Category Archives: Campus News

COLUMBIA COLLEGE FOUNDATION HONORS STUDENTS MORE THAN $120,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

The Columbia College Foundation and its community partners will present more than $120,000 in scholarships to qualified and deserving students at the annual Columbia College Scholarship and Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 18.  The event, 4:30-5:30 pm at the Dogwood Forum on campus, features student and community speakers, musical performances, and presentation of the Student of the Year awards.

Speakers at Thursday’s event include Student of the Year Danea Palmer who is a science student planning to transfer to UC Santa Barbara, re-entry student Max Golay who is working toward a nursing degree, and community donor, Jon Whited, who works closely with the college’s hospitality management program and funds a scholarship for those students.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, the Foundation and community partners awarded more than 160 scholarships to more 90 students, totaling more $120,000 in support for their educational expenses. Many of these scholarships are contributed by community organizations and individuals, many are offered annually through the Foundation’s endowed funds, and more than 20 each year are funded through the Foundation’s Osher Scholarship Endowment, established in partnership with the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and community donors.

Columbia College students are encouraged to apply for scholarships each fall. Criteria for awards vary depending on donors’ preferences which include area of study, academic excellence, volunteer involvement, or financial need.

“A college degree opens many doors,” noted Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, College President. “By providing scholarships and recognizing the talent of local students, Columbia College Foundation is helping our area residents to be productive members of society tomorrow. This is made possible by the generosity of all donors who contribute to the Foundation. It is your vision and philanthropy that encourage our students to move forward toward a successful career.”

The college is proud of the fact that it has so many campus donors support student scholarships. Student clubs, employee groups, and dozens of individual faculty, staff, and retirees fund annual scholarships and awards through the Foundation.

Colette Such, Columbia College Foundation President added, “What a privilege it is to do this work. While reading through these many scholarship applications, I find inspiration from the applicants’ struggle, their courage, their grit, their hope and their promise. They are all so very worthy. Thank you to all our donors who have made these scholarships possible.

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. The Foundation’s mission is to promote student success by providing community resources that support and expand educational opportunities for Columbia College students. Donations to the Columbia College Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  

Questions about the Foundation should be directed to Amy Nilson, Director of Development, at (209) 588-5055 or nilsona@yosemite.edu.

 

Community Job Fair Organized by Columbia College and Mother Lode Job Training

Columbia College will hold a Community Job Fair that is cosponsored with Mother Lode Job Training. The event will host 66 employers and will take place on Friday, April 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Columbia College campus in the Oak Pavilion. Job seekers are encouraged to bring their résumé, dress for success, and be ready to discuss their experience and skills with prospective employers at the event.

The event is organized through a partnership with Mother Lode Job Training. Mary Watts, Columbia College Career & Transfer Center Program Technician, shared that area employers are looking for job applicants in many fields including public utilities, forestry, healthcare, education, hospitality management, fire, and administrative support. Employers are looking to hire full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions. “I encourage job seekers to attend to find out about the wonderful opportunities available in our community, network with employers, and practice their “elevator pitch” to employers.”

The event is by far the largest job fair in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties serving local area residents with many small, medium, and large employers attending from throughout the region, including:

  • Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • CalFire
  • ATCAA
  • Tuolumne Utilities District
  • S. Forest Service
  • Sierra Pacific Industries
  • California State Parks
  • Condor Earth Technologies
  • Adventist Health Sonora
  • Calaveras Winegrape Alliance
  • Calaveras County Water District
  • …and; county, state, and federal government representatives.

The purpose of the event is to connect job seekers at the college, or those in the community, with employers to learn more about the different positions available, make valuable connections, and potentially find employment. Columbia College student Kathy Marquez secured an internship with the U.S. Forest Service after attending the 2018 job fair and said it “will look good on my resume and hopefully be a foot in the door.”

The event will feature eight information session panels on careers in hospitality management, natural resources, law enforcement, health, fire, education, the arts, and the military. The panels will feature industry experts providing valuable information on their profession and how to get a job in that field.

Parking will be relaxed on April 5th, so that attendees will not need to purchase a parking permit the day of the event.  Columbia College and Mother Lode Job Training are equal opportunity employers. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request at the event for individuals with disabilities. For more information contact, Mary Watts, Columbia College Career & Transfer Center Program Technician at (209) 588-5273, wattsm@yosemite.edu, visit http://news.gocolumbia.edu/event/career-job-fair/ or https://www.gocolumbia.edu/employment/.

Columbia College Hosts Occupational Olympics

Columbia College will host several hundred high school students for the 19th annual Occupational Olympics to be held on Friday, April 5, 2019. The contests will run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with the award ceremony immediately following in the Dogwood Building.

Students from Tuolumne County will compete in seven separate events that challenge them to think critically in a contextual environment.  The events include automotive, cosmetology, digital photography, fire technology, hospitality management, forestry & natural resources, and welding.

Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, President of Columbia College says, “Exposing high school students to a college campus and challenging them to think critically is a fun way to prepare the future generation of college students. We are delighted to partner with the local high schools to host the program.”

Students from Tuolumne, Calaveras, and Mariposa County High Schools will be competing. The Superintendents from the participating high schools and the Columbia College President, Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay will be presenting the awards.

For more information, contact:

Columbia College

Career Technical Education & Economic Development

Office: 209.588.5142

http://gocolumbia.edu/career_technical

 

Columbia College Awarded $100,000 State Grant for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Students Reentry Program

Columbia College has received an Intent to Award Notification for a $100,000 grant to support the expansion and improvement of the College’s programs serving currently and formerly incarcerated students. The grant is being awarded by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Division of Educational Services and has a performance period of two years, six months beginning on July 1, 2019 and ending on December 31, 2021.

Over the past four years Columbia College has worked closely with Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) to expand educational opportunities for incarcerated students. The college started with a small pilot program at SCC, providing a few face-to-face courses and academic and career counseling to 40 incarcerated students in the fall of 2015. Enrollment has since grown to approximately 300 students in the spring of 2019 at the main prison and four prison fire camps.

In addition to the fast-growing prison education program, Columbia College has also launched the Making Alternative Transformations (MAT) program, a complementary on-campus program designed to assist formerly incarcerated or justice involved students to transition to the campus and the community. The goal has been to provide high-quality higher education programs which are responsive to their unique needs, while providing additional services to support their efforts to reintegrate into their communities.

“Expanding educational opportunities to the incarcerated students is an area of focus for Columbia College. We have more than doubled the number of courses offered at Sierra Conservation Center during the last year, remarked Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, President of Columbia College. “Although the growth is impressive, there is still a large segment of the incarcerated population who do not have access to education. Having access to education helps the students prepare for life once they are free and helps reduce recidivism rate. We are delighted to have this grant that will enable us to expand our services further.”

Dr. Brandon Price, Dean of Student Services, will oversee the implementation of the grant.  He explained “This grant will enable the college to better meet the needs of the justice involved students we currently serve, while also enabling us to serve additional students from inmate firefighting camps, local jails, and day reporting agencies.”  Activities to be funded by the grant include: providing faculty and staff access to training related to the specific needs of justice-involved students; expanding transition services, such as college and career counseling; and expanding peer tutoring and mentoring programs serving justice involved students at SCC and on the Columbia College campus.

This award will allow Columbia College to continue build upon the framework of their Justice-Involved Student Reentry Program and provide necessary supports which will increase opportunity and access to currently and formerly incarcerated students, increase retention rates, support strong academic performance by program participants, promote informed and appropriate pathway goals and objectives, and build long-term and sustainable transition programs for justice-involved students in the area.

For more information, contact Brandon Price, Dean of Student Services at 209-588-5142.

 

Columbia College Awarded $500,000 State Grant for Forestry and Natural Resources Apprenticeship Initiative

Columbia College has received formal notification of the intent to award a 33-month grant to develop another new apprenticeship program in Forestry and Natural Resources, beginning in Fall 2019. Columbia College is currently implementing hospitality and child development apprenticeships as well as a fire science pre-apprenticeship with similar grant funding and is excited about expanding opportunities to other industries that are in need of a well-trained workforce.  Applications for the existing apprenticeship programs are still being accepted.

The new award, just announced by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Workforce and Development Division, is part of the California Apprenticeship Initiative, aimed at broadening the range of apprenticeship programs available to California workers through Prop 98 funding.

“Columbia College is strategically located in the Yosemite Valley where Fire and Forestry is a way of life”, said Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, President of Columbia College. “The recent increase in devastating fires across the state emphasizes the need for active forest management. With the well-established programs in Fire Science and Forestry, Columbia College is in a position to take a leadership role in Fire and Forest Management. This grant will help advance the apprenticeship programs tremendously”.

The grant will fund the development of the Columbia College Forestry and Natural Resources Apprenticeship, that will give up to 25 students the opportunity to “earn while they learn” at partnering Forestry and Natural Resource employers Greater Valley Conservation Corps and Sierra Resource Management. Designed with input from the sponsoring employers, the program is modeled on European apprenticeships, blending classroom instruction and on-the-job training in a compressed program. Apprentices will work as Forest Conservation Technicians and at the conclusion of the 18-month program will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Division of Apprenticeship Standards as well as a Skills Attainment Certificate from Columbia College in the Management and Restoration of Fire-Adapted Ecosystems. The grant funding covers all tuition, books, and related costs for apprentices while they attend Columbia College and the employers pay their wages.

The college will receive $500,000 over the two years and nine months to implement the curriculum, receive approval of the apprenticeships through the California Division of Apprentice Standards, enroll students, and launch the training at partnering work sites.

Along with the already-committed employer partners, the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools also expressed support.

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, Dean of Career Technical Education and Economic Development, will oversee development and implementation of these new apprenticeships starting in late 2019. He enthuses, “Forestry and Natural Resources is one of Columbia College’s signature programs, and we are excited to expand local apprenticeship opportunities into this high-demand field. The California Apprenticeship Initiative continues to have a positive impact on our local workforce and economy.”

Apprentices will rotate through different professional areas at partnering sites over an 18-24 month period, receiving comprehensive training in a range of activities associated with each industry. Safety training and essential job skills will be incorporated throughout. Apprentices will complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of employer-paid on-the-job training, while completing 288 instructional hours as college students. If students desire, they may continue with additional coursework toward an Associate’s degree.

Additional Forestry and Natural Resource agencies and businesses who may be interested in partnering with Columbia College are encouraged to contact Dr. Tenbergen:

 

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen

Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development

tenbergenk@yosemite.edu

Office: 209.588.5142

http://gocolumbia.edu/career_technical

COLUMBIA WINE TASTING NEWS

Columbia College tradition will take a one-year break – Plans to refresh For 2020

After 42 years as a springtime tradition, the Columbia Wine Tasting will take a break this spring to allow organizers at the Columbia College Hospitality Management Program to refresh the event, and bring it back with a new look and feel in 2020.

“Event founder Tom Bender, is stepping back from his event duties after four successful decades,” said Columbia College Hospitality Management Coordinator Don Dickinson. “We’re grateful for all of his efforts, and are going to take some time now to regroup and reimagine the event.

Bender, recognized statewide for his wine expertise, will continue as an adjunct Hospitality Management instructor at the college. Bender originally created and coordinated the Columbia Wine Tasting as a benefit for the Columbia College Hospitality Management program while he was the assistant manager and eventual manager of the City Hotel in Columbia State Park. He worked with the State Park, dozens of wineries across the state, and many volunteers to build the event into a unique showcase for premium California wineries that drew hundreds of attendees each spring.

The event raises funds for hospitality student scholarships, as well as program equipment and supplies, and has been co-hosted by the Columbia College Foundation.

Dickinson said he and his colleagues will use this next year to bring in some new ideas and partners. “So many exciting things are happening in the food-and-beverage world,” Dickinson said. “Look for us to come back with a great new event next year!”

For more information, contact the Columbia College Hospitality Program at 209-588-5142.

Columbia College Child Development Tea Party Fundraiser

The Columbia College Child Development Department and the Child Development Future Educators Club invite you to the 3rd annual Tea Party Fundraiser.  The festive family-friendly event will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Maple Building.  Students, former students, staff and faculty will serve up treats and a variety of teas to support students and student teachers in the child development field.  Funds go toward fingerprinting for students applying for teaching permits, a scholarship through the Columbia College Foundation, and student activities.

Please see our website http://columbiacollegeteaparty.weebly.com/  for more information and to purchase tickets.  Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for children.  We hope to see you there!

 

For more information, contact:

Kelly Thomas, Child Care Center Manager

PH: (209) 588-5024

Email: thomask@yosemite.edu

Come and Eat Our Homework!

 This spring, Columbia College culinary students invite the public to “come and eat their homework” at the Cellar Bistro, located on the first level of the Manzanita Building. The Cellar Bistro will be open Wednesday evenings starting at 5:00 p.m. from January 30 to April 24, 2019.  The menu will offer international cuisine specials, NY steak, pan roasted chicken breast, salmon filet, and a vegetarian option. Dinner is by reservation only, please contact the Cellar Bistro at (209) 588-5300.

Columbia College’s Symphony of the Sierra on December 15th

Columbia College will be presenting the Symphony of the Sierra Winter Concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018. The concert will be held in the Dogwood Forum at Columbia College. The repertoire provides a wonderful introduction to orchestral music for children, while being complex enough to satisfy the seasoned classical ear.

The orchestra is delighted to be performing Leroy Anderson’s The Waltzing Cat and his perennial favorite, Sleigh Bells, as well as Ralph Vaughn William’s and Winter Wonderland to celebrate the coming winter holidays.  Selections from Antonin Dvorak’s American Suite, Albert Ketelbey’s Bells Across the Meadow, and Johan Halvorsen’s Entry of the Boyards round out the program.

 

This free event is open to the public and family friendly.

 

For more information, contact:

Mic Harper

PH: 209) 770-1258

Email: harperm@yosemite.edu