Emotions were evident on Thursday as Dr. Bob Simpson completed a 30-year career serving students. A steady stream of visitors to the President’s Office offered their well wishes to Dr. Simpson, who spent a decade at Cypress College — and the past 5 years as president.
Among the highlights was the presentation of a joint resolution of the California State Legislature. The resolution recognizes his service in higher education. It is signed by Senator Josh Newman, of the 29th Senatorial District, and Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, of the 65th Assembly District — two advocates for the college. The resolution was presented to Dr. Simpson on Thursday morning by Christopher Aguilara, of the Hon. Quirk-Silva’s office, and Kaelin Locker, of Hon. Newman’s office.
During the brief ceremony, the three men — all military veterans — discussed their service and the importance of providing educational opportunities for those who have completed military service. One of Dr. Simpson’s most-recent responsibilities at Cypress College is oversight for the implementation of Measure J construction projects. The first groundbreaking will be for a new Veteran’s Resource Center, an effort of personal meaning for the retiring president.
On his final day, Dr. Simpson had visits from faculty, staff, managers, and students. Late in the day, Dr. Simpson expressed his gratitude in an email to the campus community:
“There are no words adequate to express the thanks I feel in my heart for the work we have engaged together and for the support I have received from you over the years. It has truly been a work of love for me. For one final time I say: Go Chargers!”
Before then, Dr. Simpson will perform one final ceremonial duty when he joins student athletes and Coach Brad Pickler on Sunday as the Angels recognize the California state champion softball team — and the first to complete a perfect season en route to a CCCAA softball title —with an on-field, pre-game ceremony.
The Fall 2017 Schedule of Classes is now available online and for sale in the Bookstore. Classes begin the week of August 28. The Summer 2017 Schedule of Classes is also available.
The fall schedule cover features alumna Danila Mendez (Class of 2016), a Business and Accounting Transfer Major now studying at UCI. Mendez, a single mother, said that her Cypress College professors recognized her potential before she did.
“When I first enrolled I just wanted to get an accounting certificate to hopefully better my pay as a basic accounts receivable clerk,” she said. “[A]ll the professors … genuinely care about their students and the quality of education they provide. They have all unknowingly inspired me to be a better version of myself.”
View the schedule below or with the following links:
As the 2016-2017 academic year moves into its final weeks, Cypress College gathered to give thanks to employees for their service to the campus and, most importantly, to our students. Among the gratitude expressed at the annual End of the Year Luau was recognition of employees who have or are retiring during the 2016-2017 year. We thank them and offer them our best wishes in retirement.
Raul Alvarez Raul Alvarez has served as Executive Director of the Cypress College Foundation for the past 16 years. During his tenure Foundation assets grew from $500,000 to over $3 million, and student scholarship awards increased from $125,000 per year to nearly $400,000 annually. Prior to coming to Cypress, Raul worked for the YMCA and was the founding Executive Director of the East Los Angeles Y, developing a $3 million facility in a community that previously was without YMCA services. Raul and his wife, Nan, have five children.
Karen Cant Karen Cant has served as Cypress College’s Vice President of Administrative Services for 10 years, and was the Director of Budget and Finance for almost eight years prior to that. She is known for her guardianship of the campus budget, a critical component of keeping the College operating during lean budget years. Likewise, as the person responsible for the physical infrastructure of the campus, she provided leadership for capital projects which have resulted in significant cost savings from a reduction of energy and water usage. In addition to Maintenance and Operations, other areas in her line of reporting include Academic Computing, Bookstore, Business and Auxiliary Services, Campus Accounting, Campus Safety, Facilities Use and Rentals, Financial and Business Support Services, Grant Support Services, Personnel, Physical Plant and Facilities, and the Faculty and Staff Service Center. Prior to coming to Cypress College, Cant worked in the Coast district, including in finance positions at Golden West College and KOCE TV. Outside of campus, she has served on the board of directors for the SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. In retirement, she plans to travel.
Nina DeMarkey Prior to her employment with NOCCCD, Nina DeMarkey spent almost 20 years working for corporate America as a Human Resources Director. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education & Career Counseling from Chapman University, and received her B.A. degree in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University. Nina has worked in the District for almost 22 years — working at all three instructional entities. She began at Fullerton College where she taught classes in resume writing, interviewing and job search techniques, and advised students in these areas. She then worked for the School of Continuing Education in Digital Media Programs and Grants, and she also did adjunct counseling for SCE and Cypress College. Nina began her current position as the Dean of Social Sciences at Cypress College in July 2004. She also manages the Teacher Preparation and Honors Programs. In retirement, Nina hopes to spend more time with her husband, cats, friends, and with her family in North Carolina. You might even see Nina and Bernie traveling around the U.S. in their red Corvette convertible. She also plans to do volunteer work with her church and provide career counseling to women in domestic abuse shelters.
Steven Donley Completing his 41st year with the NOCCCD, Steve Donley has been at Cypress College since 1995. Prior to that, while also working in the private sector, he was an adjunct instructor at Fullerton College since 1976. At Cypress, he has held the positions of full-time Professor, Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development, Interim Dean of Business & CIS, and Interim Vice President, Educational Programs and Student Services. His current responsibilities include oversight of the CTE Division, consisting of five academic departments; coordination the College’s Economic and Workforce Development initiatives, administration the College’s state and federal grants, and facilitation of the California Community College System Office’s degree and certificate program approvals. He previously also had responsibility for Distance Education. He has taught courses in business, law, a variety of other management classes.
Bonnie Fast Bonnie Fast began working at the Cypress College Library on January 26, 1987. She worked as the Circulation night supervisor for many years before becoming a Library Assistant III. As the Library Assistant III, Bonnie was responsible for managing the entire technical services department of the library, which included the acquisition and cataloging of all library materials. Any book, magazine, journal, newspaper, DVD, or compact disc you find in the library, Bonnie played a part in adding it to the collection. During her 30-year career at Cypress College, Bonnie was involved in many campus committees including planning for the new library. Bonnie’s scrapbooking skills are top notch and many retirees have enjoyed receiving one of her prized scrapbooks as a farewell gift. Bonnie retired on April 10, 2017, and her future plans include relocating to Las Vegas, hitting the open road on her beloved Route 66, and visiting with friends and family.
Pat Ganer It is a challenge to cover Pat Ganer’s 46 year career at Cypress College. Actually two years should be added as she was a member of the first graduating class (and the first student to bring home a trophy, in Forensics of course). Along with contributing to the success of the Communication Studies Department, she served for two decades as Director of Forensics. Her other accomplishments include service as Curriculum Committee Chair, as Accreditation Chair, and three times as Academic Senate President. She was also president of the Western States Communication Association, American Forensic Association, Western Forensic Association, and California Community College Forensic Association, and she has been active in the National Communication Association. Locally she often speaks at League of Women Voters events and serves as a trustee for the Buena Park Library. Her extracurricular work was recognized by the College when she received the Charger Award. Dr. Ganer has indeed had quite an illustrious career. Her colleagues will miss her for her political insights, keen wit, and candor.
David Gibson David Gibson started his career here at Cypress College in 1985. He began as a custodian then worked as part of the floor crew and then moved on to larger equipment such as the Campus parking lot sweepers. David and his wife Donna, both retirees, from Cypress College are enjoying their retirement time together.
Carol Harvey Carol has served as team leader for several nursing courses in the program and has especially enjoyed working with the first-year students. She led the skills lab team for many years and integrated clinical simulation into the nursing curriculum. As Assistant Director, she collaborated with Dr. Fishman to help the department develop an outcome-tracking system and a mentor program, as well as with several successful accreditation visits from the Board of Registered Nursing and the National League for Nursing. Carol’s passion is orthopaedic nursing and she developed a comprehensive course to help students and RN’s from the community gain knowledge and skills in this specialty. She will continue to support orthopaedic nursing education in retirement as well as the health ministry program at her church in Santa Ana. She sings in her church choir and helps to lead the youth choir. She is a past recipient of both the Outstanding Faculty award and the Charger Award, presented in 2016 for her work here in the USA after hurricane Katrina, and for mission work in Kenya and Nicaragua. She continues to lead these efforts in collaboration with AMOS Health and Hope in Nicaragua and looks forward to returning there next year. Carol enjoys travel with her husband Stew and her son Nick, and she says that after her 22 years at Cypress, she will really miss the students and the amazing faculty and staff.
Robert Johnson Rob has been a mainstay of the Photography Department for over 30 years. Cypress College has definitely benefitted from his leadership, particularly in his tenure as Academic Senate President and his 15 years as Department Coordinator. Rob’s creativity has brought him national celebrity as a professional artist, which should not be too surprising since he began his career as a darkroom assistant to Ansel Adams. There is one unusual rumor about Rob — that he can catch trout with his bare hands. That should be a very handy skill in retirement. We will miss you Rob! The Photography Department will be out of focus without you.
Michael Kavanaugh Mike has a 35-year tenure with NOCCCD. He began February 2, 1982 as an hourly employee and became a permanent hire on June 30, 1983 as a Jr. Computer Operator. In 1986 he was promoted to a Lead Computer Operator position. In 1987 he became the Communications Specialist at District IS. In 1990 he was a Project Leader. In 2003 he became an IT Services Coordinator II. His last assignment was with Cypress College as the Manager, Systems Technology Services. In this position he led the “small but mighty” crew of computing support staff in developing the College’s Technology Plan which includes an annual computer replacement component. He also led the two-year effort of converting the campus to a License Plate Recognition system for parking permitting. Mike will be retiring June 2, 2017.
Kevin Luckey Kevin Luckey started with the NOCCCD at Fullerton College as a Groundskeeper in October 1996 and then transferred to Cypress College in December 2004. Since Kevin joined our Campus he has always dedicated himself to the grounds areas he manicured. Retirement for Kevin and his wife permit them continued, unlimited enjoyment of outdoor activities and nature.
Barbara Marshall Barbara Marshall has been a member and an active contributor to the English Department since 1985. In addition to the consistently excellent teaching she has provided for students over the years, she embraced new methodologies: she was one of the first to engage in online instruction, and her willingness to find new ways to contribute to student success has been evident most recently in her volunteering to teach “Fast-Track” courses, giving students an opportunity to complete English 60 and 100 in just one semester. Dr. Marshall assumed other important roles as well: for many years she was United Faculty’s chief negotiator, and she was also active in the Community College and California Teachers associations. Her colleagues will miss her for friendliness and sense of humor and will wish her the best as she now has more time to engage in her equestrian hobbies.
Agnes Martinez Agnes “Aggie” Martinez worked in the Counseling Division for over two decades. She was the Counseling Administrative Assistant in the Business/CIS Division for several years before the Student Center was built in 2008. She was responsible for point-of-service in the Counseling Center and entered counselors’ schedule in SARS (scheduling software program). She was known as the SARS Administrator and was instrumental in working with the vendor when upgrades or technical assistant was required. Aggie was the calming staff member which students naturally gravitated towards due to her engaging smile and upbeat attitude. She has been deeply missed, but her colleagues are happy she is enjoying retirement.
Debra McPherson Debra McPherson became a full-time ESL instructor in 1999. Aside from being an excellent instructor, she played an important role in the success of her department, as it has been consistently recognized as being one of the most successful in California. She revised and created new curriculum, developed directed learning activities in the ESC, helped select recipients of the annual scholarship award, and served as department coordinator. Her broader campus contributions include membership on the Academic Senate as well as a number of committees. Her colleagues will miss her contributions, her great sense of humor, and her uncanny memory. In her retirement she will have more time for horse-riding, one of her favorite activities.
Barbara Meyer Barbara has been the Theatre Department’s greatest cheerleader. Her love for her craft and her passion for her students is clearly present. Typically covered in paint from her work on the latest production’s scenic elements, Barbara’s impish smile would work its way into the heart of the students. Barbara has probably single handedly created more theatre arts majors than any other faculty member in the department. Barbara helped support the creation of the Lively Arts Club which won the coveted Cypress College Associated Students Club of the Year award for two consecutive years. There will be a huge absence center stage without Barbara.
Jeanne Miller Before Joining the staff at Cypress College, Jeanne taught at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of LaVerne, and Mt. San Antonio College. She gained accounting experience with KPMG for her Certified Public Accountant license and had her own accounting practice. She started at Cypress College in 1996 and has served on numerous committees. She was the Cypress College Distance Education Coordinator for seven years and has served as the Accounting Department Coordinator. Jeanne loves any activity that involves being outdoors. Her favorite outdoor place to be is anywhere near a large body of water, especially where her dogs can swim. She and her husband, as well as her daughter and family, will be re-locating to the Front Range of Colorado at the end of May.
Tien Nguyen Tien Nguyen started with Cypress College in 1997 as a custodian and spent his years diligently cleaning all areas of the Campus during the third shift when most of us are away. He spends his time enjoying retirement with his friends and family.
Mary Rothera Mary (Marianne) Rothera began working as the College’s Physical Science Laboratory Technician on September 1, 1977. For 40 years, she served SEM students wholeheartedly, with an amazing talent for creating innovated solution to problems she identified in our laboratory program. She also taught classes in the department, specifically a circuits class for which she developed laboratory experiments that helped expand our curriculum. In fact, Mary was the last person without a math or science degree to teach a course within the SEM division. Because of her background in the classroom, she always approached her duties with an instructor’s mindset. She continuously modified experimental setups to simplify them and help students obtain more-accurate results. She was constantly searching for classroom demonstrations to make physics more approachable from a conceptual level. Mary also assumed the role of shepherding adjunct instructors unfamiliar with campus experiments and repaired much of the department’s broken equipment. The Physical Science Department will miss her technical expertise, and the SEM Division will not be the same without her.
Cathy San Roman Cathy San Roman started as the Switchboard Operator/Receptionist at Cypress College and was known as “The Voice of Cypress College.” In or around 1988, Cathy came to the M & O Department where she stayed until retiring last year. The crew considered her the “Oracle” of M & O. She lives by her quote “Shoot from the hip, play it by ear and live the dream.” Cathy and her husband John, both recent retires from the NOCCCD, are definitely living the retirement dream.
John Sciacca John came to Cypress College after 32 years in university positions. At Northern Arizona University he traveled a lot, serving on federal grant review panels and national committees, and working on American Indian health projects; for years he had a Marriott Platinum member card, which is for those who spend at least 75 nights a year at a Marriott. At Cypress College a major goal was to be available to faculty members and others when needed and to respond promptly to all requests for assistance. As he finishes his ninth year here, he wants to recognize faculty, staff and managers for their sincere commitment to our students and their success. He is proud to have worked with such competent, devoted and hardworking colleagues and for such a fine College. In retirement he plans to volunteer at a non-profit agency and return to writing, collecting books and records, singing in a barbershop quartet, and reciting Cowboy poetry. A key goal is to get back into good physical shape and to spend more time riding both his mountain bike and motorcycle, and with yoga, kayaking, running and cooking.
Robert Simpson Dr. Bob Simpson became Cypress College’s 11th president in July 2012. He is a proud product of California’s public education systems, something that has fostered his deep devotion to our students. He has been involved with community college education for 30 years, starting as a classroom teacher at Fullerton College for 12 years. He also served that college as an instructional dean for and additional 9 years before coming to Cypress College in 2007, as the Executive Vice President. He has focused upon issues of access, equity, student support, inclusiveness, and community outreach. He has also overseen the initial implementation of the Measure J bond projects — notably guiding the development of a new science, engineering, and mathematics building and a new veterans resource center. In his free time, Dr. Simpson enjoys outdoor sports, reading, playing the guitar, and fly fishing his favorite trout streams in south-central Idaho.
Gail Smead Gail retired on December 31, after almost 20 years with Cypress College as an Administrative Assistant II. In addition to the many tasks that Gail saw to as administrative assistant, she also played a part in establishing the Workforce Prep Center, as well as the CalWORKs and TRAC programs. She then continued to support those programs, as well as the CARE program, by providing budget support among other duties. Gail also served as the CSEA Treasurer for five years, was a member of several CSEA negotiating teams, served on PAC for four years, chaired the CSEA Hospitality and Entertainment Committee, served on the Foundation Golf Committee, and the Guardian Scholars Advisory Board. With so many accomplishments and achievements under her belt, it is easy to see why her colleagues have stated that Gail could never be replaced, and will be missed dearly. Now retired, Gail is spending more time with her husband and sisters, and traveling to her river vacation home as well as visiting Disneyland more often. Most importantly, Gail will be getting a new puppy in June and has already given him the name Huckleberry.
Shirley Smith Shirley Smith began working at Cypress College in May 2001. She was the first Director of Campus Safety when the Cypress College began 24 hour and 7 day a week Campus Safety staffing. During her tenure she hired most of the staff who are supporting the operation today. Shirley retired after 16 years with Cypress on January 17, 2017.
Judith Swytak Judy is a caring and energetic nursing instructor. She has served as team leader for nursing courses and taught elective courses in addition to her regular load. She has tirelessly worked with nursing students to improve their confidence and communication skills and is beloved by our students for her caring, positive, but no nonsense approach to learning and providing person-centered nursing care. Each year the Health Science Division supports Interval House, a shelter for battered women and their children and each year Judy makes colorful pillowcases from her collection of fabric so that each child has a personal holiday possession. Judy also volunteers at Mary’s Kitchen and is active in her church and community. In retirement she plans to travel with her partner in life, Steve Swytak, spend time with family, including her son and two daughters, and continue her hobby as an expert quilter.
Dr. JoAnna Schilling will become Cypress College’s 12th president. She was selected from among five finalists, who appeared on campus on March 30 for open-forum presentations to the campus community. The finalists also interviewed with District leadership and with the NOCCCD Board of Trustees last week.
Below is the announcement from Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Marshall:
Dear Cypress College Colleagues, I am thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. JoAnna Schilling as the next President of Cypress College. Dr. Schilling brings a wealth of experience as an educational leader with strengths in partnership development, enrollment management, and accreditation. The people who have worked with her describe her as a transformational leader who is collaborative, empowering, inclusive, visionary, and personable. I believe she will build on your successes and lead the college forward to achieve your desired future. I want to thank everyone who was involved in the selection process including the committee and those who organized and participated in the forums. Your input was an important part of the process. Dr. Schilling will begin her service in July. Over the next few months she will be visiting the campus to get to know you and learn about your work. I hope you will join me in welcoming her to the Charger family. Professional Regards, Cheryl North Orange County Community College District Cheryl A. Marshall, Ed.D. / Chancellor
Dr. Schilling will succeed Dr. Bob Simpson, who retires at the end of June. Dr. Simpson assumed Cypress College’s CEO role in July, 2012 and is concluding a 30-year career in higher education.
During last week’s Open Forum on campus, Schilling said, “The students that we have in our community college are exceptional. You have grit, you have courage, you have knowledge, you have power, you have diversity, you have passion for what you do, and it really, truly transformed me and I wanted to be part of that.”
Dr. Schilling currently serves as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Rio Hondo College, where she also previously served in multiple roles as the Dean of Arts and Cultural Programs, Continuing and Contract Education, and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs from 2006-2012. From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Schilling served at Cerritos College as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Assistant Superintendent.
Dr. Schilling has a doctorate in education from Oregon State University, an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA in English from Smith College. She currently serves as the co-chair on the Chancellor’s Office Curriculum Inventory project (COCI) and also sits on the statewide Chief Instructional Officers (CIO) Executive Board representing the Orange County/Los Angeles County region. Other previous statewide community college committees include the strategic planning committee for the LA/OC regional consortium, and as the CIO rep on the 3csn advisory committee.
Dr. Schilling is a staunch advocate for student success; under her leadership Cerritos was awarded two Gates Foundation grants to reduce textbook costs and support faculty in the development of OER materials. She has overseen three HSI Title V grants, totaling over 10M, all focused on providing academic support for underrepresented communities, a 2.4M DOL grant that created partnerships between the Retail Management program at Cerritos College and several national grocery associations, and is proud that Rio Hondo was recently the only community college in the state to receive a Basic Skills Transformation grant and the Basic Skills Pilot Partnership grant, totaling 3.5M over three years to help move the needle on developmental education at the college. At both institutions, Dr. Schilling initiated K12 and K16 Summits with district high schools and local CSU partners focused on the remediation barriers that inhibit successful college completion. Rio Hondo is also a pilot college for multiple statewide initiatives including the California Assessment Initiative (CAI) Open Education Initiative (OEI) and the Multiple Measures Assessment Project (MMAP).
Schilling is an accomplished playwright and screenwriter, as well as a classically trained vocalist. Prior to her experience in higher education, she was a literary associate and educator in the professional conservatory at South Coast Repertory Theatre. She is the author of recent journal publications in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Community College Enterprise, and Management Learning, was a contributing editor at Dog Fancy Magazine, and is the author of three “Dog Lover Companion” books for Avalon Travel Publishing/Perseus Books.
Schilling served on the boards of the Rio Hondo Symphony Association, the East Whittier Arts Foundation, as well as serving as a juror for the Newport Beach Film Festival and on the California Arts Council. She and her husband are members of the Society of Fellows at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, CA. and are strong supporters of the arts in their community.
Five candidates to become Cypress College’s 12th president have been identified and are scheduled to participate in a campus-wide open forum on March 30, 2017. The forum will be broadcast and archived on the campus website.
Dr. Gregory Peterson — Vice President of Student Services, Long Beach City College
Dr. Omid Pourzanjani — Vice President of Academic Affairs, Golden West College
Dr. JoAnna Schilling — Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, Rio Hondo College
Dr. Arvid Spor — Vice President of Academic Affairs, Citrus College
Dr. Gregory Anderson — Vice President of Instruction, Canada College
Each candidate’s presentation will be broadcast live via USTREAM and archived on YouTube for future viewing (links will be added to this page when available). The schedule for forums and biographies for each candidate are available here. The forums will be held Thursday, March 30, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. with Dr. Peterson’s visit. Dr. Pourzanjani is scheduled for 10 a.m., and Dr. Shilling follows at 11 a.m. Dr. Spor and Dr. Anderson follow at 12:15 and 1:15 p.m., respectively.
“I would like to ask all staff to attend the forum and to be prepared with additional questions for the candidates,” NOCCCD Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Marshall said. “Faculty are encouraged to bring their students.”
The Board will interview the finalists on March 31, 2017, and will make every effort to finalize the process and announce a decision shortly thereafter.
Enforcement of valid parking permits begins on Monday, February 6. Below is important information to help you be prepared. At Cypress College your license plate is your parking permit. If you attend classes elsewhere in the NOCCCD, at Fullerton College or the Anaheim Campus, your license plate is also your parking permit there.
Important information about parking
All fees MUST be paid in full to access the “Cypress Parking System” AND activate your virtual parking permit
To register your vehicle, simply login to myGateway and click on the “Cypress Parking System” link in the “Registration Tools” section of your “Student” and “Registration” tabs
Students MUST select and submit a permit for the Spring semester. An email confirmation message will be sent to you upon successful completion of the permit process.
Students MUST check that their vehicle(s) information is correctly input into the system. An email confirmation message will be sent to you upon successful completion of any changes.
Special instructions for parking at Fullerton or Anaheim
Cypress College students parking at Fullerton College CANNOT park in structure at Lemon St./Chapman Ave. The Fullerton Police Department enforces parking in that parking structure and does not have access to our system to validate your license plate as your parking permit
All students with a valid Spring semester virtual permit for Cypress College can ALSO park at both Fullerton College and Anaheim Campuses in student designated spaces.
For questions about parking, and for assistance, contact Campus Safety in their office (adjacent to Lot #1) or at (714) 484-7387.
Today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The day recognizes the “extraordinary achievements of those who have helped to effect change and create opportunities for women and girls in sports,” ngwsd.org states. In honor of this day, Cypress College is showcasing Head Coach Margaret Mohr. Coach Mohr has an extensive background in sports, which earned her numerous honors, including CIF-SS and National Catholic Player of the Year.
Mohr was offered a full scholarship at California State University Long Beach. By her junior season, Mohr was named team captain and starting point guard. Her 182 assists still rank her fourth on the single season record book. In Mohr’s senior campaign, the 49ers made history by becoming the first CSULB team to reach the NCAA Final Four after an inspiring season that included a Pacific Coast Athletic Association crown and No. 4 ranking in the national polls to close out the season. Coach Mohr was inducted into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame in 2011.
Since then, she has coached at all levels – from high school to college to the L.A. Sparks – before finding her home here at Cypress College. Since 1998, she has racked up over 300 victories, four Orange Empire Conference Championships, three OEC Coach of the Year Awards, four Regional Finals appearances, and a 2005 State Championship.
California Community Colleges
Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
A degree in mortuary science is rare. In fact, there are only two public programs offering associate degrees in the field in the State of California. For those seeking to advance in the funeral services industry, a bachelor’s degree is even less common. In fact, Cypress College’s selection to offer a baccalaureate degree in funeral services presents a unique opportunity since there are no other colleges or universities offering this type of degree in the Western United States.
Cypress College — like all 113 California Community Colleges — offers associates degrees in a wide variety of fields. Currently, there are 71 degree programs approved as part of Cypress College’s curriculum.
However, Cypress is one of the 15 California Community Colleges approved to offer a baccalaureate degree as part of a statewide pilot program designed to offer upper division coursework in disciplines not currently covered in the instructional programs offered in the California State University and University of California systems. Cypress College’s program — officially a bachelor’s of science in funeral services — will begin instruction in Fall 2017. This new degree will offer upper division academic and vocational instruction to students, as well as bring expanded employment opportunities to Southern California.
The overarching goal of the program is to enhance, not supplant, the current Associate in Science degree program at Cypress College. In fact, the program and strong alumni base will provide a robust pool of candidates for the baccalaureate degree.
While the concept of a community college baccalaureate degree is likely new to many — state legislation approving the program was passed in 2014 — Professor Jolena Grande has been working towards this moment since 1995. For more than 20 years, she planned, gathered information, and lined up support waiting for the opportunity. Since the program was selected, she has worked tirelessly for a successful implementation.