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College of Marin
President’s Monday Briefing - February 7, 2011
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WASC Reaffirms College of Marin’s Accreditation

In a letter received last week from Dr. Barbara Beno, President of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), College of Marin received official notice that its accreditation had been reaffirmed. The Commission met last month and made its recommendation after reviewing College of Marin’s Institutional Self Study Report (2010) and the report submitted by the evaluation team following their visit on Oct. 25 through 28, 2010.

The reaffirmation is a victory for college faculty, staff, students, administration and members of the Board of Trustees who made compliance with accreditation standards a top priority. This, of course, is tremendous news and a positive reflection of the hard work and dedication of the College of Marin community in working toward meeting and/or exceeding the standards set forth by WASC.

The college will have to fully address the Commission’s recommendations by Oct. 11, 2011. Although we have work ahead of us, we clearly have much to celebrate.

The commendations and recommendations as written in the report are as follows:

Commendation #1

The team commends the college for the breadth, thoroughness, comprehensiveness and use of the mission statement in its guiding documents related to governance and integrated planning. (I.A.4.) (IV.A.2.)

Commendation #2

The team commends the college for its excellent online enrollment management tool, which facilitates the development of “blueprints” for all courses, disciplines and programs. This in turn supports the college wide master scheduling process. (II.A.2.e)

Commendation #3

The team commends the college academic senate for their effective student learning outcomes wiki (online collaborative site), which serves as a central repository for all SLOs and their assessments. This facilitates the development and implementation of learning outcomes. (II.A.2.f)

Commendation #4

The team commends the college for their support of the recently implemented student athlete support program. (II.B.3.c)

 Commendation #5

The team commends the college for its foresight in providing mental health and family counseling services to its students. (II.B.3.c)

 Commendation #6

The team commends the college for its commitment to a sustainable environment by designing and using geothermal energy for institution’s heating and cooling in the new Measure C capital projects. (III.B.1.a)

Commendation #7

The team commends the college and the governing board for its commitment to revising board policies and administrative regulations and making them publicly available through the college website. (IV.B.1.e)

Recommendation #1

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the college regularly update all institutional plans and systematically evaluate the effectiveness of all planning and resource allocation processes. The college should communicate to all college stakeholders the results of these assessment activities, and implement identified improvements on a continuous basis to support and improve student learning. Additionally, the team recommends that the college ensure that planning is linked to budgeting for the effective use of its resources. (LB; LB.6; LB.7; IILD.l.a; m.D.3)

Recommendation #2

In order to meet the Commission's fall 2012 deadline, the team recommends that the college accelerate its efforts to identify and assess measurable student learning outcomes for every instructional, library and student support program. The team further recommends that the college incorporate student learning outcome assessment results into program planning and resource allocation for the improvement of student learning. (ILA.l.a; ILA.l.c; ILA.2.f; II.A.3.a,b; ILB.4; ILC.2)

Recommendation #3

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the college allocate resources to create a sustainable infrastructure to support a distance education program that can deliver high quality curricula and support student access and success. (ILA.l.b; ILA.2.d; ILB.3.a; IILC.1)

Recommendation #4

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the college strengthen the role of research through a broad institutional dialogue and critical analysis of research data, especially in light of the changing student demographics. Institutional efforts should focus on providing information based on statistical data and communicating it widely to all appropriate constituencies in order to improve institutional effectiveness. ( LA.l.; LB.3)

Recommendation #5

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the college remedy the lack of library services, learning resources and student support services for evening, Indian Valley Campus, and online students. (ILB.3.a; II.C.l.c, ER 14, ER 16)

Recommendation #7

In order to meet standard, the team recommends that the college develop a facilities master plan to ensure the effective utilization and quality of physical resources which are necessary to support its programs and services. (IILB.2.b)

Recommendation #8

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the college establish and communicate a sustainable technology plan for the acquisition, maintenance and replacement of its infrastructure, equipment, support and training to meet institutional needs. The team further recommends regular evaluation of this plan for its effectiveness in prioritizing and funding current and projected long term technology needs. (III.C.I.a; mC.I.b; III.C.l.c; III.C.I.d)

Recommendation #9

In order to meet standards, the team recommends that the board focus on developing policies that support the quality, integrity and effectiveness of student learning programs and services. The board should deliberate with due diligence and make timely decisions that are in the best interests of the institution. The board should act as a whole and adhere to board policy once a decision has been made, and support the superintendent/president's authority in administering board policies and procedures. (IV.B.I; IV.B.l.a; IV.B.l.f; IV.B.l.j; IV.B.2; IV.B.2.c)

The ACCJC/WASC Reaffirmation of Accreditation Letter is online at A copy of the complete Team Evaluation Report for 2010 Self Study is available online at Hard copies of these documents are also available for viewing in the Kentfield Learning Resources Center Library.

COM Celebrates Black History Month

College of Marin is celebrating Black History Month. A documentary about the American Civil Rights Movement from the Eyes on the Prize Film Series will be shown at College of Marin in the Learning Resources Center, Room 53 on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 15, from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb.17, from 10:00 a.m. to noon
  • Tuesday, Feb. 22, from noon to 2 p.m.

In addition, a Howard University convocation speech made by Dr. Benjamin Carson was taped and will be shown at College of Marin on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Learning Resources Center, Room 53. In 1987 Dr. Carson, an African American, made medical history with an operation to separate a pair of Siamese twins.

Please arrive about ten minutes prior to the scheduled film times so that everyone can be seated.


Leave Them Laughing, the documentary about College of Marin Drama Professor Carla Zilbersmith’s enduring spirit as she was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, may soon have another award to add to its list of accolades. The film has just been nominated for a Genie Award, which is the Canadian equivalent of Hollywood’s Academy Award.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) FAQ

Q: SLOs are focusing only on what is happening in the classroom and not what happens before and after students come to class (e.g., poverty, having a prison record, divorce, etc.). In short, our SLOs do not allow for tracking and taking into account socioeconomic indicators if that is even possible.

A: This is correct. We are using the value-added concept by measuring early and late assessment—whether a student learns from the first day of the class to the last day of the class (only comparing their own progress, not against other students, or classes).

If we compare the results of a group of SLOs with another group of SLOs, it would both be a disaster and defeat the purpose of creating ongoing, collaborative dialogue for assessment for learning which is about student growth, feedback to students about their work, and helping students see and take control of their journey to success.

College of Marin Strategic Plan Progress Report

Administrators responsible for implementing Strategic Plan Action Steps presented their Strategic Plan Progress Reports at the Planning, Resource and Allocation Committee (PRAC) meeting on Jan. 25, 2011, (per “Assessment of Progress on College Priorities and Objectives”, College of Marin Integrated Planning Manual, p. 23).

Completed strategic objectives include those relating to: class scheduling analysis and changes to address deficits (especially for commuters and working adults) and the preparation and development of a new Technology Plan 2010-2016. Other individual completed action steps relate to Distance Education, Career Technical Education offerings, and student retention and success, although more work remains in these overall strategic objective areas.

The Strategic Plan 2009-2012 consists of 22 Action Steps belonging to 7 Strategic Objectives and 3 priorities.

In the July 2010 Strategic Plan Progress Report provided to the Board of Trustees, COM reported completing 11 Action Steps, with 11 Action Steps remaining “in progress,”, ranging from 25-80 percent completion.

At the Jan. 25 PRAC meeting, COM reported increased progress by completing 50 to 100 percent of the 11 remaining (original) Action Steps. Additionally, 9 new Action Steps were added since July 2010. Reported progress on these new action steps ranged from 25 to 50 percent.

Please click on the following link to view further details of the Strategic Plan Progress Reports

New Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance
College of Marin is pleased to offer a new voluntary long-term care insurance benefit for all full-time college employees.

Long-term care insurance helps cover the cost of long-term care services provided to you in your home, adult day health centers, assisted living, and residential care or nursing home facilities. A variety of plan options are available and may be participated in through payroll deduction. Employees working less than 30 hours per week and eligible family members may qualify for a special premium discount (details will be provided at the seminars).

Karen Marblestone Perry and Teresa Campama (long-term care planning specialists) will be outlining this program at the upcoming informational seminars:

Kentfield Campus—Deedy Lounge
Tuesday, Feb. 15
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.—lunch provided
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Indian Valley Campus—Administrative Services 101
Wednesday, Feb. 16
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.—lunch provided
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please RSVP to Julie Breakstone in the Human Resource Office at ext. 7340 or

Upcoming Events

COMF, ASCOM, AGS, and Student Ambassadors to Host Reception for COM Superintendent/President
The College of Marin Foundation (COMF), Associated Students College of Marin (ASCOM), Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS), and our Student Ambassadors are hosting a meet and greet reception for students to meet David Wain Coon, Ed.D., on Tues., Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Student Services Building Cafeteria at the Kentfield Campus. Faculty and staff are also invited to drop by. For more information contact COMF Executive Director Margaret Elliott, (415) 485-9381.

Alumni Association Open House
The Alumni Association will host an open house on Feb. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the archive room located inside the Library in the Learning Resources Center, Kentfield. Come and enjoy refreshments and learn about the history of the college.

Detective Story
By Sidney Kingsley
Directed by James Dunn
March 3 is a pay-what-you-will preview at 8 p.m.
March 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 8 p.m.
March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.
Kentfield Performing Arts Theatre
$20 general, $10 students, seniors, COM employees, and alumni

A play noir Detective Story was the script upon which the 1951 Oscar-winning and Golden Globe nominated film was based. Set in a busy New York City police squad room and office, the play takes the audience through the busy workings of the precinct during the course of one day. Every manner of petty criminal, tough cop, eccentric street character is represented in this gritty story that is guaranteed to keep viewers spellbound until its dramatic climax.

Good news! Circle Drive has re-opened so there is convenient parking there as well as in Parking Lot # 2 (across Sir Francis Drake Blvd.) and Parking Lot #17 (at the corner of Laurel and Sir Francis Drake Blvd.).


Art Faculty Show
Currently on view in the Fine Arts Gallery is a collection of works from our Art Department faculty. The exhibition will continue through the second week of February. Don’t miss this great display of the many disciplines taught at the college! The Fine Arts Gallery is located in Performing Arts Building.

Library Displays in Honor of Black History Month and Chinese New Year
February is Black History Month and Feb. 3 was the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. The College of Marin Library is currently showcasing a wonderful selection of books on Black History. The library’s database on African American history and culture will also be displayed. The database is called The African American experience. Also on display is a collection of books on Chinese history and culture as well as books by Chinese American authors. The books that are on display can be checked out and the database can be used on and off campus by students and staff.

ESCOM Painting Exhibition
Emeritus Students College of Marin (ESCOM) is sponsoring an exhibition of paintings by Cole Posard now through March 25, 2011. The Emeritus Center at the Kentfield Campus is located in the Student Services Building, Room 146.

COM Athletics
Baseball vs. Cabrillo College
Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. College of the Sequoias
Thursday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. in Visalia
Baseball vs. Reedley College
Friday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m. in Reedley
Baseball vs. Bakersfield College
Saturday, Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m. in Visalia

Men’s Basketball BYE
Wednesday, Feb. 9
Men’s Basketball vs. Contra Costa College
Friday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. in San Pablo

Women’s Basketball BYE
Wednesday, Feb. 9
Women’s Basketball vs. Contra Costa College
Friday, Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m. in San Pablo

Softball vs. WVC, Santa Rosa Junior College—Double header
Tuesday, Feb 8, TBA in Kentfield
Softball vs. College of the Redwoods
Friday, Feb. 11, 3 p.m. in Kentfield

Have a great week!

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


President's Monday Briefing Web Page
Technical Contact: Nicole Cruz, Assistant to Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9648 x7648
Content Responsible: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9528