DECEMBER 11, 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 Pecos Campus of Chandler-Gilbert Community in Chandler, 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
ABSENT - Gene Eastin, Member
Todd Simmons for Linda Thor
Becky Currey for Pete Kushibab
I. LISTENING SESSION
President Contreras called the listening session to order at 6:30 p.m. and asked Mrs. Rosenthal to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. He commented that because the Governing Board felt it important to maintain dialogue and gather information about the role of the community colleges in the various communities, they were present this evening to conclude a year-long series of eleven public meetings called Community Listening Sessions. He stated that the Governing Board was pleased to be at Chandler-Gilbert Community College to hear from those in attendance and know what was being done right, what could be improved upon, and what might be considered for the future. At the conclusion of all these listening sessions, a comprehensive report will be prepared with new directions for the future.
President Contreras introduced Governing Board Members present and Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper.
Dr. Glasper also welcomed everyone present to this session. The intention was to hear what the needs may be in the various communities and the sessions have been a learning experience for everyone. As the sessions are completed, it is the intent to take into account all the information heard as the Maricopa Community College District moves forward with a bond initiative. Dr. Glasper commented that students are looking for accessibility and affordability and because of university tuition increases, MCCD has been in conversation with Arizona State University to enable simultaneous enrollment and sharing of facilities, where perhaps as many as 90 credit hours could be earned at the community college level and transfer to ASU. This would a great opportunity for MCCD, for our state, and for students.
The Listening Session proceeded as follows:
Chandler-Gilbert Community College President Maria Hesse
President Hesse provided an overview of Chandler-Gilbert Community College's history wherein she highlighted the progress made since the original 80-acre site at Pecos and Gilbert Road was envisioned in 1981 and occupied in 1987. In 1994 bond proceeds allowed expansion from one small building to three sites (Pecos Campus, Williams Campus Center, Sun Lakes Education Center). With current enrollment at more than 12,000 students, she stated that enrollment has doubled in the last five years. Factors that are affecting their enrollment include ever-rising population in Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, as well expansion of the Williams GateWay Airport into a major regional center, the growth of ASU East, and growth of Pinal County. She spoke about community collaboration programs they have in place and of their commitment to ensure that each student feels welcome and supported.
Mesa Community College President Larry Christiansen
Dr. Christiansen explained that this listening session was being co-sponsored by Mesa Community College because of the commitment to regional education planning needs of the Southeast Valley. He commented that as the population continues to grow, it is important to address how to meet the ever-changing needs. With the combined resources of MCC and CGCC, it is hoped that by working together they will continue to provide support for growth of the East Valley. It is important that the colleges collaborate, provide access, and provide the support to make it happen.
Lionel Diaz, Manager, Facilities and Planning Development
Mr. Diaz spoke about promises made and promises kept as a result of the passage of the $386 million bond passed in 1994 for the Maricopa Community College District. As the projects were reviewed ten years later and checked off, the results show that what had been accomplished were accessible, affordable education, job training, customized instruction, technical courses and retraining in safe and secure environments.
Specifics of projects funded and completed at Chandler-Gilbert Community College with the past bond initiative include: Library (60,000 s.f.), Classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices (79,000 s.f.), Performing Arts Center (30,000 s.f.), Student Center (20,000 s.f.), Chiller Plant (5,000 s.f.), A & B Building (14,000 s.f.) , Sun Lakes Education Center (5,000 s.f.), and the Williams Campus. Other projects included the entry and mall, landscaping improvements, technical infrastructure and equipment, furniture, and pavement and roofing improvements. Mr. Diaz commented that as we look to the future, population data from MAG shows much growth is being experienced in the Valley. It is important for people to reflect on what has been done in the past ten years and the growth anticipated in order to determine what may be needed to provide for the educational needs of the communities served by the Maricopa Community Colleges.
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 this would provide confidence that they would deliver again in the future.
Dr. Wally Delecki, Professor, Northern Arizona University
Dr. Delecki thanked for the Governing Board for their time in listening to the needs of the communities they served and encouraged them to listen with their hearts first and then their eyes. As a 26-year resident and former Superintendent of Gilbert Schools for 20 years, he has observed the growth taking place and stressed the importance of working together and continue with the cohorts that have been established with NAU.
Mr. Jerry Brooks, Former Mayor, City of Chandler
Mr. Brooks expressed his appreciation to the Governing Board for their willingness to listen to the needs of this community as it takes everyone working together to keep a quality community college in place. He stated that the major challenge was growth and the ability to meet these needs with good communication and mutual support.
Ms. Wendy Feldman-Kerr, Mayor of Queen Creek
Ms. Feldman-Kerr spoke about the exponential growth that the East Valley has experienced and anticipated to continue. With the expected growth expected for Queen Creek, she stated that a community college site should be considered for that location to provide an educated workforce for this fast growing community.
Ms. Kathy Farrish, CGCC Alum, ASU Graduate Student
Ms. Farrish expressed that her success could be attributed to the excellent foundation she received at CGCC. Her technology and writing skills were enhanced through the personal attention she received from faculty members. She stated that student services, financial aid services, and advisors do a wonderful job at this college.
Ms. Nachie Marquez, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, City of Chandler
Ms. Marquez stated the City of Chandler enjoys a wonderful partnership with CGCC due to efforts of President Maria Hesse and other members of the college staff. With the ever-increasing, ever-changing population of Chandler, she stated there was a need for the city and college to anticipate the workforce training needs of the population, as well as to serve the diverse populations of the city.
Colonel Charles McCarty, Project Challenge
Colonel McCarty spoke about the partnership their organization shares with CGCC and the successful results they have experienced in having 200 students enrolled at the community college and other students who have graduated from the University of Arizona, NAU, and UCLA. He suggested that the community college could serve their at-risk students by creating mini-semesters and providing English language classes for the ever increasing Latino community.
Ms. Kayla Keegan, ASU East Education and CGCC Student
Ms. Keegan spoke about her concurrent enrollment at ASU East and Chandler-Gilbert Community College at the Williams Campus and how this resulted in decreased tuition, university level experience, and the use of resources at the community college. She expressed appreciation for the classroom experience offered through the Teacher Education Program at CGCC.
Ms. Shannon Denley, CGCC Education Student
Ms. Denley described her education learning community and shared that she did not feel like a number at CGCC and that she had wonderful experiences in all classes taken.
Dr. Brenda Larsen, CGCC Education Faculty
Dr. Larsen spoke about the service learning program they have set in place with K-12 classrooms and the ability for students to experience hands-on training.
Ms. Jan Strauss, Law Enforcement Liaison, Office of the Arizona Attorney General
Ms. Strauss spoke about the need for criminal justice education and training for the East Valley.
Mr. Greg Tilque, Director of Economic Development, Town of Gilbert
Mr. Tilque stated that with the ever-increasing population of Gilbert, there were workforce development needs in the medical and bio-tech fields. It was important for Chandler-Gilbert Community College to continue establishing programs critical to support the changing and growing workforce.
Ms. Stacie Burnett, Vice President, East Valley Partnership
Ms. Burnett spoke about her organization's partnerships with both Mesa Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
Mr. Larry Stockton, CA Unicenter Administrator, Bashas (ITI Student)
Mr. Stockton expressed appreciation for the education he received at CGCC and how his experiences in computer and technology classes helped his career.
Ms. Sandra McGeorge, Queen Creek Resident
In view of the growth being experienced, Ms. McGeorge spoke about the educational needs for Queen Creek for both young and old.
Dr. David Schwalm, Vice Provost, ASU East
Dr. Schwalm spoke about the great opportunity for both organizations to work side by side collaboratively and drawing on the strengths of the two institutions. Courses are planned by the two institutions located on one campus and they share resources. Students save on tuition and high quality education is provided. There are multiple points of entry and exit - GED, Certificates, Associates, Bachelors, Post Bacs, Masters and PhDs. Success has been made possible by the long standing partnership of both institutions.
Mr. Dennis Sarfate, Baseball Player and CGCC Alumni, Milwaukee Brewers
Mr. Sarfate attended ASU first and then came to CGCC. He enjoyed the hands-on education he received from teachers and the support of his coaches.
Ms. Susan Eissinger, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Chandler Unified School District
Dr. Eissinger spoke about the opportunity her school district has enjoyed in working with caring proactive staff at CGCC and the success of the dual enrollment program they participate in, the San Tan Academy, as well as the Teacher Education Program.
Mr. Casey Denny, Director of Operations, Williams GateWay Airport Authority
Mr. Denny spoke about the growth that will be experienced by their facility which has been in operation ten years now through collaboration with the surrounding communities. They anticipate 100,000 new jobs by the year 2050 and will need assistance from the community college system.
Ms. Becky Jackson, President & CEO, Chandler Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Jackson indicated that it has been a pleasure to work with President Hesse. Given all the projects and programs they have been able to accomplish together, there is no question that the community can accomplish much more with partnerships.
Mr. Larry Likes, Superintendent, Higley Unified School District
Mr. Likes spoke about the success of the service learning partnership they have in place with CGCC and the Cisco Academy Classes they have for students. High school students need affordable education and also the need for training or retraining. They expect to have a population of 74,000 at full buildout.
Ms. Kathy Langdon, President & CEO, Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Langdon indicated that Gilbert expects a population of 365,000 in the next ten years and the partnerships with CGCC need to continue. Classes in healthcare and technology are a real need.
Ms. Maria de la Torre, CGCC Alumni
Ms. Del la Torre expressed appreciation for the assistance CGCC has provided her and her family with reference to educational needs since their move from Mexico.
Dr. James Murlless, Superintendent, Queen Creek School District
Dr. Murlless spoke about the growth experienced by their town and school district.
Dr. Louis Casillas, Dentist, MCC Alum
Dr. Casillas stated that there is with explosive growth in Arizona and especially the East Valley. The demand for technology savvy workers is important. With the changing demographics, collaboration was necessary if the community is to meet their demands.
Mr. Larry Morrison, Vice Mayor, Town of Gilbert
Mr. Morrison spoke about the demographics of the population of Gilbert and how this would impact educational needs of students as the future unfolds.
Dr. Brad Barrett, Superintendent, Gilbert Unified School District
Dr. Barrett spoke about the growing student population and the need for teachers and healthcare workers.
Mr. Danny Green, CGCC Student, Special Services
Mr. Green expressed his appreciation for the wonderful disability resources available at CGCC and the willingness of staff to help.
Ms. Cynthia Dunham, Founder and Director of Development, The Leadership Centre
Ms. Dunham thanked the Board for taking the time to listen and making good decisions. She stated that growth was the name of the game and development of human infrastructure was needed if things were going to continue to work.
Ms. Jessica Buchanan, CGCC Student Leader
Ms. Buchanan indicated that she became aware of opportunities through a club she was involved in and then became involved in student government. As a result she added many things to her agenda and thanked CGCC for opportunities provided.
Mr. Stuart Schultz, Mesa Airlines
Due to career changes, became involved in the aviation program and will graduate in May. He now works for Mesa Airlines.
Dr. Regi Munro, Wellness Division Chair
Dr. Munro spoke about the responsiveness of CGCC to students and the community and her enthusiasm for being part of the team.
Mr. Trevor Boynton, CGCC Student
Mr. Boynton spoke about his participation in student leadership and his appreciation of faculty providing time for students.
Mr. Brent Alvar, CGCC Faculty Association President
Quoted John Dewey: "One can think effectively only when one is willing to endure suspense and to undergo the trouble of searching." He encouraged continued collaboration in the search for success.
Governing Board Member Remarks:
Linda Rosenthal expressed appreciation for everyone's attendance and was appreciative of the wonderful testimonials. With continued support from the community, the community colleges will continue their fine work.
Nancy Stein thanked everyone for their attendance and for their willingness to speak about the growth and educational needs of the communities.
Dr. Don Campbell commented that he is keenly aware of the growth in the East Valley and all of Maricopa County. With growth, children will need education and jobs and we need to be continually aware of this. MCCCD needs to continue to work collaboratively with ASU.
Ed Contreras stated is also keenly aware of growth in Southeast Valley. Students make board members proud and provide encouragement to continue to change lives and build communities. There is a need now to start planning for future sites. He is proud of the associations between the colleges and the universities and is pleased to hear of collaboration with high schools.
The listening session concluded at 9:00 p.m.
Linda B. Rosenthal
Governing Board Secretary