Having spent my entire life in the Rancho Santiago Community College District, I am honored to serve as President of the Board of Trustees. As a former Santa Ana College student myself, I recognize the everyday challenges our students face in addition to their coursework. I commend our students for pursuing a higher education and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve them by helping to ensure they achieve their educational goals.
Our Board of Trustees oversees two dynamic colleges, Santa Ana College (SAC) and Santiago Canyon College (SCC). Both colleges have been meeting the needs of our community for decades and are committed to ensuring our students succeed. Our graduates can be found all over Southern California working in the jobs for which they were trained or studying at universities as transfer students completing their degrees in their chosen fields. Our colleges also proudly provide adult continuing education classes to thousands in our community, and are recognized for comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
I’m proud to report that, not only have we made significant and important strides in recent years, but we also continue our progress toward even greater achievements. Amongst some of the noteworthy ones are:
Guided Pathways Model
Paramount to these achievements is our new overall approach to ensure even greater success – Guided Pathways! This model fosters a more supportive college environment to enable students to confidently and successfully achieve their academic goals in a timely manner. SAC’s recent implementation and SCC’s initial steps toward implementation of this model emphasize our colleges’ focus on student success.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Occupational Therapy
In addition to the hundreds of AA degrees and certificates conferred at SAC’s and SCC’s graduations each year, our District is proud to have had an 85% two-year completion rate in our first Bachelor of Science degree offered in occupational therapy at SAC. With only 15 colleges having been selected state-wide to offer bachelor’s degrees, our success in the program prominently showcases the quality of our District college.
Student Support Programs
In addition to the traditional support programs in counseling and financial aid, our colleges, in conjunction with our student leadership, have done an outstanding job in providing support for our veteran students, our DACA/DREAMER students and those students facing hunger.
Higher Education Partnerships
In addition to our existing partnerships with Cal State University Fullerton and University of California Irvine guaranteed transfer admission, we are excited about SCC's recent partnership with Chapman University to offer full-tuition scholarships and guaranteed transfer admission for aspiring teachers!
State-of-the-Art Facilities/ Infrastructure
Thanks to our community’s support of Measure Q, our District has been able to make tremendous improvements to our facilities at SAC. This work includes vital projects including the completion of the Central Plan/Infrastructure and the Dunlap Hall renovation, as well as the ongoing construction of both the Johnson Student Center with a planned completion for spring 2021, and the new Science Center with a planned opening for fall semester 2020. We, of course, also have an eye on the next phase of much needed improvements, at both SCC and SAC, essential to keep pace and ensure students have access to modern technology, facilities and career training programs.
Of course, I have saved the best for last….our students. My colleagues and I could not be more proud of our students’ accomplishments. Amongst the many, the more recent include:
- SAC's Alumna Nora Mendez’s win of the prestigious American Association of Community Colleges 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award
- SCC's Model United Nations team’s win of its second consecutive Outstanding Delegation award at the National Model United Nations Conference
- SCC’s women’s soccer team's win of a fourth California state title with Ashley Roskelly named United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year
- SAC's el Don newspaper’s win of the Pacemaker Award and el Don’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Nikki Nelson winning first place for her photo essay on SAC's Communication Studies Department's Spring Drag Show.
I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the board, our Chancellor, our faculty and staff, and of course our students to help lead one of the greatest community college districts in California. Join us!
Claudia C. Alvarez
President, Board of Trustees
Rancho Santiago Community College District