The importance of community collaboration in sustaining and bolstering student success at Glendale Community College was President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay's theme Thursday night in her final State of the College address.
“This community is a very large small town, and people care about each other and people work together,” Lindsay said.
The annual address, created as part of a larger effort to foster ties with stakeholders beyond campus boundaries, attracted several hundred people to the college auditorium, including City Manager Scott Ochoa and education advocate Harry Hull.
Lindsay, who will leave her post in June to assume the top job at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, encouraged public officials and business owners to hire and mentor Glendale Community College students.
“They will benefit from your expertise, and you will benefit from shaping and guiding and helping somebody learn your expertise,” Lindsay said. “What a gift that you give and what a benefit they get.”
Building bridges between the college and the city has been a hallmark of Lindsay's three-year administration. In 2010 she introduced an annual forum during which top college administrators meet with small groups of community members to examine pressing campus issues and gather feedback.
In her speech Thursday she highlighted insight gleaned from residents and business leaders during the last two forums, and through other outreach efforts.
“One of the things that business leaders have told me in this community is how we have to work on teaching people how to do social exchange, communication and conversation,” Lindsay said.
The college is facing a tough year, she acknowledged.
“When I started with the college, we were in growth mode,” Lindsay said. “We were doing everything we could to grow programs, we were doing everything we could to be creative. Now, we actually have to be really careful that we don't overgrow because we can't support the programs.”
Board of Trustees President Armine Hacopian joined Lindsay in asking voters to support Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative in November. Without it, the college could lose an additional $3.5 million, according to college officials.
“We ask you publicly to support the tax initiative because without, we are really going to close down many, many classes,” Hacopian said. “It costs us roughly $4,500 to run one class, so you can imagine the impact of budget cuts.”
In a video presentation, Lindsay and other college administrators highlighted some recent successes, including receipt of two federal grants totaling more than $10 million to enhance basic skills and science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction.
“Even though we are facing some budget stuff, I really want to be the cheerleader here and let you know that this college remains very, very committed to the programs that we are offering,” Lindsay said. “Our commitment to our students remains high, and our commitment to quality remains even higher.”