Monday, May 02, 2022
I hope everyone is doing well and had a wonderful weekend.
On Monday, April 25, the Board of Trustees announced my appointment as their new superintendent/president. First, I would like to thank everyone who supported and encouraged me over the years. Without your support, friendship, and advice, none of this would be possible. I'm truly honored and grateful. When I first came to Imperial Valley College nearly six years ago, I couldn't even imagine the possibility of becoming IVC's President. All I wanted was to do an excellent job in serving you, our students, and the community. I promise I will continue to do my absolute best to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and the community-at-large.
So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you. It is not a solo act when one achieves this type of accomplishment, but a team effort. I could not be in this position today without your support.
I especially thank the Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this incredible role and opportunity. I am humbled by the thought and assure you I am here to serve our exceptional students, faculty, staff, administration, and the Imperial Valley community. Thank you, IVC.
As of now, 25 colleges are eligible for the $1 million prize and are to be awarded the next year. The expanded prize field signifies growing momentum for community college reform. The $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation's signature recognition of community colleges that are closing equity gaps, improving student outcomes, and meeting transfer and career placement objectives. In years past, only ten finalists have been named on the road to the winner, and this change is designed to highlight the increased number of colleges across the country doing excellent work. I am so proud of each one of you. You are committed to putting students first, changing and adding programs to best meet students' needs, and delivering education with care and compassion.
As the summer intersession and fall semester approaches, we plan to have roughly 50% of our classes face-to-face and 50% online, some of which will be asynchronous, hybrid, or hyflex. Our schedule continues to be flexible to accommodate students from online, real-time online, hyflex, hybrid, and face-to-face. We are super excited that we can offer so many different modalities to meet our students' individual needs and interests. This is the very definition of meeting students where they are.
We are continuing our community outreach. We hosted an 'Explore IVC' event on April 29, where HS teachers, counselors, and administrators, were invited to learn about our programs and initiatives and witness demonstrations in fire, nursing, electrical, and POST programs. We anticipate this to be just the beginning, as we want to show the community all of the great things IVC has to offer.
IVC will not be able to offer free tuition to students any longer. Please do not let this discourage potential students; we have programs available to assist our students with economic challenges. I encourage you to send students in need of services to our Student Services Department, where they can receive what they need. We are committed to their success, and we do not want finances to be a barrier.
Check out the article in Calexico Chronicle.
It should be noted that although we are reversing the negative enrollment trend of the past two years, we are still considerably down from 2019/20 year by 18%, which is our hold harmless year. We need to build on this momentum and get back to 19/20 enrollment level our plan is to achieve this by next year. I know we can do it!
While our late enrollment period has ended on a positive note and we continue to be a dynamite team, it is important to keep contacting and encouraging our students to not only attend IVC but to stay enrolled and relay available resources to our students.
We have all done an incredible job working together to protect the health and well-being of our community. Let's continue to work together to keep our community safe and healthy. If you haven't gotten your booster shot, please do so and upload your vaccination card with the booster vaccine to receive the incentive. Click here.
I encourage you all to visit IVC's Fairbooth at the Casa de Manana building next to San Diego State University from now until Sunday, March 13, 2022. I look forward to seeing you there.
Join us at the next State of the College Town hall meeting on March 17, 2022, at 3:00 pm. At the Townhall, we'll share updates on the happenings at IVC as well as take questions from the audience. Please submit your questions in advance at https://forms.imperial.edu/view.php?id=868214.
Immediately following the Townhall, we'll have our DSPS Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:00 pm. It took us a long time to get here, and we are extremely excited to provide a better facility with enhanced student resources for our students with disabilities.
In the meantime, we plan to conduct informal interviews with interested parties to identify an Interim Vice President of Student Services. If you or someone you know is interested and meets the qualifications, please email Clint Dougherty and me directly.
In closing, keep up the amazing work, Team! We are IVC!
Greetings, Campus Community:
I hope this email finds you well and in good spirits.
First, I would like to say, it is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our colleague and friend Mark Duva. He passed away on February 5, 2022. Mark began employment with the district on August 15, 2014, as a Psychology Professor. He was an outstanding faculty member who his students adored. He will be truly missed. It is important to note that COVID did not cause his death but another health condition. If you would like additional information regarding funeral arrangements, don't hesitate to contact Dave Drury, Interim Vice President of Instruction.
We offer Mark's family and friends our sincerest condolences.
Since my last email, we have increased enrollment by nearly 500 FTES, which brings us to 16.14% over the prior year. I remind you our goal was to increase spring enrollment by only 5% over the prior year. Unduplicated headcount also jumped considerably. We went from being down 931 students to being up 277. What a turnaround! Either I set the goal too low, or we simply have a fantastic team that is committed to student success. I believe it to be the latter.
I want to acknowledge the outstanding work that Vice President David Drury and the Deans are doing. They worked closely with faculty and the program chairs to adjust classes to meet enrollment demands and students' preferences. Also, I want to thank our outstanding faculty who have been working with the VP and the deans to make these accommodations. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the Student Services team, who actively encouraged students to enroll and take additional units. They are also bringing IVC to the community by participating in parades, fairs, and standalone IVC events. Last, I must acknowledge our Marketing department. I have seen our ads and promotional collateral more this year than in the last six years combined. OUTSTANDING JOB, EVERYONE! We know it takes a campus to enroll, retain and graduate a student. You all are doing it! Thank you!
Many of our buildings are under construction. As a result, many walkways and restroom facilities are unavailable. Upon entering the campus, you will be provided a map of the impacted areas. There will also be staff strategically around campus who can assist you and our students. I sincerely apologize for this disruption and the inconvenience this may cause. Most of our buildings and major equipment are very old and well past their serviceable life. We are actively trying to modernize our facilities to better serve our students and you.
For your reference, the following construction projects are scheduled to be completed by:
The state of California and other states are planning to lift many of the mandates. The indoor facemask mandate for vaccinated people will be lifted on February 16. As in the past, we'll continue to follow the local, state, and federal guidelines. Thus, vaccinated persons will no longer have to wear a facemask starting next week. However, we strongly encourage you to wear a face-covering in close or highly populated areas. Considering that a large percentage of our students will be back on campus next week, we are discontinuing the adjusted schedule. If you feel a special accommodation for your area should be made, please consult your manager and your vice president or executive officer. We'll consider these requests and get back to you as soon as possible.
Our goal is to keep you as safe as possible while we return to campus. We will continue to do screenings at the entry points. We have ordered plenty of N-95 masks that will be provided upon request. We have testing kits that will be provided to employees and students. If you are feeling sick, you should test yourself before coming on campus or stay home. We'll continue to do on-campus testing and vaccination clinics. Also, if you haven't gotten your booster shot, please do so and upload your vaccination card with the booster vaccine to receive the incentive. https://forms.imperial.edu/view.php?id=812177. Last, if you require any additional PPE, please let us know. We have masks, gloves, shields, disinfectants, and other safety supplies for you.
Now that the spring semester is starting, I look forward to attending and participating in our scheduled campus events. Here are a few upcoming events. I hope to see you there!
Holtville Carrot Festival Parade (12/12: 10:00 am)
ASG Valentine's Day (12/14: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Spring Welcome Back Resource/Outreach Fair (2/16: 4:00 – 7:00 pm)
Black History Month Trivia (2/17: 3:30 – 4:30 pm via Zoom)
Black History Month Event (2/25: 3:30 – 7:00 pm in Student Affairs Lawn)
IVC Kitchen Food Distribution (2/24: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Social Justice and Equity Forum (2/23: 2:00 – 3:30 pm via Zoom)
We also plan to have the Spring State of the College address and DSPS grand-opening event in early March. More details to come.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see you next week!
Greetings, Campus Community:
In fact, in my conversation with one of the officers, they were so impressed with our response and action that if we had the metasystems and governance structure (Integrated Consultation Council) prior to the first visit, we would have most likely received a commendation. Please see the attached notification.
Considering this spike, we will continue the on-site work-schedule adjustments made early this month through the first day of the semester, February 14, 2022. At that time or before, we'll determine if an extension is warranted. For events and large gatherings, we will approve them on a case-by-case basis. The criteria will be, can it be done safely, such as in a large classroom that allows for social distancing, or can it be done outdoors? Meetings should continue to be held online when possible. The State has extended the indoor masking mandate until February 15, so we'll continue to follow suit. Lastly, I would like to reiterate we have plenty of PPE, N-95 masks, social distancing decals, disinfectants, and other safety materials. If you need anything that can help reduce the spread and keep you safe, please let us know, and we'll try our best to provide those materials.
The board approved the booster vaccination incentive January 19, 2022. Please take advantage of this opportunity, as it will help keep you safe and well. Please click on the following link to upload a copy of your Vaccination Card with the Booster Vaccine https://forms.imperial.edu/view.php?id=812177
Thank you again for all you do! WE ARE IVC!
Dear Campus Community:
Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday break.
As you may be aware, the state and the country are experiencing a spike in cases primarily due to the Omicron variant. According to researchers, this variant is less severe but more transmissible. As of January 4, 2022, the County has 1264 active cases and a positivity rate of 19.2%. There is a seven-day lag in the positivity rate. Government officials project that the rate will continue to rise over the next two weeks due to the recent holiday gatherings.
The County has a vaccination rate of 86% fully vaccinated, which is one of the highest in the state. The State average is 71.2% IVC's vaccination rate is 85%. We are considering options to encourage employees and staff to get the booster shot since many of us got our last vaccination shot over six months ago.
Your safety is our highest priority. Considering the spike in cases and the virus's transmissibility, some departments may need to make temporary adjustments to their current practices from now until Monday, January 31, 2022.
This plan goes into effect immediately and will continue through Sunday, January 30, 2022. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as required.
CDC recently changed the isolation requirement from 10 days to 5 days. As we have done in the past, we will follow this guidance, and we have changed our decision tree, which is attached.
As of yesterday, January 3, 2022, we are slightly behind in FTES for the winter intersession (-36.68 FTES or -6%), and we are up 8.8% or 154.45 FTES for the Spring Semester. In total, we are 5% above last year in FTES, which is our goal. GREAT JOB! Let's continue to build on this momentum. I provided our 2019-20 results as a baseline comparison. Our goal is to increase year-over-year enrollment by 5% for spring 2022, and 10% in fall 2022, and another 10% in spring 2023. That would bring us roughly back to the 2019-20 enrollment baseline.
|Winter/Spring Enrollment Day 56 January 3,2022|
|Last Year 20-21||Current Year 21-22||Difference||% Change||Previous Year 19-20||PY to CY Difference||% Change|
I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are looking forward to an exciting year. 2021 is over, and it presented us with several challenges: COVID cases, leadership changes, enrollment challenges, and institutional changes. Despite all of these challenges or opportunities, IVC has thrived and has gotten better. You have thrived and have become more resilient! Our students have persevered and demonstrated their commitment to their studies during these difficult times. We have supported each other and have given our all to our students and community! That is truly remarkable and commendable. I'm very proud of each one of you. Thank you for being an incredible team. With this team, all things are possible, and we are ready to make 2022 the best year ever! WE ARE IVC!
Greetings, Campus Community and Happy Holidays:
The winter break is around the corner, and I hope you have a great holiday season! I'm sure it will be full of joy and happiness. I hope you find time to relax and spend time with your loved ones. Below you'll find the campus update on leadership changes, COVID-19, enrollment, construction, and accreditation.
The State of California reinstated the universal masking mandate requiring all persons vaccinated or unvaccinated to wear face-covering indoors. This goes into effect today until January 15, 2022. At that time, the State may provide new guidance. We will continue to follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal agencies.
It is very important that we stay safe and vigilant over the winter break, as we would like to see everyone return safe and well.
|Last Year 2020||Current Year 2021||Difference||% change|
With approximately six weeks remaining, we are doing a lot to grow enrollment. We are marketing heavily, and you may have seen the billboards, social media promotions, traditional media, streaming live TV, and mass media communication. The contact center will also work some limited hours during the break to answer questions and help students enroll. In addition, incoming Interim Vice President of Instruction, David Drury, is leading the enrollment management task force that has been charged with identifying opportunities to grow enrollment and remove process bottlenecks.
I encourage you to continue to spread the word about free tuition for the winter and spring sessions by utilizing our 2022 enrollment toolkit. This is truly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I hope that everyone takes advantage of it.
I want to acknowledge Bill Gay and his colleagues of Reliance Public Relations, Inc. and Elizabeth Espinoza for their leadership in making this annual report a reality. Also, I would like to acknowledge everyone who contributed to the creation of this document: Mike Nichols, Yethal Alonso, Paula Saldana, Daniela Estrada and to all of you. Thanks to everyone's commitment and dedication to our students' success because of you, we are able to highlight our students success.
IVC will be closed for winter recess and will resume operations on Monday, January 3, 2022. Please be safe and have a wonderful holiday break! We'll see you next year! WE ARE IVC!
Dear Campus Community:
The College received the attached letter dated 2-1-2021 from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). As you will recall, IVC submitted a Follow-Up Report to the Commission on October 1, 2020 after receiving three commendations and two compliance recommendations following our last Comprehensive Peer Review Visit in March 2019. Upon review of IVC's first Follow-Up Report, the Commission determined that we were compliant with Recommendation #1, but required additional time to demonstrate compliance with Recommendation #2. College Recommendation #2 (Standards I.B.7, I.B.9) states: In order to meet the standards the Commission requires the College to improve the evaluation of processes and systems that are currently in place, and ensure they are more systematic and routine.
Since the Commission saw that IVC had made true progress toward compliance with Recommendation #2, we were granted a Good Cause Extension. These are seldom granted by ACCJC and we maintain our accredited status during the good cause extension period.
In order to fully address compliance recommendation #2, the College has been hard at work through activities like the governance reorganization and the implementation of Nuventive to collect learning outcomes and program review. All of this has been described in the attached second follow-up report that you are encouraged to review. We will also have a virtual Follow-Up visit on November 16, 2021.
I am confident we will meet the recommendations since we have all worked together to improve our holistic institutional planning efforts and the process by which we will evaluate those processes. I would like to thank all of you who have contributed to the college improvements and preparing the report.
Greetings, Campus Community:
I hope you are doing well and enjoying this fine weather. The heat is behind us and the holiday season is on the horizon. I am sure you are all looking forward to spending quality time with family and friends and planning some nice "getaways." I am.
State of the College Townhall
It was a pleasure to see many of you at the town hall meeting last week. I hope it was informative and provided a comprehensive update on where the college is and is headed. I have attached the presentation for your review. It will also be posted on the website.
Below are items I would like to highlight from the town hall:
· COVID-19: Our goal is to keep you safe to the best of our ability, and we are constantly looking for ways to enhance safety while maintaining the operation. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or me directly. At this time, we do not plan to issue a vaccination mandate since most of our county residents have been fully vaccinated, and those who have not may never due to their current situation or beliefs. The estimated return on such action may not grant us the result we are looking for. However, this will be an ongoing conversation and consideration with faculty, staff, students, and administration and may change in the future.
· Enrollment: Enrollment is down considerably (-19%), and it will take all of us to reverse this trend. The impact can be devastating if we fail to do so once the held harmless status is lifted. Along with the Enrollment Strategies listed on the PowerPoint deck, we will reestablish the Enrollment Management Task Force, which will have representation from all constituency groups. I want to thank Jeff Cantwell for the suggestion and Dave Drury's willingness to take a lead role in this task force.
· Accreditation: The ACCJC follow-up visit is on November 16. I want to recognize all who have worked tirelessly in getting us to this point. Great Job! Kudos to the entire accreditation team and a special acknowledgment goes to Dr. Tafoya, Dr. Jia Sun, Yolanda Catano, Ric Epps, Jose Carrillo, Kevin Howell, Betsy Lane, Melody Chronister, Oliver Zambrano, Linda Amidon, CART members and all others who contributed to this.
On Tuesday, October 26, the County Board of Supervisors voted to end the facemask mandate for vaccinated people indoors and align Imperial County's guidelines with the state. Official statement from the Health Department is attached. As we have done in the past, we will continue to follow the guidelines prescribed by federal, state, and county officials. Therefore, IVC will end the facemask mandate for vaccinated individuals indoors, effective Monday, November 1, 2021. However, we strongly encourage all persons to wear a facemask indoors and especially when close to others. This will help keep us safe and prevent spread.
I recognize that some of you may not agree with this decision and others support it wholeheartedly. This pandemic has divided many of us, as each has our own level of risk and fear tolerance. I attest, these are not easy decisions, and we take them very seriously. Our primary purpose is to keep you safe and, at the same time, serve the district and our students. Unfortunately, we are going through this unprecedented time and have to make tough decisions, where there is no clear right answer.
Imperial County Daily COVID-19 Data webpage reports 508 active cases in Imperial County as of 7 p.m. on October 27, 2021. For more information, go here. As of October 27, 2021, 85.7% of the County eligible residents are fully vaccinated, which is one of the highest vaccination rates in the state. For detailed vaccine information, go here. Currently, 83.2% of our faculty and staff have been fully vaccinated.
The state has also reduced the number of isolation days from ten days to seven days for vaccinated people who have been exposed to COVID-19. The updated decision tree is attached. Also, please review Lupita Castro's email dated 10/25 with the subject line: COVID-19 Support Services and Vaccine Clinic information for additional information.
I recognize there are many concerns regarding returning to campus in the spring, and I take your concerns very seriously. That is why we are gradually returning to campus instead of being fully onsite in the spring. In the fall semester, roughly 25 percent of our courses were onsite. In the spring, roughly 48% will be onsite, 41% will be online, and 11% hybrid or hyflex. This gives our students flexible options and gives IVC time to address some of our infrastructure issues and maintain a degree of safety while we transition back to campus.
I also want to note that pre-pandemic, roughly 7% of our courses were online. This number is considerably low and does not meet some students' needs, particularly working adults and students who prefer online. We will never be at this level again. On that note, we also have to stay true to our community college identity that serves all students - those with means and those without – by offering most of our courses onsite. So, over time through research and trial and error, we will be able to identify the best combination of course options. My hope is along with the academic senate and the enrollment task force, we will be able to identify the "perfect" modality mix. This will be a gradual and fluid process.
Thank you for all you do. You make the difference!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
My door is open! We Are IVC!
Dear Campus Community:
I would like to begin by wishing everyone a Happy Mexican Independence Day.
Imperial Valley College is proud to be recognized as one of the 569 institutions nationally to be designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). An HSI has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.
Even more importantly, Imperial Valley College's designation as an HSI represents our deep commitment to a racially just campus climate and supporting our Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicanx students toward completing their personal and educational goals.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has announced that National Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week will be observed September 13-19, 2021, which is during National Hispanic Heritage Month. In observance and celebration of National HSI Week, Imperial Valley College will continue to build community by increasing awareness of the importance of HSIs in improving access to education, advancement of equity practices, and contributions made to the communities we serve.
As we take this opportunity to reaffirm our appreciation and support of our Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicanx students and employees, we encourage you to join us at our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on September 30th at 5:30 p.m. on the lawn behind Student Affairs (bldg.1000). We are excited to bring a mariachi band, Mix Techo and Lucha Libre, brought to you by Venue Wrestling Entertainment. We look forward to seeing you there!
Imperial Valley College President's Message:
On behalf of the outstanding faculty, staff, and administration, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Imperial Valley College. We understand that electing to continue your education during these unprecedented times may have been a difficult decision. For that, we sincerely applaud your tenacity and commitment to your education, and congratulate you on your decision to pursue higher education. You are making an investment that will prove invaluable for the rest of your life.
We are committed to your success and actively put several programs in place to ensure you are successful in this new and ever-changing environment. First and foremost, your safety is of utmost importance, and to protect you and others, we will have ongoing COVID-19 testing and on-campus vaccination clinics. We introduced the Ready Education application that provides pre-screening, vaccination reporting, and contact tracing. All on-campus community members are required to wear a face-covering while indoors. We will do daily screening upon entering the campus. We want you to be and feel safe on campus. That is our commitment to you.
In addition to your health and safety, we are committed to your academic success! Thus, we have dedicated additional resources across campus. We have enhanced our supportive services by creating a contact center, increasing tutoring, having specialty counselors for students with unique needs, and providing emergency assistance and basic food, housing, and technology support. We added more flexible class options to meet your individual needs and safety. We have several class options that you can choose from: fully online, entirely onsite, a combination of both, and Hyflex, which grants you the chance to participate in class or online.
As an IVC student, you are joining the ranks of several highly successful people who preceded you. In fact, many of our graduates have gone on to achieve great things. They are teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors, nurses, superintendents, principals, engineers, counselors, welders, fire captains, law enforcement officers, and the list goes on. Many of our students head to four-year universities, where on average are more successful than many native students in terms of grade point average and time to completion. Many other students complete certificate programs as one of the fastest and most affordable paths to gaining valuable career skills and entering the workforce quickly. You have made a great decision!
Imperial Valley College is part of a greater partnership involving community leaders, taxpayers, trustees, legislators, alums, K-12, universities, and the support of the great State of California. They all want you to succeed.
Thank you for choosing IVC. Our college has a rich history of serving Imperial County residents. We are delighted to count you among them.
Lennor M. Johnson, Ed.D.