Hello LACC Faculty,
It has been just a couple of weeks since I started as the Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. Despite my first few days being rainy ones, the reception and welcome from the faculty and staff has been great. I toured a few areas on campus and am eager to visit more of them over the next few weeks to see and hear about the great programs you have built here at the City’s College. The energy so far has been terrific and I’m looking forward to seeing the energy spike as the spring term kicks off.
There are a couple of additional new faces joining the Academic Affairs team. Please welcome Dr. Armando Rivera-Figueroa, Dean of Career Technical Education and Workforce. Dean Rivera-Figueroa comes to us from ELAC where he served as the Dean of STEM programs. Also, please welcome Fabian Naranjo, Administrative Aide. Fabian will be serving in what is commonly referred to as the curriculum assistant role.
As you scan through this document it will look very similar to the document sent out and posted in the fall term. I do want to thank the team in Academic Affairs, especially Amy Ho, who went through and updated the pages with current dates, numbers, and names on short notice so we could get it out to you. I apologize if you were looking for something radically different, there was not enough time to make big changes.
At five days before the start of the spring semester our headcount (99%), enrollment (96%), and enrollment per section (93%) are all down slightly from last spring. There has been considerable effort over the last few weeks to contact students through emails, text messages, and phone calls encouraging them to register or pick up additional courses. This effort will continue through the weekend. However, once the semester begins the majority of the spring term enrollment work shifts to you. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, let me wrap this letter up and close with seven items that can make a difference:
1. Arrive to your classroom early next week and each day thereafter so you can welcome each student with a smile and interact some before each class begins.
2. Whether they are dedicated, desperate, or both; if you have the space, please consider adding students who show up looking to add your course, even if they might be a day or two late.
3. Monitor your rosters regularly and complete exclusions and drops in a timely manner. However, try to contact students by email/phone who have missed two or more days in a row or who are having attendance issues before dropping them. Encourage them to stay on track to finish by scheduling them to meet with you during an office hour or refer them to a counselor if they must drop the course.
4. Encourage students who are not full-time to pick up an additional class. Students who attend full-time are more likely to persist and complete their program of study.
5. Be helpful, available, and sympathetic. The quality of relationship students have with the faculty is a significant predictor of learning gains and success.
6. Create an engaging, active, and relevant learning environment.
7. Last, and most important, HAVE FUN!
Enjoy the spring term. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Dr. Jim Lancaster
Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs