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President/CEO Message

August 9, 2021


During Community College CEO meetings, I am regularly asked what keeps me up at night. For me, it's the continued decline in our enrollment. I know the decline is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decrease in student persistence, and new student enrollment. We are struggling with continuing students' enrollment in the following areas:

  • All Students' Fall-to-Spring Persistence; and,
  • First-Time Full-Time Students Returning after One Academic Year

As indicated in our Institutional-Set Goals, which are available here, All Students' Fall-to-Spring persistence is 55.6%, and our First-Time Full-Time Students Returning after One Academic Year persistence is 62.1%, both increased in 2018-2019. However, we need to meet our 2021-2022 goals and continue to push toward 70-75% in both of these persistence goals.

Do you have other ideas about how we can get more students to persist? What are you doing in your role or in your classroom to support persistence? I am excited to learn from you and how we can overcome this challenge together.

We are also having a difficult time recruiting new students. Many prospective students are not considering college due to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, we must continue to invest in outreach activities strategically, consider new and innovative ways to connect with our community, and not panic regarding new student recruitment. As an immediate strategy, we are focused on students who graduated from our partner high school districts in 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 who are not enrolled at any college. Please forward your creative input as it relates to student persistence and student recruitment to kcurry@compton.edu.

I know many faculty members are worried about class cancellations. We will not be implementing the class cancellation policy for fall 2021 classes with nine or fewer students as mentioned in the President/CEO Message - May 17, 2021. Instead, on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, we will cancel classes with an enrollment of three or fewer students. Then early next week, we will review enrollment again and make decisions as needed.

As we prepare for the fall semester, and if any Compton College employees are interested in calling students through the Compton College Call Center, please contact Dr. Cesar Jimenez, dean of counseling and guided pathways, at cjimenez@compton.edu. The Call Center is located in the Vocational Technology Building, Room 124, and the hours of operations are as follows: Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and on Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The President/CEO Message - August 9, 2021, includes COVID-19 information and other campus-related updates.

Compton College COVID-19 Update

Los Angeles County's Daily COVID-19 Data webpage reports 3,031 newly recorded confirmed cases in Los Angeles County as of 6:00 p.m. on August 8, 2021. The county now has a total of 1,326,361 reported cases (including cases reported by Long Beach and Pasadena health departments). For more information, go to publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/data/. Compton College is operating at Level 4 - Severe Infection Rate according to the Compton CCD Pandemic Outbreak - Emergency Operations Plan.

COVID-19 Safety Training

COVID-19 Safety Training is available online via Keenan & Associates - SafeColleges online training. All employees are asked to complete the training before returning to work on campus. The training is not required, but the District is providing health and safety training options for employees. The brief videos include the following topics: 

  • Coronavirus Awareness (10 minutes)
  • Coronavirus:  CDC Guide to Mask Making (9 minutes)
  • Coronavirus:  Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace (10 minutes)
  • Coronavirus:  Managing Stress and Anxiety (12 minutes)
  • Coronavirus:  The Basics of Vaccines (10 minutes)
     

Look for a reminder email regarding the training sent on July 29, 2021, by Pilar Huffman, professional development manager.

Fall 2021 Enrollment Update

As of today, August 9, 2021, Compton College has generated 886 FTES for the Fall 2021 term. Our fill rate is currently 35%, and our seats filled is 5,742. Click here to view today's enrollment snapshot.

The fall semester begins Saturday, August 21, 2021, with weekday classes beginning on Monday, August 23, 2021. Please encourage interested students to enroll today as some sections are already full, and those with low enrollment will be reviewed for cancellation next week.

Compton College Facilities Update

We currently have three new buildings under construction on campus. Instructional Building 1 is scheduled to open for fall 2021 classes, and Instructional Building 2 and the Student Services Building will both open before spring 2022. Click here to view photos of Instructional Building 1 and 2.

Virtual "Back to School" Town Hall Meeting

Compton Community College District Board of Trustees Member Dr. Deborah Leblanc will host a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Community members, parents, students, and employees will have the opportunity to discuss topics such as enrollment, ongoing construction, the safe reopening of the Compton College campus, and more. Click here for the Zoom Meeting information.

Compton Community College District Board of Trustees Meeting

The Compton CCD Board of Trustees' next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 17, 2021. The closed session begins at 4:00 p.m., with the open session commencing at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom Meeting. Information on how to access the Compton CCD Board of Trustees meeting is available here.

Virtual New Student Welcome Day - Wednesday, August 18, 2021

A virtual New Student Welcome Day is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18, 2021, via Zoom, from 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The annual event will provide an opportunity for new students to connect with the Compton College community, and:

  • Meet Compton College President/CEO, Dr. Keith Curry, and Associated Student Government President, Stephanie Leonor Del Cid.
  • Learn about the campus from faculty, counselors, Classified professionals, and students.
  • Connect with the Tartar Success Team that will help them succeed in their educational journey.
  • Participate in workshops about transferring, selecting majors and careers, tools for success, and Career and Technical Education.

New Student Welcome Day is open to all students; click here to RSVP. Zoom meeting links will be provided in the confirmation email, along with additional event information.

President/CEO Closing the Loop

As mentioned in President/CEO Message - April 19, 2021, on June 17, 2021, we submitted our grant proposal to the Michelson 20MM Foundation related to Open Educational Resources (OER) and Zero Cost Textbook. The grant proposal was funded for $25,000, and a copy of the grant proposal is available here. I want to thank the Compton College Open Educational Resources Committee, the Academic Senate, and Dr. Airek Matthews, distance education manager, for their work on the proposal and their support of OER. At the Academic Senate meeting on June 4, 2021, the Senate approved the following Compton College OER Goals*:

  • 25% of course sections will be utilizing OER by 2023. 
  • 50% of course sections will be utilizing OER by 2027. 
  • 75% of course sections will be utilizing OER by 2031. 
  • 85-100% of course sections will be utilizing OER by 2035.  

*Until suitable OER are available for certain courses, the focus will be on offering Zero Textbook Cost courses.

On June 15, 2021, I accepted the Academic Senate recommendation. Over the next year, we will implement the activities outlined in the grant proposal. Also, I will be exploring funding options to implement Compton College Open Educational Resources goals. More information on the grant proposal and funding from the Michelson 20MM Foundation is available here.

On August 6, 2021, I met with Dr. Yvette Gullatt, vice president for Graduate and Undergraduate Affairs and vice provost for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, regarding the UC Ethnic Studies Compton College Summer Teaching Institute proposal. The institute will begin in summer 2022 and will be funded by the University of California's Office of the President. The institute will be offered to the University of California's Ethnic Studies graduate students to secure Canvas certification and taught by Compton College faculty. This will enable their graduates to design and teach online classes at any one of the 116 California community colleges. Special thanks to Dr. Kendahl L Radcliffe, division chair for social sciences, for working with the University of California's Office of the President on the institute. More information on the UC Ethnic Studies Compton College Summer Teaching Institute will be included in future President/CEO Messages.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the President/CEO Message - June 10, 2021, President/CEO Message - July 19, 2021, and the President/CEO Message - August 2, 2021, we will begin the fall 2021 semester with two Professional Development Days on Thursday, August 19 (mandatory), and Friday, August 20 (optional) via Zoom Meeting. The agendas for the events are available below. Registration is required for both days. Details to sign-up for each professional development day are included in the agendas below.

Also, the agendas for the fall 2021 New Faculty and Adjunct Faculty orientations, scheduled for Monday, August 16, are available here.

As mentioned in the President/CEO Message - June 21, 2021, I am in the process of preparing my fall 2021 reading list. If you have any recommendations for articles or research publications I should read or books for my fall 2021 reading list, please forward them to me at kcurry@compton.edu. The deadline to submit recommendations is Friday, August 13, 2021. 

In closing, please enjoy this week and next week; I look forward to seeing everyone on Zoom soon.

Sincerely, 

Keith Curry, Ed.D.
(preferred pronouns: he/him/his)
President/CEO
Compton College


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