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Campus News

Reprinted with permission of the Imperial Valley Press

ivpress gaylla_award_photo_2015
Imperial County Sheriff's Office Lt. Robert Cortez, Cpl. Maribel Almodovar, Sheriff Raymond Loera, Gaylla Finnell, Chief Jamie Clayton, Undersheriff Fred Miramontes and Cpl. Aaron Arreola pose for a photo. Finnell won the American Jail Association's Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with the Imperial County jail. COURTESY PHOTO

Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015 12:40 am

A volunteer with the Imperial County jail has been chosen at the 2015 volunteer of the year for the American Jail Association for her countless hours spent working with inmates in an effort to help reduce recidivism.

Imperial County Sheriff Ray Loera nominated Gaylla Finnell for the award for her extensive work at the jail and with its Inside/Out Program, in which qualifying inmates at the jail study alongside students at Imperial Valley College.

"Gaylla and the instructor have done a great job to ensure an optimal learning environment in spite of being riddled with security issues and concerns. Without Gaylla's presence and her efforts, the corrections bureau would not be successful in this venture," Loera said. "She has made our programming something to be emulated by others."

Finnell is pursuing an educational doctorate degree with an emphasis in postsecondary education at San Diego State University and is completing her internship with the Sheriff's Office Corrections Bureau.

She started her internship in November 2013 with the goal of trying to find out how Imperial Valley College "could better serve our incarcerated population and provide them with educational services," she said.

Providing inmates with access to education is critical since "education is the most effective way to reducing recidivism," Finnell explained.

As part of her internship, Finnell worked with staff to develop the Inside/Out Program following the model that universities and prisons have been using across the nation. Imperial County is the first sheriff's office in the country to host college courses under the Inside/Out philosophy, and other communities are looking at how it works here so they can possibly implement it as well.

After receiving permission from the sheriff to do the program, Finnell was assigned to the "AB 109 team" which works on implementing realignment at the county jail. Finnell has spent more than 1,000 hours at the jail, and said the team has "become my second family."

"I'm very impressed with the work that our sheriff's office does and their commitment to not only providing public safety and making sure the offenders are completing their sentences but they are also concerned with doing what they can so that when they leave the facility they are better-prepared," Finnell said.

Imperial Valley College is one of five winners in this year's California Community Colleges Board of Governors annual Energy and Sustainability Awards competition.

A new pathway may soon open up for Imperial Valley students hoping to earn a four-year degree locally, as Imperial Valley College last week entered into a memorandum of understanding with CETYS University in Mexicali.

The MOU between the two institutions establishes an exchange program, allowing students to do their first two college years at IVC and then transfer to CETYS - the only Mexican university with Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation - for their final two years.

Congratulations to all of our 2014 graduates! This was our largest class ever and the first graduation to be live streamed on graduation day. Good luck to all of our students in their future endeavors and we look forward to all that you will accomplish! Go IVC!

IVC Graduation Player

By Heric Rubio, Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer

Imperial Valley College held its annual College & University Day and Career Fair on Monday morning, bringing students across the Valley face-to-face with representatives from different walks of life.

Held inside the school's gymnasium, the fair served as an "opportunity for community students to meet reps and obtain info about careers and colleges," said Beatriz Avila, a counselor at IVC.

By Heric Rubio, IVPress Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — Imperial Valley College students and faculty were treated to a lecture on the arts, education and the importance of finding one's self when one of the school's most famous alumni visited the campus Thursday.

IVC Visioning Flyer

Additional Information and Forums Schedule

Imperial Valley College will be "on the road" over the next two months, seeking opinions and input from local citizens during 11 local community forums as it develops its new strategic Master Plan and vision for the future.

Two additional forums will be held on campus.

"This will be the fourth time in the past 10 years that we have held these listening forums throughout the Valley," said IVC President Victor Jaime. "The information we compile from the public has resulted in monumental changes to both our instructional programs as well as our facilities."

The forums are the foundational step for the college's 2014-2017 strategic plan that will be developed over the next year.

"Most importantly, we will also have a comfort level that we are truly heading in the same direction as our broader community," Jaime said.

Faculty members, administrators and other IVC staff as well as students will be serving as focus group hosts, facilitators and recorders.
"This is a total effort by our full campus and I really appreciate the enthusiasm we are getting as we start this process," Jaime said. "We have a great staff and this will give us an opportunity to showcase them even more as we have this discourse with our customers."

The campus forums are noon September 19 and 5 p.m. November 7.

  • The community meetings begin Tuesday, September 24, with a 6 p.m. forum in the El Centro Chamber of Commerce offices, 1095 S. Fourth Street, El Centro.
  • It will continue at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 26, in the Calipatria Unified School District Board Room, 501 W. Main St., Calipatria
  • Other meetings include:
  • Imperial: Tuesday, October 1, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Imperial Unified School District Board Room, 219 N. E Street, Imperial.
  • Brawley: Thursday, October 3, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Brawley Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 204 S. Imperial Ave., Brawley.
  • Holtville: Tuesday, October 8, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Holtville City Council Chambers, 121 W. Fifth St., Holtville.
  • San Pasqual: Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. San Pasqual High School Library, 676 Baseline Road, Winterhaven.
  • Seeley: Tuesday, October 15, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Seeley Union School Multipurpose Room, 1812 W. Rio Vista, Seeley.
  • Westmorland: Thursday, October 17, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Westmorland Union School Multipurpose Room, 200 South C, Westmorland.
  • Niland: Tuesday, October 22, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Niland Chamber of Commerce, 8031 Highway 111, Niland.
  • Calexico: Thursday, October 24, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Calexico Camarena Memorial Library, 850 Encinas Ave., Calexico.
  • Heber: Tuesday, November 5, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Heber School Multipurpose Room, 1052 Heber Ave., Heber.
  • Residents are invited to attend any of the meetings.

People interested in learning how they can participate can contact the IVC President's office at (760) 355-6219.

View the Full Accreditation Team Report

Imperial Valley College has been notified that it is one of six community colleges in the state that has been issued a "Warning" as the result of the comprehensive accreditation evaluation conducted on campus last March.

"While this is officially a 'sanction,' it is basically what we had hoped for given the fiscal challenges we have faced over the past several years," said IVC President Victor Jaime." Jaime said the status is the lowest sanction that is issued and really does not come as a surprise.

"IVC remains fully accredited," said Jaime, and will continue to work on the fiscal issues that have faced the campus. "The fact that a Vice President of the ACCJC was part of our evaluation is unprecedented and truly shows the confidence the commission has on our ability to provide quality education," said Jaime.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges took the action at its June 5 to 7 meeting. Colleges can be reaffirmed with no sanctions, issued a warning, placed on probation or given a "show cause" status which is the step before losing accreditation.

Of the 13 colleges that received full accreditation reviews, six were reaffirmed, six were issued warnings and one was placed on probation. The commission also voted to terminate accreditation of the City College of San Francisco which had been placed on "Show Cause" status last year.

An eight-person accreditation team spent three days on campus evaluating the college in March. The team was led by Susan Clifford, a commission vice president.

In the team's exit interview, Clifford commended IVC on the quality of student learning and its partnership with San Diego State University–Imperial Valley campus in Calexico.

The team was critical of IVC on fiscal planning issues, stating the college could do a better job of balancing its expenses and revenues to keep from using its reserve fund.

It also praised IVC for recognizing the problem early and proactively dealing with it by voluntarily calling in the state's Fiscal Crisis and Management Assessment team (FCMAT) last year. Since that group's report, IVC has taken a number of steps to correct the fiscal situation that was created by the state's budget crisis.

SACRAMENTO – California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris on Tuesday released Student Success Scorecards that detail student outcomes at all 112 colleges using a variety of metrics that are presented in a clear and concise way and make the nation's largest system of higher education also the most accountable.

The scorecards give college-by-college views of student performance and were a major recommendation of the Student Success Task Force. The scorecard enables users to easily track a college's certificate and degree attainment and transfer rates, persistence rates and "momentum points," such as the completion of 30 units, which is typically considered to be the halfway mark to transferring to a four-year institution as a junior or completing an associate degree.

By Kevin Iqueda, JRN 101

IMPERIAL, Calif.—Imperial Valley College had a growth spurt in the last three years with a techno-new science building, expanded parking facilities, updated classrooms, and water-friendly landscaping.

While the science building is impressive, parking is now abundant, and learning in 21st century classrooms is a reality, it's the often-overlooked things like one small, bright desert flower, a lush green lawn, or a 40-foot tree providing relief from the heat that might help to nurture pride and performance in study-weary students, faculty and staff.

With this facelift came the new philosophy of landscaping the campus with a more "green-friendly," energy-efficient technology—xeriscaping.

Here is a closer look:

View the original article on Borderzine.com

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