SEPTEMBER 4, 2003
A community listening session of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. at GateWay Community 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
Janet Gesin for Ron Bleed
Gail Mee for Larry Christiansen
Todd Simmons for Linda Thor
Paul Dale for Gina Kranitz
I. LISTENING SESSION
President Contreras called the Community Listening Session hosted by GateWay Community College to order at 6:40 p.m. and called on Governing Board Member Nancy Stein to lead those present in the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge was followed by introductory remarks, which included a welcome to those present in this yearlong series of community listening sessions designated as Community Voices. He stated that these forums are serving as an opportunity for the governing board, college presidents and people at all leadership levels to gather information about the role of the Maricopa Community Colleges in the communities served. He further indicated that it is important to maintain a dialogue and only through the voices of constituents can the colleges begin to know what was being done right, what can be improved upon and what might be considered for the future. He stated that at the end of the eleven public meetings, a report will be put together as new directions are determined for the future. As members of the Governing Board, Mr. Contreras remarked that they take very seriously what constituents have to say and appreciate the opportunity to listen to the comments made and what they feel is needed to provide the necessary education.
President Contreras introduced members of the Board and Acting Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper.
Dr. Glasper proceeded to welcome everyone in attendance at the seventh of eleven community listening sessions to be conducted this year. He stated that the Maricopa Community Colleges are in the middle of a strategic planning and capital planning initiative and there is a need to hear what we have done well and what can be done better in preparation for a possible Capital Bond Initiative of $950 million. 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 over previous years and the impact that tuition increases at the universities will have on the community colleges. He was hopeful the accessibility and affordability of the Maricopa Community Colleges will encourage more students to attend, however, there is a need to prepare for the challenges of growth in enrollment. He informed those in attendance that no action would be taken on comments made but rather to listen to what the needs were in service area affected by GateWay Community College.
The Listening Session proceeded as follows:
GateWay Community College President, Dr. Gene Giovannini
Dr. Giovannini offered a very sincere welcome to everyone present. He invited those that wished to speak to the governing board to fill out a card or go to the computer stations that had been set up for this purpose.
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 with this past initiative the colleges had drawn up a list of projects they wanted to be accomplished. As the projects were reviewed ten years later and checked them off, the results show that what had accomplished were accessible, affordable education, job training, customized instruction, technical courses and retraining in safe and secure environments.
At GateWay Community College, funds were devoted to the construction of a new healthcare building (78,000 s.f.), a new child care center (3,700 s.f.), an administrative and faculty office (17,000 s.f.), an instructional building (25,400 s.f.), as well as furniture and fixtures, technical infrastructure and equipment, and site infrastructure and utilities. At the Maricopa Skill Center, a lien bond in the amount of $4.5 million was retired and $2.2 million was allocated for occupational and vocational equipment, as well as refrigeration and cooling towers, and computer equipment.
Mr. Diaz commented that in view of the fact that the Maricopa Community Colleges had delivered on the past bond initiative as promised, it was hoped that this would provide confidence that they would deliver again in the future.
GateWay Community College President, Dr. Gene Giovannini
Dr. Giovannini provided an overview pertaining to issues and opportunities, the current standing of GateWay Community College (GWC) and where he felt it was headed. GWC was founded in 1968, was known as Maricopa Tech, and was housed in the Korrick's Department Store Building in downtown Phoenix. Presently, GWC has an enrollment of 16,000 students per year and consists of three facilities - Maricopa Skill Center, the Charter High School and the main campus. With their diversified programs, transfer programs, and public and private partnerships, GateWay is no longer a technical college. The offer programs in math and science, as well as a nursing program. GateWay has also experienced a 13% increase in student enrollment and had the third highest fulltime student enrollment increase in the Maricopa District. 45% of the student base are minority students in comparison to 22% in 1990 and is considered a Hispanic serving institution. GWC enjoys 48 local partnerships with employers in metropolitan Phoenix. MSC, is in its 41st year of existence, offers entry level training in food preparation, banking, auto body work, welding, computer technology, facilities maintenance, printing, and also offers refugee training.
Dr. Giovannini foresees GateWay growing in comprehensiveness and serving an increasing diverse student population. GateWay will probably experience strong and steady growth as the proposed light rail brings anticipated increased enrollment because of its accessibility. In an effort to live up to their motto "Learn More/Live Better," the college's master plan includes a community/conference center and increased workforce training.
Invited Community Speakers
Ms. Leah Landrum-Taylor, Representative, District 16, Arizona State Legislature
Ms. Landrum-Taylor expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this listening session. She stated that the quality, accessibility and affordability of education provided by the Maricopa Community Colleges ranked very high. Because she works as an adjunct faculty at GateWay, as the State Legislature looked at legislation affecting education, she ensures that they understand everything involved. Dual enrollment is extremely beneficial and gives confidence to students.
Michael Johnson, District 8 Councilman, City of Phoenix
Mr. Johnson expressed thanks for the invitation to speak and stated that GWC, MSC, and SMC were doing an excellent job in attending to the needs of the community. He was impressed with the diversity at these schools and all the programs they offered. He mentioned that the foresight in naming this particular campus GateWay was truly visionary. As GWC partners with local schools and the light rail, it will be a natural stop for future students.
Dr. Fran Roberts, VP, Professional Services, Arizona Hospital & Healthcare Association
Dr. Roberts thanked GWC for the stellar healthcare education being provided. With the shortage of healthcare workers and the ever increasing list of people wanting to get into the healthcare programs at the community colleges and universities, it is important to resolve the issue of available money and grants for institutions to provide training. She indicated that she would be working with the community colleges on an interim basis attempting to assess the needs.
Dr. Cathy Esposito, Superintendent, Balsz School District
Dr. Esposito spoke about being approached by GWC for involvement in teaching English and Reading to the many students and parents who only know one language. She sees bilingualism as an advantage in the job market and therefore the tutoring is being provided at her school by GWC students through the America Reads Program. Parents are reluctant to come forward but the training they are receiving has been very helpful.
Ms. Mary Black, Black Family & Child Services
Ms. Black was unable to be present, however, her representative indicated that the Maricopa Skills Center provides many training opportunities for the people they serve because of their location. The many services they provided are also very convenient. He expressed a need for budget increases at MSC so that transportation and day care needs could be provided.
Mr. Dow Rigler, Community Affairs Representative, Home Depot Training Center
Mr. Rigler spoke about their training program and tours which they were in partnership with GateWay High School, as well as other schools. 11,000 students participated in these training sessions wherein they built playhouses and were exposed to math, English, measurement, and geography. Because of a proposal submitted by Gateway High School, the traveling Declaration of Independence will be on display at GateWay on October 7 from 6-9 p.m. Community college credit is received for taking classes at Home Depot.
Mr. Pat Grady, Director, Community & Economic Development, City of Phoenix
Mr. Grady stated that from an economic development standpoint, collaboration is a key for the Downtown Bioscience Project. MCCD has been very responsive to the customized training and workforce development needs of businesses wishing to relocate to Phoenix.
Mr. Don Keuth, President, Phoenix Community Alliance
Mr. Keuth expressed that his organization was partnering with many organizations such as MCCD, ASU, City of Phoenix, etc., for the workforce development needs of Central Phoenix. There is an opportunity to do great things in healthcare, hospitality, biotechnology and MCCD needs to expand the vision so that it doesn't come up short.
Ms. Kathy Barkley, GateWay Student
Ms. Barkley spoke about her participation in the Power Program which is intended to introduce education to women and men in transition. Because of her success in business courses and computer training, she is now enrolled in college.
Ms. Terry Cruz, Social Services Coordinator, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Ms. Cruz told the story of how she given the opportunity to attend the Maricopa Skills Center where she learned job opportunity skills that ultimately provided her the opportunity to get her GED and three job offers. Because of the organizations she has been able to work for, she has been introduced to many people and helping them get job and training placements. She is now back getting computer training at MSC. Ms. Cruz stated that MSC is very core to the community.
Ms. Sharon Colleran, Executive Director, AZ Tooling & Machining Association
Ms. Colleran spoke about the grant their organization received from the City of Phoenix whereby they partnered with GWC for NMS training for non-4-year students. She stated that 10,000 grants to fund NMS program are expected to be awarded and they are also planning to apply for a National Science Foundation grant.
Dr. Jacqueline Chadwick, U of A Health Sciences Center, Phoenix Campus
Dr. Chandwick spoke about the critical shortage in nursing and pharmacy and how this situation cannot be helped without collaboration in this effort. Organizations must work together to address these needs.
Ms. Toni Garvey, City Librarian, Phoenix Public Library
Ms. Garvey spoke about the lack of a public library in this part of the city and the desire to have the City of Phoenix and GWC collaborate to provide a facility for formal and informal learning. She stated that she envisions a place for parents and children to take classes and also be provided with meeting space for the community to listen to authors, lectures, and entertainment.
Mr. Habib Badjan, GateWay Student
Mr. Badjan spoke about the diverse student body and curriculum at GWC and his positive involvement in academic and government activities.
Mr. Ed Zuercher, Public Transit Director, City of Phoenix
Mr. Zuercher provided statistics on transit ridership and how community colleges are great attracters of the transit customer base. He expressed that it was a pleasure to be able to partner in this effort and stated that GWC will be a prime hub for the light rail since it will be a few stops from this campus.
Dr. Bette DeGraw, Dean, College of Extended Education, ASU Downtown
Dr. DeGraw spoke about the extended education program and that the partnership in place with MCCD is vital. She spoke about the enhancements being worked on currently with ASU to provide seamless education.
Ms. Gretchen Maynard, Organizational Development Administrator, City of Tempe Learning Center
Ms. Maynard spoke about the partnership they have with GWC to provide Associates in General Studies Degrees for their employees. GWC has provided excellent service in supplying support, flexibility, and education in accommodating the needs of their employees.
Mr. Jim Peck, Lead Instructional Technologist, Johnson Controls Institute
Mr. Peck spoke about the partnership Johnson Controls has with GWC in their building environment control systems program in place since 1998. The $200,000 lab they contributed provides the cooling and heating systems training simulation needed for customers and employees. This partnership is win-win in that it provides the linkage of real world learning and access to the latest and greatest building equipment and products training.
Ms. Kate Weiss, GateWay Student
Ms. Weiss commented that GWC is not only a place to get an education but also a place to acquire personal growth and be part of a family. She stated that the light rail will be very helpful and that GWC's future is bright but they can't do it alone - the help of the community and Governing Board is needed.
Ms. Sheri Sanders, Manager, Research Institute, Banner Health Systems
Ms. Sanders stated that she has seen much growth at GWC since attended a few years back. She is now in an MBA program.
Dr. Phil Blair, Owner/CEO, Arnold's Pickle House
Dr. Blair spoke about the foundation and cooperation GWC has provided for the light rail. He also commented on the positive association medical personnel in the Valley have with this campus.
Mr. Jesse Flores, News Director, Univision
Mr. Flores is a product of MCC and is now a third year doctoral student. As students visit his television station he tells them about the community college system in an effort to acquaint the Hispanic community with GWC and the other colleges. There is a need to showcase the opportunities available at GWC.
Ms. Karen Friend, President/CEO, Printing Industries of Arizona
Ms. Friend stated that her organization has been partnering with MSC for many years and how MSC attempts to turn out employable workers for their industry. The printing industry is more than presses and ink, it is now software and imaging. She mentioned that marketing is critical in spreading the word about their program.
Mr. Michael McAfee, Arizona Director, Automotive Youth Educational Systems
Mr. McAfee is adamant about providing education for their students and that the facility at GWC is outstanding. There is a need for hiring students who attend the GWC program. Partnerships have been set up with car dealers to supply cars at GateWay and at the local high schools.
Mr. Danny Chaudoin, Apprenticeship Coordinator, Bricklayers, JATC
Mr. Chaudoin expressed great pride in the apprenticeship program in place at GateWay and the need for students to get the training and college education provided by GWC.
Ms. Betty Haddock, GateWay Student
Ms. Haddock expressed that she loves GateWay Community College because it has been a gateway for her as a returning student. She formerly worked as a paralegal and chose to attend GWC because of the quality of education provided. She is an active participant on campus and the community. Gateway has opened passages for her and can be a gateway for many others. The community is a doorway to the future.
Mr. Marvin Freeman, Public Relations Consultant, Marvin Freeman Creative Services
Mr. Freeman commented that MSC is a vital part of the workforce in Phoenix. It provides hope through employees who care. MSC saves lives by helping to building strong partnerships with business and industries in the community and aiming for the impossible by aiming at the possible. There are 75,000 success stories and thousands more waiting to happen.
Governing Board Member Remarks:
Linda Rosenthal expressed that it was good to come to a college and hear well-satisfied customers. She requested that guests help the college to achieve the requests spoken of.
Gene Eastin commented that he recalled the first listening session held at Mesa Community College. He said that a theme developed then and it has reoccurred at each session. The theme was that MCCD offers positively sound education and everyone is very proud of it. It took a great period of time to develop this system and the board offers what it considers to be the best of faculty, managerial staff, professional staff, and Maricopa Skill Center staff. It all came about because we hire the best.
Nancy Stein remarked that it had been an enlightening evening and she thanked everyone for attending and expressing their satisfaction with the Maricopa Community College System and for their openness in expressing the needs of students, faculty, and the community.
Dr. Don Campbell reflected that the comments made this evening took him back 55 years ago when he was a student at Phoenix College and it was a part of the Phoenix Union High School District. The purpose of a junior college was to move students to a four-year school. Changes in society necessitated a community college system and caused an expansion of thought that more than Phoenix College was needed. Over the years, the system has been built from one to ten colleges and being more than a transfer program to development skills and training. The colleges encourage people to go to school and strive to bring people in from everywhere. We are living in a global society and people are going to be coming here and we have to provide for the needs of the colleges that make up the Maricopa Community College District.
Ed Contreras thanked everyone for staying in spite of the lateness. He commented that as the Maricopa Community Colleges move forward in the bond process, ambassadors will be needed in the community. Recently some luster has been lost, however, the accomplishments must be remembered. When he attended a junior college at the beginning of his education, he was inspired to become involved and this provided him a new life. If the bond program is not done, there will be a two-year gap. If we miss that window, we will miss some individuals that may want to attend a community college because we have reached some capacity. We need to reach out to people to come to our doors and get training. We need to challenge ourselves to do more and form more partnerships.
The meeting concluded at 9:20 p.m.
Linda B. Rosenthal
Governing Board Secretary