Tag Archives: diversity

What a week!

Last week was phenomenal, and not only because on March 9 our accrediting organization lifted all sanctions from the College. On March 10 we held two events with the potential to shape PCC and community for years to come.

More than 100 business, education, government and community leaders joined PCC employees for Futures Conference 2017.  The theme of 2017’s conference is an echo of the first conference.  As in 2014, we are looking to define a handful of comprehensive priorities, or Wildly Important Goals (WIGs), to guide the College through 2020. [Another session of the conference will be held March 23. You also can offer your insights in an online survey.]

March 10 also was the inaugural Ethnic, Gender and Transborder Studies summit. More than 300 students, community members and employees gathered for a morning of scholarship and idea-sharing. The afternoon was spent discussing ways to create a Center of Excellence devoted to diversity, inclusion and social justice.

I am extremely proud of the event’s organizers, who have applied the Center of Excellence concept in a way that will make us a leader among community colleges. Moreover, the center has the capacity to give students a physical space devoted to data-based scholarship, alliance-building, and advocacy for the historically marginalized. Or, as one student eloquently put it, the center will be a place for “inspiring humans.”

The key point to remember is that while the College worked with our accreditor, we have been developing an array of forward-looking initiatives that go far beyond compliance. Meeting regulatory standards is of course an important foundational activity, but it’s only one of a range of efforts we are undertaking to achieve a greater end – becoming a premier community college.

Ethnic, Gender and Global Studies rising at PCC

On Oct. 20, I had the great pleasure of making introductory remarks at the College’s inaugural Raquel Rubio Goldsmith Lecture in Ethnic, Gender and Global Studies, featuring Dr. Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo.

ethnic

Dr. Hernández is a noted Mexican cultural anthropologist. She spoke on “Multiple Injustices: Indigenous Women, Law and Political Struggle.” An intellectual and activist, Dr. Hernández shared profound perspectives on how social justice, gender equity, human rights and race intersect globally.

Following the lecture, Dr. Hernández, along with Ethnic Studies scholar Rubio Goldsmith, engaged in a lively discussion with students and the social activists, educators, intellectuals and human rights defenders in the audience. It was pointed out during the community discussion that our region’s great diversity connects to environmental, political and economic issues that extend far past our borders in ever-changing ways.

The event was a huge success, filling the lecture room and overflow rooms at Downtown Campus. Major leaders of our community were present, including Dr. Anna O’Leary, head of the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona, and Isabel García, who for decades has been at the forefront of immigrant and refugee rights.

The lecture series is the brainchild of our rising program in Ethnic, Gender and Global Studies. As an instrument for social justice, PCC is committed to diversity, inclusion and equity, and a robust, multifaceted program in Ethnic, Gender and Global Studies is critical to honoring our commitment.

The essential goal of the College’s initiatives in this area is individual empowerment. I shared that one in three people are affected by domestic violence within his or her lifetime in the U.S., and that 3 million children between ages 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year. I shared these statistics to drive home the point that achieving success is crucial for the College and the community.

My thanks go to everybody who helped pull this wonderful event together. Provost Dolores Durán-Cerda, Ethnic Studies faculty members Francisca James Hernandez, Rosalia Solorzano and their colleagues are to be commended, as are President David Doré and the team at Downtown Campus; support coordinator Yolanda Gonzales; and the Marketing, Web Systems, and Media Production teams at District Office.

As Dr. Hernandez’s research shows, communities such as ours are microcosms of global diversity and thus demand we develop new visions of “diversity within diversity” as we work for social justice. Ethnic, Gender and Global Studies are essential to understanding our history and setting the groundwork for a better future for all.

Preliminary draft, PCC Diversity Plan

Earlier this week I encouraged College employees to provide insights regarding the preliminary draft of the College’s Diversity Plan. The draft is available for feedback on the PCC Diversity web page through Oct. 12. I invite you to comment on a document that will map PCC’s future direction in this essential area.

The draft Diversity Plan outlines the philosophical underpinnings of our effort, and recommends goals and activities to fulfill our mission: to provide affordable, comprehensive education opportunities supporting student success, and to meet the needs of the multiple constituencies we serve.

Your comments, questions and concerns will inform a document that will have a profound impact for years to come. As I have said, a commitment to diversity will benefit all students and employees, and enhance the economic and cultural vitality of our region.

Embracing diversity amid tragedy

Here is a message I sent to the College community on June 13:

 

At last week’s Governing Board meeting, the College shared with the Board a preliminary draft of our 2015-2020 Diversity Plan.

“Pima Community College’s diversity plan supports cultural awareness, and sensitivity in understanding differences in race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, veteran status, languages, socio-economic conditions and political systems,” the plan states. “The concepts of equality and inclusion go beyond ‘representation’ by creating welcoming environments where all individuals feel respected, valued and supported.”

The sentiments and goals embodied in our plan are poignant, in light of the horrific shooting in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, survivors, their family and friends, and to the city of Orlando.

As a school, we are limited in our ability to fight terror and hatred. But we can fight ignorance, and we can foster respect and civility by vigorously encouraging diversity and inclusion. This weekend’s atrocity has made the importance of our endeavors in these areas evermore clear.

Reiterating our commitment to diversity

 

Earlier today, I sent the following message to all College employees:

Colleagues,

In December 2015, I wrote to the College community regarding our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Recently, some states have considered or enacted legislation that undermines anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. Thus, it is timely and appropriate to reiterate our ongoing pledge to live up to the College Value of People. Our Diversity Statement proclaims in part:

We cherish the diversity of our community and, in addition to equal opportunity and educational access for all, we respect and are inclusive of all beliefs, values, abilities, personal experiences and preferences, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and worldviews. We believe our differences are our strength and a source of innovation, excellence, and competitiveness. [More information is available on our Diversity webpage.]

PCC is committed to adhering to all federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding institutions of higher education. Among these is the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute, which protects students from discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs or activities that receive federal support.

Apart from laws and regulations, the College considers it a moral imperative to make our campuses places where all students, employees and community members feel secure and welcome, so they can focus on studies and activities that lead to student success. Together we remain resolved to move forward on the path leading to a multicultural society built on a foundation of civility, equity and social justice.

 

Reviving our international program

I am excited to share Pima’s progress on internationalization. Under the leadership of  Dr. Ricardo Castro-Salazar, Acting Vice President for International Development,  and the tremendous support of our faculty, staff and community, Pima has laid the groundwork for a revived international program.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that in the 21st century, the world’s political, economic and environmental challenges cannot be solved by one country, and must be met by a multinational, cross-cultural response. I am proud to say that PCC is meeting that challenge, as the information below clearly demonstrates.

Pima Community College International Development

February 17, 2016

  • We have a Strategic Plan for Internationalization with seven strategic goals and 70 objectives. The plan was the work of a Task Force of 84 people that not only had district-wide representation (faculty, staff and administrators), but also community members, foreign representatives in our community, representatives from the Mayor’s Office, County Government, and students.
  • Created the American Institute of Language and Culture at Pima (AILAC). Will offer the first ESL package for int’l students in Summer 2016. This will also help our local enrollments
  • We have worked with the Tucson City Government and the Pima County Administrator to align our int’l objectives for Pima County’s economic development
  • PCC offers 132 courses with “Global” and “Cultural Diversity” content. Nevertheless, despite the guidelines and recommendations from the HLC, AACC, ACCT, and others, PCC did not have a comprehensive global education plan before Chancellor Lambert.
  • Francisca James Hernandez has represented the College at the Generation Study Abroad Summit and directs the development of Faculty-Led Study Abroad initiatives.
  • One of our goals in PCC’s Diversity Plan is to “Increase global diversity and inclusion.” And one of our SLOs across all disciplines is to “appreciate cultural and global diversity” (PCC, Monitoring Report on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes to the HLC, 2013).
  • PCC has now a Fulbright Representative (R. Castro-Salazar)

 

Fulbright Program & International Visitors

  • DK Wu, Co-founder & Managing Director at CAACC (Chinese Association of American Community Colleges). Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund. Jan 22, 2016
  • Reginald Oputa, Fulbright Scholar in Residence. Spring 2016.
  • Ricardo Castro-Salazar has been selected as one of five US Fulbright Scholars to participate in the Community College Administrative Seminar in Russia in Apr 2016.
  • Tucson-Korean Ambassador Program. 42 middle school students visited WC. Spring 2016
  • Carl Bagley, Head of School of Education. Durham University, UK.
  • Seung-Man Kang, Vice Dean, International Services Center, Chungbuk National University, Korea.
  • Brazilian educators. 10 educators visited PCC & learned about our programs and int’l education opportunities. Fall 2015.
  • President of Zhuhai City Polytechnic College, China. Jun 2015.
  • President (Rector) of Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON). IMOU, Mar 2015.

 

College Internationalization Survey

  • 275 respondents, not including international team. 129 reported experience living or studying abroad and they speak 26 different languages.
  • 145 respondents expressed interest in promoting PCC abroad.
  • 31 faculty members who do not teach courses related to multicultural or international education but that incorporate these perspectives in their courses.
  • 21 employees report experience coordinating or organizing study abroad programs.

 

International Enrollments:

  • Growing, modestly, but continually in the midst of an overall College enrollment decline.
  • Spring 2016: A total of 207 int’l students from 41 countries, compared to 202 in Spring 2015. We have enrolled 37 new F-1 students. Concurrent & Other Visa types declined, but we enrolled more F1s than in Spring 2015.
  • Fall 2015: A total of 262 int’l students from 34 countries, compared to 246 in Fall 2014. We enrolled 53 new F-1 students. Fall enrollments include 59 J-1s Bécalos Program Participants in 2015 and 48 in 2014.
  • Summer 2015: A total of 143 int’l students from 38 countries, compared to 96 in Summer 2014. This included 42 J-1 visa holders from 3 educational contracts.
  • Spring 2015: A total of 202 int’l students, including 25 new F-1 visa holders.

 

PCC is the only community college designated as a J-1 sponsoring institution in AZ

  • In Fall 2014, in recognition of PCC’s participation in the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative, the US State Department and the US Embassy in Mexico sponsored J-1 visas for 49 international students attending PCC.
  • In March 2015, PCC regained federal approval to sponsor J-1 visas. Between the summer and fall 2015, PCC enrolled an additional 98 students on J-1 visas.

 

International educational contracts have helped local enrollments

  • A positive multiplying effect on overall enrollments. Classes where int’l students have enrolled have become more cost effective, or even feasible (avoiding cancellations). Furthermore, the classes added to our schedule for our international contracts have given our local students a number of additional options. These classes include: CIS121, CIS162, CIS281, MKT125, MKT139, DAR103, DAR176, TEC123, TEC123 LB, TEC225, TEC225 LB, TEC250, and TEC250LB.
  • Our ESL Program also has benefitted from our international contracts and our ESL Faculty have received additional teaching contracts for the following courses: ENG260, ESL098T6, ESL098T7, ESL080GR, ESL085GR, LA079EI, and LA089EI.

 

Restoring our relationship with Mexico has helped our int’l and local enrollments

We have won two grants ($180,000.00) from the Mexican Government and the private organization Together We Can/Juntos Podemos. With these funds, we have provided 149 scholarships to deserving students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These enrollments are very impactful because they help those who need the most support in our community. Some of our scholarship holders literally could not enroll without these resources.

 

International Memoranda of Understanding

  • Fundación Televisa, Mexico
  • Government of Ulleungdo, Republic of Korea
  • Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON), Mexico
  • Ningbo City College of Vocational Technology, Ningbo China
  • PPEP and Limbe Business College, Cameroon
  • Zhuhai City Polytechnic College, Zhuhai China

 

PCC’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Here is a message I sent to the College community about an extremely important topic at PCC.

Colleagues,

In January 2015, I approved Pima Community College’s Diversity Statement as a welcome to celebrate and foster the diversity and contributions of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, while emphasizing the inclusiveness of our college community. In light of the recent tragedies across the country, specifically in St. Louis, Missouri and San Bernardino, California, and comments made during the current political campaign, I would like to reflect on PCC’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice and ensure we maintain the utmost levels of civility and respect for all.

During my leadership and through the creation of the PCC Diversity Committee, I am dedicated to promoting student success, community engagement, and transparent communication through the stories like those of Celeste Nunez. Ms. Nunez is a PCC alumnus, and the first student in the six-decade history of the Arizona Town Hall to serve on its Board of Directors. As a first-generation and predominantly Spanish-speaking student, Celeste says that, “Having instructors that were an email or phone call away, and would go above and beyond, made all the difference in my success at Pima Community College.”

On any given day, the College serves a broad variety of learner needs, from the concurrently enrolled high school student, to the newly arrived refugee student, to the first-generation ESL learner. PCC programs span the advanced needs of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines in our unique Aviation Technology program, and meet articulation transfer requirements for students who choose to complete their associate degrees and transfer to universities throughout the nation. We serve more students through our Adult Basic Education Programs than anyone in Southern Arizona. PCC also recognizes the more mature learners and students over 50 retraining for second careers in new high-demand occupational fields. The students in these programs come from varied backgrounds, have different learning needs, and range in ages from 15-50+, but as the PCC Diversity Statement says, “Our differences are our strength and a source of innovation, excellence, and competitiveness.”

For more than a century, community colleges have stood as the open door to higher education, and, as democracy’s colleges. We uphold equity and social justice, and our open doors ensure equal access and opportunity. I will continue to work on behalf of PCC to support diverse ideas, safe learning environments, secure policies and practices, and to value multicultural education that unifies us as a learning community through open ideas and expression.