Columbia College will host several hundred high school students for the 18th annual Occupational Olympics to be held on Friday, March 16, 2018. The contests will run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with the award ceremony immediately following.
Students from Tuolumne County will compete in twelve separate events that challenge them to think critically in a contextual environment. The events include automotive, child development, computer business applications, cosmetology, digital photography, law enforcement, entrepreneurship, hospitality management, health occupations, fire technology, forestry & natural resources, and welding.
Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, the Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development at Columbia College says, “The Occupational Olympics allows regional high school students to develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively through CTE competitions. Over the years the number of participants has been increasing and so has the number of competitions.”
Students from Tuolumne and Calaveras County high schools are competing. The Superintendents from the participating high schools and the Columbia College President, Dr. Angela Fairchilds will be presenting the awards.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Klaus Tenbergen
Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development
Columbia, CA — With a series of significant goals met, solid leadership and a strong strategic plan in place, Columbia College’s president says she is ready to pass the torch.
Speaking with Clarke Broadcasting about her decision to retire this June, Dr. Angela Fairchilds, whose four-year Mother Lode tenure caps off a 38-year career in higher education, says that her head and heart both finally chimed in to tell her it is time to step back. Chuckling, she confides, “My husband has been retired now for 15 years — he retired when we came back to California from Arizona — and I think he was hoping then that I would have been ready!”
Describing Columbia College as a special place that she knows will be left in safe hands, Fairchilds confides, “The timing feels right. We have a talented leadership team in place now…some strong faculty working collegially to achieve the goals and priorities of the college and meeting the needs of the students and the community.” Adding to her rationale she notes, “We have our strategic plan in place, our foundation is really on solid ground and we just launched the Columbia Promise [a free tuition program, as reported here] for the high school students. So we have accomplished a lot in the last four years — and I think the college is moving forward on a strong path and we have the right leadership team in place to keep it moving along.”
A Healthy Time To Depart
When Fairchilds arrived in 2014, fresh from a similar post at Woodland Community College, she did not see a retirement horizon, though watching personal friends over the past couple of years lose their spouses, some very suddenly and unexpectedly, started her thinking about it. “I wanted to make sure Dave [my husband] and I had quality time together to travel and do some of the fun, leisurely things on our own schedule while we still had the time together — and good health to travel and do those kinds of things,” she explains. Those thoughts helped form her decision over this past Christmas break.
Looking back on her time at Columbia she recounts, “One of the things that I made a priority when I arrived was to make sure the college reconnected in a meaningful way to the community and I think we have done that.” Since word first began circling about her retirement a few weeks ago, she says she received welcome confirming feedback about that effort.
Too, she says, “Columbia becoming well-known in the state and nationally because, as I like to say, ‘we are small but mighty’. The team up here is not afraid to compete against the ‘big dogs’. We have been successful and the [college’s] apprenticeship grants [as reported here] are a fine example of that. For a small college for us to be able to qualify for that type of funding and those kinds of programs is significant. Getting that kinds of recognition… looking for different ways to serve our community and help our students be successful is front and center for us — and I think that we have done an excellent job with those two things.”
Recruitment Plans Now Rolling
As far as succession plans go, Fairchilds says the processes are in place. The district has contracted with a recruiting consultant; published the opening of her position; formed a review committee and set up a timeline that anticipates a new president to be on board by the beginning of July. In fact, final interviews and public forums are slated the week of April 16-20, while faculty and staff are still within the school year.
“I wanted to give the district the whole six-month time-frame to find somebody to fill my size six and a half shoes,” Fairchilds jokes, adding that when the time comes to go it will definitely be a tug for her. Future plans include retiring to Oro Valley just outside of Tucson, Arizona, where she and her husband have maintained a longtime home that will become a home base for travel and other activities. An Alaska cruise planned for June has been pushed to September, a time that she notes was previously impossible for her to travel at all. It will be followed sometime next year with a nice long break in the British Isles, her home country.
Looking to her soon-to-be new schedule ahead, Fairchilds is practically incredulous as she shares a parting comment, “In 38 years I have never been able to be gone for more than two weeks at a time, so I am really looking forward to…nice quiet time, traveling with my husband — and not having anyone else but me driving my schedule!”
The Columbia College Foundation will host the 42nd Annual Columbia Wine Tasting – a benefit event from 1:00 to 4:00pm SUNDAY, April 15 to support the Columbia College Hospitality Management Program.
“The Columbia event provides wine enthusiasts a chance to sample local wineries and restaurants alongside a number of California’s favorite producers while visiting unique sites in the State Historic Park,” according to Tom Bender, a Hospitality instructor at Columbia College and longtime organizer of the tasting. “Many are small production wineries pouring new and limited release wines.”
Guests will be able to sample premium wines from more than 70 wineries, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres prepared by students enrolled in the Columbia College Hospitality Management Program, as well as a NEW culinary competition featuring Hospitality students and chefs from local restaurants.
Tickets can be purchased online for $55 per person in advance, or $60 per person at the event as available. Attendees receive a complimentary souvenir wine glass and wine tastings from participating wineries and food vendors. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.columbiawinetasting.com or call (209) 588-5089. The Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau is a new sponsor for this year’s event.
Contact: Columbia College Hospitality Management Program – Don Dickinson, Program Coordinator (209) 588-5135
Columbia College has named 182 students to the fall 2017 semester President’s List.
We are pleased to officially recognize their exceptional scholastic achievement. This acknowledgment is reserved for students completing twelve or more units of semester coursework at Columbia College and earning a cumulative grade point average between 3.5 and 4.0, with no grade lower than “C.”
Columbia College fall 2017 President’s List students are listed below by city.
Columbia College has received formal notification of the intent to award, pending Board of Governor’s approval and available funds commencing on January 18, 2018, a two-year grant to develop a new Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship Initiative program. The college will receive $496,804 over two years to implement the Initiative, recruit students, and launch the training with partner agencies. The award, just announced by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Workforce and Development Division, is part of the new California Apprenticeship Initiative aimed at broadening the range of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs available to California workers.
Columbia College is currently implementing two Apprenticeship Initiatives with similar grant funding in Hospitality Management and Child Development and is excited about expanding opportunities to other industries to provide a well-trained workforce. The Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative Programs have registered 49 Hospitality Management apprentices since January 2017 and 18 Child Development apprentices starting their pathway in January 2018. There are 30 remaining slots for Child Development apprentices, for which the program is still accepting applications.
The new grant will fund the development of the Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship, a pilot project that will allow high school students and adults interested in careers in firefighting to explore opportunities in Fire Service and prepare them for admission to the Columbia College Fire Academy. The program also creates a pipeline for individuals to apply to Cal-JAC, the state’s only apprenticeship in firefighting. Designed with input from partner agencies, the program is modeled on European apprenticeships, blending classroom instruction and hands-on training to prepare individuals for the intensity of a fire academy and apprenticeship.
Pre-apprenticeship programs are differentiated from Registered Apprenticeship programs in that they provide a broad-based training program in order to prepare participants for admittance to registered apprenticeship programs.
Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, Dean of Technical and Career Education & Economic Development, will oversee development and implementation of the Initiative starting in early 2018.
“This is a unique opportunity to work with local partners and agencies to develop a skilled and educated workforce for the Fire Science industry,” Tenbergen said.
Pre-apprentices will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of skills-building workshops and training through different professional agencies at partnering sites, receiving comprehensive training in a range of activities associated with firefighting. Training in other “soft skills” will be incorporated throughout. Once students complete the Initiative components as described, they will be prepared to enter the Columbia College Fire Academy, and eventually apply as apprentices with the California Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) or intern with local fire districts. If students desire, they may also pursue an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science with additional coursework.
Along with other fire agency partners in our community, the following agencies have expressed support: Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority, Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools, Mother Lode Job Training, Motherlode Workforce Investment Board, and California Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC).
Other interested parties are encouraged to contact Dr. Tenbergen to be included in upcoming planning meetings to be scheduled for late February 2018.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Klaus Tenbergen
Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development
COLUMBIA COLLEGE’S SYMPHONY OF THE SIERRA ON DECEMBER 17
Columbia College will present its winter concert “Symphony of the Sierra” at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 17thin the Dogwood Theatre.
The wide-ranging repertoire promises to be a performance well worth hearing. According to orchestra conductor, Mic Harper, “The repertoire provides an eclectic exploration of works from the late 1890’s to 2014.
Concert repertoire includes, The Children of Sanchez, South County Sketches, a medley of Duke Ellington’s works, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Procession of the Nobles, Gounod’s Marionetten—Trauermarsch, Christmas Festival by the ever-popular Leroy Anderson and more.
The concert is free and the public are invited to attend.
AT&T made a $20,000 contribution to the college’s innovative Foster Youth Success Initiative during a ceremony held at the college on September 20, 2017.
The funds will be used to support the Foster Youth college success program which provides transportation assistance, peer group and counseling support along with access to other social services that can assist foster youth persist through college graduation.
The contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative and financial commitment of $400 million since 2008 to drive innovation in education and promote student success in school and beyond.
“We are very grateful to AT&T for this significant contribution to our Foster Youth program,” said Angela Fairchilds, President of Columbia College. “AT&T understands the importance of education and support services to help youth stay in school and succeed academically.”
Columbia College recognizes that students who are in the foster care system often face significant challenges. In order to support foster youth to overcome these challenges and reach their educational goals, the College offers a variety of support services for current and former foster youth.
The Foster Youth Success Initiative also partners with a number of local and regional public, private and tribal agencies that serve those who have been in the foster care system. Through this collaborative network, students are referred to appropriate sources of support to meet their individual needs.
“Foster youth face many unique challenges when trying to obtain a quality education,” said Julie Tone, Director of External Affairs, AT&T California. “AT&T is proud to support this college success program to improve the lives of foster youth in Tuolumne County.”
The Columbia College Foundation will host an enlightening look at the changes and challenges of today’s Native American experience Thursday, November 16. Speakers include author and ethnic studies professor Dr. Melissa Moreno of Woodland Community College, Carlos Geisdorff (Me-Wuk), Cultural Coordinator of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk, and Columbia College Counselor Stephanie Beaver (Hupa) who will moderate. The event, held during National Native American Heritage Month, will be held at the Dogwood Forum at Columbia College and is free to the public. Doors will open at 6pm and the evening’s program will run from 6:30-8pm.
Beaver is the event organizer, and noted that perspectives of Native California people are important to invite and showcase, especially in a college setting. “This will give a missing voice and perspective in a larger public system,” Beaver said. “It’s great for natives and non-natives alike – it will help everyone gain formal academic knowledge and cultural insight they may not have had access to. It’s great for anyone who works with native people or has a desire to understand native history and present experiences. Who couldn’t benefit from that?”
“This is a chance to hear from and learn more about a vital part of our local culture, and to help bring light to their story and the history of California,” said Colette Such, Columbia College Foundation President. “The Foundation is pleased to help bring these speakers together for an enlightening and educational evening.”
The Columbia College Foundation is a community nonprofit established in 1972 to promote quality higher education that enriches the academic, economic, and cultural life of our community. Our mission is to promote student success by providing community resources that support and expand educational opportunities for Columbia College’s students. Learn more at www.gocolumbia.edu/foundation or call (209) 588-5055.
Columbia College is pleased to announce the addition of a new practice wall to enhance its tennis courts. The wall measures twelve by eighty feet, and can accommodate multiple players at one time.
Practice walls are recognized as important additions to everyday practice routines for both beginners and those developing their game. The project was developed under the leadership of Jeff Fitzwater, a Columbia College counselor and tennis enthusiast. Funding was provided by the Columbia College Foundation and contributions made by the local tennis community. The facility is open to the public on a first-come, space-available basis.
The Columbia College Library has become the hosting site for the Tuolumne Veterans’ History Project, which includes the approved personal histories of World War II veterans who were interviewed for the project. The material was formerly housed on the Memoir Center website. For more information, please visit http://www.gocolumbia.edu/library/stories/index.php