Equity Plan steams on

Deadline fast approaches


Cathie Lawrence

Dean of Student Success David Belman presents to the crowd.

Los Medanos College is nearing the final stages of developing a state required Student Equity Plan. Progress was reported, followed by a discussion Sept. 29 by members of the faculty and staff.
In the management called meeting, the faculty was brought up to speed with structure and content of the plan, which is to be sent to the three senates (Classified, Student and Academic) shortly for approval with a target date range of Oct. 17-20.
According to a fact sheet on the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website, A “student equity plan focuses on increasing access, course completion, ESL and basic skills completion, degrees, certificates and transfer for all students as measured by success indicators linked to the CCC Student Success Scorecard, and other measures developed in consultation with local colleges.”
The plan is to focus on five sections: Access, transfer, degrees and certificate, ESL and basic skills and course completion. “We realize that none of these are independent,” said Dean of Student Success Dave Belman, adding that the hope is that east county will view LMC as a transfer institution.
He added that with over 900 students enrolled in the DSP&S Program at LMC, one of the plans for the future is to hire a new counselor to work within the department to help ease the students who are returning to LMC after suffering the first time. He termed these students as having “grit,” and said that it’s important to help them get back into the swing of things at the college.
Other plans included outreach to high school students to try to get them to enroll at the college as early as the ninth grade, hiring at all levels with an emphasis on policy/decision making roles. It was also mentioned that some of the funds awarded for equity could be used as “mini grants” to help keep struggling but productive programs alive during the semester.
There was discussion from the staff and faculty during the presentation, with English instructor Joellen Hiltbrand challenging the hiring of new employees versus support for existing programs if “the money is spendable,” and that LMC should be planning so that “when the money runs out, the effort doesn’t fall through.”
Among other speakers, LVN Director Sharon Goldfarb also spoke, making a reference that the college still does not have a student health center. Biology instructor Mark Lewis spoke to “bridging the gap between life on campus and at home.”
As the meeting wrapped up, Belman requested that if anyone had a request, comment or idea to please email him, as the Equity Planning Committee was compiling the final draft to send to the senates in a couple weeks.