The Ventura County Community College District held its first Chancellor’s Cabinet meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, January 3. It also marked the first meeting of his term for newly-elected Board Chair Bernardo Perez. Perez used the opportunity to share his vision for working with administration and staff to increase efficiencies across the District – leading to more and improved services for students. One of the top priorities is the collaboration between each of the three colleges in the District to form and support a District-wide College Promise program. In alignment with this goal, Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura Colleges will work together on the Ventura County Community College District application for the California College Promise Innovation Grant released by the state Chancellor’s Office “to support the improvement in successful student transition from high school to college.”
Leading the initiative for the VCCCD is Vice Chancellor Rick Post and for the colleges, Ventura College President Greg Gillespie with the support of Moorpark College President Luis Sanchez and Oxnard College President Cynthia Azari.
Ventura College is home to one of the oldest College Promise programs in the nation and is the first program established in California (2006), following the Kalamazoo, Michigan, Promise launched in 2005. Since the inception of the Ventura College Promise, 22 College Promise programs have followed suit in the state of California (13 of which were just announced in 2016). Throughout the nation, there are more than 150 College Promise programs across 37 states (College Promise Campaign 2015-16 Annual Report).
“In its 11th year of operation, the Ventura College Promise is a flagship program that has provided substantial opportunities to deserving students with important goals and tremendous potential to better our communities,” remarked Board Chair Bernardo Perez. “Part of our mission at the VCCCD is to promote access to educational opportunities which makes implementing College Promise programs a natural fit to the functioning of the District,” said Chancellor Bernard Luskin. “We’re excited to expand the Promise footprint to open more doors for students,” added Luskin.
The Ventura College Promise is supported and operated by the Ventura College Foundation; it was initially started to serve students whose families made less than $50,000 per year. In January 2007, the VC Promise expanded to all students who graduated from high schools or received GEDs in the Ventura College service area .