Presidential Ponderings

The rhythm of the school year calendar is one of the elements of college admissions counseling that I most enjoy. Each season brings a different set of priorities to my office and the start of each new school year brings the anticipation of new possibilities. During the WACAC Board retreat this summer, we had the opportunity to reflect on how we might shape new possibilities for our association as part of a strategic planning process that will direct our efforts for the next four to five years. We are a volunteer run, not-for-profit organization and it is important that we carefully use our resources, especially the time donated by our many volunteers, to maximize our service to our members.   Over three days, lively and thoughtful discussions ensued from WACAC’s talented board members, who come from high schools, public and private, colleges and universities, public and private, independent consulting firms and community colleges and from California and Nevada. From these varied … [Read more...]

One Year Anniversary of a Day That Changed My Life Forever

One would think, based on this title, I might supply the summary of my year as your president. And although May 21st, 2013, the day I took office, was exciting and full of promise, it was actually 17 days later, June 7th, when a man with a gun stepped on our campus and terrorized our community for less than 10 minutes. He started his rampage 75 yards outside my office, and 3 lives were lost and families will live with scars forever. As will our campus community. And I want to emphasize, that these scars tend to burn and hurt when it happens again at Santa Barbara, or elsewhere in this country. And although the scars hurt and burn occasionally, they keep us aware, cautious and thankful. Thankful that we can pick ourselves up, support our neighbors, friends and colleagues and continue our mission of educating and providing hope and promise to our country and our world, via education. Do not, I repeat, do not let this kind of fear and intimidation keep us from moving forward in our … [Read more...]

Community Colleges Offering Bachelor’s-Part 2

Here is the ideal bachelor’s degree program offered at a community college: “The Southern Illinois University program is an accelerated bachelor’s degree program in Aviation Management, held in our classrooms at Mt. San Antonio College. Students completing the A.S. degree at Mt. SAC (with special attention to specific details about the SIU general education requirements) can enter the SIU B.S. degree program in Aviation Management immediately after completion of their A.S. degree.” (http://www.mtsac.edu/instruction/tech-health/aeronautics/siu_connection.html) I am all for collaborating with baccalaureate granting institutions to create programs like the one above. Let the community colleges focus on what we do best, which is remediation for underprepared students, A.A. degrees, vocational education, lifelong learning, and transfer. Even with these missions, there are tussles over resources at each of our community colleges for the folks in charge of each of these missions. You … [Read more...]

Simple Thanks and Happy Holidays!

This month's article is blog lite. We just had our December Board meeting, and we continue to move forward.  My job as president is to listen a lot, speak a little, and be genuinely grateful for all these folks do for our association.  Balancing their committee responsibilities,  ‘real’ jobs, and, oh yes, personal lives, can only be applauded.  I, on behalf of the membership, thank you Board members. I wish you all happy holidays and a Happy New Year. Dan Nannini WACAC President … [Read more...]

To Community College or Not To Community College, That Is the Question! (With Apologies to Bill)

A very good friend asked me to address the following question about attending a community college, so I thought I would share my response this month. “What will the student be giving up in bonding/relationship/experience/alumni/networking benefits if they don’t go the 4 year route….what’s the trade off there? (beside financial).” I saw this question and knew it would take way more than a few lines of cheerleading the community colleges to answer it completely.  You are asking for custom made cost/benefit analysis in an off the rack world of education and life, but I will give it a go. Let me begin by saying, I always counsel kids and parents to apply to baccalaureate granting institutions.  But, simultaneously, especially in our state, that should include “applying” to community colleges.  I have “applying” in quotes because students get into wherever they ‘apply’ for community college.  It takes little time to apply, and by getting the application in, it moves students up the … [Read more...]