MAY 1, 2003
An executive session and community listening session of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. at Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Ed Contreras, President
Linda Rosenthal, Secretary
Nancy Stein, Member
Don Campbell, Member
Gene Eastin, Member
Debra Thompson for Rufus Glasper
Janet Gesin for Ron Bleed
Carol Scarafiotti for Linda Thor
Nick Balich, Absent
I. EXECUTIVE SESSION
Governing Board President Ed Contreras called the Executive Session to order at 5:30 p.m. The executive session was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
II. LISTENING SESSION
President Contreras called the Community Listening Session hosted by Phoenix College to order at 6:40 p.m. and called on Governing Board Member Linda Rosenthal to lead those present in the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge was followed by a short video honoring the men and women currently serving in our country's armed services. President Contreras commented that he had been approached several weeks ago to play this video and stated this was a good opportunity to remind ourselves that we live in a land where we have many freedoms and are able to speak without regrets or repercussions.
President Contreras' introductory remarks included a welcome to those present in this yearlong series of ten community listening sessions designated as Community Voices. He stated that these forums serve as an opportunity for the governing board, college presidents and people at all leadership levels to connect with and hear from the people who live in the communities served. He further indicated that only through the voices of constituents could the colleges begin to understand their strengths and weaknesses. He stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue and hearing what people have to say, not only pertaining to what the community colleges were doing right, but also what could be improved upon and might be considered for the future. He stated that at the end of the twelve public meetings, a report would be put together as new directions are determined for the future.
President Contreras introduced members of the Board and Chancellor Gaskin.
Chancellor Fred Gaskin proceeded to welcome everyone in attendance at the fourth of twelve community listening sessions to be conducted this year. He stated that their purpose is listening to the communities inform the Maricopa Community Colleges on what can be done better and how they can prepare for a possible Capital Bond Initiative. He made mention that currently the Maricopa Community Colleges have the highest penetration rate of any community college system in the country. He noted the increase in enrollment numbers which have shown great increases over previous years and the potential for a 10% increase next year resulting from tuition increases at ASU. He is hopeful the accessibility and affordability of the Maricopa Community Colleges will encourage more students to attend and there is a need to prepare for this increasing enrollment. He informed those in attendance that the purpose of the listening session was not to take action but rather to listen to presenters from the Phoenix College and Rio Salado College service areas.
The Listening Session proceeded as follows:
Lionel Diaz, Manager, Facilities and Planning Development
Mr. Diaz provided an overview of the 1994 Bond Election's impact in which voters passed a $386 million bond for the Maricopa Community College District. He commented that promises made were kept and in general these had resulted in providing accessible and affordable education in safe and secure environments.
At Phoenix College funds were devoted to: additional library space (68,000 s.f.), the addition of the Dolby Building (45,000 s.f.), conversion of the bookstore to the Administration Building, remodeling of the Communications Building (13,000 s.f.), purchase and remodeling of the Temple Beth Israel Property (30,000 s.f.), the addition of the family care center, and remodeling of the Dome Conference Room. There were also technical and utility infrastructure enhancements, as well as furnishings to make buildings more functional.
At Rio Salado College, a new office building was purchased in Tempe (132,700 s.f.). There was also remodeling of Rio Tempe (76,000 s.f.), conference space (13,600 s.f.), KJZZ/KBAQ was moved from MCC to the Rio site (18,800 s.f.), construction of the Sun Cities Educational Center (5,000 s.f.), remodeling of the 7th Avenue site (5,000 s.f.), purchase of land for expansion at 7th Avenue, furniture, fixtures, and infrastructure enhancements.
Phoenix College President, Dr. Corina Gardea
Dr. Gardea acknowledged the presence of Roz O'Neil's GRN120 Class at Phoenix College which focuses on "Issues in Aging Services Management", and Dr. Linda Thor's NAU CC580 class which focuses on the community college.
Dr. Gardea provided historical information on Phoenix College which was founded in 1920. She commented that its facilities had had heavy usage during its years in existence. Flight training took place during the years 1947-57. Interior design classes took place there. In addition, Phoenix College has a rich history of Arizona politicians, authors, editors, and leaders who attended its campus. Phoenix College is comprised of three campuses: City Colleges (site of the new charter high school), the Main Campus, and the Osborn Site. Dr. Gardea pointed out that City Colleges is close to the proposed light rail line and as the population of Phoenix increases to its projected 7 million by year 2040, Phoenix College must be ready to accommodate future enrollment. The master plan to improve Phoenix College includes new buildings and buildings that must be remodeled.
Rio Salado College President, Dr. Linda Thor
Dr. Thor congratulated Phoenix College on their many achievements. She then went on to comment that Rio Salado is proof that colleges can succeed in reaching out to working adults who want to get an education. Tagged as the "College Without Walls", Rio Salado has never been a traditional college. Offering customized programs through technology, Rio Salado is the most cost-effective of all the Maricopa colleges. Enrollment has continued to increase to an 50,000 annual headcount through their sites at Paradise Valley, Luke, Sun Cities Educational Center, Mesa, 7th Avenue, and 12th and Washington. She pointed out that their dental hygiene program not only provides training to students but also provides dental services to the public at reduced fees. The Small Business Administration named it as one of 23 best practices. Through their 7th Avenue site, adult basic education classes are provided to 15,000 students. This service also helps provide transition for students wanting to attending college. They provide dual enrollment classes at a number of high schools and classes are available anytime, anyplace through 200 distance learning courses. They have a program for post baccalaureate teacher education and will have an on-line nursing program, which will earn an AAS degree for students enrolled. They have partnerships with America West for airline operations training and also a law enforcement program. She expressed appreciation to the Governing Board for the opportunity to carry out their mission and to the community for the inspiration.
Community Speakers (Invited Guests)
Phil Gordon, Former City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to present his views on what MCCD can do for the community. Phoenix College served as an anchor of redevelopment to prosper the mission of the entire community when Phoenix College said they were staying in the community. He stated that partnerships should be formed and developed. Phoenix College should be adaptive and responsive to helping people with new careers and new jobs. He spoke of his son who attended Phoenix College, although he was an under performing student. His life has turned around and is now working as an EMT and helping save lives.
Dr. Fran Roberts, Vice President for Professional Services, Arizona Hospital & Healthcare Association, spoke about this being National Nurses Week. She offered commendation to the Maricopa Community Colleges for their incredibly hard work in helping provide a well-qualified healthcare workforce through their nursing and lab assistance programs. There is a great need for new nurses in Arizona to serve in nursing homes, hospice, and home care. She stressed the need for partnerships to assist this endeavor.
Jack Harris, Assistant Chief, Professional Standards Division, Phoenix Police Department, also expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to speak. He stated that it is the goal of the police department to provide law enforcement protection to the city of Phoenix. As such, they are responsible for recruiting and training at basic and advanced levels officers at places convenient for officers with a minimum of travel time. This type of advance training prior to getting into the academy is offered through Rio Salado College. Through the efforts of Rio Salado, the Phoenix Police Department can be assured of good professional training.
Community Speakers (Open Forum)
Tricia Core, Student (ABE), spoke about her ability to get her GED in spite of being nineteen and the mother of four children. This was not "a piece of cake", however, she now plans to study nursing and become a registered nurse. She expressed her appreciation for the ability to get her GED and have an opportunity to succeed in the future.
Paul Winslow, Architect & Encanto Community Resident, indicated he has lived and worked in the neighborhood through a number of different perspectives, i.e., community activities, neighborhood chair, and the Phoenix Community Alliance. He stated that there are many opportunities to capture and the things that will keep these from happening will be the admissions process which is very difficult, competing against other colleges, and faculty working against the odds in buildings where classes are held. He also commented that students get lost on campus, find it difficult to park and register for classes.
Jim Mohan, USAA & Phoenix Faculty, indicated his company has a unique partnership with Rio in that their new hires go through skills training provided by the company and at the same time gain college credits. This is great motivation for employees to continue seeking college degrees.
Karen Cossio, Gabor Lorant Architects, commented that as an international student at Phoenix, her education has been priceless. She received one-on-one assistance and her advisors expressed a true desire to have her succeed. She commented that the infrastructure at PC needs to be improved.
Angela Kwan, shared that she now works as an adjunct faculty member at Rio and is a sergeant with the Phoenix PD. She has earned 35 credit hours by taking classes through Rio and is now pursuing a degree.
Jerry Martinez, spoke about the benefits of the community college system, such as economic development, by identifying what this state needs and then providing instruction on the skills sets needed to fill jobs created.
Lynn Rheams, commented that in this fast-paced society, high-tech individuals are needed. Many people need to change or improve careers, and the community colleges can provide retraining and education to help them.
Fatimah Halim, City of Phoenix, spoke about the need for women to be trained in building construction trades, electrical fields, etc. MCCD needs to expand the outreach and find sources of funding provided by grants for this training.
Chris Burton, Student, shared his experiences in earning his degree through distance learning at Rio Salado College. He will graduate next week without ever having attended a formal classroom, even though he has interacted with faculty. He calls Rio the "College of Empowerment" because that is what Rio is all about.
Billie Sue Hiroshita, commented that she hopes the master plan for Phoenix College includes a parking garage. She rides the city bus and would like to see buses come onto the campus. She would also like to see partnerships with the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs as a place for children of students while they attend classes.
Richard Quiroz, Student, expressed his appreciation for the counseling and advisement his company received through the Small Business Development Center. This advice broadened the scope of what they could do. His company has grown 20% the last two years in sales. He encouraged the continuation of this program.
Byron Garrett, Former Charter School Administrator, encouraged the Maricopa Community Colleges to provide bus safety for students, look at the diversity of faculty and students, and then reach out to those populations, participate in active engagement in fighting dropout rates, and provide day care or quality preschools.
Ann Throlh, Officer of Student International Club, narrated a poem composed by a fellow student pertaining to friendships in the student international club at Phoenix College. (Nobody feels like an outsider, skin doesn't matter nor accent, ..)
John Laurant, Architect, stated he was pleased to be part of this listening session and provided an overview as a business owner who has worked with the district. The professionalism of staff members he has worked with provides him with confidence in MCCD as they move forward.
Governing Board Member Remarks:
Dr. Don Campbell indicated he had heard great satisfaction for both Phoenix College and Rio Salado. He also heard that something needed to be done with physical improvements on buildings for both institutions. He also heard a need for parking. Since the community south of Phoenix College is growing rapidly, there appears to be a need to improve on things done with the 1994 bond funds.
Linda Rosenthal expressed appreciation to everyone for coming and expressing their satisfaction. She was pleased to hear of challenges issued to the Maricopa Community College District and wanted to assure everyone that things would be done. MCCCD wants to be responsive to the students of Rio and Phoenix College. She encouraged everyone to go out and make purchases to boost the economy to ensure that a possible bond would get passed.
Nancy Stein remarked that the evening was a good opportunity to hear about how Rio Salado College and Phoenix College have helped students reach their goals and dreams and improve on those efforts.
Gene Eastin thanked everyone for glowing remarks about the Maricopa system. He expressed appreciation to everyone who devote their time and effort to providing the different services. He expressed appreciation for the praise but also encouraged everyone to speak positively in the ballot boxes of November 2004.
Ed Contreras thanked everyone for their participation and comments, which reflected satisfaction. As Phoenix College continues to age, the infrastructure needs to improve, parking and bus services need to be enhanced, child care needs must be met, and programs need to be instituted to training people to get new jobs or increase their income. Phoenix College and Rio Salado need to be keep evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
The meeting concluded at 8:25 p.m.
Governing Board Secretary