When I was hired in the spring of 2012 as the new Lassen Community College Superintendent/President, there were several things lacking. They included: No student email; Numerous student complaints about the financial aid process; No outreach coordinator; The absence of an IT director; No web portal; Limited grant or alternative funding; An inadequate library; No full-time librarian; The Learning Center separate from the library; No meal plan for dormitory residents; An inadequate kitchen in the dormitory; No vocational nursing program; The lack of a dean of categorical programs; No on-campus nursing education facilities; No cultural events on campus; No alumni recognition or activities; Little dual or concurrent enrollment; Special admit students paying fees for classes; Lack of national memberships (AACC, RCCA, NCBAA); A need for new vehicles for transporting our students to games and events; Lack of Wi-Fi hotspots on campus; Lack of new construction on campus; No security person on duty in the evening; Dormitory recreation room in need of an upgrade; Our admissions process was not using the current technology (CCCApply); Limited staff development travel opportunities; No representation at the state, regional, and national level; and, No administrator on duty in the evening hours (Monday through Thursday).
Now, we have improved all of the areas above that have shown that we continue to maintain our educational environment, maintain our accreditation, are a good steward of the taxpayers’ money, have strong leadership and a very supportive board of trustees. Also, we must be at the table or we will be on the menu.
Your superintendent/ president is involved in local, statewide, and national initiatives that include: Co-chair of the Statewide CEO SCFF Workgroup (focused on monitoring implementation and recommendations for improvement of the new Student Centered Funding Formula); Vice President of the Banner-Lassen Medical Center Foundation Board; Chair of the Advisory Committee of Educational Services of the Community College League of California (planning ongoing events and activities statewide); Previously served on the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Formerly Co-Chair and transitioning to Chair of the Rural Community College Alliance (advocacy organization for America’s 600 rural and tribal colleges); and, Former Convener of the President’s Round Table (an organization of community college chief executive officers nationwide).
Presented and represented Lassen Community College at the following conferences and conventions: Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership for potential community college presidents 2016, 2017 and 2018; Presented at the Effective Trustee Workshop of the CCLC in 2017, 2018 and 2019; Presented at the 2015 American Association of Community Colleges Convention in San Antonio, Texas
Topic: Small College, Big Vision; Recently presented at the Association of California Community College Administrators in February with a panel of community college presidents on leadership; Presented at the Sierra Army Depot and the Federal Correctional Institute-Herlong during Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King National Holiday.
The fiscal stability of Lassen Community College can be credited to our board of trustees. We continue to be a good stewards of the taxpayers’ funds.
We have increased our alternative funding (grants/categorical funds state and federal) and the USDA Distance Education Grant financed the new distance education classroom in the Humanities Building. Our budget reserve has to be at least 15 percent, which is in board policy. This financial stability has equipped our campus in the renovation and construction of the ARC (library), Basecamp (old learning center), dormitory kitchen, nursing facility, cafeteria outdoor beautification project and completion of the dormitory recreation room.
To create and maintain a collegial environment at LCC and valuing diversity and serving students on campus, in outreach areas, and our local community.
For our students, we now have: Student e-mail, web portal, and more WI-FI hotspots on campus; A meal plan was instituted mainly for our students living in the dormitory; Cultural events on campus (Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Month, Louis Price/Kenney Polson Concert in celebration of Black History Month, Zellamae Miles Women’s Conference in celebration of Women’s History Month, Asian Pacific Islanders celebration, and the Summer Program in collaboration with the Susanville Indian Rancheria (where the students visit campus in the summer months); Increased opportunity for local high school students to enroll in classes at LCC for no fee; Purchase of new vehicles for athletic, student and staff travel (four 12 passenger vans, three Subaru Outback vehicles); Traditional instruction in Business and Human Services offered at High Desert State Prison and California Correctional Center; Our admissions application process was upgraded to CCCApply; We offer 17 associate degrees for transfer (guarantees admission to a California State University; The ARC provides an excellent environment for research and study for our students. There is a plan for the addition of air conditioning in that building will continue to maintain this environment during the summer months; The leadership of Davis Murphy (interim director of enrollment services) — our financial aid process is effective for all students; One of our LCC graduates completed a program of study at LCC and successfully transferred and graduated from an Ivy League university (University of Pennsylvania); The 15 to Finish initiative has been instituted where students are strongly encouraged to enroll in 15 units per semester which gives them the option to graduate in two years.
First of all, I have represented Lassen Community College serving on three accreditation teams since 2013. I served on the Hartnell College accreditation team in 2013 and the follow-up team in 2015. The ACCJC chose me to serve as the team chair of the Las Positas College team in 2015 and the follow-up team in 2017. Finally, I served as the team chair of the Shasta College team in October of 2017.
As our visit in 2020 draws nearer, I can confidently state that there is a process with respect to accreditation. My serving on various teams in the last six years gives me the insight to make that statement. I have been recently asked by the ACCJC to apply for one of the commissioner’s vacant seats. A college does not wake one day and find out they have lost accreditation.
Despite the rumors that you are reading on social media, Lassen Community College is an accredited institution by the ACCJC. We are proceeding full bore despite the personnel changes. All of our classes and degrees are valid. There is no need to worry.
Following is the current accreditation statement.
“Lassen Community College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education accjc.org.”
The Accreditation of Lassen Community College was last reaffirmed in June of 2014. A Mid-Term Report was submitted on March 15, 2017 and the Accrediting Commission took action at their June 23, 2017 meeting that the college has sustained the work accomplished since the last comprehensive evaluation and has maintained compliance with the standards.
The college is preparing for the next comprehensive review with the compiling of the Institutional Self Evaluation Report and a site visit from ACCJC March 9-12, 2020.
For questions about the accreditation process at Lassen Community College, contact the Accreditation Liaison Officer, Karissa Marino Morehouse [email protected].
Accreditation has not been an issue during my tenure and should remain a non-issue. The underlying foundation of our institution will remain solid. I must praise the work of our standard teams at this point and the leadership of Karissa Morehouse and Cheryl Aschenbach.
Since 2012, we have successfully hired an Outreach Coordinator, a full-time librarian, an Associate Dean of Student Services, an evening security person, two full-time vocational nursing instructors, business instructors and a Human Services instructor to serve the correctional facilities.
We provide our faculty, staff and administration with staff development opportunities to attend conferences, conventions, and workshops.
Finally, in the evening, members of the administrative team are on duty after 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Board member resume
Our trustees have served LCC for a combined approximate term of more than 40 years. These are high quality individuals who have the experience, local history background, engaged in the college community, supportive of student success, and supportive of the superintendent/ president.
Trustees Tim Purdy, Sophia Wages and Shaun Giese attended Lassen Community College. Trustee Buck Parks is a local businessman. Trustees Lou Hamilton and Kim Dieter are retired or current educators.
They are a very diverse group. They are passionate and very supportive of everything we do at Lassen Community College.
There has been a lot of work done at Lassen Community College since my arrival in 2012. We have a lot of work to do to move us forward. But, we must always have the students as our first priority.
Our students are born into this world with unique and diverse learning characteristics, capabilities, potentialities, desires, urges, needs and they must be surrounded by people who love and care for them and who understand that the environment they are placed in contributes to their future success or failure. It is about the students!