President's Newsletter

August 2020 | Volume 2, Issue 12

College and District News

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Photos of training center building

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for
Platform Scenario Training Building

A virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for Moreno Valley College's Platform Scenario Training Building at the Ben Clark Training Center was held on September 8 at 9:30 am. College and Riverside County officials were on hand, with select guests present since attendance was limited to 50 attendees.

Attendees included Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president of Moreno Valley College; Mary Figueroa, president of the RCCD Board of Trustees; Chad Bianco, sheriff from Riverside County; and Robert Gunzel, assistant sheriff from Riverside County during the 45-minute event.

With the addition of Moreno Valley College's Platform Scenario Training Building, the program becomes one of a few correction academies on the West Coast with an in-house corrections scenario and simulation training capability with infused scenario-based learning domains. MVC correction academies receive interactive training, providing the tools needed to work in real-world situations as well as learn through live scenario strategies.

The 3,642-square-foot facility provides experiential and interactive jail scenario training, giving recruits the opportunity to work through potential real-life situations and scenarios to shape their judgment and decision-making while developing specific skills needed to work within jail facilities. The project was completed in partnership with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The Platform Scenario Training Building was funded by Measure C, a $350 million bond that voters approved in March of 2004; Strong Workforce funds; and a Title V grant from the Department of Education. The project was completed at a cost of $3 million.

See a preview of the facility

"The addition of the new corrections scenario facility is just the first step as the program continues to develop new training curricula and instructional strategies – for both sworn and nonsworn personnel," Art Turner, dean of Instruction, Public Safety Education & Training, said. "The continued review and development of the program is a central component to increase the quality and efficiency of training within the academies. These improvements will lead to continued professionalism in the field and better preparedness for employment while allowing for degree advancement and higher retention among officers.

Senario Training Center interior photos

"While scenario training is becoming additionally available to academies and training units, most are web and/or computer-based, using video and interactive computer-based modules to deliver virtual corrections training. MVC and RSO have built a platform that will provide live-action scenario training in order to prepare deputy sheriffs, corrections deputies, and jailers to better effectively respond to encounters with inmates within jail facilities. Experiential and interactive corrections scenario training will provide recruits and staff the opportunity to work through real-life scenarios in order to sharpen judgment and decision making within correctional facilities."

There are discussions for future projects including a 17,000-square-foot facility that would provide the public safety programs with general and EMT classrooms and labs, administrative offices, student services, a library, computer lab, and lockers and showers.

Watch the ribbon cutting ceremony on YouTube.

Student moves graduation cap tassel

Viewership Results for
Virtual Graduation Rewarding

Moreno Valley College's virtual graduation in June received 6,184 webpage views, 1,791 new users, and 1,226 clips were viewed. There were 2,815 sessions which indicated that users returned multiple times to view their clip and relive their graduation moment.

The level of viewer interaction via the College's YouTube was eye opening. There were 774 views, resulting in 157 hours of watch time. And, individuals from five different countries tuned in to watch the virtual graduation. In the US, viewers watched from 248 different cities, led by Moreno Valley (32.8 percent), Perris (12.3 percent) and Ontario (10.6 percent).

"Based on statistics received from YouTube Premiere, where the virtual Commencement video was hosted, I was impressed and pleased to see the high number of unique viewers, webpage views, and number of watch time hours which represent a good turnout of students, family and friends celebrating this important event for all MVC students," Julio Cuz, manager, Technology Support Services, said.

College Holds Annual Community Welcome Day Virtually

College Holds Annual Community
Welcome Day Virtually

Moreno Valley College's annual Community Welcome Day event was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was open to new and returning students as well as interested community members. Attendees were greeted with messages from Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D., chancellor, Riverside Community College District; Mary Figueroa, president of the Board of Trustees, RCCD; Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president of MVC; Jenifer Floerke, president of the Academic Senate; and Andrew Graham, vice president of CSEA.

Attendees were able to take virtual tours of the campus, Dental program, iMAKE Innovation Center, and the Library. Student clubs were highlighted and there was a Discovery Fair highlighting programs, financial aid, student services, student resources, academic and career possibilities, and tips for learning in an online format.

The first 1,000 individuals who completed a short survey at the conclusion of the event received an MVC facemask.

MoVaLearns Logo

MoVaLEARNS – Mayor's Challenge Wins Prestigious International Award

The city of Moreno Valley's MoVaLEARNS - Mayors Challenge program, which helped Moreno Valley Career & Technical Education students stay in school in order to complete their degree/certificate, received the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)'s Local Government Excellence Award for Community Diversity & Inclusion category.

The program assisted students at Moreno Valley College with a $250 monthly award for eight months. The idea was to help students advert the "earn versus learn" trap. The "earn versus learn" phrase refers to when students are low on funds and are forced to pause their studies and usually take a low-wage job. Many students never recover from the decision because they never return to finish their studies.

"For me, the funds alleviated the financial strain that I was experiencing being a single mother and a full-time student," Bonnie Galloway said. "I was able to purchase the rest of the things I needed for school, such as books and supplies (that I would have had to put off)."

Galloway successfully completed her studies at MVC this past spring and transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, to complete her studies in social work.

"The MoVaLEARNS program has been a great success in increasing student retention and supported 10 percent of the cohort in completing their degree or certificate pathways," Melody Graveen, Ed.D., dean of Instruction, Career & Technology Education, said. "With significant student support, both financial and academic, the program saw a 94 percent retention rate from fall to spring. We greatly appreciate the funding from the city to support our students in overcoming the earn versus learn dilemma."

Learn more about the program, here.

Giving Week

President's Dinner Replaced With a Giving Week

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Riverside Community College District Foundation in conjunction with the President's office have replaced the annual President's Dinner with a Giving Week which will be held November 2-6. Sponsorship opportunities, which begin at $500, are available by contacting the Foundation at (951) 222-8626 or by email.

Welcome Center

Ground Broken on Welcome Center

Ground has been broken for Moreno Valley College's Welcome Center, the latest project from monies from the Measure C bond measure that taxpayers approved in March 2004. The $14 million Welcome Center, a single-story building, will house enrollment services and other divisions within student services, such as Admission & Records, Assessment Center, Cashier's Office, Counseling, Dream Center, Financial Aid, First-Year Experience, Outreach, and Student Employment.

The Welcome Center will be located next to Student Activities and behind the Science and Technology Building. When completed, the Welcome Center will join Student Academic Services, the Dental Education Center, and the Network Operations Center as buildings completed under the District's Measure C bond measure that was approved by voters in order to finance new construction and remodels across the District in order to accommodate the growing number of students the colleges are serving.

Welcome Center construction photos

After completion of the Welcome Center there are plans to renovate the existing Student Services Building as well as a portion of the Library. Tilden Coil Constructors, Inc. is the construction company and HPI Architecture of Newport Beach is the architect for the project.

Women in STEAM logo

iMake Innovation Center Hosts Women in STEAM Virtual Camp

The iMake Innovation Center held a two-day Women in STEAM Virtual Camp.

Attendees were addressed by leaders in STEAM industries and learned about the impact women can have in STEAM fields. Robin Steinback, Ph.D., MVC president, provided opening remarks. Jackie Melendez, deputy city manager, city of Moreno Valley; Angel Orta-Perez, assistant director of TRIO/Upward Bound; and Kasey Nguyen, Ph.D., in CIS/Cybersecurity were the featured speakers on day one. Claire Jefferson-Glipa from Western Region Ambassador-National University; Anna Marie Amezquita, dean of Instruction; Jacqueline Gilyard Jones, founder/CEO of BioPower Enterprises, LLC; and Melody Graveen, Ed.D., dean of Instruction for CTE, spoke to the attendees on the final day.

The event also comprised of workshops which were facilitated by College faculty and Makerspace staff. On day one, Jeffrey Julius, professor for Microbiology, used water, pepper and hand soap to show how viruses such as the coronavirus can be dispersed. Later in the day, Joanna Werner-Fraczek, Ph.D., professor of Biology, shared videos and led a discussion on genetics, gene editing and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), which is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea.

Day two consisted of hands-on activities. Facilitated by Barry McNaughton, professor of Music, and Joseph Murray, CTE laboratory technician, led a workshop on learning about music and soundwaves with programming sounds with an Arduino microcontroller. Murray then teamed up with Donnell Layne, director of the iMAKE Innovation Center, and Abraham Cifuentes, CTE laboratory technician, who facilitated the building of a hydraulic arm using fluid dynamics to move the arm.

The camp was for seventh graders and above from the Inland Empire. Murray said the camp also attracted a middle school teacher who wanted to experience the camp in order to share the information with her students. He added that they find women are knowledgeable about the STEAM fields, yet we don't often see them (working) in these fields.

"This camp allows us to reach them early on, reinforcing that they do have a place in STEAM workplaces," Murray said.

The success of the online camp is pushing the staff to look at ways to lengthen the experience.

"This has prompted us to create more workshops ... maybe five months or a five-day workshop," he said. "Even though we are a small college, we feel like we made a big impact. Even with the challenges it was a lot of fun. It really pushed us (as a staff)."

Student smiles while looking at laptop

College Launches Extended Learning Program

This past summer, Moreno Valley College launched its Extended Learning Program. The Extended Learning Program offers free noncredit courses. The intended targets of these courses are individuals looking to gain professional expertise in order to expand their career opportunities or grow a business, learn foundational skills to enter a Career & Technical Education pathway or just augment educational experiences while taking credit courses.

This fall, the College is offering a course in Computer Repair for Beginners, Networking for Home and Small Businesses, Cybersecurity for Beginners, Art of Negotiating and Collaborating, Personality Styles and Difficult Relationships, and Best Practices in Customer Service.

Any community member 18 years or older can take an Extended Learning Program noncredit course. Individuals under the age of 18 must complete a concurrent enrollment form and return it to the College's Admissions & Records office. Although the courses are tuition free there may be a cost associated for books and a parking pass, if needed. Financial aid is not available for courses offered by the Extended Learning Program. Students taking noncredit courses can utilize the services of an educational advisor or counselor.

iMAKE Innovation Center

iMAKE Innovation Center Staff Make Presentations at Conferences

Melody Graveen, Ed.D., dean of Instruction, Career & Technical Education; Donnell Layne, director; and Jason Kennedy, supervisor, of the iMAKE Innovation Center, participated in two national conferences recently.

Layne was a panelist for the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship's (NACCE) make/SHIFT 2 conference. And, Graveen presented on best practices for funding a makerspace at the preconference event.

NACCE is the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges. The association represents 300-plus community and technical colleges and 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators and presidents who serve more than three million students. Graveen presented during the preconference on funding a makerspace.

Originally scheduled to be held in Coeur d'Alene, ID in June 2020 and rescheduled for May of 2021, Layne said the association "didn't want to wait that long nor let all of their hard work go to waste," hence they took the conference online. From July 20-24, NACCE hosted two daily webinars at 9 am and noon on Zoom. The webinars focused on a variety of relevant, practical and insightful topics surrounding the maker community, Layne said.

"Thanks to the efforts of the CCC maker project and the professional development conferences from NACCE, over 20,000 learners have been introduced to the field of making through Moreno Valley College's Makerspace," Layne said. "It is an honor to work with such a dynamic and diverse community of makers."

Meanwhile, Layne, Kennedy, Abraham Cifuentes and Joseph Murray, CTE laboratory technicians; and Gerardo Serrano, Learning Center assistant; along with student aides Melissa Valenzuela and Shukerrah Palmer participated at the 3rd Annual Makerspaces for Innovation and Research in Academics (MIRA) which was hosted by the University of La Verne. Together they presented Creating a Maker Culture on the Campus of Moreno Valley College and the City of Moreno Valley.

In their presentation summary, Valenzuela and Palmer said, "The presentation was focused on how the College has created a 'Maker' environment on campus and throughout the city of Moreno Valley. We explained what iMAKE is, introduced various forms of technology that we work with, and elaborated on how we help enrich the community with STEM initiatives. By introducing the College's physical and mobile versions of the Innovation Center, we were able to showcase the campus' involvement with educating youth and adults on new opportunities their future may hold with STEM."

Moreno Valley College welcomed its on-campus iMAKE Innovation Center last December. The 4,150-square-foot Center, located in the Science and Technology Building, serves as a hub for innovation and creativity, and lends itself to fostering enthusiasm for learning. The College was one of 24 institutions to receive a California Community College Maker Implementation Grant from the California Community College Chancellor's office. The College sports a mobile innovation RV which is used to promote STEM innovation for local schools and events.

At the time of the iMAKE Innovation Center opening, Graveen said, "The iMAKE Innovation Center will have a significant impact on student learning and development. The iMAKE Innovation Center was designed to provide an educational training facility for students, faculty, staff, community members, and business leaders."

Safe Return

RCCD Orchestrates Plan for Returning to Traditional Education

The Riverside Community College District has formulated a plan to return to traditional education delivery. Last May, the District convened a Safe Return Taskforce with leadership from Moreno Valley College, Norco College and Riverside City College along with faculty, staff, students and administrators throughout the District. The Taskforce was charged with developing recommendations for restoring on-site operations while ensuring the safety of students and employees.

The recommendations of the Taskforce have been organized into phases and are compliant with the California Resilience Roadmap: Stages 1-4 as well as specific County Health Department directives. The recommendations also consider the unique environments and educational programs of each college.

The District has sought the assistance of Riverside County leadership, so that a number of essential workforce led programs can return to face-to-face instruction. Some of the programs include nursing, certified nursing assistant, dental hygiene, dental assistant, paramedics, EMTs, firefighting, peace officers, corrections academy, dispatch academy, culinary academy, and other STEM and STEM-based CTE programs that contribute to the preparation of essential workers who are vital for the economic recovery of our county.

"We are prioritizing the restoration of educational programming and organizational functions that are in line with or directly connected to essential sectors of the California economy as defined in Governor Newsom's March 19 order and refined in April," Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D., chancellor, said. "Courses and programs that prepare students for jobs in essential sectors will be taught in hybrid format with lectures online and clinical/labs to be conducted in person."

Courses from this past spring semester and the current summer term that required face-to-face labs, skills development, and testing will reconvene for a special session. This will allow students to complete course requirements in the summer and fall, Isaac said.

For the fall semester (August 24 to December 16), the District is recommending Phase B or CA Accelerated Stage 2. While instruction would remain online, Phase B in August does offer District and college personnel to return to campus in order to handle essential services that cannot be conducted online. Currently, financial aid, counseling, tutoring and other student support programs remain available. Students are able to continue their education and prepare for graduation during the pandemic.

Campus facilities continue to receive thorough cleaning in anticipation of some courses returning to campuses. State guidelines of social distancing, personal protection (washing/sanitizing hands, wearing masks and gloves), and thorough cleaning of facilities, will continue to be followed until CA Stage 4 is reached and those guidelines and directives are lifted at the conclusion of the Stay Home Order, Isaac added.

As the recommendations evolve and plans are finalized, announcements will be made on the District and college websites. RCCD's COVID-19 Information web page will be updated with communications and resources. A new SAFE RETURN web page is also accessible with updated recommendations and information as each new term begins.

Wallet Hub logo

WalletHub Names MVC as the Nation's
11th Best Community College

WalletHub, a website dedicated to helping individuals efficiently attain financial fitness, ranked Moreno Valley College as the nation's 11th best overall community college for 2020. WalletHub compared more than 650 community colleges across 18 key indicators of cost and quality. Their data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.

MVC scored 66.81 overall. The College's individual ranking consisted of 51st in cost and financial ranking, 473rd in educational outcomes and 38th in career outcomes. State Technical College of Missouri was ranked overall the best community college in the nation by WalletHub. College of San Mateo was ranked 3rd, the highest among California community colleges. Orange Coast College was ranked 10th. Sister colleges, Norco College was ranked 43rd and Riverside City College landed 79th in the top 700 ranking.

"We are honored as an institution that WalletHub recognized the efforts of our faculty and staff," Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president of MVC, said. "The 2020 year has been a challenge with transitioning to online learning. However, the College has continued to provide students with the tools to be successful in an online environment. The College is committed to continuing its mission of educating and empowering our students, providing equitable access to education, and serving our communities."

In the state ranking, the California community college system was ranked 8th best. Wyoming, with just seven community colleges in the state, was ranked the best by WalletHub. WalletHub noted that in order to determine the best and worst community-college systems in the U.S., it drew upon its analysis of the best and worst community colleges list. WalletHub calculated a weighted average of the scores earned by each community college in the state and the number of students enrolled in each school. The state with the highest average corresponds with their individual ranking. Only states that had at least two community colleges present in the sample were included in the Best & Worst Community Colleges listing.

WalletHub was the first-ever website to offer free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated daily. WalletHub also built the brain of an artificially intelligent financial advisor. WalletHub is owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. and is based in Washington, DC.

mvc logo

Moreno Valley College

16130 Lasselle St., Moreno Valley, CA 92551
(951) 571-6100


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