Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | January 21, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

The messages from the last couple weeks were, appropriately, focused on health and safety in the midst of the pandemic. While that effort continues, it is worth remembering that every semester in the Coast District brings new reasons for celebration. One such area is grant funding and the good work made possible by external support.

Through grant funding, significant investments have been made in upgrading equipment and technology to ensure that students learn and train with state-of-the-art, industry-level resources. Additionally, many existing programs have been enhanced and new programs developed and implemented. These programs are strengthening the student experience and support network.

As an example, colleagues districtwide worked together to secure multiple Mental Health Services Program grants from the State Chancellor's Office. Through these grants, the colleges were able to: provide screening services to students and provide linkages to providers; ensure that underserved and vulnerable student populations receive culturally competent mental health or referral services; and implement education and training to faculty, staff, and students on early identification, intervention, and referral of students with mental health needs.

For another example, the Developing Career Capital in Adult Education Pathways grant through the Strong Workforce Program is supporting adult-student transitions to post-secondary coursework while providing a roadmap for students to build career pathways to living wage jobs. This grant and the Coast District program are built on educational, governmental, economic, and community partnerships across the region.

Student and colleague wellness, career pathways, and social mobility are high in the list of goals all of us are striving to achieve despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. My appreciation to all those seeking every way possible to keep us focused on those parts of our mission. Districtwide successes in securing grants and other sources of external funding are testament to your continuing good work.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, January 19, the Board of Trustees met in regular session and named the Professional Mariners Training Center at the OCC Waterfront Campus as the W. Brad Avery Professional Mariners Training Center. Avery had a four-decade career at the Center, where he led and expanded programmatic offerings for students and the community. Avery thanked the trustees for their support of Orange Coast's excellent marine program offerings and facilities.

Trustees heard from Vice Chancellor Dunn on Governor Newsom's budget proposal. The proposal was noted to include a cost-of-living adjustment and funds for the OCC Chemistry Building in current year expenditures. For future years, the proposal would provide a modification to the hold-harmless provision in District support to more gradually connect funding levels to enrollment numbers. The budget also includes provisions for increasing vaccination and testing rates, in addition to buying down the state pension obligation. Dr. Dunn suggested advocacy to include buydown of the employer obligation in the final budget.

Dr. Dunn further reported that as of September 1, 2021, Measure M expenditures since inception were $540 million or 77.5 percent of authorized spending on building and infrastructure projects made possible by community-bond funds. Remaining funds are all committed to existing or planned projects.

Trustees approved extending the construction timeline on Golden West College's new Language Arts Center to realize savings of $7 million through reduced contractor overtime and authorized the Orange County Transportation Authority College Pass Program at Coastline College. The Board additionally approved an adjustment to the Trustee salary schedule reflective of cost-of-living adjustments previously adopted for employees.

The Board adjourned in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in memory of OCC/District retiree Marian Perrin, Coastline College students Ellen "Eileen" Santos, Louis Igo, and Elsa Lopez, groundbreaking actor and diplomat Sidney Poitier, and groundbreaking actor and comedian Betty White.


News and Reports


Coastline offers degrees and certificates in many areas in which small business careers may be affected by recent changes in the economy and federal policy, such as graphic design and real estate. QueenKJD reports for The Wave on how Coastline College can help navigate the changes through business courses that cover personal finances, budgeting, and business administration.


The words Coastline College above a shield with the letter C.

Mesa Water District Video Contest

Mesa Water is hosting a video contest open to students who live or attend college in Mesa Water's service area. Mesa Water will be accepting short, creative videos (60 seconds or less) addressing one or more of the following questions:

  • Why is it safe to drink Mesa Water straight from the tap? – #ByeByeBottled
  • What does it mean to you that Mesa Water is 100% local? – #PurelyLocal
  • Why do you love Mesa Water? – #ILoveMesaWater

Animations, songs, poems, TikToks, monologues and stop motion videos are all welcome. Students are encouraged to get creative and have fun. Video entries must be submitted by February 28. Three winners will be selected to win cash prizes between $500 and $1,000.


Schedule, Week of January 24

Chancellor's Schedule
Dr. Weispfenning is in the District, Monday through Friday