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LETTER FROM THE CHANCELLOR

Building a Stronger Capital Region

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t a visit to all of our campuses to begin the spring semester, I quoted the ancient African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The notion that we are stronger together is central to how we operate in the Los Rios Community College District and at our four colleges. Together, the thousands of faculty members and employees at our district and colleges work daily to improve the lives of the students we serve. We are proud of the great history of success at our colleges. Founded in 1965, we have educated more than 1.2 million students over the years – many of whom have gone on to be leaders right here in our communities. From small business owners to elected officials, corporate CEO’s to philanthropic leaders, the capital region is abundant with alumni from our great institutions. Today, the four colleges of the Los Rios Community College District serve nearly 75,000 students at four main campuses and six educational centers located throughout the region. The students at our colleges are creative and passionate. They regularly inspire us as much as we hope to inspire them. Los Rios students are also as diverse as the communities we serve, a great strength of our institutions and, indeed, our entire region. Our students are first-generation college enrollees who are going to school while working full-time jobs in order to provide a better life for their families. Our students are veterans looking to gain the skills necessary to re-enter the workforce after serving their country honorably. Our students are recent high school graduates who have opted for a less expensive route to reach their ultimate goal of a four-year degree by starting at one of our colleges before transferring to the University of California or California State University systems. For all of these students, and countless more who are pursuing higher education as a means to achieving their objectives in life, Los Rios is the smart choice. Among the goals laid out by our Board of Trustees in our district’s new Strategic Plan is a commitment to “establish

effective pathways that optimize student success and access.” We want to make the experience of applying for, enrolling in and attending our colleges as easy as possible so our students can focus on what’s most important – their success. We are also working to reduce barriers for students to attend college. Earlier this year, Folsom Lake College and the City of Rancho Cordova launched Los Rios’ first-ever College Promise program, where recent high school graduates in that city are promised fee-free enrollment at Folsom Lake for their first year. In November, West Sacramento voters overwhelmingly supported Measure E, which will help to launch a similar program for residents of that city to attend Sacramento City College. These types of forward-thinking civic partnerships are the hallmark of our region, and we look forward to growing and replicating these programs regionally in the coming years. More and more, we find success in working together on behalf of all of the areas we serve. This is true as we strengthen our ties with employers to ensure that we are preparing students for a modern workforce. It’s also true as we continue to partner with K-12 school districts to make sure the transition from high school to college is seamless. Community colleges are indeed about community. We rely on state funds and taxpayer support to fund a system that is intentionally designed to make college an affordable option for everyone, regardless of your zip code. Locally and throughout the state of California, Los Rios has earned an impeccable reputation as excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars. This is not a responsibility that we take lightly, and we constantly look for ways to maximize our resources with private funders and state and federal grants. The great pioneer and education advocate Helen Keller once said, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” On behalf of our entire Board of Trustees, I’d like to thank you for your support of public higher education. Working together, we truly can do “so much” for our students.

Brian King Chancellor kingb@losrios.edu

Los Rios Matters | SPRING 2017 3 

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The second edition of Los Rios Matters is here! We hope you enjoy all the wonderful things happening at CRC and around the Los Rios district...

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