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Report to our Community from Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees

9 February 2018


Report to our Community

from Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees

Meredith Brown, Board President, Area 2

Dr. William “Bill” Riley, Board Vice-President, Area 5

Bill Withrow, Area 1 – Linda Handy, Area 3 – Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, Area 4

Karen Weinstein, PhD, Area 6 – Julina Bonilla, Area 7

Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre, PhD



Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students of Laney College and Merritt College for earning the reaffirmation of accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). College of Alameda and Berkeley City College earned that status last year. Much work was done to document that we meet ACCJC Standards. Our Steering Committees and Committee Chairs at all of our Colleges have our deepest gratitude for restoring the honor of being “sanction free.”


Board Retreat

One of the recommendations of the ACCJC is for the Chancellor and Trustees to work together to support student success. If you recall, the District had Eight Recommendations from the 2015 ACCJC Self Study. Recommendation Seven required that the Governing Board and the Chancellor work together “to assure the quality, integrity, and effectiveness of the student learning programs and services and the financial stability of the institution.” Since that time, we have conscientiously strived to engage in a positive working relationship and to live up to our charge. We continue to take ACCJC’s Recommendations seriously as we continue to review our work and to make improvements. 


Chancellor Laguerre also informed the Board that he has refocused his goals to help us attain greater success for our students. Board members accepted his proposal. Chancellor Laguerre indicated that concerted efforts will be made to help improve the District Administration Center’s service to the Colleges and the public that interacts with us as vendors, suppliers, grantors and benefactors. Attention to these efforts– coupled with the fact that we live in an area that is becoming less and less affordable to live with ease– requires us to think strategically about how best to help those at the lowest levels of compensation do better financially. We are committed to demonstrably support greater student success at Peralta and to ensure that our efforts are visible.


Filed under: Announcements, Board of Trustees. Tagged: , ,

Get Help Enrolling at Super Saturdays : January 20 & 27

16 January 2018

Super Saturdays
January 20 & 27, 9am – 1pm

Admissions, orientation, assessment, counseling, financial aid, and the cashier’s office will be available at all four campuses to provide personal assistance with Spring admissions and enrollment.

Prepare for Saturday


In order to complete all of the necessary steps within a Super Saturday, it is recommended that you review the Application & Enrollment Steps webpage and complete the OpenCCC/CCCApply online application (Step 1) at least 24 hours before attending. This way your Student ID will be ready and you can get started on the next steps upon arrival!

OpenCCC/CCCApply Online Application Assistance:

Please arrive early in the day if you would like assistance with the online application (Step 1). You will need an email address (gmail and yahoo are popular services), accurate date of birth, dates of previous high school/college enrollment, and social security number (required only if applying for financial aid) to apply.

Orientation, Assessment, Counseling:

Bring a valid ID (Driver’s license, passport, state-issued ID, student ID card) and any high school (within 10 years) or college transcripts you would like to be used for placement or development of your educational plan with your counselor. Unofficial or official transcripts are both accepted, however, official transcripts are recommended so that they can be kept in our database. You may also bring assessment test results from another instution from within the last three years.

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , ,

Happy Holidays from the Peralta Colleges

20 December 2017

On behalf of our Peralta Employees and Students, 
We wish you the very best this season and value your support.
Pictured above (l to R): Wiliam ‘Bill’ Riley, Vice President, Area 5 – Karen Weinstien, Area 6
Nicky Gonzales-Yuen, Area 4 – Meridith Brown, President, Area 7
Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D. – Julina Bonilla, Area 2
Linda Handy, Area 3 – Bill Withrow, Area 1
Not Pictured 
Nesi More, Student Trustee – Corey Hollis, Student Trustee



Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News

A Statement from Chancellor Laguerre

12 October 2017


Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre Ph.D.

Peralta Community College District

October 10, 2017


Tonight, the Board of Trustees had its first opportunity to discuss the letter received during our September 12, 2017 Board meeting. The Trustees heard a presentation on potential community benefits and engagement process. They requested an engagement plan including goals, structure and timeline for the process be presented at their December meeting.

The mission of the Peralta Colleges is to provide educational leadership and to sustainably enhance the human, educational, environmental and social development of the region – and we will adhere to that mission by considering the community impacts and working to shape any potential proposal by the baseball team so that it addresses community concerns and expectations.


Based on community input, the engagement process will include:

  • Educational Services and Opportunity
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Job Training, Quality & Accessibility
  • Asset Development
  • Transit, Traffic & Transportation
  • Sustainability and Environment
  • Community Resilience and Cohesion

In addition, we intend to work closely with our students, staff, faculty, neighbors and stakeholders within our shared governance framework to ensure that any proposal strengthens the community. The issue here is not simply mitigating the impact of the potential development but reparations and reinvestment in communities.

The most valuable asset of the Peralta Colleges is the trust and confidence of the community we have served for more than 50 years.

Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D.


Peralta Community College District

October 10, 2017



Filed under: Announcements

A Statement from Chancellor Laguerre

13 September 2017


The Oakland Athletics delivered a letter addressed to me shortly before tonight’s Board meeting. We want our community to be fully aware of the content of the letter, therefore I am making the letter public tonight.
I want to make clear the following: No decision, no commitments, and no deals have been made.  
The Governing Board will likely discuss this item when it reconvenes in October. I will be recommending that the Board rely on the Peralta Community College District’s strong participatory governance process, meaning we will invite our stakeholders—faculty, classified staff, students, and administrators—to help examine this issue.
The Governing Board will also do its due diligence to work with the community and the colleges to assess the impact on students, faculty, staff, the classroom environment, the community surrounding us, the residents of the area and the city overall. We must work with our community to develop a set of principles to frame our discussions.
We continue to value the community that has supported the Peralta Community College District for almost sixty years.
 Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D
Peralta Community College District
September 12, 2017

Click to read letter

Filed under: Announcements

2017 College of Alameda Salutatorian + Peralta Valedictorian Speeches

15 June 2017


Esther Pillitiere, Salutatorian for the College of Alameda graduating class of 2017, brings her message of inspiration and hope to the Peralta College Board of Trustees.


On the Peralta Youtube page, you can view the commencement speeches given by each of the college valedictorians

Merritt College 2017 Valedictorian Asmita Neupane

Berkeley City College 2017 Valedictorian Patrick Kruger

Laney College 2017 Valedictorian Pauline Johnson

College of Alameda 2017 Valedictorian Fudhah Al Khafaji


Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Board Spotlight, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Peralta News, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Merritt College Honors its Valedictorians and Salutatorian

30 May 2017

Merritt College is proud to introduce our highest achieving students of the Class of 2018 who were honored at the 63rd Annual Commencement Ceremonies on May 23. In a reflection of Oakland’s diverse culture, they come from all over the world, have studied a wide range of academic interests, and have bold opinions of their own. But they all share the belief that Merritt has been a great educational beginning to their lives as they move on to help shape the world.


Alessandra Chimienti: From Italy to Merritt College With a 4.0 GPA and Role as Valedictorian


After just one semester at Merritt College, Alessandra Chimienti’s business instructor, Fereshteh Mofidi told her that she would be Valedictorian of her graduating class. Alessandra found that hard to believe at the time, given the fact that she had arrived from Italy less than two years earlier without knowing a word of English. Plus she was still trying to get accustomed to an American college and the language.

But on May 23, her instructor’s prediction came true as Alessandra was called to the podium to deliver her speech as the Valedictorian. She was also chosen to represent Peralta District’s International Students community by being the Valedictorian and delivering a speech for their graduation as well.

Despite the initial language difficulties, Alessandra achieved this incredible honor as Valedictorian for receiving the highest GPA in all her studies, maintaining a 4.0 throughout her two years at Merritt College. She received three Associate Degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, and General Business, and three Certificates, all in business.

“It’s not easy for international students to leave their friends and family to pursue their education in another country,” says Ms. Mofidi. “But it shows how strong they are about their goals. Alessandra is so intelligent that she would ask me questions that I had to research myself to find the answer. That’s why I knew she was destined to be the Valedictorian. I wish her the best of luck.”

Born in Puglia, in the south of Italy, Alessandra earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with highest honors (summa cum laude) before coming to the United States as an Au Pair for an Oakland family who she loves and considers her “American family” for their ongoing support and for serving as a role model for her.

With a future goal of studying business, her first challenge was to learn the language. She accomplished this by taking intensive English classes, volunteering as a tutor for two years in an elementary school in Oakland, and following subtitles on American television shows on Netflix. When she felt comfortable enough to start college, she ended up at Merritt and has never looked back.

During her two years, she has served as treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and worked in Business Services where, she says, Dr. Dettie Del Rosario has mentored her and been an inspiration. “I felt so honored working in the Business Office and being the PTK treasurer,” says Alessandra, “as they have exposed me to the
business operations of the community college system, taught me skills that I would have never learned just by studying, and allowed me to utilize the education I have achieved at Merritt.”

Dr. Del Rosario says she feels blessed to have the opportunity to mentor Alessandra. “She is willing to learn and always shows enthusiasm and commitment. She displays professionalism in dealing with faculty, staff, and students who come to the office. Her attention to details, her resourcefulness, and her great personality will be her keys to a successful career.”

Alessandra’s next goal is to get an MBA, and she doesn’t hesitate to give credit to Merritt for getting her to a place where that is possible. “All of my family in Italy is thrilled and proud of me for my accomplishments, and this alone makes all my hard work worthwhile. I miss them every day, and my achievements are my way of telling them that I love them,” she says. “Even my mother is coming to America for the first time to see my graduation. I couldn’t have had a better experience at Merritt. I’ve loved my time here at this beautiful college, and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life.”


High-Achieving Valedictorians and Salutatorian Highlight Merritt College’s 62nd Annual Commencement


With the theme, “Moving In, Moving Through, Moving On,” Merritt College celebrated its 62nd Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 24. Out of a total of more than 900 students who received associate degrees or certificates or who will be transferring on to further their education, more than 350 participated in the ceremony. Honored during the ceremony were two valedictorians and the Salutatorian, all introduced by Dr. Jeffrey Lamb, Vice President for Instruction.


Valedictorian Asmita Neupane

Valedictorian Asmita Neupane came to Merritt from her home country of Nepal. She achieved a 4.0 in her studies and received an Associate’s Degree in Health Sciences with her ultimate dream goal of becoming a nurse. She is currently getting experience by volunteering at San Leandro Hospital.

Valedictorian Anya Elizabeth Edwards majored in Administration of Justice and graduated with an Associate in Science for Transfer Degree with a 4.0 GPA. She will be transferring to Cal State East Bay and in the future plans to work in the law enforcement field.


Salutatorian Bernice Diaz Estrada

Salutatorian Berenice Diaz Estrada was born and raised in Oakland and graduated from Oakland High School. She came to Merritt because of the excellent reputation of the Radiologic Science Program and is hoping to start the program soon. In the meantime, she has earned Associate Degrees in both Health Sciences and Natural Sciences and a Certificate in Teacher Assistant. She graduated with a 3.96 GPA.

Commencement Speaker Dr. Siri Brown, a passionate and committed educator at Merritt who is currently serving as Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, gave a truly inspirational speech honoring the graduates for their successes no matter how long it took, how many challenges they had to face, or how many people may have discouraged them.

For the first time, Merritt’s newly appointed president, Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, presided over the ceremony.

“It is an honor to have participated in this year’s Commencement ceremony and be surrounded by all of the students who worked so hard to get to this point,” says President Burns. “Whether they are getting associate degrees, certificates, or transferring, we are proudly looking forward to watching them achieve success beyond college and demonstrating how much Merritt College has changed their lives.”

Filed under: Announcements, Merritt College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Enroll now!

23 May 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 2.02.44 PM


We change East Bay Lives at the Peralta Colleges!

Sign up for classes TODAY at one of our four East Bay colleges:

Berkeley City College
College of Alameda
Laney College
Merritt College

Classes start August 21st

We have SO MANY ways for you to get ahead
Financial Aid
THOUSANDS of classes to choose from
and so much more!

CHANGE YOUR LIFE at the Peralta Colleges

Sign up for classes TODAY:

Like your future at the Peralta Colleges!

Peralta Community College District

Berkeley City College • College of Alameda • Laney College • Merritt College

Berkeley City College:
College of Alameda:
Laney College:
Merritt College:

Financial aid:

THOUSANDS of classes to choose from: Fall 2017

Sign up for classes RIGHT NOW at:

For more information on the Peralta Colleges,
please visit:

Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , ,

Peralta News: Merritt College Cybersecurity

18 May 2017


Looking to start or find a new career? There are many reasons to look into the field of cybersecurity at Merritt. Cybersecurity is one of the FASTEST-GROWING careers in the country.

Merritt’s fully accredited program can lead you on a career path toward working in software (Applications) or hardware (Infrastructure) – you can earn an Associate’s Degree in Applications and Infrastructure in just two years.

You will be team-taught by industry experts, professionals and college instructors in a hybrid format, there are virtual lab assignments using online NETLAB+. The last three class terms are a combination of class lectures and labs as well as paid internships at local Bay Area companies to extend classroom learning and assistance landing a FULL-TIME JOB! In addition, the college offers employment workshops to prepare for internship interviewing and placement as well as access to the college’s Career Institute & Job Center.

For further details on the cybersecurity program at Merritt College, please visit:…

Questions? Contact Courtney Brown, Faculty or Program Coordinator, Anita M. Black:

For more information on the Peralta Colleges, please visit:

Filed under: Announcements, Merritt College, Peralta News. Tagged:

CTE Open House at Laney College, Saturday, April 29

25 April 2017



image002Don’t miss the CTE Open House at Laney College on Saturday, April 29. See this flier for details:



Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News, Uncategorized. Tagged: ,

  • Peralta Colleges

    Tuesday 19 March 2019
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