President's Newsletter

September 2020 | Volume 2, Issue 13

College and District News

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Dr. John W. Rice Award

College Receives Dr. John W. Rice Award Honorable Mention

Moreno Valley College received an honorable mention selection for the Dr. John W. Rice Student Success Award. Established in 2001, the Dr. John W. Rice Awards recognize community colleges leading the way in progressing student success, and diversity and equity. The California Community College Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) evaluated statewide data in meeting the Vision for Success Goal, which included student success outcomes in percent increase in attaining degrees, certificates, and transfers while reducing the number of units.

After CCCCO's evaluation of the statewide data, Moreno Valley College was selected as a finalist with one other college. The CCCCO noted there was a significant difference between the two finalists and the rest of the system. This highlights the increase in student success and outcomes at Moreno Valley College.

With this honorable mention, Moreno Valley College attributes its success by using a Theory of Change framework. The focus was to increase student success for all students, while closing equity gaps. With this framework, MVC was able to increase the number of students receiving degrees, receiving certificates, and transferring by 59 percent, 30 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. MVC attributes various actions in improving such outcomes; below are just a couple of those actions which have shown the biggest impact in our outcomes.

The six areas of focus for the College attributing to this accomplishment are:

  1. Communities of practice
  2. Removing barriers for awarding of degrees
  3. Hiring practices
  4. Equity focused
  5. Deep connections with K-12 districts and university partners
  6. Commitment to innovation

For instance, the English faculty developed communities of practice, collecting evidence on the relationship between professional development and student outcomes demonstrating higher success rates for faculty that participated in culturally responsive teaching practices. Four years after its inception, the department saw a 41 percent successful completion rate for first-time students in transfer-level English in their first year.

"I believe the English faculty has learned that a student's GPA does not measure intellectual aptitude; it is measuring their challenges that span far beyond the classroom (i.e., money, childcare, etc.)," said Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president, Moreno Valley College. "The goal of these efforts is to move college practices, policies, processes, teaching, and services toward being a culturally responsive and sustaining institution. The College has supported pilot work within the English discipline focused on culturally responsive pedagogy, which is now being scaled to other disciplines like math. Through a research study, the pilot program demonstrated increased student course retention and success rates for those faculty, who received the training."

Additionally, the College then set out to remove the barriers in rewarding degrees. During the 2017-18 academic year, the Riverside Community College District initiated support for its colleges to implement the auto awarding of degrees and certificates. MVC initiated the automatic awarding process and, as a result, the total number of awards (Associate Degree for Transfer, associate of arts and science degrees and certificates) increased 35 percent from 1,520 in 2016-17 to 2,318 in 2017-18. With this model, the College increased the number of students receiving a degree by 59 percent, a certificate by 30 percent, and saw students transfer by 16 percent. In each case, the Hispanic/Latinx population increased by the same rate or higher than the overall for degrees, certificates and transfers.

The College then addressed hiring practices. Studies have shown that student success is influenced by employing faculty and staff that resemble the student population. The College African American staff has increased over the past five years from 5.4 percent in the fall of 2015 to 8 percent in the fall of 2019. Additionally, 24 percent of faculty are Hispanic/Latinx as of fall 2019.

The College also sought to deepen its connections with K-12 district and university partners in order to further develop MVC into a comprehensive college by offering on-campus access/dual enrollment strategies in order to reduce the need for remediation, and effective transitional programs to bridge the gap from high school to college for first-time college students at MVC. To do this, College leadership launched a Partners Summit, bringing together faculty, staff and administrators from the College's primary K-12 districts and transfer partners in order to share data, increase dialogue, and make change. Additionally, there are liaison faculty from the College that now meet regularly with the K-12 districts to collaborate on curriculum and expectations between high school and college classes.

"The collaboration has resulted in a number of outcomes," Steinback said. "Discipline-based meetings and campus visitations; curricular re-design; reduction time in remediation through accelerated courses; and CTE course pathways have been outcomes of the Partners Summit.

"Through the collaboration, MVC and local K-12 districts worked together to develop a comprehensive college and career readiness model that focuses on access/dual enrollment, strategies to reduce the need for remediation, and effective transitional programs to bridge the gap from high school to college for first-time college students."

The work of the College and local districts led to the recent pathway created through the College's STEM outreach program to middle school students which includes the Cyberpatriot competitions and Cyber summer camps.

A commitment to innovation is the cornerstone for MVC. In fall of 2019, the College opened the iMAKE Innovation Center. 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 innovation center is eligible to join the MIT makerspace network and is designed to support courses from across the curriculum.

"The space is an area in which the College is focusing professional development efforts for faculty to learn active teaching and learning strategies like project-based learning and design thinking that can be implemented in their classrooms regardless of their discipline," Steinback said. "Moreno Valley College is dedicated to supporting student success especially those in underserved populations. The College continues to work toward providing greater access to higher education while improving course completion rates, basic skill completion, degree and certificate completion, and transfer rates. It is only through these successful outcomes that we can eliminate equity gaps for all students."

The annual Dr. John W. Rice Award winners were announced on September 30 via a livestream event, Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D., daughter of John and Clara Rice, and wife of John, were special guests. Pasadena City College won the Dr. John W. Rice Student Success Award.

Rice served on the Board of Governors from 1992 to 2000. A student advocate, Rice believed higher education was the greatest equalizer. This is the 20th year for the Dr. John W. Rice Awards. Colleges are judged on how they have supported improving student outcomes for students of color and improved the representation of faculty of color on campus over the last three years. For the past 19 years, California community staff members, faculty, districts, colleges or programs have been honored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.

Trio Students

US Department of Education Renews
College's TRIO Grant

The US Department of Education announced that Moreno Valley College's TRIO program has been renewed for $1.265 million over the next five years. This year's budget allotment is a 3.5 percent increase over last year. The College is one of 1,131 institutions which received funding, and one of 119 in California.

TRIO programs have a rich and progressive history, dating back to 1964. TRIO was launched under Lyndon B. Johnson's administration with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty. The idea was to increase the number of students going to college to ultimately increase their earning potential. Upward Bound worked with targeted cohorts of high school students from first-generation and income qualifying backgrounds.

Then in 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. While early programs were designed to help students get into college, the Student Support Services program was designed to promote the retention and graduation rates from college. By the late 1960s, the term TRIO was coined to describe these federal programs. Over the years, TRIO has grown to eight programs and serves over 800,000 students annually.

MVC received its first Student Support Services grant in 2010. The mission of the Academic Counseling and Educational Support (ACES) program is to promote the retention, graduation, and transfer of first-generation students, income qualifying, and students with disabilities through a variety of academic support services. ACES provides services to empower students to graduate from college and transfer to a four-year university. The ACES program at MVC serves 144 students annually.

Every five years, the Department of Education hosts a grant competition. Funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

"Being renewed is not automatic," Micki Rechelle Grayson, director of TRIO programs, said. "In addition to writing a strong proposal, institutions have to have successfully met or exceeded its program objectives to earn prior experience points."

Objectives for two-year institutions include serving the number of students funded; helping the students develop persistence in their studies; providing services so students maintain good academic standing; earning an associate degree or a certificate; and transferring to a university. TRIO is funded to assist 144 students, however, in 2017-18 and 2018-19, the program served 146 and 155 students, respectively.

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Number Served 144 146 155
Persistence 96% 100% 99%
Good Academic Standing 94% 96% 99%
Certificate/Associates 22% 33% 49%
Certificate/Associates and Transfer 16% 26% 23%

This past spring TRIO had eight students transfer to a four-year university and one accepted into Riverside City College's Nursing program. Three are currently completing the transfer requirements. ACES students have earned their associate degree and transferred to such universities as UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Cal Poly Pomona, San Diego State University, Arizona State University, Chico State University, University of Redlands, California Baptist University, and California State University, San Bernardino. For the past three years, a cohort of ACES students has been selected for the Advanced Youth in Medical Education Program in partnership with Riverside University Health System in order to network with medical professionals as mentors and learn more about careers in healthcare.

"TRIO has been a life changing program for me," said Joe Orduno, who successfully completed his studies, earning a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. "My parents have always pushed me to attend college, but I had no idea how and what to do since I am the first to attend college in my family. TRIO has guided me throughout my entire college experience. TRIO gave me so many opportunities. Thank you so, so, so much."

ACES has been instrumental in developing opportunities for students such as partnering with Transition to Success and Before the Transition programs to host the Hire Learning Symposium which connected ACES scholars with professionals from various industries to learn about money management, financial literacy, professional communication skills, and internships. Some scholars were even selected to participate in the Dress for Success showcase and got to keep the new suits that were donated. Students were also among the cohort to compete in the Sequence to Success DNA Barcoding Challenge, which was sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the US Department of Agriculture.

"Thanks to TRIO, I am in the place I am," Laura Zavala Lopez said. "They helped me in my transition from high school to college and from college to a university. Due to this, I decided to stay in TRIO at my current school as well and they've helped me improve not just in my education but as a person. TRIO works! I just finished an internship in engineering and am in my last semester at Chico State in mechatronics engineering."

And there are 100 more testimonials that speak to the impact the TRIO program has made since its conception.

"I am so excited that Moreno Valley College is able to continue the TRIO pipeline to serve as a bridge for students matriculating into MVC, graduating, and transferring to other colleges," Grayson said. "We are proud to be a part of a national network of TRIO programs and are especially proud to be a part of Moreno Valley College's efforts to increasing college-going rates in the community and connecting students to expanded educational and career opportunities through Guided Pathways."

Giving Week

Giving Week Scheduled for November

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.

Voting 2020 Town Hall

Town Hall – Voting 2020: Access & Equity

There will be a Voting 2020: Access & Equity town hall discussion on Thursday, October 1, at 1 pm with Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Faculty and staff can participate via Facebook Live. The town hall will be moderated by Guillermo Ochoa, Telemundo 52 news anchor. In 2019, the Secretary of State codified AB963, the California Students Vote Project. AB963 requires each of California's higher education institutions to encourage student civic engagement efforts in order to promote a democracy that is more inclusive of student voices. Padilla will share information on registering to vote, how to participate in the Census, and provide information on the state-wide Ballot Bowl, a friendly competition to encourage students to register to vote. A student leadership team from the District colleges will assist with the facilitation of the town hall, including a period for questions and answers. The event will be available in English and Spanish.

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for Platform Scenario Training Building

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on September 8 for Moreno Valley College's Platform Scenario Training Building at the Ben Clark Training Center. 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.

Ribbon Cutting

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.

Welcome Center Groundbreaking

College Celebrates Groundbreaking
of Welcome Center

Moreno Valley College and District officials celebrated the construction on the Welcome Center, a $14 million single-story building that will house enrollment services and other student services divisions. The Welcome Center is 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 2004 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.

Student Services Live

College Launches Student Services Hub

Moreno Valley College has launched its Student Support Hub, a virtual center for everything student services. The hub is a Zoom meeting that stays active throughout the day. Staff from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, Assessment and Counseling, and other student-centered services maintain breakout rooms for meetings with students. Other services such as library support, academic services, and even technical support are also available. Another highlight of the hub is students will no longer have to leave Canvas to access services.

"When a student calls for assistance, they are in the main room where they are greeted by a staff member from Assessment, usually an education advisor," Michael Paul A. Wong, Ph.D., dean of Student Services, said. "After a short intake the student is sent to a room where a staff member will assist the student. We like this process because rather than waiting in lines, students can get services remotely. If they get in the wrong line, or once they get help from a staff member and they realize they need further help from another department or a different member of the College, they don't have to go wait in a line again."

The system is flexible with the system allowing for needed staff to be online to handle student traffic.

"It's efficient because when there isn't a student asking for help, from say Financial Aid, the staff member can help another student through email or by phone while they're waiting for a student to seek assistance on a financial aid matter," Wong said. "Students especially like it because they don't have travel issues.

"For example, if a student comes to campus and waits in line only to realize they were supposed to bring paperwork, they don't have to go home for the paperwork and then start all over again. We can put a student in a breakout room while we're waiting for them to find the paperwork. They can tell us when they're ready, and the process doesn't take anything away from another student."

Student Services Hub can be accessed here. Student Services Hub is available Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm and Fridays from 9 am to noon.

Altie Holcomb to speak at Veterans Scholarship Event

District Representative to Serve as Guest Speaker for Veterans Scholarship Event

Altie Holcomb, a district representative for Senator Richard Roth, will deliver the keynote at this year's Veterans Scholarship Event. The virtual event will be held on November 10 at noon.

Born in Philadelphia, PA on March 20, 1971, Holcomb joined the United States Marine Corps in August of 1989, a couple months after graduating from high school. Holcomb served 20 years and was deployed to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He supported US efforts as a logistics officer, embarkation officer and detachment commander during the Iraq War.

He retired from the Marine Corps in September of 2009. He was hired as a Marine Corps Junior ROTC instructor at Murrieta Valley High School while also serving as the assistant varsity girls basketball coach. For the last seven years, Holcomb has been a district representative. He is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1956 in Menifee and serves on the boards for the Military Officers Association of America (Riverside-March Field Chapter) and the Menifee Valley Boys & Girls Club.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from San Diego State University and a master's degree in Christian Ministry from Wayland Baptist University. Holcomb and his wife, Tracey, have three children and four grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys physical fitness, watching sports and serving others.

To purchase a virtual ticket, contact the Foundation office at (951) 222-8626.

Skills for CA

District Adds its Name to Skills for CA Letter

Riverside Community College District leadership signed on to the Skills for CA letter to the California's Future Work Commission. The letter supported a commitment to racial equity and a strategy that emphasizes quality jobs and offered five workforce development strategies for consideration as the state charts a reimagined economy.

The commission is working to finalize recommendations. The five strategies supported by the coalition, include:

  • Expanding high-road industry partnerships;
  • Ensuring that local workers have access to quality jobs created by infrastructure investments;
  • Expanding pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and high-quality work-based learning;
  • Supporting digital access and learning for all workers; and
  • Providing public data tools in order to identify equity gaps and solutions for closing them.

Skills for CA is statewide network of organizations advancing workforce development policies that remove systemic barriers and promote an inclusive economy for Californians. Skills for CA uses a three-prong approach – equity, pathways to good jobs and systems innovation. Through equity, Skills for California hopes to provide education and skills training and upward mobility for Californians.

By creating skill training pathways, Skills for California hopes to develop jobs that pay family supporting wages with room for worker advancement, stability and predictability. Through innovation, Skills for California anticipates the development of collaborative innovations in workforce development that could lead to more business growth and more Californians obtaining the needed skills to maintain and grow the labor market.


mvc logo

Moreno Valley College

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


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