. Students who are already receiving benefits through the state-funded Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) programs may also apply for a scholarship. 

For a list of Compton College scholarships and eligibility criteria, please visit:

Compton College to Honor 2023 Nursing Graduates at Pinning Ceremony June 6

2023 Nursing GraduatesCompton College will host a Nursing Pinning Ceremony on June 6, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. in the Gymnasium to celebrate 21 students, including five graduating with honors, who will graduate with an associate of science degrees in nursing. The ceremony is open to the public and parking is available in Lot A from the Artesia Boulevard entrance to campus.

“There is a growing need for qualified health care providers in the workforce,” said Compton College President Keith Curry. “Compton College has strong nursing and biomedical science programs and a state-of-the-art Allied Health Building complete with a simulation lab. We hope to continue to inspire and educate a new generation of leaders in nursing and other medical professions.”

Compton College’s Nursing Program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Compton College student nurses are supported by counseling, opportunities to further their education and referrals to jobs in the community. Upon completion of the program, graduates earn an associate degree and are ready to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN). Visit the Compton College Nursing Program webpage at:

Launched just one year ago, Compton College also offers a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program to accommodate students looking to pursue careers in allied health and technical fields and fill the gap in employment of much-needed health care workers. The eight-week course prepares students for entry-level health care worker positions in a long-term care skilled nursing facility. More information on Compton College’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program is available online at

Alumnus Pursues Doctorate in Psychology to Address Societal Issues

Yahziq Ohmn-Drayden A lifelong learner and student of life, Yahziq Ohmn-Drayden entered academia at the age of 40 by enrolling at Compton College in 2018. After contributing to his community creatively for years through his work as an MC, writer, poet, and artist, Ohmn-Drayden decided he wanted to develop other skills to help his community. He chose Compton College because it is located in his hometown and holds special meaning for him. “While I have moved from the area, I liked that I was still participating in the community where I grew up,” he said.

Ohmn-Drayden was inspired by how Compton College serves a community he cares so deeply for and wanted to share his positive experiences with others to hopefully inspire them, as well. He views Compton College as a good resource for the community and said that he learned a great deal as a student. “I feel that in every class I learned such a wealth of information, and also learning how higher education works is priceless,” said Ohmn-Drayden.

Two years after enrolling at Compton College, in 2020, Ohmn-Drayden graduated with a 4.0 GPA and an associate degree for transfer, as well as an associate degree in welding. He transferred to California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in fall 2020 and graduated in 2022 Suma Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

After graduation from CSUDH, Ohmn-Drayden applied to a doctorate program, was accepted, and began working toward a Ph.D. in applied psychology in fall 2022. “I have been doing community work since my early twenties,” he said. “One of the things I learned is that sometimes it is hard for people to ‘hear you’ when you don’t have validation, such as through an advanced degree. I believe my expertise would be best invested on the research side of psychology and focusing on solutions that can be enacted within the community for the betterment of all.”

He is also interested in the study of positive psychology which, in simple terms, focuses on wellness versus illness. Positive psychology is defined as the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. “I am very interested in positive psychology,” he said. “There is a whole movement in this area of psychology. We need a blend of approaches to help increase our understanding of what is really going on and not just focus on the negative in terms of mental health.”

 At Compton College, he was referred to and enrolled in the stated-funded Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), which provides extra support for eligible students in higher education. The EOPS program provided him with services Ohmn-Drayden felt ultimately helped him finish his double major in two years. The book vouchers EOPS provided helped alleviate a bit of financial stress, and the counseling offered through EOPS was one of Ohmn-Drayden’s favorite services offered. “Every EOPS counselor I talked with totally kept me on track to take the classes I needed,” he said. “Once I decided I wanted to complete a double major, the counselors were able to assist me with my educational plan, identifying all the correct classes, and made sure I was aware of all of my deadlines for university transfer.”

During his time at Compton College, Ohmn-Drayden helped initiate a Welding Club with the idea that it would be a resource for students to network and do outreach in the community for potential jobs or to gain more experience. For years, he has been an independent artisan working with metal and wood, making custom pieces such as signs, plaques, and awards for businesses. “I would like to return to Compton College in some role to assist in working with the Welding Club,” he said, “I would like to help increase interest in the welding program at Compton through the club. I plan on helping in whatever capacity I can once I complete my doctorate program.”

Ohmn-Drayden is considering dissertation topics and focus for his research and once he earns his Ph.D., he will consider different career options such as a psychology researcher, authoring books, and teaching as a guest or independent lecturer. He wants to give back to society. He defines what he calls his “operating meditation” as follows:

“I’ve been watching and paying attention to the different societal dynamics we are currently dealing with in the U.S. and the world,” he said. “That has been my motivation to earn advanced degrees, so the social impact work I do can be even better, as well as improve my ability to affect change.”

District News

Compton Community College District Board Meeting Scheduled for July

The next meeting of the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room, located in the Administration Building at 1111 E. Artesia Boulevard, Compton, CA 90221. 

All regular session Board meetings are open to the public. Closed session begins at 5:00 p.m.

The Board Agenda is posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting. Agendas are posted on the BoardDocs website under the “Meetings” tab at:

2023-24 Virtual Campuswide Forum Schedule

Compton College President/CEO Keith Curry will host Virtual Campuswide Forums for employees of the Compton Community College District according to the following schedule beginning in the fall 2023 semester:

September 19, 2023
November 21, 2023
March 19, 2024
May 21, 2024

For Zoom access information, please visit the Campus Calendar online closer to each forum date:

Holifield Library Naming Ceremony

Holifield LibraryCompton College recently held a library naming ceremony to posthumously honor the life-long community work, advocacy, and dedication to education by Mrs. Emily B. Hart-Holifield with many of her family members in attendance.

“We are pleased to honor Emily B. Hart-Holifield’s legacy of service and belief in public service as a sacred, ongoing responsibility by naming Compton College’s campus library as the Holifield Library, said Barbara Calhoun, Board of Trustees president for the Compton Community College District, during the ceremony in April 2023. “The Library, located inside the Library-Student Success Building constructed in 2014, is a place for Compton College students to access study resources to aid in their academic success. It is an appropriate place to honor Mrs. Hart-Holifield, as she was dedicated to the success of all students.”

Emily B. Hart-Holifield was the first Black woman elected to the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees in 1975. She served on the Board for 20 consecutive years; she completed 10 terms as board president and 4 terms as vice president. She is credited with founding the Women’s History program at Compton College.

In 1969, Mrs. Hart-Holifield became an educator in the Compton Unified School District. She served as a teacher for special needs students, and dedicated much of her time to finding ways to support and accommodate her students’ needs. Early in her career as an educator, she began advocating for change.

Her accomplishments during her lifetime are abundant. Some of the highlights of her career and community service include:  being the first Black woman elected to the Los Angeles County Trustee Association Board; organizing a protest that led to heating being installed in all Compton Unified School District classrooms; serving on the Affirmative Action Board for the California Democratic Party; member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,  and a legacy that includes being known as a warrior for justice for persons at risk, the underrepresented, and the underserved, to name only a few.

All-New Student Services Building Opens

Student Services Building OpensCompton College held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony for the newly constructed Student Services Building in April during Community Day. This state-of the art, 34,000 square-foot building serves as a one-stop location for enrollment services and includes administration offices, enrollment services, assisted learning spaces, and computer labs to help current and future students apply and register for Compton College courses.

The $25+ million project was funded by Measure C, the $100 million facilities bond measure passed by local voters in 2014.

Other News

Compton College Honors 2023 Distinguished Administrator, Faculty, and Staff

Compton College recently announced its honorees for the 2023 Distinguished Faculty and Staff awards. The annual awards recognize outstanding faculty and staff members for their commitment to Compton College and its educational mission. Pilar Huffman, professional development manager; Brad Conn, psychology instructor; and Alicia Zambrano, career pathways coordinator, were recognized for their dedication to students, Compton College, and colleagues.

In 2020, the Compton Community College District introduced its Civility Champion Award to honor outstanding employees whose contributions demonstrate a commitment to self-reflection, care, empathy, and respect while acknowledging the culture and humanity of others. As stated in the Compton College’s Statement of Civility and Mutual Respect, how people interact with one another is critical to cultivating and maintaining a meaningful and effective intellectual environment. Compton College is proud to announce its 2023 Civility Champions: Airek Mathews, distance education manager; Nathan Lopez, history and ethnic studies instructor; and Hawk McFadzen, research analyst.

Meet Compton College’s 2023 Distinguished Administrator, Faculty, and Staff:

Distinguished Administrator/Supervisor – Pilar Huffman, professional development manager
Huffman takes pleasure in promoting exciting, engaging, and innovative campus engagement activities that serve as a collaborative environment for employees and students. She has collaborated with the Associated Student Government (ASG) to arrange “welcome back” activities for employees and students during Welcome Week at the beginning of each semester. These activities include food trucks, team building activities, and a chance for students and employees to get to know each other in a social setting. 

Huffman is involved in everything related to Professional Development at Compton College. Her personal mission is to “provide support through professional education and empower individuals to translate experiential learning within their respective roles and careers.” She also strives to provide learning opportunities that allow employees and students to discover their passions while developing essential skills.

Huffman serves on a variety of campuswide committees including Men of Color, Open Educational Resources (OER), LGBTQ+, Achieving the Dream, Anti-Racism, and Student Engagement. Currently, she is an executive board member for the California Community College Council for Staff Development, known as 4CSD. 

Distinguished Faculty – Brad Conn, psychology instructor
Brad Conn, psychology instructor, began his career at Compton College as a teacher’s assistant while in graduate school in 2005. Only one year later, he started his career as an adjunct instructor of psychology and finally became a full-time faculty member during the 2019-2020 academic year. Now, he serves as the Distance Education faculty coordinator and tri-chair of the Men of Color task force.

Conn is known to be respected and admired by students, administration, classified staff, and academic colleagues alike. He finds a way to make his curriculum accessible to his students, and he strives to connect with each of his students to help them succeed. Through his work as an advisor for the Psychology Club, he further supports students in their academic and extracurricular pursuits. 

Conn initiates collaboration with his colleagues and uses his position as Distance Education faculty coordinator to support faculty and staff. He makes himself available to discuss ideas or observe lessons and will offer advice to any that ask. Through his dedication to this position, he helped boost online class offerings, and went above and beyond to ensure that part-time and full-time faculty could continue to teach online and maintain high-quality online instruction.

Distinguished Staff – Alicia Zambrano, career pathways coordinator
Alicia Zambrano holds the title of career pathways coordinator, but that title does not encompass the full breadth of all that she contributes at Compton College. To list just a few of her contributions: she conducts campus tours for important partners and guests; collaborates with various programs, departments, and outside partnerships; assists students with orientation, the enrollment process and petitions, adding classes near deadline, and helping to identify pre- and corequisites; and she works with the Office of Community Relations to refer student success stories to share with the community. 

Serving as a career education ambassador for Compton College, Zambrano will routinely conduct community outreach to recruit and assist students. She also serves as a spokesperson with employers including with the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealership Association and Hadrian, an aerospace fastener manufacturing company in Torrance, Calif., to name a few. She frequently coordinates with educational partners, including many of the local high schools.

Zambrano recently participated in a strategic planning retreat called “Learning, Evaluating, and Planning Together: Projects that Matter” at the UCLA Conference Center. She has been invited to represented Compton College at the Adult Learner Strategic Enrollment Management project event in June 2023 in Colorado. 

Baseball Coach Williams Ends Season with 250th Career Win

Coach Shannon WilliamsCompton College Baseball Coach Shannon Williams celebrated his 250th career win with the Tartar Baseball team in April 2023 with a 2-0 win against Mt. Sac.

Williams earned his 220th win in March 2019, against Chaffey College, which marked his place in the record books as the college’s all-time “winningest” coach. He recently completed his 20th season with Compton College and continues to provide stability to the baseball program and make a difference in students’ lives in the Compton College Community and surrounding areas.

Coach Williams reflected on his reaching 250 wins, “I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to help so many players find their path in life through baseball and academics. This moment was no about me getting the 250th win, but to see how excited the team was after a big win is what matters most. This great game of baseball provides unbelievable life lessons for our young men.”

Read Coach Williams bio here.

Weekly Certified Farmers’ Market at Compton College
Open to the Public; Shop for Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and More

Farmer's MarketLocal community members are invited to the weekly Certified Farmers’ Market at Compton College in partnership with Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA). The market is an excellent opportunity for students, district employees, and members of the community to stock up on affordable, fresh produce straight from the farm. 

All currently enrolled Compton College students are eligible for a weekly $20 voucher to spend at the farmers’ market. Students just need to present their student ID at the information table at the farmers’ market to pick up their voucher.

At the market, attendees may use their CalFresh EBT benefits, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks (FMNP) to purchase groceries. The market features popular programs, such as the Los Angeles County supported American Rescue Plan (ARP) Market Match, a healthy food incentive program which makes fruits and vegetables more affordable through a dollar-for-dollar match on EBT purchases. CalFresh can be used toward ARP Market Match incentives to receive up to $20 to buy fruits and vegetables at the market. This program is vital in supporting local farmers in promoting sustainable food systems and community food security.

Compton College is dedicated to helping support the needs of our students and community by finding the perfect partners to support these endeavors. SEE-LA’s mission is to build sustainable food systems and promote social and cultural activities, that benefit both low to moderate income residents of the greater Los Angeles area while also supporting small- and mid-sized farms in California, as well as local small businesses.

The Certified Farmers’ Market is held every Wednesday from 3:00-7:30 p.m. in the Tartar Village, located at 1111 E. Artesia Boulevard, Compton, CA 90221. Parking is available in Lot A (off Artesia Blvd.) and Lot F (off Greenleaf Blvd.) for $3. More information available online at

 Accepting New Farmers’ Market Vendors
The farmers’ market is currently seeking new vendors; those that are interested are encouraged to apply. Farmers, food vendors, artisans, community partners, nonprofits, and more can apply to become a vendor online at

Campus Calendar

July 3 Second 6-week summer session begins
July 4    Independence Day Holiday (campus closed)
July 9 Last day to add a class, drop with no notation and a refund (second 6-week summer session)
July 11  Mobile Food Pantry
July 18  Board of Trustees Meeting
July 20  Last day to apply for graduation and certificates (summer)
July 27  First 6-week summer session ends
August 19 8-week and second 6-week summer sessions end
August 15 Board of Trustees Meeting
August 19 Fall 2023 semester begins
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