Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | May 6, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

Recently, I was in New York for the annual conference of the American Association of Community Colleges. While it was good to reconnect with colleagues from across the country, the big takeaway for me was that the issues we are dealing with are the same issues facing community colleges across the country. Enrollment declines, funding uncertainty, and moving past the pandemic while making note of the lessons learned are all common issues.

In acknowledging this, there was another important takeaway. The Coast District is ahead of many others in how we have approached these issues and the steps we are taking. In the Coast District, we have placed our focus on helping students succeed. That focus can include ideas and programs we develop ourselves, as well as from those that others try first. In every situation, we look for what works, what helps, and what gets students across the finish line.

In that spirit, the Coast District acknowledges and celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week. Faculty members make student success possible. That is true every year, yet even more apparent given the uncertainties and disruptions of the past year. You overcame many obstacles and uncertainties during the pandemic.

This week, the Board of Trustees also declared May 15 through May 21 to be Classified Employees Appreciation Week. As part of this yearly tradition, I look forward to the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate classified staff.

On our students' behalf, thank you to all those who teach and work in the Coast District.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Save the date


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, May 4, the Board of Trustees met in regular session and adopted a resolution declaring May 15 through May 21 to be Classified Employees Appreciation Week. Trustees particularly highlighted this clause of the resolution: "The Coast Community College District appreciates the dedication and flexibility of classified employees during the COVID-19 pandemic." The Board also discussed a resolution from the Coastline College Associated Student Government regarding diversity inclusion, expressing appreciation to the students and referring the matter to the Chancellor to consider next steps.

Chancellor Weispfenning presented a status report on his yearly goals for the District. The Chancellor highlighted districtwide progress on moving beyond the pandemic, focusing on student equity and success, maintaining fiscal integrity, strengthening employee, student, and community relations, and leveraging educational technology. Challenges in stabilizing enrollments during the pandemic were acknowledged. At the same time, the colleges added 27 programs to attract new students, more financial aid is being made available, and a major marketing campaign – being coordinated with the marketing departments at all three colleges – is planned to begin in the summer.

Lastly, the Board approved an agreement with local partner Hope Builders to plan and conduct professional development, customized training, and resource development for counselors, faculty, administrators, and outreach staff in regional Adult Education Programs. Trustees expressed appreciation for community organizations that support regional workforce development in collaboration with the Coast District.

The Board adjourned in memory of Justin Morris, an Orange Coast College student who was a victim of a violent attack in Long Beach.


District and College News


On Monday, May 2, U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Steel made a visit to the VRC and spent time with veteran students. Coastline's VRC assists students with their VA education benefits and provides transition support and connection to community veteran resources. The VRC provides students and community Veterans with an informative and supportive environment so that they may explore resources available to them, including personal assistance, educational guidance, and professional resource support services.


U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Steel speaks to a Coastline College student veteran.



Golden West College was featured in the recently released California Community Colleges' Update to the Vision for Success: Reaffirming Equity in a Time of Recovery. Golden West was recognized for using available transcript data to increase graduation numbers. Golden West awarded 5,711 degrees and certificates in 2018-19 – the most of any college in the state that year – and held a special graduation ceremony for those students.


Graduation at Golden West College.



For the Counseling Latinos for Engagement and Equity (CLEEO) Summit 12.0, Orange Coast College invited Cornell University professor Helena Maria Viramontes to be the keynote speaker. Viramontes is a Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in English at Cornell and a recipient of the John Dos Passos Award for Literature and United States Artist Fellowship. Her writings have provided her the distinction of being a significant literary figure in the formation of the Chicana/o literature canon.


Portrait of Helena Maria Viramontes.




Chancellor's Schedule, Week of May 9
Dr. Weispfenning is in the District, Monday through Friday