Equity Newsletter

Feed the Bears

According to a recent National Hope Lab survey, 47 percent of SRJC students “worry about they’re food running out before they got money”. Based on the same survey, one in three SRJC students skip meals or go hungry due to food insecurity. Addressing basic needs on campus is an important part of student success and equity.

The SRJC Student Resource Centers (SRC), led by Deanna Rogers and Toni Bacigalupa, are focused on addressing basic needs food and housing insecurity for our students. Building on the successful program established by PTK Honor Society, the SRC recently expanded food distribution on the SR campus from 2 days a week to 4 days a week. Similarly, the Petaluma campus also doubled their services expanding form 1 day a week to 2 days a week. Since the expansion in February, the Santa Rosa campus has served over 4000 individuals and distributed over 35,000 pounds of food.

For the first time, we will have food distribution in the summer. And in the fall, we are expecting to move the Food Pantry location into the Bailey Kiosk and offer a more robust variety of dried goods. We also plan to host food education and empowerment programs such as Grown Your Own workshops, cooking demonstrations, nutritional information, and increased CalFresh Outreach.

These programs are mostly staffed by volunteers. For more information or to volunteer please visit: resources.santarosa.edu  

 

Removing Barriers. Achieving Success.

The Student Equity Direct Student Support program aims to remove barriers to success. This year, Student Equity, in partnership with the Scholarship Office, provided more than 150 students with a total of $60,000 in scholarship funds. Administered through the SRJC bookstore, these funds can be used for food cards, gas cards, and SRJC Bookstore supplies and/or books. Additionally, as part of the distribution of funds, scholarship recipients were required to attend a 45 minute student success workshop. According to SRJC’s student drop survey, financial barriers are the number one reason students drop. Last year’s program evaluation showed that students who received the scholarship were more successful than the average SRJC student (see chart).

 

#SRJC Strong #SRJC Fuerte (Rising from the Ashes)

As part of a comprehensive fire relief response, Student Life, Equity, and Engagement provided critical front line student support, directed students to resources, answered questions, and listened with an open heart. We also partnered with Student Health Services and the PEERS program to provide mental health support, including therapy dogs and self-care zones with massages, aromatherapy, and meditation. 

 

Since the fall, the Office of Student Equity has continued to build a partnership with Sage Electronics, a sustainable electronics recycling company that takes used computers, phones, and ipads from Fortune 500 companies, refurbishes them, and then donates them to local nonprofits. Through this partnership, we have provided over 150 laptops, 50 iphones, and 25 ipads to students in need. This program is in addition to the successful laptop loan program administered through the library.

 

AmeriCorps Program Launch

Santa Rosa Junior College was selected as one of 14 California Community Colleges to participate in AmeriCorps’ first-ever community college program. Over the next year, student Health and Wellness Ambassadors will work on a variety of health access and advocacy projects, including the development of a food pantry, supporting food distribution, and promoting CalFresh and Medical benefits to our students.

Integrated Student Success

This year, the Chancellor’s Office directed all community colleges to integrate Basic Skills, SSSP (Student Success and Support Programs) and Equity. SRJC’s Student Success and Equity Committee has been collaborating with the Basic Skills Committee to create an integrated student success plan, develop a new integrated committee, and define student success. Last semester, the committee identified four pillars of student success; invited and welcomed; guided and supported; engaged and empowered; succeeding and completing. This spring, we’ve continued integrating programs and building on these four pillars. We’ve also formalized the integration of the BSI and Student Equity and Success committee. Using a retreat format, the new Integrated Student Success Committee, will meet once a month on the first Friday at 8:30am – 11:30am. For more information on the integrated student success goals, visit studentsuccess.santarosa.edu

 

A Student Success Legislative Update

Several important assembly bills passed that will significantly impact Student Success and Equity efforts across the state, including closing equity gaps in assessment, free first year of college, and expanded Student Equity target populations. Here’s a brief summary of each bill:

AB 705: Changes in Matriculation & Assessment

This bill requires a community college district (CCD) to maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete coursework in Mathematics and English within a one-year time frame by utilizing multiple measures.

                                                                                                                

AB 19: The California Promise

This bill establishes the California College Promise, which shall waive fees for one academic year for first-time students who are enrolled in 12 or more semester units. Students must submit either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or a California Dream Act application.

 

AB 504: Measuring Equity Gaps

This bill requires colleges to use the percentage point gap methodology for measuring and reporting local equity gaps. This will help create consistency in programs and develop a common language around equity gaps.

 

AB 1018: Student Equity Target Populations

This bill adds homeless, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students to the group of students required to be addressed in Student Equity plans. This bill is supported by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

 

Next topics:

- Legislative update: AB 705, AB 1018, AB 504

- Update on the SSEC (invitation / reminder these are open meetings)

- Intercultural Success Center Planning Dates & Student Equity Office move

- Professional Learning Spring Series

- Intercultural Events Calendar

- Basic Needs Student Resource Launch

- New Office of Student Equity location 

- Student Success Coaches

- Student Success Website

- Guided Pathways Update

- Strong workforce? Adult Ed?

- Americorps Address Food Insecurity on Campus