1. Support Student Success
Problem: Increase the number of students transferring to a four-year college, earning a job skill certificate or earning an AA/AS degree.
Solution: Improve support and counseling for students. Enroll more students in the First Year Experience program and improve its effectiveness. Provide culturally sensitive support for students. Help first generation students and their families navigate the college experience. Make sure students are supported in their academic goals with counseling office hours in evenings and weekends and bringing support outside of the offices to where the students are. Investigate, research, and ask the students. Do exit surveys with students that leave PCC without reaching their goal and act on what we learn from these surveys.
2. Promote Transparent Decision-making
Problem: Topics must be placed on the agenda upon trustee request. When an item does not appear on a meeting agenda, board members cannot discuss and full and transparent communication is suppressed. Ensure that all trustees are aware of board expenditure of college funds and why expenditures are being made.
Solution: Training in the proper role of the trustee. Encourage all trustees to expand their knowledge by attending webinars and conferences. Advocate that all trustees earn the Excellence in Trusteeship certificate.
3. Offer the Right Courses
Problem: Ensure students are able to get the courses they need to quickly transfer to a four-year college, earn a degree or get a certificate.
Solution: Prepare our students for the future. Make sure we have enough sections of critical courses needed to transfer to the University of California and California State University systems. Close the skills gap between what students can do and what employers need. Improve and add courses in technology, healthcare, and critical thinking skills.
4. Control Student Costs
Problem: It costs community college students $36,000+ more than students going directly to a four-year college to get a bachelors degree. Tuition itself is low but the additional years to get a degree increase out-of-pocket expenses for housing, transportation and books. In addition, students pay higher opportunity costs of reduced earnings while working towards a degree.
Solution: Work with the University of California, California State University systems and Sacramento to get a clear, direct path for community college students to move into a four-year college. Work with Federal and State governments to provide financial aid packages that recognize the cost of living expenses that community college students bear and that are covered for students in four-year colleges.
5. Achieve Excellence
Problem: Our community should have the best community college in the nation and nothing less. That should always be our goal. Good enough just isn’t. Aim for the stars for our students.
Solution: Student outcome must be our number one priority. Hire and retain the best faculty and staff. Have the best, most effective resources for our students and faculty. Everything the Board does must be guided by what is best for our students. Create and sustain a robust transfer culture. Never rest on past success, always look for ways to improve. Pasadena City College should be #1 in transfers to Cal States, UC’s, USC, and top universities nationwide. PCC must work with local school districts to make it easy for their students to take courses at PCC. PCC must work with the districts to make a seamless transition from high school to community college.
6. Promote Listening
Problem: Often boards do not understand what is happening on the ground. They are too removed from what students, faculty and staff are really experiencing.
Solution: Survey students, faculty and staff. Find out why faculty and students leave. Find out what we can do to make the PCC experience the best possible for students, faculty and staff. Is it easy to register? Is our website user-friendly? Ask faculty what we can do for them. What will make PCC the best place to teach? Ask the staff what we can do to make PCC more efficient. Use data- and evidence-based decision making. Collect data and use in every-day decision making.