Breaking Down Barriers

Tatyana Ratcliff, Staff Writer/Photographer

Attendees of the Board of Trustees meeting, located on San Diego Mesa college's campus discussing programs to get students more involved. Photo Credit: Mesa Communication Services
Attendees of the Board of Trustees meeting, located on San Diego Mesa college’s campus discussing programs to get students more involved. Photo Credit: Mesa Communication Services
“Opening New Doors”

The Board of Trustees meeting took place here at Mesa College in room Z-102 on Thursday, October 6, 2015 at 4pm. There, staff and faculty members presented the Board of Trustees with their programs that strategize on how to get students more involved on campus. These programs were created for incoming students, actively present students, and returning students.

Students also took the stage to showcase their experiences while involved in these programs. One student who took advantage of the CRUISE club spoke on the clubs behalf and made it very apparent that she had gotten the most out of it.

“After the 4th day, I realized this would benefit me a lot. With the Summer CRUISE Program, I was taught to get involved, take advantage of the opportunity, meet friends, get to know the campus and getting to know your professors”.

In the CRUISE, Creating Rich Unique Intellectual Student Experiences, club the objective is to get incoming students familiar with the campus, faculty, and staff, as well as to make them more aware of all the opportunities Mesa College has to offer.

Dr. Andy MacNeil, Dean of Humanities and Dr. Ashanti Hands, Dean of Student Affairs presented “Breaking Down Barriers” in the classroom, through professional development, on campus and in our systems. Breaking Down Barriers on Campus is one thing Laticia Lopez knows a thing or two about. Laticia Lopez, SEEDS Co-Director, runs the Stem Engagement for the Enrichment of Diverse Students program. This program gravitates more toward the Hispanic student pursuing design. In specifics, science, technology, engineering and math. Their main focus is on scholarship, diversity, leadership and inclusivity.

One portion of the program is called “Pay it forward”. In this segment of the presentation, a Mesa College student spoke about his time spent at Sequoia Elementary School, helping students reach higher reading levels and helping them reach academic heights.

Breaking Down Barriers in our Systems focuses on student success at San Diego Mesa College. This is where insight is offered to develop respect for race, ethnicity, and overall equity on and off our campus.

Breaking Down Barriers for Professional Development is also a touched on subject. In May 2015, a team of 6 faculty and staff from Mesa College attended a national conference in Washington D.C. This conference was intended for others to gain new knowledge of race and ethnicity skills to bring back to their colleagues and campus community.

The Veterans Center, located in building I4-102, is another resource we offer to veterans, active-duty students and dependents. This center is for veterans to reach and achieve obtainable goals. There is a Veterans counselor and currently, there is a tutoring service being offered to our veterans in the Veterans Resource Center.

One goal that is set for Mesa College is to build a loft on the 4th floor of the LRC building for our campus employee development. This loft will entail a committee meeting space, tech training room, soft seating for events and gatherings, computer work-stations, learning pods, and faculty active learning space.

Guillermo, a counselor here at Mesa College, spoke about Mobile counseling and counseling hot spots to make it more convenient and less intimidating for students to visit a counselor. He wants there to be more collaboration between counseling faculty and instructional faculty.

He told a story about a student that he helped through mobile counseling. This specific student is a mother of 3 and did not realize she only had a few more units that needed to be earned until she could receive her Associates Degree. Moral of the story: Short visits to counseling can change your life.

Overall, the Board of Trustees meeting gave insight on the different programs that San Diego Mesa College has to offer for students in order for them to be more involved on campus and successful in their academic endeavors.