March 2005

FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2005

Flying Team Takes Second at Regionals, Advances to Nationals

WALNUT, Calif.— The Mt. San Antonio College Flying Team won the Top Community College trophy and second place overall at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Flying Association's SAFECON 2005, a regional airmeet competition featuring flying teams from colleges and universities in the Western United States, held Feb. 18-20 in Salinas. Mt. SAC has won the Top Community College trophy at the regional competition every year since 1991.

Mt. SAC tied for second place with Christian Heritage College of San Diego, behind first-place Embry-Riddle University of Prescott, AZ. Individually, Mt. SAC’s Kristina Barnwell won the Top Woman Pilot trophy and the Top Woman Pilot Safety award at the airmeet.

With the second-place finish, the Mt. SAC Flying Team will advance to the national intercollegiate airmeet at Kansas State University in April. Last year, Mt. SAC finished second in the national community college rankings

The Mt. SAC Flying Team consistently earns top honors as one of the best collegiate flying teams in the country. Mt. SAC won the Top U.S. Community College award at the Intercollegiate Flying Association's national airmeets in 1984, 1985, 1995, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Financial Aid Workshop Aids First-Time College Students

WALNUT, Calif.—Luis and Maribel Martinez spent five hours on a recent rainy Saturday learning how to fill out financial aid forms so that their son, Luis Jr., could do something no one else in their family had ever done before—attend college.

The Martinezes were part of the more than 350 parents, grandparents, siblings, and high school students who attended Mt. San Antonio College’s “Cash for College” financial aid seminar to find out how they could afford to go to college.

“Too many parents feel discouraged about college opportunities for their children because they fear they will not be able to afford it,” said Mt. SAC Financial Aid Director Susan Jones. “But this event was designed to break down this misperception and to show parents how they can tap into the millions of dollars available in grants, loans, scholarships and work/study opportunities.”

The event drew students from 44 local high schools who received information on state and federal financial aid and learned how to fill out the necessary forms. Among the financial aid applications completed was the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required for federal and most state programs. A survey of participants found that 55% completed the forms at the workshop, while another 35% indicated they would complete the forms on their own.

Participants also received information on the Cal Grant Program, which has a filing deadline of March 2. However, Jones said that community college students who do not meet this deadline will have a second opportunity to file by Sept. 2.

For more information on financial aid opportunities, call Mt. SAC’s Financial Aid Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4450.

Mt. SAC Students Win 9 Medals at SkillsUSA Regionals

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College students won seven gold medals and two silver medals at the SkillsUSA regional competition held recently at Cal State L.A. More than 500 students from high schools and community colleges competed in the skills competition.

Scott Moore (San Dimas) won a gold medal in the electronics technology competition, while Brad Williams (Chino Hills) won a gold medal in the technical drafting division and Jennifer Craig (Baldwin Park) won a gold medal in the customer service category.

In the welding competition, Chad Han (Pomona), Greg Matticks (Rialto), and David Russey (Hacienda Heights) all won gold medals.

In the computer maintenance competition, Justin Santana (Rancho Cucamonga) won a gold medal, and Fred Gonzales (Pomona) and Al Garzon (Azusa) both won silver medals.

The gold medalists at the regional competition will advance to the SkillsUSA state competition on April 14-17 in Riverside. The top finalists at the state level then go on to compete at the SkillsUSA national competition.

SkillsUSA (formerly the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America-VICA) is a nationally affiliated vocational club representing secondary and post-secondary students in the trade, technical, and health education fields. The vocational education organization represents more than a quarter million students in over 13,000 chapters nationwide.

Mt. SAC AmeriCorps Student Fight Illiteracy

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College recently inducted 24 students into its AmeriCorps Program during a swearing-in ceremony at which they pledged to fight illiteracy by volunteering as tutors at local elementary schools.

Through the AmeriCorps program, students in Mt. SAC’s Teacher Preparation Institute serve as reading tutors in first-through-fourth-grade classrooms at local elementary schools. The program exposes community college students to the teaching while addressing children's literacy needs.

“This is an opportunity for our students to gain valuable training in the classroom while serving the community,” said Mt. SAC AmeriCorps Program Director Dr. Kathryn Henkins.

Each student will serve a minimum of 360 hours as a tutor in one of five local elementary schools, including Ekstrand Elementary in San Dimas, Royon Elementary in La Verne, La Seda Elementary in La Puente, Rorimer Elementary in La Puente, and Collegewood Elementary in Walnut. The tutors provide elementary school students in regular classrooms and after school programs with one-on-one and small-group tutoring to help increase literacy skills. Last year, Mt. SAC’s AmeriCorps students provided nearly 16,000 hours of tutoring to 450 children in local schools.

The Mt. SAC students also assist in community service projects, including family literacy workshops, Cesar Chavez Day celebrations, and Young Authors’ Week.

Mt. SAC students who were sworn in are Rosa Bastidas and Anita Sandoval of Azusa; Jennifer Brum and Nora Mundo of Covina; Vanessa Cano of Upland; Juana Delgado of Duarte; Russell Downes of Valinda; Marlene Esparza, Juan Gutierrez, and Carrie Jackson of Pomona; Eugene Fazio of Ontario; Leila Hage, Patricia Rodriguez, and Alba Pena of La Puente; Christina Hurtado of West Covina; Velia Larios of Chino; Judith Mussatto of Claremont; Yvette Parra of La Verne; J.T. Rentschler of San Dimas; Amy Soong of Hacienda Heights; Phimy Truong of El Monte; Amber Wallace of Montclair; and Jason Wogomon of Walnut.

Now in its fifth year at Mt. SAC, AmeriCorps, a national community service option for young people, funds the tutoring program. More than two million Americans work through AmeriCorps each year, meeting critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, and homeland security.

Mt. SAC Awarded Grant for 20th Youth Days

WALNUT, Calif.— The Mt. SAC Relays Youth Days program has been awarded a $121,000 grant from the Amateur Athletic Foundation (AAF) of Los Angeles, marking the 20th year in a row the AAF has sponsored the event. Over 7,000 young athletes from more than 150 elementary and middle schools are expected to participate in this year’s Youth Days and track and field competition.

The Youth Days portion of the Mt. SAC Relays is two days of track and field competition and instruction for youth in grades 3 through 8 scheduled this year on April 1 and 2. More than 230,000 coaches and students have participated in the Youth Days program over the past 19 years.

In addition to the two days of competition, the Mt. SAC Relays Youth Days also provides elementary, middle, and junior high school students the opportunity to have a staff of Mt. SAC coaches and athletes visit their schools and provide track and field instruction through clinics and all-school assemblies, which are offered free of charge.

Friday, April 1, will be "Middle School Day" at the Relays, with events scheduled for boys and girls in grades 6-8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, April 2, elementary school students in grades 3-6 will compete from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The AAF - Mt. SAC Relays Youth Days is a non-profit Olympic Development project. The 47th Mt. SAC Relays—competition for high school, college, university, and world-class athletes—will be run April 9, and April 15-17.

For more information about Youth Days, call the Mt. SAC Relays Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4840.

Public Forum to Focus on Community College Challenges

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College President/CEO Dr. Christopher C. O’Hearn, Chaffey College President Dr. Marie Kane, and Citrus College President Dr. Michael J. Viera will serve as the panelists at a free public forum on the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges to be held Thursday, March 10, 6:30 p.m., at the Fairplex Millard Sheets Gallery in Pomona.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters and a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the forum addresses the major challenges colleges face under the governor’s state budget proposal and how it will impact community colleges’ ability to provide access to new students and training for workforce students.

The panelists will also explore how these issues will affect the local economy and the community-at-large. A question and answer session will follow the panel presentation.

Local college representatives will also be on hand to answer questions from students and their parents about various college programs and services, including financial aid and student support services.

For more information, call (909) 624-9457.

Mt. SAC Accreditation Affirmed for 6 More years

WALNUT, Calif.—The Accrediting Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges recently reaffirmed Mt. San Antonio College’s accreditation status for the maximum allowable duration of six years.

“The findings of the commission are another validation of the exemplary work being done throughout the college,” said Mt. SAC President/CEO Christopher C. O’Hearn.

The Accrediting Commission commended Mt. SAC for its work in Student Learning Outcomes evaluation and the opportunity for campuswide dialogue. In a letter to the College President/CEO, Commission Executive Director Dr. Barbara Beno especially noted Mt. SAC’s “environment in which the faculty and staff work collegially in support of student learning and success.”

In October, a 13-member accreditation team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges evaluated Mt. SAC to determine how well the college meets California accreditation standards. Mt. SAC was one of the first colleges to be evaluated under the newly revised standardsæInstitutional Mission and Effectiveness, Student Learning Programs and Services, Resources, and Leadership and Governance.

The accreditation team visit was the culmination of a two-year campus self-evaluation process that assessed the quality of instruction, programs, and services the college provides its students. The analysis, based on a set of rigorous standards, was compiled in a 300-page self-study document. More than 50 Mt. SAC faculty, staff, and students worked on the college’s self-study report.

Accreditation, a process which occurs for colleges every six years, is a college’s “good housekeeping seal of approval.”

Mt. SAC Receives Grant to Address Nursing Shortage

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Regional Health Occupation Resource Center (RHORC) recently received a $250,000 California Community Foundation grant to help nursing students prepare for the state licensing examination.

The Licensed Nursing Pathway and NCLEX (National Clearinghouse Licensing Examination) Review project will train 120 board-eligible nursing students for the registered nursing examination. The project targets students who have either already completed a nursing program in the U.S. or abroad and provides comprehensive NCLEX training.

Students will be selected from the Mt. SAC RHORC’s Welcome Back Program, which serves foreign-trained health professionals who are from underrepresented groups and are underemployed or working in nonhealth-related occupations.

The project addresses an estimated shortage of 25,000 registered nurses in California by 2006. According to the California Employment Development Department’s EDD Employment Outlook 2003, the state faces a severe shortfall among health care workers, especially registered nurses.