The Seattle Central Griot - Sept. 23, 2020
Fall quarter is just days away, and it’s hard not to be excited for a fresh start, even if it happens in front of a computer, from a kitchen table or bedroom office.
We have much to look forward to in 2020. This will be the first year of the expanded Promise program, which now offers two years of free tuition at Seattle Central, North, or South colleges to all Seattle high school graduates. We recently held our Summer Bridge session to welcome our new scholars, and we are expecting to see a few hundred of them here in another week.
We will see continuing growth in our Running Start population, as more parents and students see the value of earning dual credit for high school and college, at no cost.
This is the also the year when we will institute and expand our work towards Guided Pathways, to make it easier for students to reach their goals at our college, and to address the systemic barriers that keep too many of our students of color from succeeding in their education.
It will obviously be a difficult year, with our campus closed to the public, our budgets slashed, and international student enrollments at historic lows. There’s no way to sugar coat the pains that we will have to endure.
But I am optimistic that we will overcome these difficulties and we will thrive. Our students and our community are depending on us, and with their support and your hard work, we will show them why their trust in us is well placed.
Thanks again for all you do, and let’s make 2020-21 a year of change, hope, and progress.
Sheila Edwards Lange, PhD
President, Seattle Central College
Facility upgrades and procedures help prevent spread of COVID-19
Operating and maintaining Seattle Central College’s buildings and facilities is a challenge during the best of times. But since March, managers and staff also have had to deal with the risk of a contagious and potentially lethal virus on campus.
The result has been an intentional and meticulous effort to upgrade equipment, apply cleaning and maintenance protocols, install barriers, and purchase new disinfection gear to make our buildings safer.
“This is a very big step for us,” said David Ernevad, director of facilities and plant operations.
Seattle Central College has made changes to our heating and ventilation systems to filter out virus sized particles, instituted cleaning and safety protocols to disinfect public areas, installed barriers, and a host of other improvements. These changes, along with hosting classes remotely, have kept infections on campus to only two known cases since March.
For more details, read the longer story in Newscenter
President’s Day is this Thursday
This year’s President’s Day will be held virtually on Sept. 24, featuring the theme of “To Our Future and Beyond.”
The event will focus on how to re-imagine our college, so we can serve our students and our community in the wake of the current budgetary, health, and enrollment challenges.
Check your email inbox for an invitation with details and the Zoom link to participate.
King County Metro charges fares again
King County Metro will begin collecting fares again Thursday, Oct. 1 on all transit services, including buses, Access paratransit, Seattle Streetcar (First Hill and South Lake Union), Vanpool, Via to Transit and other flexible services, and Water Taxi (Vashon Island and West Seattle).
Metro has implemented numerous health innovations so fares can be collected safely with minimal contact between operators and passengers. Metro will also be suspending fare enforcement through the end of the year.
Seattle Colleges will continue to offer payroll deducted ORCA cards to full time employees who need to commute to work. This year, the cards will carry a pre-loaded amount of dollars for fares. While you would pay the same per paycheck as before ($8.50/paycheck, $51/quarter), the dollar amount on the card may run out.
If you signed up since July 1, you are good to go. If you had the ORCA card prior to the end of June, but did not re-register for the deductions, you will not be getting the card (or be charged for it via deductions) unless you re register .
New Title III director motivated by transformative work
Julie Randall is one of those lucky people who knows what she wants to do for a living, and who gets to do it every day.
Randall is the new Title III director at Seattle Central College, managing and monitoring the investment of more than $2.2 million in federal funds to help students to succeed in their education. Randall joined Seattle Central College in April, right on time for the coronavirus pandemic and our switch to distance learning.
Randal came to us from the private sector, where she briefly worked as a real estate agent. But the bulk of her career has been spent in service to people, first as a therapist/social worker and then in community college higher education, as adjunct faculty and a project manager for federal grants.
This has been by design.
“It feeds my soul,” Randall said. “Work for me is not about the money. It is about feeling fulfilled, and education makes me feel fulfilled.”
Read the rest of her story in our Newscenter
Your wellbeing matters
In times like these, it’s natural to feel stressed and uncertain about the future. But when those feelings evolve into something that affects your relationships and your ability to function, there is no shame in reaching out for a little help.
There are many services and organizations that can help you put your thoughts and your situation in perspective. Here are just a few:
- EAP: Seattle Colleges employees are able to access Washington state’s Employee Assistance Program, which helps employees and their family members resolve personal or work-related problems. Using your EAP does not cost you anything. For more information, call the Employee Assistance Program at 877.313.4455.
- Crisis Connections provides many resources and support for anxiety, loneliness, recovery, and more. Language interpretation in more than 155 languages is available. Call 866.427.4747 or text HOME to 741741 for support.
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides trained counselors and support for stress, anxiety and more. Support available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call 1.800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUS to 66746. Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press "2" for bilingual support. Interpreters are available for 100 other languages.
- The Boys Town National Hotline is a free resource and counseling service that assists youth and parents 24/7, year round, nationwide. Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services for more than 100 languages also are available 24 hours a day. Call 1.800.448.3000, text VOICE to 20121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.
- King County's Department of Community and Human Services provides publicly funded mental health and substance use services to low-income people in need.
Remember to vote this Nov. 3
This fall’s general election is shaping up to be the most consequential in a generation. If you are a citizen and eligible to vote, please exercise your right and choose the leaders and initiatives that meet your goals and ideals for our collective future.
If you have not registered to vote, you still have time. You can do it in person, by mail, and online. Check the Washington state Secretary of State website for details.
As you vote, please consider motivating others to follow your example by taking a picture of yourself sending or dropping off your ballot, and sharing your picture and reason for voting on social media with the hashtag #IVoteBecause.
Both the Medical Assisting Apprenticeship and MA Assisting cohorts passed their CCMA national boards test on the first try this summer. Congratulations to all our students and to the team that supported them through this amazing achievement: Toya Moore, Susan Blazina, Jaime Pena, and Brian Rullan. In addition, the MA Program is now part of the National Technical Honor Society and a testing site for the CCMA exam.
Congratulations to the Dental Assisting Class of 2020, who held their Pinning Ceremony on Aug. 22. All of the graduates this year have been hired as dental assistants in dental practices across the Seattle area.
Dr. Daudi Abe was a guest in Omari Salisbury’s Morning Update Show on Sept. 9, where they talked about Seattle Central College’s Academy for Rising Educators.