Just as spring is a time to move the clocks forward, it’s also a great time to look forward to what’s in store for Shoreline Community College. It’s also a time to recap the incredible progress we’ve made in the past few months. With that in mind, I’m pleased to present our Spring Update and congratulate you all on the terrific things happening thanks to your focused work on helping our students succeed.
I’ve framed this update to match the Areas of Focus we’ve been working on as a college since 2014; this is the last time you’ll see them as we adopt and move forward with our Strategic Plan this quarter.
In early March, we officially welcomed American Honors to our college. American Honors is a faculty-led, administratively-supported initiative that builds on our already highly recognized honors program at Shoreline. American Honors will allow us to expand our program into a two-year honors experience which includes a cohort model with honors-level course work, seminars, and support services. American Honors at Shoreline is designed for those students with demonstrated ability who need academic support to achieve their potential. Our goal is for this program to represent the diverse student body on our campus. The program supports eligible students to develop the academic skills to successfully complete their associate degree with honors and then transfer to a top four-year university of their choice. American Honors graduates report saving up to 40 percent on the total cost of their degree and can take advantage of transfer agreements with an exclusive network of top colleges and universities. As of this writing, Shoreline is one of only 10 community colleges offering American Honors, which will be offered to students in Fall 2016.
We’ve also enlisted the assistance of AVID for Higher Education (AHE) to help prepare students for life after Shoreline. Specifically designed to meet the needs of students attending a college or university, AHE resources systemically address the goals of increased learning, persistence, completion, and success in and beyond college. The program consists of three initiatives: 1) Student Success by helping students develop skills that enable them to deal effectively with the academic, cultural, and financial challenges of college; 2) Faculty Professional Learning, in which faculty members are provided with a deep understanding of and practical experience with methodologies that meet their students’ needs; and 3) Support the Office of Institutional Assessment and Data Management in ensuring our efforts are data-informed. AHE is a way to support and expand so many of our outstanding efforts around teaching, learning, and student success.
We’ve begun planning for our 2016 Commencement activities, which promise to be the best yet. Our newly renamed Communications and Marketing department (formerly PIO) is currently working on a Commencement congratulations video, which you can be a part of by contacting Rachel Evans at email@example.com. Also, in support of our graduating students, I hope to see each and every faculty member, in regalia, walking in support of our graduates on Sunday, June 5. Commencement truly celebrates our Shoreline success stories.
With an eye toward better meeting the needs of students tying their educational goals to their desired careers, Shoreline will be bringing two invaluable groups together to create a new Career Center in the FOSS building. This move – which will relocate the Counseling team with the Workforce Education area on the first floor of the 5000 building – will allow the two groups to more easily pool their talents to the benefit of students. Whereas students currently must move from department to department, floor to floor to take advantage of the full range of career counseling resources offered by the college, this move will make these resources much more convenient to use. As part of the move, improvements will be made on the current Workforce area, with the creation of four new offices and a group meeting room. Workforce and Counseling staff will also be called upon for suggestions on how to make the best use of the new arrangement, from space usage to technology upgrades. Construction is expected to take place during summer quarter and summer break.
College Infrastructure and Hiring Process
Over the course of winter quarter, nearly 600 students participated in an online survey that determined that interest in on-campus student housing was very high. With that in mind, the college’s housing consultant, Spectrum Development Solutions, continues to study the feasibility of constructing an on-campus residence hall. Spectrum is also preparing a full demand study, site analysis, and financial pro formas. The study will be delivered to the college early in spring quarter and the Board of Trustees will be briefed on next steps.
Many of you know that we are planning a wonderful remodel of the second floor of the PUB, inside the main entrance. New carpet has already been installed and changes to come include a new information desk (made from sustainable reclaimed wood) and updated furniture in the current casual student area. The Quiet Dining Room (which is not so quiet, nor is it often used as a dining room) will be refreshed, along with the two conference/classrooms on the second floor. Construction will continue throughout the month of April. However, crews will be working a swing shift schedule to minimize the impact to student activities and departments in the PUB. Construction areas will be clearly marked, as student, employee, and visitor safety is our number one priority. Thank you to all the students, faculty, and staff who contributed ideas to this remodel – we hope to celebrate with you all when the project is completed!
Also slated for upgrades is the Theater lobby in the 1600 building. In the planning stages since we embarked on the Interior Design Master Plan in the fall of 2014, work is about to begin! As a part of this plan, the building will be closed at the end of spring quarter, while it receives a new roof and the lobby is redesigned to create a multi-function space that invites creativity and community involvement. A few updates will happen in time for the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) coming to campus in late May. Learn more about SIFF and the college’s involvement in the Community Engagement section of this update!
Last among the major capital improvements are those in the 4000 building. After gathering input from students, faculty, and staff on the new combined learning space, the learning centers moved into the second floor of 4000 last summer. Continuing with the makeover, we will be redesigning the main entrance, open a second northwest entrance, and create a new multi-function welcome/information desk that better serves the needs of students. With funding provided by a combination of state and local capital funds, the project will require the second and third floors to be closed after June 15 and remain closed during summer quarter and summer break. Temporary locations are being prepared in order to continue with library and tutoring services.
I hope you all had a chance to meet the four candidates for the position of Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs: Dr. Ron Liss, Dr. Dana Grove, Dr. Marcia Somer, and Dr. Carol Blackshire-Belay. I was delighted to see that the public forums for each candidate were packed and each candidate faced some thoughtful and important questions. As we proceed with interviews, I hope to have great news in the coming weeks as to who our new colleague will be.
In faculty news, we’re enormously proud that we’ve hired 37 tenure-track faculty positions over the past three academic years (12 in 2013-14; 18 in 2014-15; seven so far this year, with five more currently in process). That brings us to 128 permanent faculty position as of February 2016, compared to 123 at the same time in 2015 and 108 in 2014. What’s more, at the March 16 Board Meeting, six individuals we awarded tenure: Matt Allison (Studio Arts); Brad Fader (Accounting); Katie Fleming (Dental Hygiene); Betty Kost (Nursing); Michelle Kleisath (Multicultural Studies); and Rosalie Tepper (Mathematics). Congratulations to all!
For the first time, Shoreline will host film screenings as a part of the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Founded in 1976, SIFF is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 150,000 film lovers annually. Twenty-seven screenings, some with Northwest connections, will take place from May 27 to June 4. Films will be announced in the coming weeks. This partnership is part of the Festival’s continuing effort to reach outlying communities and allows Shoreline to provide an outstanding entertainment opportunity to our community. It also provides us an opportunity to show off our latest technological upgrades to the theater: Digital 4K cinema projection and 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. In addition to the film lineup, the Shoreline Community College Foundation will be hosting a series of special events tied to the screenings, including wine tastings and an opening night party on May 27. Look for opportunities to attend and support one of the country’s most important signature film festivals!
Next year’s budget planning process is well underway. Strategic requests were due via the aSAP process in early February and operational requests were entered into the Budget Planning System throughout the month of March. As you may have heard at our winter College Update, we’re focused on building a budget that allows us to focus on our priorities of student success, engaged teaching and learning, efficient and effective management, and operations while growing our enrollment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the budget office.
In response to broad campus input, the Board of Trustees approved the college’s refreshed vision and mission statements at its March meeting. The vision statement now incorporates language about inclusive excellence and emphasizes students and the teaching and learning process. The mission statement also emphasizes students and the diverse communities we serve. The Board also received the college’s 2016-21 strategic plan, which includes three goals focusing on student success, disciplined excellence and focused improvement, and intentional inclusion – the “Three E’s”: ecological integrity, social equity, and economic vitality. The plan has a total of 15 strategies. During spring break, the Executive Team began the task of planning for implementation of the strategic plan, which will involve multiple cross-campus teams and the college’s governance structure. Rather than representing the end of a process, implementation of the strategic plan represents a new beginning for Shoreline as we work together toward a common preferred future. More information about a college-wide strategic planning meeting will be coming this quarter.
As you can see, we’ve been incredibly busy! As we move into spring, I’m hopeful about what’s before us at Shoreline because of the involvement of not only our college community, but also our neighbors and community and business leaders in crafting our future. As we engage in our final quarter of this academic year, I’m excited about the amazing experiences each of you will create for our students. I can’t wait to hear about all of your great successes in helping students “finish what they start”. ‘Phin’s Up!