West Hills Magazine - Fall/Winter 2015-16 (Issue 5)

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Fall/Winter 2015-16


Looking Back Edna Ivans on Five Decades of Service

West Hills College Updates Its Plan for a Student-focused Future New Intensive Academies Teach or Enhance Technical Skills Art Class: It’s More Than Just Drawing and Painting


Copyright 2015 by West Hills Community College District. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission prohibited. WEST HILLS MAGAZINE, Number 5 Fall/Winter 2015-16 Published Spring and Fall by the Office of Marketing and Public Information, WHCCD. Contact us by mail at the address below, or, by phone or email at: West Hills CCD Marketing Office 9900 Cody St. Coalinga, CA 93210 (559) 934-2132 tomwixon@whccd.edu

Advisory Board Frank Gornick Chancellor, WHCCD Carole Goldsmith President, WHCC Don Warkentin President, WHCL

board of trustees Mark McKean, President, Area 5 Nina Oxborrow, Area 1 Steve Cantu, Area 6 Edna Ivans, Area 3 Jeff Levinson, Area 7 Jack Minnite, Area 2 Len Falter, Area 4

EDITOR Tom Wixon Director of Marketing


WEBMASTER Carlos Posadas

PHOTOGRAPHY Dennis Gallegos, Kelly Peterson Tom Wixon

GRAPHIC DESIGN Merili Loucks, Kristi Carlson


Our Efforts to Serve the Community Are Paying Dividends Since our last magazine in the spring, much has happened in our district; West Hills College Lemoore was named one of the top performing community colleges in the state of California by USA Today, the Board of Trustees selected a new president for the retiring Don Warkentin, we hosted a state wide conference for colleges interested in learning about and implementing our award winning innovative yearlong registration process, REG365, and we had an election that replaced an incumbent (Len Falter of Lemoore) with another experienced citizen, Bobby Lee. While listening to the dialogue during the trustee election campaign, it was clear to me that the citizens of our district were impressed with the outstanding track record of our colleges and educational center. In particular, folks have taken note of the many ways in which we have engaged our communities – by providing services, transfer courses and career training to every corner of the district and well beyond our district boundaries. This magazine features many of the innovative aspects of our outstanding district. The feature on open educational resources focuses on a couple of issues that represent the dedication of our faculty to be a part of the solution to reduce the cost of textbooks for students while providing 24/7 access to course material. Our Westside Institute of Technology highlights our commitment to training adults in our valley, teaching skills to make them employable immediately upon program completion. All of the large solar installations occurring on the West Side used the WIT as the primary job trainer for those projects. The Psychiatric Technician Program in Coalinga has made a significant impact on the lives of the nearly 900 graduates and their families as well as a positive financial impact on the communities around us. Our dedicated faculty and staff continues to excel in their profession by their willingness to become better at what they do: Teach. There is no fear in their approach to becoming a better teacher; if it will help students and their program, they embrace the challenge. A perfect illustration of that is the recent recognition of Dr. Tim Ellsworth, one of our Agriculture instructors at West Hills College. He was one of just two instructors statewide selected by the 2015 Irrigation E3 Program for their work as leaders in irrigation technology. A good organization evolves. A great organization embraces change and the challenges that come, always focused on their mission and the vision that directs their efforts. West Hills is a great organization and the work highlighted in this issue is evidence of that greatness. Thank you for your continued support.

Frank Gornick, Chancellor West Hills Community College District

table of


(Based on Students with a Degree, Certificate, or Transfer-Seeking Educational Goal)

Tech’ Program Has 8 ‘Psych Big Regional Economic Impact Nearly 900 graduates help pump $12.9 million annually into the regional economy, thanks to a training program launched at West Hills College a decade ago.


West Hills Initiates Synergy, Partnerships, End to ‘Valley Funk’ The Central Valley “has this feeling that we’ll always be second rate,” says a Sacramento political strategist. A series of public forums by West Hills College is helping change that perception.

Lives: Scholarships, 18 Changing Awards Change Student’s Lives In one semester, WHCCD awarded more than $300,000 to over 200 students. Some of that money may be waiting for you! It can’t hurt to apply.


Percentage of Students with an Educational Plan





West Hills College Updates Its Plan for a Student-focused Future


Is a strategic plan something devised by a committee to sit on a shelf until it’s time to do another one? Not at West Hills College. It’s a blueprint for growth. “Luck is not a strategy,” says one college president. “It’s a plan for achieving goals and it guides all our efforts.” It’s worked pretty well so far.


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New Intensive Academies Will Teach or Enhance Technical Skills

There’s a new focus on creating programs for students who just want to get the skills they need and go to work. One of these programs is the new CTE Academy: Programming, offered this fall at WHC Lemoore and coming next spring to our sister college, WHC Coalinga.

a Roll: Big Year 22 On for Local College District


A coveted award goes to West Hills, a major job development grant is won, and a prestigious publication ranks us Number One among Northern California community colleges. We can’t wait to see what’s next.


Okay, so, Art Class. Easy credit, right? Not so much. Four instructors reveal the many ways art teaches us to think, to create, understand the world around us and the mindset behind why we buy the cars we buy.

WIT Can Put You Behind the Wheel of a Big Rig Short-term training for high-demand jobs? If that’s what you’re looking for in the Central Valley, just call WIT. The institute has provided training in a number of industries, leading to jobs such as the installation of most of those solar power facilities that have popped up throughout the Central Valley.


Art Class: It’s More Than Just Drawing and Painting

A Solution to the High Cost of Textbooks News Flash: We are now in the Era of Digital. Textbooks are becoming interactive, online, and mostly inexpensive, sometimes free. It’s a whole new world for students and teachers love it, too. “It’s changed the way I teach,” said one college instructor.


Edna Ivans on Five Decades of Service

It all started in 1967 with a suggestion from a friend that she run for a seat on her local college board of trustees. Forty-eight years later she retired after an unprecedented five decades of service to her community.

Cover Photo by Dennis Gallegos

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Strategic Plan Is a

Plan Strategic






“Luck is not a strategy,” says Carole Goldsmith, President, West Hills College Coalinga. She is telling the Coalinga Chamber of Commerce about the strategic planning process at the college. “A strategic plan is not a wish list, a report card, a marketing tool, a silver bullet, nor is it a binder designed to sit on the shelf and collect dust.” The West Hills Community College District recently released its 2016-20 Strategic Plan which points the way to achieving the institution’s academic and internal management goals for the next half-decade. It picks up where the previous five-year plan left off, a plan that led the district to pioneer student success oriented methodologies such as a big increase in educational plans for new students and a unique and award-winning year-round registration program that is improving retention and degree completion rates, and brought the two-college district to par with or ahead of the statewide system’s 113 colleges in critical areas. “It’s really a blueprint for growth,” Goldsmith explained to the chamber members, who were invited to hold one of their monthly meetings on the WHCC campus. “It’s a plan for achieving goals and it shapes and guides the entire college district as it evolves over time.” A team of educators, staff and administrators from throughout the district collaborated on the plan for months, each person bringing unique expertise and insight to the task. The plan was presented to the Board of Trustees, whose seven trustees prioritized goals and targeted specific levels of achievement for each one. One reason for the district’s confidence that the plan will actually get used, and not just decorate a book shelf, is past performance. The previous plan led to tangible results.

“We expect history to repeat itself,” says Don Warkentin, President, West Hills College Lemoore. “We’ve been deeply involved in strategic plans for several years. In determining additional goals for 2016-20, we are building on what we’ve already achieved. We continue to focus on helping more students to complete college level coursework in order for them to achieve their educational goals. We have launched an Achieving the Dream initiative to help us break down barriers and road blocks by relying on input and feedback. Reaching our planned goals is an ‘All hands on deck’ process, whole segments of the college are involved, as are community members.” The Five Strategic Goals spelled out in the plan:

• Promote and increase student success • Strengthen the District’s already-sound fiscal position • Maximize access to college programs through the region for our adult population

• Increase access to programs and courses through the use of new technology

• Increase and coordinate workforce and economic development activities to meet needs of area employers The plan is available online at http://goo.gl/LvdRq6 and available at the District Office, 9900 Cody St., Coalinga CA 93210. Or contact Chancellor’s Office, donnaisaac@whccd.edu

66% 1



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Percentage of Students with an Educational Plan Above: Cover of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 Top right: Proud WHCC graduate Janet Salazar



(Based on Students with a Degree, Certificate, or Transfer-Seeking Educational Goal) Source: WHCCD Office of Institutional Effectiveness

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CTE Academies Offer a Different Kind of Learning Environment The beginning of the fall semester this year at West Hills College Lemoore ushered in not just the first taste of autumn but also the first taste of a different kind of learning in the West Hills Community College District. The CTE Academy: Programming is the first in a series of intensive courses focused on preparing students both traditional and non-traditional to be job-ready in less than a year. It stretches over two semesters and teaches students the essentials of computer programming, including HTML, CSS, Java Script and Java. It is offered as a series of four courses, each eight weeks long and focused on a different facet of programming. While courses have been offered on the topics the academy covers before, this is the first time they’ve been offered in this style, as a tightly sequenced, rigorous set of classes that complement one another and prepare students for a job in one of the world’s fastest growing job sectors. “The importance of the programming academy cannot be understated,” said Computer Information Systems/ Information and Communication Technologies instructor DavidMichael Rengh, who is teaching the academy. “It’s important because our students are using computers in every facet of their lives and this group of students just wants to be able to get in there and have their stake in what’s going on.” The students spend class time tackling practical projects that help them apply what they’re learning about the different programming languages, including designing websites for campus programs. Rengh added that the format of the class and the focused nature of it has also fostered a sense of companionship amongst the students. “They’re enjoying the class and working together,” he said. “It is exciting to see them working together to help one another out and making sure no leaves until the assignment is done.”

Another facet of the academy is unique. In addition to earning up to 15 units of college credits, students who complete the course will also be able to work with a WHCL counselor to find a paid position or internship in the field. According to James Preston, WHCL Dean of Educational Services, it’s part of a district wide focus on technical education and job preparation programs. “For us, we have strong transfer programs and now we’re putting some focus on also creating programs for students that really just want to get the skills they need and go to work,” he said. “We thought the best approach to that would be to create them in a way where they have convenient scheduling. Why not put them in a format that works for our students?” The district’s goal is to offer similar academies in a wide range of topics at both the Lemoore and Coalinga campuses, including in computer networking, business information, entrepreneurship, accounting, and health careers. All are designed to offer the skills needed to succeed in high demand, skill oriented careers in a short period of time. Robert Pimentel, West Hills College Coalinga Associate Dean of Educational Services, said the programming academy, which will also be offered at WHCC in 2016, targets one of the fastest growing employment areas in the Central Valley. “We want students to understand that we’re a potential hub for technology,” he said. “Sooner or later, this is coming and we feel we’re going to grow in this area. We have students now who have a lot of interest in this field but we didn’t offer training for it.” The academy is funded by a grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) as part of their Doing What Matters statewide initiative, which encourages community colleges to become catalysts in job creation and economic recovery in their regions. While the CTE academies aim to offer an alternative way of learning about computer coding to college age and older students, West Hills has also recently offered one community a way to get youth interested in the field as well.

West Hills College Coalinga hosted a camp in Huron this summer for Huron Middle School students focusing on the basics of computer programming and business and entrepreneurship skills. “The camp sparked the kids’ interest,” Pimentel said. “We wanted to let them know that, while Huron is a small place, it doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business and become involved in this growing field.” West Hills College Coalinga partnered with the CCCCO’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development to bring the camp to Huron and also worked with Fresno’s Level Up Club, which is dedicated to teaching youth of all ages how to code. The CCCCO also provided funding for the camp. “It was a partnership all around,” Pimentel said. The 23 students tackled hands on projects while learning about HTML, CSS and JavaScript and creating their own websites. They also went on a field trip to Bitwise Industries, a technology company in Fresno. According to Pimentel, the first of its kind camp proved such a success that the CCCCO is looking at the possibility of replicating it across the state and bringing it to other schools. Students like Eli Quintana (top left) are taking advantage of the new CTE Academy to learn the skills they need to enter a career in computer programming in less than a year. Top right, Instructor David-Michael Rengh displays his color blindness correcting glasses.



West Hills magazine

Instructor ‘Sees’ With the Help of New Technology When West Hills College Lemoore instructor David-Michael Rengh arrived at the Berkeley headquarters of EnChroma, he was taken to a garden full of flowers and handed a brand new piece of eyewear technology. When he looked through the lenses of the pair of glasses he’d been given, what he saw made him cry. At 65 years old, David-Michael Rengh could see the colors red and blue and many more shades he had never before set eyes on. Rengh is color blind and was one of the first people in the United States to be able to utilize EnChroma’s color blindness correcting lenses, an innovative piece of technology which uses special types of optical filers to address color vision deficiency. The glasses are available as clip-ons to put over regular glasses, as sunglasses and also as standalone glasses of their own. After his wife Fernanda discovered that the glasses existed, Rengh decided to go and try them out while fearing that they wouldn’t work. The colors in the garden proved him wrong. “When my wife saw me start crying she knew they worked,” he said. “The garden was truly wonderful. I remember running around and saying, is that red and is that blue? Here at 65, I had to learn my colors all over again. They have been a miracle to me and change my life on a daily basis.” Rengh, a computer science instructor, said the glasses have changed the way he views the world since he first put them on. The glasses originated when a researcher noticed certain transformative properties on color appearance resulting from special lens formulas he’d invented for laser surgery eye protection. Color blindness often results from the red and green cones of the eyes overlapping, changing the way colors are perceived. The EnChroma glasses work by capturing light and spreading it out so colors are perceived more clearly by the cones.

­— by Jamie Applegate

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Psych Tech Program

Has Been a Boon to Area Economy In just over a decade, a unique career technical program has provided trained workers, helped bolster the local economy and given hope to individuals by creating a career path and changing people’s lives. The impact on the Central Valley communities in Fresno and Kings Counties has been, to use this year’s most frequently Googled word, huge. Until recently, that impression was supported by largely anecdotal evidence. Now, however, there is an economic impact study that adds weight to the discussion. Since the PT program was launched at West Hills College Coalinga in 2001, in anticipation of the future opening of the



West Hills magazine

Coalinga State Hospital, some 900 students have gone through the program. The economic impact of all this on nearby communities is summed up in the draft executive summary of the study: “Over the years, students have gained new skills, making them more productive workers, by completing the Psychiatric Technician Training Program at WHC Coalinga. Today, hundreds of the program’s graduates are employed in the WHC Coalinga Service Area. Graduates of the program earn on average an additional $15,183 per year compared to their earnings if they had not completed the program. Over their lifetime, this will increase their earnings by $576,964. “Altogether, graduates of this program who were active in the

regional workforce generated an extra $4.1 million in income in the WHC Coalinga Service Area in FY 2014-15. The graduates spend these extra earnings on household items and other businesses, creating more spending throughout the regional economy and resulting in the commonly referred to multiplier effects. In addition, the graduates increase the productivity of the businesses at which they are employed. These businesses demand more inputs, which causes their supply chain to purchase more inputs, and so on. “The increase in earnings of graduates currently employed in the WHC Coalinga Service Area workforce, enhanced productivity from their employers, and the resulting multiplier

effects created an additional $12.9 million in added income, or Gross Regional Product, for the WHC Coalinga Service Area economy in FY 2014-15. This is equivalent to creating 249 new jobs. Dividing the total additional income by the number of program graduates active in the regional workforce, each Psychiatric Technician Training Program graduate adds $23,604 to the WHC Coalinga Service Area.” (Continued on next page) More than 900 students have entered the psychiatric technician program since it began in 2001, including recent graduates Melissa Abolnik, Pricilla Adika, Melissa Aquino, Alberto Cardenas, Bat Chi, and Virginia Cobb (above, from left to right).

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(Psych Tech Program continued)

That study was formally presented at a partnership luncheon in Coalinga in early November. Dr. Frank Gornick, Chancellor, WHCCD, said the program was only made possible by the support and collaboration of many. He called it “a very great and meaningful partnership that made this kind of partnership possible in one of the most economically depressed regions in California.” He cited early help from Congressman Jim Costa and Sacramento political strategist Jack Gualco, each lending their expertise to help secure the initial funding. “It would never have occurred without their guidance,” he said. Sherry Barragan, R.N. and Assistant Director of the PT program at WHCC, said the training “sets people up for success in a real world environment,” and introduced a student panel. Guests heard from three students who told their unique stories, answered questions, and credited the program with changing their lives and giving them a pathway to careers that enabled them to support their families. Ian Dwight Young, a 2010 graduate of the PT program, said, “It changed my whole outlook on life.” Awards were presented to the California Health and Human Services Agency; Dr. Robert Withrow, acting executive director of the Department of State Hospitals/Coalinga; Phyllis Stogbauer from the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board; and Mayor Ron Ramsey of the City of Coalinga – all partners in the successful training program. The study’s release coincides

with the latest expansion of the program at WHCC. The current class that recently began the intensive 12-month program is 45 students, up from 30 last year. The college plans to expand the next class to 60 students in 2016, according to Carole Goldsmith, President, WHCC. “We’re seeing an improved economy so our operation budget has also gone up,” she said. “We’re expanding now because Coalinga and Porterville (state hospitals) are being impacted by the new Stockton facility, and there are more jobs out there.” In addition to increasing access to the program to more students, Goldsmith said there will be an added emphasis to students on job opportunities outside the immediate environs. “At the recent 10th anniversary reception at Coalinga State At the 2015 psych tech graduation, from top to bottom: Oluwakemi Subair poses and Amir Walker shakes hands with instructor Rhonda Mayer. Right, WHCC President Carole Goldsmith and Robert Withrow, acting executive director of the Department of State Hospitals, Coalinga at a partnership luncheon celebrating the program’s success.



West Hills magazine

The intensive 12-month program prepares students for careers in state hospitals, corrections facilities and other medical centers and opens doors to a professional career and steady income. Above: Program graduates Laura Ruiz, Mariela Cornejo, Magaly Garcia and Renee Saelee.

Hospital, all the area hospital CEOs remarked about how well our students are doing in terms of both readiness and a low attrition rate. They like our product, and they like us to send them more students into the field.” With that in mind, WHCC is planning to help students transition to other area hospitals, such as in Stockton, Napa and Atascadero. In addition, there are now some correction facilities that are looking to hire PTs as well, Goldsmith said, so new job opportunities continue to open up for graduates. “I am not surprised at the figures in the new economic study,” she said. “We’ve known that the program really impacts our students and allows them to make 60 or 70 thousand dollars a year, way more than most were making in their former jobs. It’s always been my feeling that this program has a tremendous impact on our community. I mean, we’re seeing students whose mother was a Psych Tech so now it’s becoming generational.”

The hospital is one of Coalinga’s top employers and the community is helped when workers buy goods and services locally. In addition, there’s a direct correlation between going to college and making more money, Goldsmith said. “If you want to earn more, you have to learn more.” The need for PTs is growing, according to Kathryn Defede (left), interim director of Health Careers for the college district. “There is an increased need for mental health services within our communities. We simply do not have enough services available to meet the needs of those with mental health issues.” She said PTs are finding jobs outside the state hospital system in emergency rooms and other venues as well.

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and Learning Art Appreciation and Techniques). Rene Paredes is the club advisor, although she actually teaches history, but her experience with student clubs led to this role. “It was founded eight years ago as a way for students to increase their knowledge about art, travel to museums, and put on campus art exhibits to promote our classes,” she says. Its members include students who are artists, of course, but “it’s not just about art,” she says, “it’s about musicians, too. Every year we put on a Collision of Vision event and at that we pull together any and all art forms: poetry, music, sculpture, paintings and visual art displays.” The SPLAAT club has had a booth at the Hanford Renaissance Fair for the past two years where they sell their student arts and crafts. “It gives our artists a chance to sell their work, promote themselves, and gives the community a chance to see all we do here at the college, and it raises funds as well. Our goal is to promote art.” Jose Elias teaches art at NDC in Firebaugh, a West Hills educational center. He sees art as an essential ingredient in understanding all other college disciplines, including history. “When you develop an excellent understanding of a wide range of different classes such as art, philosophy, and science, you have many different educational tools to build a successful life,” he says. Learning art also contributes to the learning process in other ways. “For example, motivation, creativity, self-esteem and innovation are among the qualities that develop when you learn art,” says Elias. (Continued on next page)

Left: Danny Leija creates art out of wires in a WHCL 3D design class. Above: NDC art instructor Jose Elias. Below: A piece of student art on display at a recent show at WHCC.

Art Classes Teach More than Drawing, Painting Geometry, Science, Architecture, Philosophy All Come into Play T

he famous painter Van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” If that’s true of art, it is also true of everything else. Which is why David Brooks likens art instruction to almost everything else that’s taught in college. “I think it’s all related,” he says, “The fields all borrow from each other and enhance each other.” Brooks, an adjunct faculty member at West Hills College Lemoore, teaches Art Appreciation and Two Dimensional Design. “Art is everywhere, and we make judgments based on aesthetics daily. Taking an art class helps students in other fields as well, such as math or science. If I need to build a structure on canvas, I need to know geometry and math. If I choose colors, there’s a science behind it. Art is in everything, architecture, for example, or the choice of the car that I buy – if it doesn’t look pleasing to me, I’m probably not going to buy it and someone has thought the reasoning behind that.” West Hills College offers popular art classes at all of its sites, including colleges at Lemoore and Coalinga as well as the North District Center, Firebaugh. At Lemoore, students have a club – the longest established club on campus –called SPLAAT (Students Promoting



West Hills magazine

by Tom Wixon

David Brooks

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(Art continued)

‘The booth…at the Renaissance Fair… gives our artists a chance to sell their work, promote themselves, and gives the community a chance to see all we do here at the college….’ — Rene Paredes, Instructor, SPLAAT Club Advisor

At West Hills College Coalinga, Melissa Holsonbake is the full time art instructor, a job she’s held for the last 12 years. She shares the conviction that learning art pays off in other classes as well. “I tell the new students each semester that they are in a beginning class and that creativity is what you’ll learn, and that’s based on problem solving. They’re learning how to express Melissa Holsonbake themselves and also how to gain technical skills so they can creatively problem-solve.” A popular course is Two Dimensional Design. Students learn to draw, although many of them don’t possess the skill when they first start. Learning to draw calls on a student’s critical thinking abilities and helps develop that skill. “It’s something you can use in a lot of areas in life,” Holsonbake says. “It’s really about the work they are willing to put into it. I believe in talent, but at the end of the day it really is about hard work and showing up every day.” To display student works, WHCC has an art exhibit every spring. “It’s juried and it showcases the work students have completed in any of our art classes.” While the ability to draw is not a prerequisite for her 2-D class, she is often surprised at the innate talent some students bring with them. One of her favorite stories is a young student named Danielle Sierra, who took a beginning art class a decade ago, honed her painting skills, transferred to Fresno State for a degree, and now lives in Memphis, Tenn. where she sells her works and is very successful. “We’ve had other students who take a class because it’s part of their humanities requirements and they turn out to have great talent,” she said. “I’ve had students surprise me.” Wixon is editor of West Hills Magazine and Director of Marketing/Consultant at WHCCD.

WHCCD Chancellor Frank Gornick with Wonderful Vice-Chair/ Co-Owner Lynda Resnick, a keynote speaker.

Essential Elements Series Fosters

Big Ideas and Solutions


hat does the future of the San Joaquin Valley look like? What is the Valley’s economic place in the wider world?

These big topics and more were up for discussion at the

recently held fourth session of Essential Elements, the West Hills Community College District’s innovative public and private policy series. The event—titled Shifting Ground: Adapting the San Joaquin Valley Economy to a Changing Climate— brought together leaders from many different industry sectors throughout California to discuss and plan action steps to address some of California’s biggest issues. Topics ranging from the future of healthcare to the importance of bio-fuels and renewables were analyzed by some of the state’s biggest players. “When we created Essential Elements in 2013, we did so

Above: Bethany Tretault examines a sculpture at WHCL’s annual Collision of Vision art show. Right: Yuhei Iida and Haruko Ichida stand in front of a painting by Iida at WHCC’s art exhibit.

wanting to know what we could do to assist brokering solutions to these challenges,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, WHCCD Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Workforce Development and the organizer of Essential Elements. “This had to reach (Continued on next page)



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(Essential Elements continued)

to Sacramento, cabinet level individuals, policy stakeholders, to educators, to faculty, to all segments of higher education. We needed to do a better job of telling our story as a Valley.” With the first Essential Elements event, The Very Last Drop: Managing Water and Food Production, in March 2014 that process of gathering leaders to discuss big topics and find ways to act on them began. Two more events followed in June and November of 2014— Energizing the Valley and Generating Jobs and Trading Partners: Export Evolution, Logistics and Valley Economic Development— focused on job creation and trade logistics respectively. Representatives from groups both public and private attended: the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the USDA, Merill Lynch, the Governor’s Office, the University of California, and Chevron included. The slate of speakers was equally impressive for Shifting Ground. Lynda Resnick, Vice-Chair and Co-Owner of The Wonderful Company,

Council of Northern California; and Glenda Humiston, Vice President

discussed how her company worked to create new pathways to

of the University of California Division of Ag and Natural Resources.

college and careers in the Central Valley through philanthropy.

Three panels were held throughout the day, each focusing on a

“It’s our long standing belief that doing well by doing good is what

to take a little bit of vision, some positivity and some leadership.” Houston emphasized the need to attract talented workers and to educate the workforce. Russell Teall, President and Founder of

that can be taken when the conference is over. Tangible results have already been seen from the first three meetings. “The series has accomplished everything we hoped it would and

specific time frame. Panel One examined challenges and changes

BIODICO, commented on the role of biofuels. Dahlberg emphasized

business should be about,” she said. “We believe in giving back and

facing the Valley from 2015 to 2020, Panel Two tackled 2020 to 2030

the role of agriculture research and the need to secure sustainable

more,” Van Horn said. “We’ve seen new programs generated in ag

investing and collaborating with people and communities where our

and Panel Three offered projections for 2030 and beyond.

funding for it.

technology, renewables and trade and an increase in the number of

employees live and work.”

internships available to students. We’ve also seen an uptick in our

Panelists included Robert Tse, Chief Strategy Officer for the

The Wonderful Company sponsors a host of programs targeted

United States Department of Agriculture; Davena Witcher, Executive

toward supporting education in the Central Valley. Resnick estimated

Director for the Alliance for Medical Outreach and Relief; Joseph

that 55,000 students in 83 schools have been reached while 1,500

Castro, President of California State University, Fresno; Jim Houston,

college scholarships and 1,300 teacher grants have

Undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture;

been awarded through Wonderful Education.

Robert Casamento, Energy Management Consultant for Deloitte; and

The company operates a charter school

Jeff Dahlberg, Director of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and

in Delano, offers parent engagement

Extension Center.

programs, and summer camps focused on science and agriculture careers and has also done extensive philanthropic work in local communities. At the conference, presentations were also

One of the main points many speakers brought up was the necessity for industry, private and public partners to work together. Humiston spoke about the importance of building California’s

The EE goal is ‘to reach cabinet level individuals in Sacramento, policy stakeholders, educators, faculty…. (and) do a better job of telling our story as a Valley.’ — Stuart Van Horn, Vice Chancellor, WHCCD

Central Valley Slingshot initiative—which brings together employers and colleges to collaborate on curriculum development—and the AB86 adult education consortium, which is focused on providing short-term certification pathways for adult learners. WHCC’s recent Apps for Ag Hackathon, which brought six teams of software developers together to create mobile apps for use in agriculture, was another direct result of partnerships formed and ideas dreamed up through Essential Elements. need for a hopeful outlook.

jobs in agriculture. Casamento spoke about the Valley’s potential as a global hub for

WHCCD is involved in several regional initiatives, including the

One of the main takeaway ideas from Shifting Ground was the

funding and research infrastructure and of working to create more “It’s all about synergy and partnership,” she said.

participation in regional initiatives.”

Sponseller highlighted the changing landscape of healthcare, including growing concerns about patient privacy and excitement

“We’ve got to get out of the Valley funk and this feeling that we’ll always be second rate,” said Jack Gualco of The Gualco Group,

delivered by Joe Del Bosque,

agriculture technology and stressed the potential of the area as an

about new technologies—such as 3D printing—that could

Inc. “We need to have this sense of

California Water Commission

untapped source of innovation similar to Silicon Valley.

fundamentally change the field.

incubation in the Valley that calls on

member; Lance Donny, CEO of

“Why couldn’t this be the global hub of agriculture technology?”

OnFarm Services; Art Sponseller,

he said. “Why not create the Valley as the place of choice for students

the event could be. While each Essential Elements event revolves

together to try to force things to happen

who want to get an education and change the world? It’s just going

around discussion, the goal of each is also to produce action steps

differently. The opportunities are

President/CEO of the Hospital

The day concluded with a discussion around what the results of

colleges and private capital to work

tremendous.” Above left to right: Produce expert Michael Marks of Sacramento’s CBS13/CW31 television stations, Robert Tse, USDA, Jim Houston, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Lance Donny, CEO of OnFarm Services were among the many high profile speakers. Below right: Jack Gualco of the Gualco Group, Inc.



West Hills magazine

Fall/Winter 2015-16



supplies are very expensive,” she said. “I am very grateful that I was awarded this scholarship and able to pay for all the painting supplies I needed. I love to paint and this scholarship allowed me to continue to take the painting classes.”

‘…Making these scholarships available helps make a college education accessible to hundreds of students.’ — Frances Squire, Foundation Director

amount was very helpful with my daily expenses around the campus, such as transportation and meals,” said WHCL student Jeronimo Araujo. “I’m very grateful to AP Architects [a donor] for being involved with students and the community and helping us.” Each year, thousands of dollars of these scholarships are offered to students and funded largely through the support of donors and active fundraising. “Through the generosity of our donors, making these scholarships available helps make a college education accessible to hundreds of students,” said Frances Squire, Executive Director of the West Hills Community College Foundation. “Everyone wins since these students can focus

This semester, $77,050 in general scholarships were awarded district-wide to 60 students in Lemoore and 41 in Coalinga. A total of 135 President’s Scholars scholarships, which provide free tuition and $250 per semester for books for qualified students, were also awarded at an estimated value of $250,000. An overall total of $159,850 worth of scholarships were awarded to over 100 students at WHCC and NDC for the 2015-2016 school year and $194,000 at WHCL. Scholarships also go a long way toward helping cover students’ everyday expenses. “I won an annual scholarship of $250 and the scholarship

Change Lives and Support Student Success T

he mission of the West Hills Community College District is to foster student success and part of that is making sure that education is affordable to each and every student. To address that need, the district has an ever growing list of scholarships—supported by many generous donors—to offer to students. This year, more than $300,000 worth of scholarships have been awarded to over 200 students at West Hills



West Hills magazine

College Lemoore, West Hills College Coalinga and the North District Center in Firebaugh, ranging from partial scholarships to complete tuition coverage. For WHCC student Anna Donaldson, receiving a Stephen Orradre Memorial Scholarship for $500 this semester meant being able to buy all the supplies she needed for her classes. “I’m registered in two painting classes this year and the

Counter clockwise from top left: WHCC counselor Erin Corea and students Tucker Hague and Jordan Ayala at a scholarship banquet; WHCC scholarship winner Anna Donaldson with Sandy McGlothlin, Vice President of Student Services; Students Danny Amario, Denise Gonzalez and Andrea Wood pose with family at a scholarship awards ceremony.

on completing their studies, getting a great job and providing for their families.” More than 20 different scholarships are offered at each campus, both to general students and students in particular fields of study. A number of scholarships are also available for veterans. To learn more about the scholarships offered to our students or to donate, contact Squire at 559 934-2134 or francessquire@whccd.edu. To learn more, visit westhillscollege.com.

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Edna Ivans in 1968, shortly after she was elected to her first term.

Edna Ivans Retires After 48 Years, Leaves Behind a

district was undergoing a change in leadership, but those plans didn’t last long. “Who would have ever dreamed when we hired Dr. Gornick that he’d have such a vision,” she said. “I was thinking of leaving when Dr. Gornick came on, but it was just so wonderful to work with him. He was just such a dynamic influence. He convinced me to stay.” Ivans studied to become a pharmacist at the University of Southern California and then moved to Avenal with her late husband, Nick. They raised four children there while opening their home to foster children, welcoming several foreign exchange students and running a local pharmacy. Together, they served their communities through the local schools and traveled the world continuing their servitude with the local Rotary Club. He volunteered with the local Scouts. She served on the elementary school board, which she continued to do for

Legacyof Service by Amy Kessler

California Community College history was being made quietly when Edna Ivans, a pharmacist and mother of four from Avenal, was asked by Elizabeth Lyle if she would consider running in the next election for her empty seat on the West Hills Community College District Board of Trustees. Ivans accepted, and in June 1967, she was elected. Lyle may have been the first female member of the board, but Ivans would later make history for being the longest serving community college trustee in California. During her 48 years as a board member, Ivans would see the small college through the expansion of additional campuses, tough and prosperous economic times and a flourishing rodeo program with new state-of-the-art facilities. “It’s just been a dynamic thing to watch it change and especially to see how it’s grown and what it’s done for all the people,” said Ivans. “It’s raised the college-going rate in this area tremendously.” She never imagined she would serve on the board for so long. She officially retired in April 2015 after 48 years. Initially, she thought she would serve for four or five years. So what kept her so long? It was the team of board members, the students, and the new chancellor, Frank Gornick. She had considered leaving while the



West Hills magazine

seven years while on the WHCCD board. For Ivans and Nick, giving back was just their way of life. “Our lives just revolved around that kind of service,” she said. She was so involved in the local schools while her children were growing up that the PTA extended her a lifetime membership. In Avenal, Ivans was once honored as the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year and wrote her church newsletter for 35 years. She also received a Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2011. And for her leadership at WHCCD, she has a building named in her honor. Edna L. Ivans Hall stands prominently on the West Hills College Coalinga campus as a women’s dorm and is a physical tribute to her service. While the dorm memorializes her name for younger generations, Ivans hopes she leaves behind an even bigger legacy: an example of selfless servitude. “When one thinks about West Hills you cannot do so without also thinking about Edna,” said Gornick, WHCCD Chancellor. “She lives a life of service to West Hills and her greater community. Our district was fortunate to have her as a trustee for over four decades. I was blessed to serve with her as President of

West Hills Coalinga and then as Chancellor of our district. Edna may be off the board but she continues to support all of us - students, faculty, classified staff, administrators and her fellow board members - with the same enthusiasm, and positive attitude.” For board member Nina Oxborrow, this is also how she views her mentor and the 48 years of service she gave to the district, the students and the surrounding communities. “It has been such a privilege and honor knowing and working with Edna over the years,” said Oxborrow. “To witness the number of hours and endless energy she has graciously given to our students, our college district and communities is truly amazing. To know Edna and her husband Nick is to truly understand what selfless, kind and giving human beings they are. I am so fortunate and grateful to have experienced the legacy they’ve so generously given West Hills Community College.” Ivans continues to attend WHCCD events and keep in touch with her former colleagues. As a board member, she took two classes at the college, and her family legacy at WHC lives on as her son attended, one of her daughters graduated and one of her grand-daughters followed suit. She may have resigned her seat on the board, but she is far from retired. Ivans continues her community service as a member of Avenal’s Rotary Club and the Kings Historical Society. “I hope I inspire somebody to give their time and to try to make the world a better place for all of us,” said Ivans. “And that’s what I thought Elizabeth did for me, is she inspired me to give something back and to try to make the world a better place. I thought she did a wonderful job with that and she inspired me to do that, so I hope that I can do the same.”

Amy Kessler resides in San Luis Obispo and is a marketing/communications administrative assistant for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes and a marketing consultant for Steadfast Innovation, LLC.

Ivans at a recent school event.

Fall/Winter 2015-16



Accolades & Awards It’s been a season of recognition for West Hills College, as several major awards, grants and kudos have poured in in 2015, highlighting the institution’s efforts to promote and increase student success.

In early spring, West Hills received notice that it was one of just 14 colleges to earn one of the coveted Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. It came with a $2.5 million cash award, subject to a spending plan that has since been approved by the State. The money must be spent to further advance the winning program, Reg365, a unique advance-registration innovation. Reg365 (“reg” is short for ”register”), which was launched in 2014 and allows students to register for classes for a full year at once and was designed to increase student retention and speed up the degree completion process. Just a few months after that, the district learned it was awarded a grant to blend academic and career technical education in order to prepare California students for college and careers in the 21st Century. The California Department of Education awarded $244 million in grants to 40 programs to connect employers with high schools and colleges and train students for jobs in high demand fields. The grant of $8.8 million to West Hills College, the lead fiscal agency in partnership with Reedley College, will focus on “science and math as it relates to the business of agriculture,” said Carole Goldsmith, President, West Hills College Coalinga. More good news came in August when USA Today, the national newspaper, ranked West Hills College Lemoore as the top community college in Northern California, based on a survey of key metrics such as university transfer rate, student-teacher ratio, affordability and distance education. “It feels great to be recognized,” said Don Warkentin, President, West Hills College Lemoore. “We’ve known all along that we’re on the cutting edge when it comes to technology and online curriculum. This is a great achievement.” In September, Reg365 was cited again when a national college marketing association presented West Hills with a gold medal for the advertising campaign created by college staff to roll out the ground-breaking yearin-advance registration program.

WHCL staff members Jennifer Zuniga, Jose Murrieta and Lupe Banales help student Logan Barber register for classes using Reg365.

Innovation Award | The State created an incentive to urge colleges to focus on innovative reforms to help students earn degrees and approved a one-time budget item of $50 million to be distributed to those colleges who demonstrated significant impacts on improving time-to-degree completion, easing transfer through the state’s higher education system. Awards range from $5 million to $2.5 million. There were 58 entry applications from throughout the state. Unlike a grant, where colleges propose a new or enhanced program and are awarded funds to make it happen, these unique awards were for innovations which were the result of individual college initiatives to broaden student opportunity. “This is significant recognition of our ‘relentless pursuit of student success’ approach at West Hills,” said Chancellor Frank Gornick, West Hills Community College District. “Reg365 changes the way students plan and approach their class schedules, which generates a stronger commitment to success and retention, and eliminates roadblocks to completion. When students know there is a seat waiting for them in the next course in a sequence, they can count on reaching their transfer goals in the shortest possible time.” Stu Van Horn, WHCCD Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Workforce Development, said the college has produced an interactive e-book “How-To” manual for other colleges to use and has made

Dr. Stuart Van Horn

(Continued on next page)



West Hills magazine

Fall/Winter 2015-16



(Accolades & Awards continued)

presentations to educators statewide. “There is heavy interest in what we did and how,” he explained. A workshop for up to 60 participants from colleges in California sold out right away and a second is planned. He’s had calls from as far away as Florida.

Pathways Grant | The California Legislature passed the Career Pathways Trust Funds project in 2014 in order to establish regional collaborative relationships with business entities, community organizations and local institutions of postsecondary education. WHCCD will work with industry partners in the new program, including The Wonderful Company, along with Olam International, Cal-Organics and Grimmway Farms. West Hills and Reedley will partner on programs to be offered in Avenal and Sanger. The goal is “to develop and integrate standards-based academics with a career-relevant sequenced curriculum following industry-themed pathways aligned to high-need, high-growth or emerging regional economic sectors,” according to a DOE spokesperson. The awards are part of a national trend. Recently, tech giant Google, Inc., announced it would invest in a computerized farming network to crunch data on seeds and soil and help farmers grow more crops and save money.

No. 1 Ranking | West Hills College Lemoore’s No. 1 ranking in Northern California is the culmination of years of hard work by a dedicated team of professionals, according to Warkentin, who’s worked at the college district for 29 years and this year is retiring. West Hills Community College District Chancellor Gornick said he’s very proud of the college’s efforts. “It is wonderful to see the great work by our faculty, staff and administration receive this well-deserved recognition on behalf of our students and the citizens of Kings County,” he said.

The Career Pathways Grant will align curriculum with highgrowth career fields in the area.

Awards are simply another recognition of the fact that West Hills College is putting students first and that we are actively partnering with local and regional industry and business to create jobs

WHCL came out on top in a list of the top ten colleges in Northern California based on criteria including distance education and affordability.



West Hills magazine

EECU has everything the big banks have, but with way better customer service! — Andrea Bavaro Member Since 2004

Call 1-800-538-EECU or visit one of our 15 branches to find out what we can do for you!

Oil Inc. Lawson Rock & Oil has provided classroom facilities and a truck driving training yard for the past six of these courses offered and has also hired several of the drivers who were trained through the program. Students who complete training are often hired by the companies who assisted with it, a process that has been going on for years. For example, 74 people who were trained through WIT to work on a solar farm project in Mendota in 2009 were hired by

‘If you stop and talk to our students, there’s one success story after another.’ — David Castillo, WIT Director

the solar company while 69 who were trained in Coalinga were hired for Chevron concentrated solar work in 2010. Similarly, 198

was enthusiastic and a great potential employee and we were

people were hired for a Eurus Energy solar project in Avenal in

able to help.”

2010 and 2011 after taking advantage of training through WIT. Often, WIT is also a helping hand for students having trouble

Training has been offered through WIT in several industries, including agriculture, medical, construction, business and

navigating the workforce and the process for getting licensed in

professional fields, electrical and solar, heavy equipment, safety

many of the careers WIT trains for.

and vehicle training. WIT is a collaborative project of West Hills

Castillo tells a story about one student in a truck driving

Community College District and K-12 districts in the areas of

course who was repeatedly declined by the DMV when trying to

Firebaugh-Las Deltas, Golden Plains and Mendota Unified

get his license and needed to go through their appeals process.

School Districts.

WIT assisted him with navigating the appeals process and helped him to get his license.

For more information about the Westside Institute of Technology, visit http://www.westhillscollege.com/district/

“Within two weeks he had his driver’s license,” Castillo said. “He


Westside Institute of Technology Leads the Way in

Technical and Vocational Training W

hile West Hills Community College District provides a traditional classroom and degree based education

to thousands of students each semester, for many years it has also been a leader in offering short-term job training

through the WIT training programs. “If you stop and talk to our students, there’s one success story

interested in entering high demand careers.

been able to train so many people and teach them the skills

seekers in multiple job fields, often with life changing results for the students who take them. David Castillo, WIT Director and WHCCD Director of Special

they need to get employed and thereby change their lives and their family’s lives.” Almost all of the courses at WIT are offered at no cost to community members and the WIT itself is largely funded by grants secured by the WHCCD grants department. All of the

Grants (above), tells the story of a student who took a truck

courses are offered directly in response to hiring needs in the

driving course through WIT. Originally from Huron, he had

area, with WIT partnering with area businesses for training

been unemployed for some time after he lost his job as a heavy

and with the Fresno County Workforce Investment Board and

equipment operator in the Coalinga oil fields.

Economic Development Corporation to identify areas where

“We had one student who went through our truck driving program earlier this year,” he said. “The majority of his work

jobs are open. Partnerships with area business are a big part of the work

history has involved earning a low wage, with no potential for

WIT does. Just this past year, WIT worked closely with Mendota’s

growth. He now has a job as a backhoe/loader driver making

First Solar, Inc., helping WIT students to receive solar farm safety

$36.58 per hour. His entire training, DMV fees, physical exam fees

training and earn their OSHA 10 certification. All students

and everything, was paid for by U.S. Department of Agriculture

worked at the solar site until it was complete.

grant funding. Everything was an opportunity he wouldn’t


Castillo hears lots of similar experiences from those who go

after another,” Castillo said. “It really is never-ending. We have

offered an average of 10 to 20 courses per year since 2007 to job


otherwise have had on his own without the program.”

to community members across the San Joaquin Valley Through the Westside Institute of Technology, WHCCD has

West Hills magazine

Many of the solar projects built in the Valley in recent years were constructed by hundreds of workers who were all trained at the Westside Institute of Technology at West Hills College. WIT has been in operation since 2007.

WIT also works closely with Fresno’s John R. Lawson Rock &

For more information about the Westside Institute of Technology, visit www.westhillscollege.com/district/about/partnerships/wit/.

Fall/Winter 2015-16




Open Educational Resources

Transforming the Way We Teach by Jamie Applegate

iPads are a big part of classroom learning at West Hills. Above: WHCC Instructor Jeff Wanderer shows Anica Apostol a biology application during class.


n the modern world, technology is increasingly becoming a much bigger factor in higher education. One of the biggest recent shifts is the rising importance of open educational resources, those found typically on the internet in a world of shared knowledge. The internet is the storehouse for potentially thousands of college textbooks, written by faculty, and provided free or at very low costs to a new generation of students. “We are in a digital era,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, WHCCD Vice Chancellor for Educational Services and Workforce Development. “We are trying to transform the way faculty teach and the way students learn using technology and open educational resources that have the potential to reduce the cost of attendance for students.” Faculty on both the West Hills College Coalinga and West Hills College Lemoore campuses are working to utilize open educational resources, including free, online versions of textbooks and online digital tools such

as iTunes U, to better serve students. Several faculty members have gotten a chance to explore these resources through funding from the district’s recently won California Innovation Award for Higher Education. Dr. Vera Kennedy, who teaches sociology at WHCL, is one of those working to integrate OER into the classroom and is active in the wider community of instructors in the United States pushing to make these resources a larger part of modern higher education. Kennedy recently piloted the usage of iPads and wireless devices in the classroom this semester in her Sociology 1 course. A group of students in her course took a crack at the idea of a digitally connected classroom and regularly used laptops, iPads and similar devices to supplement their learning. Kennedy also encourages students in her Sociology 1 course to utilize a low to no cost online sociology textbook from Rice University’s OpenStax

website that she and her fellow faculty have reviewed and vetted. “It’s changed the way I teach,” she said. “Students use the textbook now to learn the foundation of sociology and I can just focus on what they don’t understand, where the textbook isn’t clear. The textbook is a central part of the learning they do themselves at home and now I can do more hands-on, tactical things in the classroom since they understand the basics.” These textbooks, which are written by experts in the field

‘We’re going to be looking at our students really relying more on OER and free textbooks.’ — Jeff Wanderer, WHCC instructor (Continued on next page)



West Hills magazine

Fall/Winter 2015-16



T ransitionS

(Open Education Resources continued)

and are peer-reviewed, are offered at low to no cost online. West Hills College Lemoore—and Kennedy—were some of the first to adopt OER textbooks in classes and to provide feedback to the sociology textbook Kennedy still uses in her classes. Kennedy said offering an online textbook has also helped her make sure that more of her students are able to use the textbook in the first place, unhampered by its cost. “It’s really important we look at what we can do to make sure students are able to get the material they need to participate 100 percent in class,” she said. “If the price of a textbook is high, students won’t purchase the book. They need to pay rent and get to school. They need to survive on a day to day basis.” Amy Long, a counselor and instructor at WHCC, is also retooling her class to integrate online resources. She and fellow instructor Erin Corea are trying something new in their College Success class this semester. As part of the course, students have the opportunity to learn how to use online resources and get comfortable with online learning and taking online only classes. “We restructured the class to offer a hybrid day where students can come into the classroom and learn how to be online,” she said. “We had a lot of students really nervous about classes becoming hybrid, going online, so I thought it’d be important to train them so they are comfortable.” Students learn how to use the West Hills Edvance360 learning management system, portal, and how to use websites like

Students Mickie Mills and Zito Encarnacion utilize tablets and phones to access extra resources in Fortune’s class.



West Hills magazine

Left: Psychology instructor Allen Fortune utilizes video to demonstrate a concept. Below: Dr. Vera Kennedy uses mobile devices in her sociology class, where she also uses an online textbook to enhance learning.

New President Kristin Clark West Hills College Lemoore will soon welcome a new president, the third in its 14-year history. Dr. Kristin L. Clark, Ed.D, was selected after a national search which yielded 43 candidates. She was one of nine applicants selected for interviews and one of three finalists. Clark was serving as the Vice President of Student Services at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa when she was appointed. She has worked at OCC since 1999 as Director of Admissions, Records, Enrollment Technology and Dean of Enrollment Services, and in her Vice President position. She has worked as the Registrar at California National University in North Hills and has taught at Pepperdine, Golden West College, OCC and CSU Fullerton. She holds a BS in Business and Management from the University of Phoenix, a Master’s in Educational Technology from Pepperdine and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clark was one of three finalists for the position. She will come to work in Lemoore in early January.

Don Warkentin Retires

Dropbox and navigate online discussion boards. They also complete assignments that are due the same day so that they can put the skills they’re learning to practice in a lab setting. Long is also looking at the possibility of developing an online, OER textbook for the course in the future. Allen Fortune, a psychology professor at WHCL, is also working on the idea of a more digitally connected classroom experience. He is experimenting with the idea of a fully digital based classroom and using online resources to supplement the face to face classroom experience. Specifically, this semester he piloted a course that could be taken completely by using an iPad. “I went in with the idea that I was going to work on my class and make it as much of a mobile tablet accessible class as possible,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be a watered down version of the class, just an online version. I wanted it to be the same class I teach face to face.” Fortune did research on other courses offered on Apple’s iTunes U platform, which allows teachers to create and manage courses that students can experience using the iTunes U app on their iPad or computer. He then set about creating an online course based on his Psychology 1 class. This semester, eight to 10 students in his traditional Psychology 1 class utilized the resources he created and tried out the class as a supplement to the face to face course. The entire

class also has access to an online textbook from OpenStax. For some instructors, Open Educational Resources are becoming a much larger piece of education than ever before.

‘It’s changed the way I teach. Students use the textbook now to learn the foundation…’ — Dr. Vera Kennedy, WHCL instructor “We’re going to be looking at our students really relying more on OER and free textbooks,” said Jeff Wanderer, who teaches biology at WHCC and is interested in developing his own OER text in the future. “More of our faculty are going to get on board with it. It’s a reality and it’s going to happen and if we’re ahead of the curve on this, we’ll be better for it.”

Jamie Applegate is a marketing assistant at West Hills CCD and a former journalist.

By the end of this year, West Hills College Lemoore President Don Warkentin will retire and conclude a career in education that has spanned more than 40 years. Warkentin has served as president of WHCL since 2004. He began working as a campus administrator for what would become WHCL in 1986, after 13 years as a teacher, coach, administrator, and athletic director at Lemoore High School where he began working in 1973. Warkentin was one of the main forces behind making WHCL its own campus in 2002 and the building of the Golden Eagle Arena and student center. With his leadership, it has grown from 700 students in portable buildings to over 3,000 students on a brand new campus. He has also been active in the Lemoore community as a member of the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Kiwanis Club, and Kings County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. Read more about his amazing career in the WHCL EagleEye at http://goo.gl/SDfXLb

Supporter Ted Frame Passes Away Ted Frame, a staunch advocate and supporter of the West Hills Community College District, passed away earlier this year at age 86. Frame served the WHCCD for over 50 years. He was a long-time member of the West Hills Community College Foundation Board and was one of the original advocates for the building of a college in Coalinga. He was one of the leaders of the campaign for the bond measure that funded the building of the West Hills College Coalinga campus, which opened in 1956. Born in Wisconsin on June 27, 1929, Frame was a practicing lawyer and alumnus of Stanford University and UCLA. He was well known in Coalinga as part of the law practice of Frame and Matsumoto and has also left a physical mark on the community: Frame Park in downtown Coalinga.

Fall/Winter 2015-16






9900 Cody Ave. Coalinga, CA 93210

When you support education, everybody wins. For some philanthropists, serving on a board or writing a check fulfills their need to support a worthwhile cause. Not so for one of West Hills College Coalinga’s most loyal supporters—Phyllis Roberts. Even though she recently celebrated her 90th birthday, she is frequently seen at campus athletic and arts events and she is involved in many activities around Coalinga. She donated $25,000 to establish an endowed scholarship of $1,000 per year for a Coalinga High student who plans to attend WHCC and another $20,000 for the college library. She is a major contributor to the President’s Scholars Program and she supports three scholarships each year at the local high school. Noted for her beautiful yard and her love of animals, she generously supports environmental issues both nationally and internationally. Phyllis moved to Coalinga in 1950 to start a 40-plus year teaching career. She married her husband, William C. Roberts, a member of one of the four founding Coalinga families, in 1952. Bill passed away in 1967. Phyllis retired from teaching in 1988 and has devoted much time to her community.

For information on how you can help support education, see our website: www.whcgift.org, or contact: FrancesSquire@whccd.edu 9900 Cody St., Coalinga, CA 93210 (559) 934-2134 WestHillsCollege.com