June 2004


Mt. SAC to Launch Teacher's Aide Degree Program

WALNUT, Calif.—Beginning next fall, Mt. San Antonio College will offer a new associate degree and certificate program for students interested in becoming classroom instructional aides.

Offered through Mt. SAC’s Teacher Preparation Institute, the new Educational Paraprofessional degree program—one of the few programs of its kind offered at a community college in Southern Californiaæis designed to train students to become teacher aides, instructional assistants, and faculty assistants.

“These paraprofessionals are critical in the classroom, because they provide important support for the classroom teacher and children’s success,” said Teacher Preparation Institute Coordinator Kathryn Henkins.

Two levels of certification will be offered. The 13-unit Level I certificate provides skills needed to educate children in math and English. The 27-unit Level II certificate provides advanced skills with a background in children’s psychological development and prepares students to take the CBEST.

Educational paraprofessionals tutor children, supervise them in and outside of classroom, create projects for students, and prepare materials for instruction.

The program will also offer an associate’s degree, which will enable students to transfer for an advanced degree.

The new program will open at a time when the local demand for classroom aides is expected to increase dramatically. A Los Angeles County labor market forecast projects that by 2006 the demand for educational paraprofessionals will increase 34 % and county schools will need more than 10,000 new classroom assistants.

The Educational Paraprofessional Program meets the federal requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” mandate that all paraprofessionals in schools are highly qualified.


Mt. SAC Prepares for New Fall Semester Students

WALNUT, Calif.—As Mt. San Antonio College prepares to receive new and returning students for the fall semester in August, some of the freshman class will be those who have been redirected to community colleges by financially strapped state universities.

They will be among the more than 7,000 freshmen who have been issued “Guaranteed Transfer Offers” (GTO’s) from various University of California and California State University campuses as an enrollment-reduction measure to cut overall costs. These students will be able to “cash in” their GTO’s after completing their first two years of undergraduate study at community colleges.

“We are preparing to accommodate these redirected students as well as the thousands of other freshmen who are choosing to study at Mt. SAC next semester,” said Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji, Vice President of Student Services. “We want to assure all students that they will receive a first-rate, two-year undergraduate education. For those seeking a more demanding course of study, Mt. SAC offers the state’s largest honors program, which well prepares students to transfer to some of the nation’s finest universities.”

She noted that Mt. SAC ranks among the top 10 of the state’s 109 community colleges in the number of students it transferred during the 2002-03 academic year to the nine UC campuses and the 23-campus CSU system. Based on these stats, released by the California Postsecondary Education Commission, Mt. SAC placed seventh, with 1,505 UC/CSU transfers.
At the end of this past academic year, Mt. SAC awarded more than 1,700 Associate in Arts and Science degrees. Hundreds of the graduates are transferring this fall to public and private universities in California and other parts of the nation. Like Justin Lin, a 4.0 Mt. SAC graduate and aspiring filmmaker, who has been accepted to the distinguished film schools of USC, Berkeley, and New York University, where he was one of 30 accepted from a highly competitive pool of 4,500 applicants.

Students planning to attend Mt. SAC should submit their applications as soon as possible, because fall semester registration starts July 14, and high-demand courses, such as English and math, tend to fill up quickly.

Applications are available online at www.mtsac.edu and at several locations on campus, including the library and bookstore, and at local public libraries. Students should bring or directly mail their high school or other college transcripts to Admissions and Records.

All entering freshmen, including redirected students, must take assessment tests for proper placement in English and math courses. Orientation and counseling services are offered to help students plan their course of study leading to graduation and/or transfer.

Financial aid counselors are also available to provide information and assistance with completing the appropriate forms to the various funding sources.

“Beyond academics, Mt. SAC is a great place to make new friends and to get involved in the many social, extracurricular, and student government activities available to all students,” said Yamagata-Noji. “These opportunities give them a deeper sense of purpose and belonging.”

New Mt. SAC Program to Help Students Prepare for College-level English and Math

WALNUT, Calif.—The fast food industry invented “combo meals.” Now Mt. SAC has applied that popular concept to education by offering a unique combination of pre-college math and English courses next fall to incoming freshmen who need help transitioning to college-level instruction in those disciplines.

Called Project AME (Advancement in Math & English), the semester-long program will provide participating students guaranteed enrollment in high-demand basic math and English courses and will “supersize” the combo with counseling sessions to help students understand what it takes to succeed in college and beyond.

“We have high hopes for Project AME, which was developed by faculty and counselors who have been concerned about the low readiness level of many first-year students who, for whatever reason, are not fully prepared to take on college-level math and English,” said Mt. SAC math and computer science Professor Matthew Munro, who spearheaded Project AME. “The faculty members participating in this program each semester are committed to raising the students’ skill level so they can advance to higher levels of math and English.”

Here’s basically how the program works. All students who apply to Mt. SAC are required to take a math and English assessment exam. Those who score below college-level may attend a Project AME orientation session this summer and get guarantee enrollment next fall in one of nine math/English/counseling combinations for up to 9 units of credit.

“Math and English are hard-to-get classes on any college campus, because all students are required to take them to earn a degree and/or transfer to a university,” said Munro. “So Project AME’s class enrollment guarantee should make the program highly attractive, especially since the courses are offered during the popular morning hours and on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Those with lowest assessment test scores, for example, would qualify for Cluster 1 (8 units), which offers three groupings of Math 50 and English 67 in separate 90-minute sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays and a two-hour counseling session on Friday mornings.

Project AME also offers students opportunities to enhance their learning experience by working in teams, participating in field trips and by receiving tutorial assistance when needed.

“We highly encourage students who feel they need this kind of support to jump-start their transition into college to apply now for fall semester admission to Mt. SAC, get tested and enroll into Project AME at an upcoming orientation session,” Munro advised.

To schedule a math and English assessment examination, first-time students may call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4265. They should take their test results to one of the Project AME orientation sessions, scheduled for: 10-11 a.m., July 9 and 23 and Aug. 6 in Building 26B, Room 101, Mt. SAC campus.

For further information about Project AME, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 5392.

Mt. SAC to Offer French Cinema Class

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College will offer a course that explores European history and French culture through films, “French Culture Through Cinema,” on Monday evenings, beginning in the fall semester.

“French Culture Through Cinema” looks at seven centuries of French culture through classic and recent comedies and dramas featuring world-famous actors and actresses such as Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, and Juliette Binoche. Experience adventure, passion, love, hatred, and suffering through films that have received the highest French and American awards for their directors and actors.

This course is eligible for 3 units of transferable college credit. Mt. SAC’s fall semester begins Aug. 16, and telephone registration for fall classes starts July 14.

For information on registering for fall credit classes, call the Mt. SAC Admissions and Records Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4415, or visit www.mtsac.edu.


Mt. SAC Chamber Singers to Compete in International Competition

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers will compete in the Prestigious Grand Prix International Choir Competition in Italy, competing against some of the top choirs in the world.

The Chamber Singers will leave for Europe on July 2 en route to the international competition to be held July 11 in Gorizia, Italy, at the Teatro Verdi. The Mt. SAC choir will also perform at the Salzburg festival in Austria, at the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, and at the Santi Giovanni e Paolo Cathedral in Venice.

“We are among the six finalists who will compete in Gorizia for the winner-take-all championship,” said Mt. SAC Choral Director and Music Professor Bruce Rogers. “This is as big as it gets.”

This year’s competition picks up where last year’s Grand Prix left off. Last year, the Chamber Singers won the prestigious Grand Prix Varna International Choir Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, one of six Grand Prix competitions around the world. Competing at this year’s Grand Prix are choirs from France, Spain, Hungary, Italy, and Bulgaria.

The Mt. SAC choir will perform a variety of a cappella selections from the Renaissance, Romantic, and 20th Century periods.

The Mt. SAC Chamber Singers established themselves as one of the top choirs in the world after winning second place in the “Choir of the World” competition at the 2000 International Eisteddfod Choral Festival held in Wales. The Mt. SAC ensemble was one of only two vocal groups from the United States to vie for the world title. In 2001, the Chamber Singers became the first community college ensemble to ever receive an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association’s national convention.

Mt. SAC Hires New Student Life Director

WALNUT, Calif.—Dyrell Foster has been named the new Director of Student Life at Mt. San Antonio College. Foster began at Mt. SAC earlier this month.

Foster will oversee the various activities of the Student Life Office, which assists and advises student government, student clubs, and coordinates student activities. The Student Life Director also oversees student conduct and disciplinary processes and procedures.

Before coming to Mt. SAC, Foster served for four years as the Director of Student Life at Evergreen Valley Community College in San Jose. He also served as the Student Life Center Activities Coordinator at San Jose State University and as Student Life Assistant Coordinator at Cal State Fullerton.

A Diamond Bar resident, Foster holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s in counseling.

Le to be Sworn in as Student Trustee

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College student Jean Christophe Le will be sworn in as the new student trustee for the 2004-05 academic year during the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees' June 23 meeting.

As student trustee, Le, 20, will present the student perspective on policy issues before Mt. SAC’s governing board. But he will have only an advisory vote, which does not count toward the passage or failure of a motion. The advisory vote helps the board know how the student trustee stands on issues and strengthens the student role in the College's shared governance process.

Le, a resident of La Puente, carries a 4.0 g.p.a. at Mt. SAC. He served as the Mt. SAC Inter-Club Council chair and is active in the campus Alpha Gamma Sigma honors society, Chinese Culture Club, and Circle K Club. He plans to pursue careers in biochemistry and film.

Le has been nominated as one of the 25 national candidates for the 2005 All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (the national honors society for two-year colleges), the American Associate of Community Colleges, and USA Today.

Students, Community Clubs Support Mt. SAC Planetarium Campaign

WALNUT, Calif.—Community organizations and Mt. San Antonio College students have given more than $13,000 in donations to Mt. SAC’s “Save the Planetarium” campaign to renovate the aging facility.

Mt. SAC Associated Students, the campus student government, gave $7,500 to the campaign, while community groups contributed more than $5,500. So far, half of the $500,000 needed to replace the Planetarium’s outdated projector has been raised by the Mt. SAC Foundation, the College’s nonprofit support organization. The Foundation has since matched the student donation.

“We are so pleased that the students took the initiative to help with this fundraising activity to save a wonderful teaching and learning resource for Mt. SAC,” said Foundation President Gary Ingham.

Nearly 2,000 Mt. SAC astronomy students use the facility each semester, and another 3,000 community residents visit the facility to see programs about the planets and stars. In addition, approximately 6,000 elementary and middle school students visit the Planetarium each year to participate in special Planetarium programs.

“It’s apparent that the equipment is woefully out of date,” said Ingham. “We want to save and enhance this facility for our students and the community. Science education is critical for students.”

Area service clubs that have contributed to the “Save the Planetarium” campaign include the Diamond Bar Women’s Club, $2,500; the Walnut Valley Women’s Club, $200; the Covina Rotary Club, $1,048; the Soroptimist Club of Covina-West Covina, $500; the Kiwanis Club of Walnut Valley, $500; the Industry Hills Rotary Club, $100; the Irwindale Lions Club, $200; and the Breakfast Optimist Club of Pomona, $500.

For more information on the “Save the Planetarium” campaign, call the Mt. SAC Foundation at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4121.

FRIDAY, JUNE 04, 2004

Nixon Named Mt. SAC Vice President of Instruction

WALNUT, Calif.—Dr. John Nixon, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Santa Ana College, has been named the new Vice President of Instruction at Mt. San Antonio College, effective July 1.

Reporting to the President/CEO of the College, Nixon will oversee all instructional programs and services, including seven academic divisions and a workforce of more than 1,200 full and part-time faculty and staff. Mt. San Antonio College offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of academic disciplines, including credit and noncredit/community education courses that lead to transfer, employment, and promote lifelong learning experiences for nearly 40,000 students.

“We are delighted to have someone of Dr. Nixon’s caliber to lead our comprehensive instruction program,” said Mt. SAC President/CEO Christopher O’Hearn, Ph.D. “We are confident that his broad scope of experience and his many years of management expertise will complement extraordinarily well the outstanding learning opportunities designed for student success at Mt. San Antonio College.”

A 30-year veteran in education, Nixon has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Santa Ana College since 1992. He supervises nine academic divisions as well as counseling services and learning resources. He previously served for a year as Interim President at the College in 1998 and as Dean of Humanities and Assistant Dean of Continuing Education.

As an educator, he taught English and English as a Second Language at USC, and at UC Irvine, Santiago Canyon College, and Irvine Valley College. He also taught at Huntington Beach Union High School District, at Ocean View High School, and at the University of Tunis as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Involved in community affairs, Nixon has served on the board of directors for the Orange County Community Health Care Clinics, the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Orange County Marine Institute. In addition, he has served as President of the California Community College Chief Instructional Officers Association.

A resident of Orange, Nixon holds a bachelor’s and master’s in English from UC Irvine, and a doctorate in English from USC. He has also co-authored two textbooks for college English classes.

### Mt. SAC Football to Sponsor 'Camp of Champions'

WALNUT, Calif.—Children ages 7-14 are invited to the seventh annual Camp of Champions, a four-day instructional football camp conducted by Mt. SAC football players and coaches, to be held Monday through Thursday, July 12-15, 8 a.m. to noon, at Mt. SAC.

The football camp will teach the techniques of conditioning, catching, passing, tackling, running, and blocking. All sessions will be taught by Mt. SAC coaches and demonstrated by Mt. SAC players.

This year’s staff will also include NFL stars. Former Mountie and Washington Redskins linebacker Antonio Pierce, 2003 interception leader for the Minnesota Vikings Brian Russell, and Miami Dolphins guard Brad Bedell will also be on hand to offer instruction and encouragement.

Mt. SAC is the home of the 1997 National Championship Mounties and the 2003 Mission Conference Champs.

Registration is $80 before July 2 and $90 for late registration received after July 2.

For more information and to sign up for the Mt. SAC Football Camp of Champions, call Mt. SAC Football Coach Bill Fisk at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4883.

Emertius Art Show Opens June 11

WALNUT, Calif., —The Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery will host the sixth annual Emeritus Program Decorative Arts Show on June 11-19. All of the artwork on exhibit— jewelry making, quilting, woodworking, and stained glass—was created by students in the Emeritus Program, which is offered to older adults through Mt. SAC’s Community Education and Economic Development Division. The classes are provided at community and senior centers throughout the local area.

An opening reception, with refreshments supplied by Rancho Park Villa of San Dimas, Covina Villa, and MEDIC-1, will be held on Friday, June 11, at 4 p.m. Special gallery hours for this exhibit are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, June 12 and June 19; noon to 3 p.m., on Sunday, June 13; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 14 through June 18.

For more information, call the Mt. SAC Emeritus Program at (909) 594-5611, ext. 5117.