Monthly Archives: February 2014

Columbia College Hosts Occupational Olympics

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Columbia College, nearly 200 high schools students from Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties will compete in eleven Career Technical Education areas at the annual Occupational Olympics.

This is the fourteenth year that the event has been held at Columbia College.  Participating schools include Sonora High School, Summerville High School, Calaveras High School, and Bret Harte High School.  Summerville Union High School District Superintendent, Robert Griffith, Bret Harte Union High School District Superintendent, Michael Chimente, Calaveras Union High School Superintendent, Mark Campbell, Sonora Union High School District Superintendent, Dr. Michael McCoy, Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Northington, and Deputy Superintendent, Marguerite Bulkin will join Columbia College President, Dr. Angela Fairchilds, in presenting the awards to the winning students in each event.

The event affords high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as well as explore potential majors at Columbia College.  Competition categories include automotive, child development, computer business applications, cosmetology, digital photography, drafting, entrepreneurship, fire technology, food services, health occupations, forestry and natural resources, and welding.

For more information about the event, please contact Tiffany Moore at 209-588-5198 or

Columbia College Free Financial Aid Workshop

The Columbia College Financial Aid Office invites the community to a free financial aid workshop on Saturday, March 1, 2014 between 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Buckeye Building on the Columbia College campus.  No appointment necessary.  Financial Aid professionals will be available to answer questions and provide one-on-one assistance to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application online.  Undocumented students are welcome and will receive assistance completing the Dream Act Application. Both applications have a deadline of March 2, 2014.

To complete the application online, current and prospective students will need to bring the following:

  • Social Security Card or Alien Registration Card, if you have one
  • Driver’s License, if you have one
  • 2013 federal income tax forms or any 2013 income data collected for student and parent(s)/guardian(s) (i.e. W2 forms or year-end pay stubs, if you have not yet filed a 2013 tax return)
  • Any records of untaxed income such as welfare benefits, social security benefits, or child support payments
  • List of colleges you are interested in attending

Students are considered “independent” for purposes of the FAFSA if they answer yes to all of the following questions.  If the student is not independent, they must have a parent present at the workshop to be able to submit the FAFSA.

  • Were you born before January 1, 1991?
  • As of today, are you married?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children or other dependents who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent of or ward of the court?
  • Are you a documented unaccompanied homeless youth.

For more information on Financial Aid or this workshop please call the Columbia College Financial Aid Office at (209) 588-5105 or (209) 588-5272.

Columbia College Kicks Off Lecture Series with an Overview of Foothill Water

Press Release Contact: (209) 588-5055
Amy Nilson, Columbia College Director of Development
Mel Kirk, Columbia College Foundation Board President

WHO: Columbia College Foundation
WHAT: “Focus on Foothill Water: Beyond the Drought” A free community event featuring the region’s leading water experts from the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Watershed Management Group
WHERE: Sonora High School Auditorium
WHEN: Thursday evening March 13. Doors open at 6 p.m.; program 6:30-8:30

The public is invited to learn about the long-term issues involved in Tuolumne and Calaveras County water on Thursday, March 13, when the Columbia College Foundation kicks off a new community lecture series.

“Focus on Foothill Water: Beyond the Drought,” a two-hour evening program at the Sonora High School Auditorium, will be moderated by Columbia College Natural Resources Professor Dr. Tom Hofstra, and features leading experts representing a range of interests including local water districts, agriculture, the environment and native California tribes.

The program is free. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the evening’s program will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The evening’s keynote speaker is John Mills, a leading authority on California water and a Columbia resident. Mills, one of state’s top water advisors was just appointed to the California Emergency Drought Task Force. He will offer an overview of the twists and turns in local watershed management over the last 80 years.

Mr. Mills comments will be followed by a guided discussion among panel members, all of whom are representatives in the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Watershed Management Group. To date, confirmed speakers include:

Lindsay Rosasco Mattos – Administrator, Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District Don Stump – President, Mountain Counties Water Resource Association and President, Calaveras County Water District
Patrick Koepele – Executive Director, Tuolumne River Trust
Stephanie Suess – Community and Resources Development Director for the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California. Suess is also a Columbia College Foundation director
Tom Trott, General Manager, Twain Harte Community Services District

Speakers will focus on the big picture of watershed management – past and future – rather than the specifics of the immediate drought emergency. “No issue is more critical than water right now,” said Mel Kirk, Columbia College Foundation Board President. “This is a chance to learn from the region’s experts on the issues that got us here, the range of interests involved and the efforts underway to work together on long-range solutions. The Foundation is pleased to bring these key players together for an educational evening.”

The majority of the evening will include comments and a guided discussion among the panelists, with a brief opportunity for audience members to submit questions at the end. Refreshments by Columbia College Culinary Arts students will be available at an intermission and after the event.

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 or call (209) 588-5055.