The Seattle Central Griot, Feb. 4, 2022
A message from the president
You may have recently read or heard about a report that claimed that Seattle Central College was likely to close for good by 2023.
We have no plans to close the college. We are not discussing or contemplating any such possibility. Seattle Central College has been around for 56 years because we serve our community well. Our students, our local employers, our four-year universities need us and the education and support services we provide. Their needs are not going away, and neither are we.
It is true that our college, our sister colleges in the Seattle Colleges District, and all the 34 community and technical colleges in the system are facing a steep drop in enrollments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Our enrollment decline started earlier, in 2014-15. The pandemic exacerbated the trend, leading to lowered revenues.
We have made significant cuts to spending already, but more are needed. Together with our district, we are looking at further reductions (including a 15 percent cut in top administrative positions) and reviewing programs and services, so that we can continue to support the programs that best serve the demand.
We remain focused on investing resources centered on our mission and that address systemic barriers to student success. We recently hired new leadership for Trio and the AANAPISI program. We will be hiring staff for programs such as Umoja Black Scholars, Springboard 8, and Guided Pathways. These initiatives and programs are funded from federal and state grants, not state operating funds.
Our marketing and outreach teams are working together to attract more potential students. Our district has appointed task forces to streamline the admissions, registration, and financial aid processes to make it simpler to become a student here. New monitoring systems such as Starfish are helping us to better retain the students that are already here.
These efforts are already paying off, but they take time. We are seeing a slight increase in international enrollments, and we expect more students to come to us for college preparation and professional and technical training. The Seattle Promise program cohorts have grown every year. Seattle Promise now accounts for about 10 percent of FTEs across the three colleges.
In sum, budget challenges lie ahead, but the college is not closing. I apologize if that incorrect messaging caused alarm.
SCC returns to limited in-person student services on Feb. 7
Thanks to a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in our region, Seattle Central will return to offering in-person student services in admissions, advising, financial aid, registration, and Info Central on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Students will also be able to access virtual services Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The list of available virtual services, hours of operation, and contact information is available here.
Dental assisting earns grant
The Washington Employment Security Grant has awarded $111,000 to the Seattle Central College Dental Assisting Program for a Program Expansion and Career Launch Program Grant. The program will work with Seattle Public Schools, YouthCare and other partners to broaden educational pathways and increase the number of Black, Indigenous, and people of color pursuing rewarding careers as dental assistants. Learn more here.
State funds new BE solar panels
Seattle Central College is one of 29 recipients of $3.5 million in grants to state and local government agencies awarded the Washington Department of Commerce to install solar panels at public buildings in communities throughout the state. We will invest the $130,047 granted to the college to add solar panels to generate 96 kW of electricity for the campus.
AANAPISI director hired
Seattle Central has hired Jeff Bermudes as the new director of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions program at SCC. Jeff brings six years of professional experience working in higher education, combined with a degree in Asian American studies and a master’s degree in postsecondary educational leadership.
Professional Development Day happening this Wednesday
We have scheduled the winter session of this valuable program for Feb. 9. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Paul Gorski of the Equity Literacy Institute, who plans to present Embracing and Enacting a Transformative Vision for Antiracism.
The final agenda and Zoom links for the Professional Development Day will be available in this Canvas course.
Japanese Day of Remembrance marked
Seattle Central College will mark the 80th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 17, noon to 1:30 p.m. The order led to the forced removal and incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
This year's event features Frank Abe, author of We Hereby Refuse; and Erin Shigaki, a community artist. Classes welcome and encouraged! Register in advance or join the day of the event.
Equity development program available
Seattle Central has launched "Equity in Practice," a professional development program that invites all employees to take short courses focused on knowledge and practices supporting our collective work for students. Initial offerings include an introduction to Guided Pathways, guided reflections on the 2020-2021 development day keynotes, the ensure learning process (for faculty)
This training will be a requirement for getting access to the new student success dashboard. This data visualization tool will give faculty and administrators valuable information about student retention, completion and other performance benchmarks.
Central celebrates Black Excellence Award
Seattle Central College celebrated the 2022 session of this Black Excellence Award and community event on Jan. 26. Professor Carl Livingston, recipient of the award, spoke on Urban Development in a Time of Rising Authoritarianism in the U.S.
COVID-19 case data available on new site
Because of the large number of cases of COVID-19 cases experienced by Seattle Central staff and students during the Omicron wave, we have stopped sending public notices for every case reported to our health and safety team.
Instead, the Seattle Colleges District has started a website with current statistics and other information about reported cases. You can access it here.
Our health and safety team will directly notify any students or staff who may have been potentially exposed.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Student Leadership will be hosting a Lunar New Year celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 8, noon to 12:30 p.m. in the the Atrium/Cafeteria area. The celebration includes a lion dance team and promises to be loud. Join if you can - in masks, socially distant.
Luke Kolpin, a graduate of the Seattle Culinary Academy, will compete in the current season of Top Chef on the Bravo network. The season starts March 3 in Houston, Texas.