September 2008


Mt. SAC Enrollment Continues to Surge

WALNUT, Calif.—Enrollment at Mt. San Antonio College continues to surge for the fifth consecutive year, due, in large part, to an increased number of first-time students and the economic downturn in the region and statewide.

This year’s fall enrollment numbers showed a 6.6% increase compared to that for fall 2007. Enrollment of students in credit courses has swelled from 28,359 in 2007-08 to 30,129 in 2008-09. Mt. SAC is the largest, single campus community college in the state with more than 65,000 credit, noncredit and continuing education students. The College projects enrollment growth to continue at a rate of 1,000 students a year.

According to Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji, vice president of student services, this fall saw a 12.14% increase in first-time students and almost 19,000 continuing students. She attributed the growth trend to a number of factors, including the slumping economy, aggressive high school recruitment efforts, effective enrollment marketing, and the college’s academic reputation and commitment to student success.

“Our combined efforts worked very well,” Yamagata-Noji said. “We’ve seen new students respond at a remarkable rate.”

Yamagata-Noji said that students on class wait lists – for basic courses such as math, science and English – also saw a tremendous hike: 20%, or 2,824 students.

“Despite fuel costs and transportation challenges, students still come to us from all over the region,” she said, adding that some students bypass other community colleges to attend Mt. SAC. “Many come here because they know someone else who has had a positive experience.”

Still, the increase in enrollment does have consequences: all 7,000 parking spaces on campus were filled during the first few weeks of school, lines were deep at the registration counters, and classes—many of them held in modular trailers—were packed. Some students were unable to get the general education courses they needed.

“The situation will worsen unless physical capacity keeps pace with enrollment growth,” said Mt. SAC President/CEO Dr. John S. Nixon. “We must move forward and complete the campus improvement program we have started. We hope to continue upgrades as well as build new facilities and replace outdated technology through the passage of a bond extension (Measure RR) on the November ballot, which has been structured to not raise taxes.”

As with other community colleges in the state, Mt. SAC also experiences a bump in enrollment when the economy slows. With Los Angeles County unemployment now at 7.5%, hundreds of displaced workers are enrolling at Mt. SAC in order to acquire the education and job skills they need to reenter the workforce or to start new careers.

“Mt. SAC is in the unique position of being the center of job training and career education for much of the San Gabriel Valley,” Nixon said. “We offer programs that retrain working adults for second careers and job promotions. During good times and bad, we are the economic engine of the Valley.”

In addition to rising unemployment, another major factor driving the increase in community college enrollment is the hefty fee hikes by the UC and CSU systems. They have redirected many students to community colleges as an affordable alternative for them to complete lower division coursework.

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Mt. SAC Art Gallery Launches Season with Exhibit “From Germany”

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery will kick off its 2008-09 season with a group exhibit of German artwork, “In the Collector’s Mind: From Germany,” which runs Sept. 11 through Oct. 23 at the Mt. SAC Art Gallery. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

“In the Collector’s Mind: From, Germany” will feature selected artwork from the collection of Walter Bischoff, director of the Villa Haiss Museum in Germany. The exhibit focuses on German history, culture, and current social dynamics and features the work of artists Friederike Oeser and Stefen Voigt.

Oeser and Voigt will engage art enthusiasts in a lecture presentation at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11 in the Art Gallery. Following will be a special opening reception from 4 to 7:30 p.m. The reception will feature a musical performance by Solvig Wehsener. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Art Gallery at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4328.

Mt. SAC Names Meghan Chen Library and Learning Resources Dean

WALNUT, Calif.—Meghan Chen, who served as Mt. San Antonio College’s director of the Learning Assistance Center for the past three years, has been named the college’s new Library and Learning Resources dean.

As dean, Chen oversees Mt. SAC’s Library, Distance Learning, Online Learning Support, Learning Assistance, and Tutoring programs.

Chen began at Mt. SAC as the director of Tutorial Services in 2001. She also served as interim director of Staff and Organizational Development for a year, as faculty coordinator of the Bridge Program, and as the project director for the college’s Title V Grant.

Prior to Mt. SAC, Chen was the director of Student Support Services both at Long Beach City College, from 1997 to 2000, at Mount St. Mary’s College, from 1994 to 1997.

Chen holds a bachelor’s in English from UCLA, a master’s in public administration from Cal Lutheran University, and a master’s in English from Cal State University Los Angeles. She is a resident of San Dimas.

Mt. SAC Names Donna Burns Dean of Continuing Education

WALNUT, Calif.—Donna Burns, who served as Mt. San Antonio College’s director of English as a Second Language (ESL) and Intercultural Programs for the past six years, has been named the college’s new dean of Continuing Education.

As dean, Burns oversees Mt. SAC’s noncredit and fee based programs, which include the ESL, Adult Basic Education, Older Adult, and Contract Training programs. Approximately 11,000 students are enrolled in Mt. SAC’s Continuing Education programs.

Burns began at Mt. SAC as a part-time ESL professor in 1997. She also served as program specialist and as supervisor of the college’s Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) program before being named director of ESL in 2002. As director, she supervised 110 adjunct faculty and 50 hourly and regular classified employees.

Prior to Mt. SAC, Burns was an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and was the director of communications for AirServ, an international humanitarian agency in Redlands.

Burns holds a bachelor’s in applied business and management and a master’s in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Azusa Pacific University. She is a resident of Alta Loma.

Mt. SAC Names Sarah Daum Dean of Technology & Health

WALNUT, Calif.—Dr. Sarah Daum, who served as Mt. San Antonio College’s associate/assistant dean of Technology & Health for nine years, has been named the division’s new dean.

As dean, Daum oversees Mt. SAC’s career technical programs, which include aeronautics, architecture, electronics, fire science, and the health care programs. Approximately 8,000 students are enrolled in Mt. SAC’s Technology & Health programs.

Daum began as associate/assistant dean of the division in 1998 and last year served as interim dean. She also served as director for the college’s Perkins/Vocational and Technical Education Act (VTEA) grants.

Prior to Mt. SAC, Daum was the director of academic and faculty development and an associate health professions professor at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. She also served as a speech pathologist and the director of Health Professions Consortium at Casa Colina in Pomona.

Daum holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Stanford, and a master’s in communication disorders from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. She is a resident of La Verne.

Mt. SAC Names Tom Mauch Dean of Counseling

WALNUT, Calif.—Tom Mauch, Mt. San Antonio College’s associate dean of Counseling for the past three years, has been named the college’s dean of Counseling.

As dean, Mauch oversees Mt. SAC’s Counseling and Advising Services, Career Placement, Articulation and Transfer, and International Student Support Services. The dean also provides administrative direction to the college’s Learning Communities, High School and Community Outreach, and Upward Bound programs.

Mauch began at Mt. SAC as the associate dean of Counseling in 2005. Prior to Mt. SAC, he was the coordinator of the Mathematics, Engineering & Science Achievement (MESA) Program at Santa Ana College for five years. He served as assistant dean for Cal State Fullerton’s College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics for four years and as an outreach counselor for Fullerton’s University Outreach Program.

Mauch was also a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He was the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick in 1983 and played with the organization’s Triple-A teams in Louisville and Savannah.

Mauch holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s in clinical psychology from Cal State Fullerton. He is a resident of San Dimas.