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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing - February 16, 2012
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ACCJC/WASC Recommendations Are Priority #1

In a letter received last week Dr. Barbara Beno, president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College/Western Association of Schools (ACCJC/WASC), issued a Warning requiring that the college address, by October 15, 2012, the list of recommendations made by the Accrediting Commission in January 2011.

It is very important to note that ACCJC/WASC fully reaffirmed College of Marin’s accreditation in January 2011 and that the college continues to be fully accredited during the Warning period.

It is the college’s top priority to address all of the Accrediting Commission’s recommendations by the October 2012 deadline. Much progress has been made, but clearly we have more to accomplish. Moreover, we must work together and make an exemplary effort to not only meet but also exceed expectations.

A special accreditation task group meeting was held on February 15, 2012, to discuss the status of each recommendation.  The task group is being led by me and is comprised of faculty, staff, and managers who are assigned specific roles and responsibilities in completing each of the recommendations. The task group will meet weekly and will report on progress being made towards our goal.

All college members play a crucial role in supporting this very important process. Your assistance and support is both necessary and appreciated. Progress updates will be included in future editions of my Weekly Briefing.

Meeting dates, times, and locations for all accreditation task group meetings and Participatory Governance Committees will be available on the college’s website Faculty and Staff Calendar. Changes to the committee meeting schedule should be submitted to Kathleen Kirkpatrick at

Correction Feb. 21, 2012
COM Enrollment Dips as Higher fees, Fewer Courses, Budget Cuts, and Financial Aid Restrictions Take Toll

The student headcount numbers released Monday, Feb. 3, by College of Marin’s Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness Office indicates that at the end of the full-term enrollment period on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, there were 7,337 credit students enrolled. This is 525 fewer credit students (-6.7 percent) compared to spring 2011. The recent enrollment decline at COM follows a statewide trend that began in fall 2011 following budget cuts and a fee hike from $26 per unit to $36 per unit.

The decline in enrollments may be attributed to multiple factors, including budget cuts, fewer units, fee increases, curriculum changes recommended by the California Community Colleges State Chancellor’s Office, full compliance with Title V prerequisite enforcement, and changes in federal financial aid requirements.

Budget cuts to categorical programs and moving a number of avocational courses from the credit/noncredit class schedule have contributed in part to the enrollment drop. There are 90 fewer units offered this spring 2012 semester (2474.94 units) compared to 2568 units that were offered in spring 2010 when the college’s enrollment had reached a high of 7946. The number of units is down from those offered in spring 2011 (2507.76 units). An average class is three units and enrolls about 20 students.

In a memo dated Jan. 22, 2010, to Chief Instructional Officers from Barry A. Russell, CCCCO Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, community colleges were strongly encouraged to visit their course offerings and review them for three priorities: basic skills, transfer, and career technical.

Higher fees coupled with greater financial aid restrictions has proven challenging for a number of students. According to the CCCCO, with each fee increase over the past decade, community colleges have witnessed a corresponding decline in enrollment. In 1993, the state raised fees from six to ten dollars per unit–fall 1993 enrollment declined by 124,000 students. The following year, the state raised fees to $13 per unit–fall 1994 enrollment declined by 26,000 students. The state raised fees in 2003 from $11 to $18 per unit–and again raised fees in fall 2004 from $18 to $26 per unit. During this period, enrollments declined by over 300,000 students from 2.8 million in 2002-03 to 2.5 million students in 2004-05. Most recently, in fall 2011 fees rose from $26 to $36 per unit and will go up again beginning this summer 2012 to $46 per unit. Over half of COM students receive financial aid and many more are sensitive to price. Under the current $36 per credit unit fee, full-time students enrolled in 15 units pay approximately $1,080 per academic year. With the $46 per unit fee this summer, that total jumps to $1,380 a year.

As fees continue to rise, new financial aid regulations are more restrictive. Of the 340 students who were denied financial aid in fall 2011 due to lack of academic progress, 233 did not register for spring 2012 semester. The new rules, which also reduce the amount of time that students can take courses and receive financial aid, have prompted COM to strengthen its procedures for enforcing prerequisite requirements using technology to block students who lack prerequisites from enrolling in classes.

California Title V regulations for matriculation and prerequisites require community colleges to enforce prerequisites. According to the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office prerequisites are conditions of enrollment that students are required to meet prior to enrollment in particular courses and programs. Moreover, students who have not met the prerequisite requirements will most likely fail courses requiring prerequisites.

College of Marin Measure C Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee Solicits New Members

Five committee members are being sought to serve on the College of Marin Measure C Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee for the Measure C bond program. The committee is seeking applications for members representing the following categories: community member at large, a bona-fide taxpayer’s association, a community college support group, and a student member. New members will be appointed by the College of Marin Board of Trustees at their April meeting. Applications are due March 28, 2012. Oversight committee members cannot be employees, officials, vendors, consultants, or contractors of the College of Marin. Application and application information can be found online or by calling the Office of the Superintendent/President at (415) 485-9502.

The College of Marin Board of Trustees passed a resolution on December 14, 2004, establishing the independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee. The committee is responsible for ensuring the College of Marin’s financial accountability for projects funded by a $249.5 million bond earmarked for facilities modernization and passed by Marin County Voters in the November 2004 election with more than 63 percent voter approval. Measure C was a Proposition 39 bond that required the formation of a Citizen’s Oversight Committee.

Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness

February Data Nuggets
Can you name three areas which were among the highest-rated in the recent 2011 Faculty/Staff Surveys? (See below.)

  • The Superintendent/President provides effective leadership to achieve the mission of the college.
  • I feel safe on the Kentfield Campus during the day.
  • Making Banner work more effectively should be a college priority.

Can you name three areas which were among the lowest-rated in the recent 2011 Faculty/Staff Surveys? (See below.)

  • Managers receive adequate training and professional development opportunities.
  • Classified professionals receive adequate training and professional development opportunities.
  • Managers are held accountable for their work.

To begin addressing these lower-rated areas, the following actions have been undertaken thus far:

  • To address #1,  a mandatory management training session was held the Thursday prior to spring 2012 Convocation (Thursday);
  • To address #2, the campus was closed for two hours for the spring 2012 Convocation so ALL classified professionals, managers, and faculty could attend the mandatory professional development speaker presentation regarding the College-wide Community Building activity for all faculty and staff;
  • To address #3, there has been adherence to enforcement of the managerial evaluation system to enhance accountability.

For more information please go to the PRIE website or contact Dr. Chialin Hsieh at ext. 7545.

Cop’s Corner

As a staff member of Marin Community College District and as a designated government Disaster Service Worker (California Government Code Section 3100-3109), you have the responsibility to be prepared to provide emergency assistance in support of the students and your fellow employees. To meet this goal, all employees must be trained in basic Incident Command. (IS-100. HE Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100, for Higher Education.)

When you have successfully passed the short quiz at the end, you will be issued an electronic version of the certificate. Please print 2 copies and send one to: . Our goal is to have 100 percent of the employees trained to meet the FEMA requirements.

You may take this class online at FEMA’s website. Please contact the Campus Police at ext. 7455 if you have questions.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jim Dunn

March 1 (pay what you will preview), 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8 p.m.
March 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 2 p.m.
Studio Theatre (PA 32)

The Drama Department’s first performance since moving back into the Studio Theatre is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. As You Like It is as bubbly as a glass of champagne, filled with gender-bending disguises, misplaced love, silly sequences, a nod to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, a wrestling match, and some slightly evil villains who really aren’t so bad after all. Indeed, “All the world IS a stage…” and all the players on it bring this visit to the Forest of Arden to life in a charming production that will please the entire family. Call the box office at (415) 485-9385 for reservations.

Columbia University Admissions Presentation a Success

On Wednesday, February 8, Columbia University gave a free transfer presentation to 15 interested students at College of Marin’s Kentfield Campus, highlighting this Ivy League university and how some of their best and brightest students have come from College of Marin. Columbia University Admissions Representative Ivonne Rojas discussed in depth options within the School of General Studies for returning and nontraditional students who have had a year or more break in their studies and how COM students can transfer to one of America’s finest universities. Opportunities for scholarships were of special interest, along with the high caliber of instruction offered with a wide variety of majors and concentrations available to transfer students. The event was presented by the College of Marin Transfer and Career Center.

For additional information, please contact Janice Austin, Transfer and Career Center, at 415.485.9671 or at SS Room 202. To speak directly with representative Ivonne Rojas, call 212.854.2772 or visit

Data Dashboard Training Workshops Scheduled

The Data Dashboard is a dynamic menu-driven system developed by the Office of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) that enables you to access liveCollege of Marin data to research and study various student success factors including student achievement, enrollment, student demographics, cohort tracking for sequential classes, student persistence, course success, and degrees/certificates awarded. It’s available to all College of Marin faculty, staff, and administrators via the COM Intranet.

You’ll find the link to the Dashboard on the folder list on the left side of the Intranet First Page. Due to security issues, in most cases, the Dashboard can only be accessed on campus when you’re signed in to the Marin Domain (college network) on an office computer. If you have an Argos account, you can also open the Data Dashboard under the QuickLaunch tab when you’re logged into Argos. Although you’re free to explore the Dashboard on your own (just click around, you can’t break it!), you may wish to attend one of the training workshops scheduled in February or March. The first half hour of each workshop will be demonstration. The second half hour, you’ll be able to play on your own with PRIE staff available to answer your questions.

Data Dashboard Training Workshop Schedule

No registration is necessary. Just bring your curious mind and your questions! Open to all faculty and staff. Flex credit available. All workshops will be held in BC 101 on the Kentfield Campus.

Wednesday February 22, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 23, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 22, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information feel free to contact PRIE Director Dr. Chialin Hsieh, Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Melody Creel , or Barbara David.

Black Student Union Celebrates Black History Month

On Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 11 a.m. the Black Student Union (BSU) is presenting student performances at the Kentfield Campus to celebrate Black History Month. There will be music, contests, and prizes on the Quad in front of the Learning Resources Center. The event is sponsored by the Associated Students of College of Marin. Free lunch will be provided.

Book Display for Black History Month

On Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 11 a.m. the Black Student Union (BSU) is presenting student performances at the Kentfield Campus to celebrate Black History Month. There will be music, contests, and prizes on the Quad in front of the Learning Resources Center. The event is sponsored by the Associated Students of College of Marin. Free lunch will be provided.

Moodle Training

Spring Moodle Training sessions are listed below. Each session will comprise 30 minutes of instruction and 20 minutes of implementation. All trainings meet in the COM Library Computer Lab at the back of the Learning Resources Center.

If you are a faculty member, you have a Moodle shell associated with each of your spring 2012 courses, so you may wish to practice attaching documents and images during the training. You can also update your Moodle Profile and set up messaging. Please bring your MyCOM logon information and a flash drive with some of your materials; for example, you may wish to bring a headshot, a syllabus, and an assignment. RSVP to Alisa Klinger if you plan to attend.

Friday, February 24, 2012
Moodle Communications: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Friday, March 2, 2012
Moodle Grade Book: 1 p.m. 2 p.m.

Friday, March 16, 2012
Moodle Open Q & A Session: 12:30 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Moodle Basics: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

COM Athletics

Baseball vs. Diablo Valley College
Friday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. Monterey College
Monday, Feb. 20, 1 p.m. in Monterey
Baseball vs. San Mateo College
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. in San Mateo

Softball vs. West Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College—double header
Saturday, Feb. 18, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Kentfield

Swimming and Diving—Las Positas Invitational
Friday, Feb. 24, all day in Livermore

Track and Field—San Joaquin Delta, All Comer’s Meet
Saturday, Feb. 25, all day in Stockton

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