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Welcome to Spring Semester

It is my pleasure to welcome our newest Governing Board Member, Griselda Delgado, and to congratulate Members Tim Nader and Nora Vargas for their successful elections.

Ms. Delgado is currently a principal at Hilltop Middle and before that was a principal at one of our feeder high schools. Ms. Delgado began her teaching career working with some of the hardest-to-serve students in Los Angeles and Imperial counties. She has created curriculum for at-risk English language learners, and she brings a unique perspective to the board—having served eight years in the U.S. Army.

Griselda Delgado
Griselda Delgado

Restoring Salaries

In 2013 all employees at Southwestern College took a 5% salary reduction to help the district address the effects of the worst recession in recent history. Thanks to additional funding later that year, we were able to restore 1.5% of that salary reduction to employees.

As the economy has improved, I am happy to report that the Governing Board will vote this month to restore the remaining 3.5% to all employees. We are most grateful for the sacrifices our employees made to minimize the impact on student programs.

Advocating for Southwestern College

Last month, Trustees Nader, Delgado and Humberto Peraza joined me, Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish and ASO VP Leo Pascual in our annual legislative advocacy conference in Sacramento. As a new trustee, Ms. Delgado immersed herself in special workshops on college funding, policies and procedures and effective trustee governance.

While we heard about the Governor’s proposed budget for education and student success initiatives, some of the most beneficial time was that spent with each of the assembly and senate members representing our area. In conjunction with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, we advocated for an expansion of the baccalaureate degrees for community colleges, budget stability and loosening some of the restrictions on concurrent enrollment for high school students.

Pictured L-R: ASO VP Leo Pascual, myself, Trustee Tim Nader, Trustee Griselda Delgado, Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish. (Not pictured: Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr.)
Pictured L-R: ASO VP Leo Pascual, myself, Trustee Tim Nader, Trustee Griselda Delgado, Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish. (Not pictured: Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr.)

Students, trustees and CEOs from each of the SDICCCA colleges met with Sen. Marty Block last month in Sacramento
Students, trustees and CEOs from each of the SDICCCA colleges met with Sen. Marty Block last month in Sacramento.

African-American History Month

We have a month of activities planned this month to celebrate African American History Month, including art exhibits, poetry readings and a gospel brunch. We hope you’ll join us at one or more of the activities. For a full listing, click here.

Resolution in Support of Adjunct Faculty

Studies show that a well-paid, stable faculty workforce contributes to student success. That is why at the December meeting the Governing Board voted unanimously to support part-time faculty by requesting the Governor and state Department of Finance permanently fund equity compensation and paid office hours for part-time faculty in the California Community College system. We also requested that $100 million be allocated statewide to increase the number of permanent, full-time faculty positions.

To read about the other actions we took recently, click here.




Encouraging students to select Southwestern College as their first choice for higher education is a primary goal this year. The Governing Board heard about our advertising and outreach activities at our January meeting. An “Invest in Yourself” ad campaign began running last semester and our peer advisors are increasing their presence around the community.

Pathway to Point Loma Nazarene

The Southwestern College district has entered into an agreement with Point Loma Nazarene University to establish a transfer program.

Students within the program will take classes together at Southwestern College after which they will be accepted to Point Loma Nazarene University.

PLNU will provide $1,000 to the Southwestern College library for each cohort and give one student in each cohort a 75 percent tuition scholarship to PLNU.

Corner Lot Update

The fitness and wellness company MediFit will provide managing and operating services for the wellness center upon its completion. The Governing Board also selected Tucker Sadler Architects to begin architectural and design services for the new performing arts center and parking structure Prop R projects.

Sexual Harassment Training

Southwestern College is committed to a safe learning environment and has contracted with We End Violence to create an online anti-violence training program for Southwestern College students.

We End Violence is an organization led by Southwestern College Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Bucholtz that addresses the fundamental causes of violence, focusing on the cultural attitudes and behaviors that allow violence and discrimination to flourish.

The program, titled Agent of Change, will use the latest violence-prevention strategies to address topics required under the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.

Clean Audits

Independent audit reports into Southwestern College Foundation, Proposition AA and Proposition R spending for the 2013-2014 show full compliance with Government Auditing Standards.

The three audits, conducted by Pun & McGeady, LLP, returned as unqualified, the highest grade a college can receive from an independent audit.

Other Actions taken in January:

  • Teri Ashabraner, academic human resources technician, was named Employee of the Quarter.
  • Revised and approved the 2015 governing board tentative study session/retreat schedule available here.


Student Equity Plan

The Student Equity Plan subcommittee has researched completion rates among all student groups and has created a plan to increase student completion. At the top of the list is expanding tutoring programs and expanding boot-camp preparation courses for incoming freshman. Additional basic skills and cultural competence training was also suggested for faculty.

The report also suggested improving targeted outreach and image-enhancing marketing to attract a diverse student population.

The Governing Board unanimously adopted the plan.

Consulate Agreement

The Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego gave Southwestern College a $15,000 grant to provide stipends for students in the Institute for Mexicans Abroad Fellowship Program. Students in the program will mentor fellow students during the fall and spring semesters. The district will provide $3,000 in matching funds for the program.

Other Actions Taken in December:

  • Hired Dr. Leonor Perez as the Title V project director.
  • Accepted a $3,000 donation from Blossom Sanger to develop at Micro Enterprise Family Child Care alumni/mentor program at the Higher Education Center in Otay Mesa.
  • Approved the Governing Board goals available here.
  • Approved the 2015 Governing Board meeting schedule available here.
  • Elected Norma Hernandez as Board President, Nora Vargas as Vice President and Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish as Secretary.
Last updated: 3/10/2015 2:09:48 PM