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Town Hall Meeting at Fremont High School 11/15

8 November 2017

A Community College Education and Your Pathway to a Career is in the Neighborhood!


In partnership with Oakland Unified School District, Peralta Community College District Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and Board Trustees are excited to host its next Chancellor’s Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, November 15th, at Fremont High School, 4610 Foothill Blvd, off High Street in Oakland from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  


The Chancellor’s Town Hall Meeting, a series of community conversations, showcase Peralta Colleges’ wealth of career technical and academic programs, throughout the Peralta Colleges district community areas.  At the Town Hall Meetings, a suite of enrollment services and representatives are also on-hand to provide information on financial aid, admissions, counseling and more, in an effort to assist potential students to navigate the process with ease.

Last month Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation to make community college free for all full-time students in California. Peralta Colleges and Oakland Unified School District’s collaborative work aims to ensure our communities are aware of the new law to increase the number of students who enroll in community college full-time, as well as the number of people who are prepared for careers that support their families.


Light food, networking and information table highlighting career technical and trades programs will begin at 5:30 pm in the Cafe.   The program presentations will take place in the Auditorium with OUSD staff and a conversation with Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and Peralta alumni.


The town hall meeting is free and open to the public.  To RSVP, visit



Filed under: Academic Excellence, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , ,

Laney College President Dr. Elñora Webb Accepts Executive Vice Chancellor Position; Dr. Patricia Stanley Appointed Interim President

15 March 2016

Webb Stanley

OAKLAND, Calif., March 15, 2016 The Chancellor of Peralta Community College District, Dr. Jowel C. Laguerre, announced that Dr. Elñora Tena Webb, the President at Laney College, has accepted a new position at the District Office as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Strategic Planning and Advancement. The position provides support for strategic direction, faculty funding for innovation, and will develop partnerships and initiatives, as well as build community collaboration and provide government and corporation advocacy.

The Chancellor also announced the appointment of Dr. Patricia Stanley, as the Interim President of Laney College. Dr. Stanley served as the First Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the U.S. Department of Education.

“I look forward to having Dr. Webb with us to serve all four Peralta Colleges and help each of them achieve greater recognition within our community and with businesses throughout the East Bay,” said Chancellor Laguerre. “She brings a depth of knowledge of our community to the position and is uniquely qualified, as evidenced by her deep knowledge of the community where she has resided and worked for over twenty years,” the Chancellor added. Chancellor Laguerre continued, “Dr. Stanley, who led Frederick Community College in Maryland and has served as Interim President of Merritt College, brings the kind of leadership needed at Laney during this transition.”

Elñora Tena Webb (pictured right), has been President of Laney College, which is located in downtown Oakland, California, since 2010, and has led the College to greater levels of student success while bringing in millions of dollars from alternative funding sources, including the Federal Departments of Labor, Energy and Education and the National Science Foundation. Through her steadfast and visionary leadership, she has lead Laney in integrated planning and budgeting, sound resource management, community partnerships and institutional assessment and advancement.

Prior to her appointment as President, Dr. Webb served as the Vice President of Instruction at Laney College from 2005–09, ensuring the development of the College’s first comprehensive, regionally – and workforce development-centered Educational Master Plan, while significantly enhancing partnerships with businesses and industries.

Dr. Webb has served in several other leadership capacities, including as a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Global Education, the Community College League of California’s CEO Board of Directors and as faculty with the U.C. Berkeley’s Executive Leadership Academy.

Patricia Stanley (pictured left), a former President of Frederick Community College in Maryland, has held a number of positions in California, including Administrator for Workforce Development in the State Chancellor’s Office, Administrative Dean at Orange Coast College, Executive Vice President at Cypress College and Executive Director of the California Institute for Career Development.

Dr. Stanley will remain Interim President at Laney College until a permanent President for the college is selected.

For more than 50 years, the Peralta Community College District has served the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont by providing 30,000 students each semester with a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities. To learn more, visit


Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , ,

Krista Johns, JD, Appointed Interim President of Berkeley City College

11 January 2016

JohnsAt a special meeting on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District appointed Krista Johns, JD, to serve as interim president of Berkeley City College. Johns’ appointment comes as the out-going president, Dr. Deborah Budd, assumes the position of Chancellor of the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District.

Johns will fill the position until a permanent president can be hired.

“I am very pleased that the Trustees have made this appointment and look forward to working with Dr. Johns on the important issues facing Berkeley City College and the Peralta Colleges generally,” said District Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D.

“Dr. Johns is the right fit for BCC at the right time,” he added. “We are very happy to have her on board.”

For the past four years, Johns has served as Vice President for Policy and Research at the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC). Prior to joining the ACCJC, Johns served as Vice President of Instruction at Berkeley City College.

Over her higher education career, Johns has held faculty, director and dean positions at the University of Mississippi, University of Nevada-Reno and Diablo Valley College. She has a Juris Doctor Degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Johns has published articles and monographs on learning, change management and various legal topics.

“My four years at the ACCJC have been invaluable in enhancing my understanding and knowledge of community colleges across the state, the challenges they face, and the importance of adherence to quality standards” said Dr. Johns.

“The accreditation work heightened my awareness of the critical role district and college leaders have in actively supporting academic quality, and how their effective administrative practices can enhance student learning and achievement,” she added.

“I am excited about joining Chancellor Laguerre, the Peralta Colleges presidents and the faculty, staff and administrators at BCC in creating an environment that can serve as a model for others.”

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: ,

Peralta Student Trustee Appointed To Citizens’ Bond and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee

26 October 2015

PCCD_AnnouncementAdrien-AbuyenOAKLAND, Calif., October 26, 2015 – – At its regular meeting on Tuesday, October 20, the Board of Trustees for the Peralta Community College District approved the appointment of Adrien Abuyen, a student Trustee, as the student representative to serve on the Citizens’ Bond and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee (“Citizens’ Oversight Committee”). The purpose of this committee is to ensure that bond and tax dollars generously given to the District by the electorate are spent to enhance education at the four Peralta Colleges – Laney College, Merritt College, College of Alameda and Berkeley City College.

The Citizens Oversight Committee membership consists of a minimum of eight (8) members appointed by the Board of Trustees from candidates submitting written applications, and is comprised of: one a member active in a business organization representing the business community located in the District; a member active in a senior citizen’s organization; a member active in a bona-fide taxpayer’s organization; a member who is a student and currently enrolled in the District and active in a community college group, such as student government; a member active in the support and organization of the community college or the community colleges of the district; and two members of the community at-large.

Abuyen is already a Student Trustee for the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees. Previously, he has served on the Associated Students of the College of Alameda (ASCOA) as the Communication Officer, and then as the Vice President of Operations during the following term.

“I feel that my education must serve a deeper purpose than just meeting a deadline for a class,” said Abuyen. This motivated student has a strong desire to serve his community, which is reflected in his plans to major in Community and Regional Development when he transfers to UC Davis after completing his studies at College of Alameda. Adrien also plans to attend law school and hopes to one-day work in youth advocacy.

Filed under: Board of Trustees, College of Alameda, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , , , ,

Laney College Machine Technology Students To Get $24,000 In Scholarships

12 October 2015

MachineTech-1The Laney College Machine Technology Department is pleased to announce that $24,000 in scholarships will be awarded to Machine Technology students during the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. The announcement coincides with National Manufacturing Day, which takes place on October 2, 2015, and will be observed in the Bay Area and around the country through a variety of activities – 157 events are being held across California by companies and schools to highlight the careers and opportunities available in manufacturing.

The scholarship funds for Laney College have been donated by the Gene Haas Foundation to help students pay for fees, books, tooling and other expenses necessary to complete their Machine Technology and Industrial Maintenance Certificates and Degrees. This is the third year of donations for student scholarships by the Gene Haas Foundation. The scholarship funds are administered through the Machine Technology Department and the Peralta Colleges Foundation.

“We are proud of our Machine Technology leadership team, especially Chair Louis Quindlen, for consistently ensuring that our students and their success remain our central focus,” said Dr. Elnora Webb, President of Laney College. “Because of them, we have invaluable partners who consistently invest in the effectiveness of the program in order to prepare even more students to enter the workforce and help us lead in the areas of industrial and advanced manufacturing,” added Dr. Webb.

National Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges, so they can help their communities and future generations thrive. The Laney College Machine Technology Department is proud to be a part of this effort.

Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Laney College Media Students to Receive Scholarships from National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

12 October 2015

WinnersThe Laney College Media Communication Department is pleased to announce that two students will receive scholarships from the San Francisco Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) on October 24th in San Francisco. NATAS is the organization that decides and hands out the Emmy Awards.

Laney’s Michael Cotton (photo, left) is the recipient of a $2,000 Sheldon “Shelly” Fay Videography Scholarship. Fellow student Ryan “Remo” Fioroni (photo, right), who also takes classes at Berkeley City College, will receive one of the $3,000 scholarships underwritten by George Lang of The Big Picture; this scholarship memorializes two former KGO-TV Journalists.

The San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of NATAS, which includes northern part of California from Visalia to the Oregon Border, the entire state of Hawaii and the city of Reno, awards just seven scholarships (in the amounts of $2,000 and $3,000) to Bay Area college students per year. The Scholarship Panel could have awarded seven scholarships this year, but in keeping with the high standards enjoyed by the local chapter, the Scholarship Committee decided to award only those individual entries that rose to the highest professional level.

“Each year we see the quality and aesthetic vision of these submissions edge closer to the work of the professional journalists in our market – a tribute to the excellent media education coming from our local colleges,” said NATAS National Trustee and Education Committee Chair, Steve Shlisky. Shlisky is a producer/editor at KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland and a Professor at Laney College.

The scholarships are given in recognition of superior video production, reporting, videography and overall excellence. The chapter awards these scholarships to encourage individuals who demonstrate leadership and talent in advancing the artistic, cultural, educational and technical qualities of television. The scholarships are open to any Broadcast Media student in the chapter coverage area: From Fresno to the Oregon Border, the state of Hawaii and Reno, Nevada. The Peralta Colleges students are in great company with two Stanford recipients also receiving awards.

“We are very proud of the achievement of our students,” said Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D., Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District. “I want to thank the NATAS for its recognition of our deserving students.”

Every candidate submitted a variety of their completed works, a letter of support from a faculty member or dean, a personal essay, a copy of their Grade Point Average (GPA) and transcripts to the twelve-member Scholarship Panel, which is a sub-committee of the NATAS Education Committee. The Panel screened DVDs or uploaded online videos of the entries and judged in six areas of excellence: Content, Execution, Creativity, Personal Essay, GPA, plus an overall score based on the quality of the entry materials. The panel then discussed, by conference call, the merits of each entry.

The scholarships will be presented during the NATAS Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon on Saturday, October 24, 2015. For more information, see



Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Peralta Colleges FM Radio Station On the Air in July

2 February 2015

Peralta FM Station-1

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Peralta Colleges will have its own FM radio station to provide educational programming to the community and hands-on broadcast experience to our students.

The FCC granted the Peralta Community College District a Low Power FM Community Broadcast Station license (“construction permit”) after a lengthy application process. There was plenty of competition for the broadcast licenses following a rule change by the FCC, and Peralta’s Public Information Department was successful in its bid to broadcast on one of the two available frequencies in the Bay Area.

Beginning in July, you will be able to hear Peralta’s community radio station in the East Bay at 96.9 FM. The tentative call sign is KGPC.

If you would like to get involved in Peralta’s community radio station, please contact our Executive Director for Public Information, Communications and Media, Jeff Heyman, at or 510-466-7369.

Don’t forget to tune into all the great programs on our Internet radio station, 9th Floor Radio, at

Filed under: 9th Floor Radio, Arts & Culture, Peralta News, PeraltaTV, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Peralta Community College District Announces its Successful Bond Refinancing, Delivering Local Taxpayers Nearly $18 million in Savings

5 September 2014

Peralta Community College District


Contact: Rolando Bonilla

(415) 987-8025

 OAKLAND, Calif. (September 4, 2014) – Taking advantage of historically low interest rates, the Peralta Community College District announced this week its successful sale of over $157 million in bonds. By refunding its outstanding general obligation bonds, District leaders will save local taxpayers nearly $18 million over the 21-year life of the bonds.

The District’s Board of Trustees expressed their approval of the successful bond sale, touting the District’s efforts to lower the local tax burden and apply strong fiscal oversight and management in order to maximize the community’s investment in the success of the District’s students.

“The Board of Trustees has taken great care to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and prudently manage the resources with which we have been entrusted,” said Abel Guillen, President of the Board of Trustees. “This refunding will allow savings of nearly $18 million to be returned to our residents who have continuously supported our mission to train our local workforce and provide an affordable path towards higher education. I am proud of our Board for its leadership and in taking action to save local taxpayers real money.”

The District went to market with $157,725,000 in new bonds on August 20 to refund outstanding bonds approved by voters in 1992, 2000 and 2006 to enhance and modernize District facilities. The District utilized the services of Keygent LLC, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., the lead underwriter, with Barclays Capital, Inc. and Raymond James & Associates, Inc. both acting as minor underwriters.

The District’s administration, which spearheaded the Board’s direction to take advantage of favorable interest rates, noted the progress made in recent years to stabilize the District’s finances as the key to regaining the investor confidence necessary to refund the outstanding bonds and deliver local taxpayers substantial savings over the next 21 years.

“The District has taken a number of steps to strengthen internal controls and procedures, the goal of which was to refocus attention back to our budgeting and spending practices to ensure we are making every decision based upon what is best for our students and the long-term interest of our local taxpayers,” said Peralta Community College District Chancellor José Ortiz. “We must constantly look for ways to demonstrate to our taxpayers that we are carefully managing every cent they provide us, as our ability to provide quality career and technical programs for our students and prepare them for success in the workforce is directly dependent upon their continued support for the critical role community colleges play in our region’s economy.”

About Peralta Community College District: The Peralta Community College District provides educational leadership for the East Bay, delivering programs and services that sustainably enhance the region’s human, economic, environmental, and social development. The District is comprised of four campuses serving Northern Alameda County, including the College of Alameda, Berkeley City College, Laney College, and Merritt College. Through these four campuses, Peralta Community College District supplies the region with a trained workforce in essential fields such as nursing, automotive technology, office administration, mechanics, bio-manufacturing, bookkeeping, carpentry, food service and restaurant management, and many other fields. For more information, visit

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

Peralta Colleges Board Elects New Officers for 2014

16 December 2013

The Peralta Community College District’s Board of Trustees, at its annual organizational meeting held on December 10, 2013, elected new officers for 2014.

The outgoing president, Cy Gulassa, who represents Area 6, was also honored at the meeting for his work leading the Board in 2013.  

Abel Guillén, who represents Area 7, was elected President of the nine-member board, and Meredith Brown, representing  Area 2, was elected Vice President. Dr. José M. Ortiz, Chancellor of the District, was elected Board Secretary.

Nicky González Yuen, Area 4, Cy Gulassa, Linda Handy, Area 3, Dr. William “Bill” Riley, Area 5 and Bill Withrow, Area 1, will continue to serve on the Board. Student Trustees serving on the Board are Sharon Clegg and Wai Li.  

Abel Guillén is a proud product of California’s public schools. Professionally, he has assisted hundreds of K-14 districts in California in securing over $2 billion in general obligation bond program funding for facility improvements. In 2000, Guillén served as policy analyst for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign. In the 1990s, Guillén was in the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and served as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow.

The son of a baker and a cook, Guillén was the first in his family to attend college. He has a Master’s Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts, also from UC Berkeley. At Cal, he fought to expand educational opportunities for all and received the Priestly Award for “contributions to student welfare” upon his graduation. In 2012, Guillén was named “Legislator of the Year” by an Oakland non-profit organization.

Meredith Brown has over 25 years of experience in complex litigation and representing small businesses, public agencies and construction owners on large projects. From 1989 to 2000, she practiced construction law, business litigation, and contracts and procurement law. Brown represented regional transportation agencies and special districts with a well-established firm in Oakland and in San Francisco before starting her own law practice. She received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1983 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger Honorary Society.

Brown received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1988.  She served as a clerk for United States Magistrate Joyce London Alexander, First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988. Brown has served on the volunteer board of a local early childhood education center and worked as a literacy volunteer for a regional community service group. Brown is a youth sports coach, volunteer community youth sports board member, a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus and has served as a judge pro tem for the Alameda County Superior Court for several years as well as serving as the president of the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club. Brown is married and the mother of two children.

Filed under: Board of Trustees, Press Release

Laney College Peace Offering Concert

1 April 2013

Laney College Student Life Council and the President’s Office presents a Peace Offering Concert


Lena Sunday Quartet, The John Santos Quintet, and special guest Lawrence Beamen


On Friday April 19 at the Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center at Laney College


Doors 7pm / Show at 8pm / All Ages

Tickets: $20 adv / $25 at door

To Purchase Tickets click here

Laney College Peace Offering Concert

Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , ,

College of Alameda Students Assisting in Research Study with UC Berkeley of Possible Ancient Asteroid Collision on Earth

20 February 2013

College of Alameda

Did a large asteroid collide with Earth 66 million years ago? College of Alameda chemistry students Jon Howell, Jessica Ng and Jenna Luckhardt are helping COA chemistry professor Peter Olds elucidate the nature of this possible ancient impact by working on KT Boundary Impact Rocks at UC Berkeley lab.

Scientists are currently trying to determine if a large asteroid or comet collided with the Earth 66 million years ago, probably causing the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs and 75% of animal and plant species. This catastrophic disruption is known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary or KT impact event. Scientists study this KT event by separating and identifying small grains of the mineral chromite, which were deposited with the impact layer 66 million years ago in southern Colorado and eastern Wyoming. It is not known yet whether these grains are from the terrestrial target rocks or from the extraterrestrial impacting object. Chemistry and mineralogy tests, like the ones these CoA students are conducting, will provide the answer.

“If the grains are terrestrial then the consensus view that the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula is the only KT boundary impact site will be thrown into doubt”, says COA chemistry professor Peter Olds. “If the grains are extraterrestrial, science may be able to identify the type of object (class of meteorite) that hit. Whatever the answer, it will be new and exciting,” added Olds.

This research is currently being carried out at the Earth and Planetary Science Department at UC Berkeley where at least one of these College of Alameda students plans to transfer.

“With sufficient funds and allocation of space, this project could be expanded into a rock chemistry program at The Peralta Colleges’ 860 Atlantic science facility,” said College of Alameda President, Jannett Jackson, “allowing a much greater number of COA science students to benefit from the experience.”

Faculty and administrators within the Peralta Community College District – which also includes Berkeley City College and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland – believe that lab experience, as well as lab safety skills, gained in such an environment are transferable to other scientific disciplines. A job well done in this research study may result in student transfer to quality four-year academic institutions like UC Berkeley or opportunities for employment as a laboratory technician in the private or government sectors. “This is a wonderful educational opportunity for current and future students at The Peralta Colleges,” said president Jackson.

Filed under: College of Alameda, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Representatives from Chinese College Visit College of Alameda to Learn Best Practices

24 January 2013

College of AlamedaOn Friday January 18, 2013 representatives from the Guangxi College of Water Resource and Electric Power in China visited College of Alameda – one of the four Peralta Colleges that includes Berkeley City College and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland – for the purpose of promoting international cooperation and exchange of knowledge and best practices.  The visit was coordinated through the Sino-Canada Technology Exchange Center, which is based in Toronto with a branch office in Beijing, China. Its mandate is to promote the professional and business exchanges between China and North America. The center is also authorized by the Chinese government to coordinate visiting programs for the Chinese government agencies and departments in Canada and the United States.

Interested in developing international cooperation and exchange programs with well-established U.S. higher educational institutions – in their efforts to promote innovative educational programming and quality education with a distinctive character – the Guangxi College of Water Resource and Electric Power, through the efforts of the Sino-Canadian Technology Exchange Center, organized a delegation of 20 faculty, staff and administrators to visit the College of Alameda.

“We were so honored the College of Water Resource and Electric Power chose College of Alameda for their visit,” said CoA President, Jannett Jackson.

“They are interested in identifying strong post-secondary institutions in the U.S. that promote innovative educational programming and quality vocational education, and CoA ranks high on that list,” added Dr. Jackson.

Wishing to establish cooperation, the delegation, headed by Weijun Huang, Vice President of Guangxi College, discussed potential partnerships with their American counterparts, with the goal in mind of adopting solutions that can be utilized back in China. Of specific interest was College of Alameda’s career-oriented education programs and courses; its strategies and good practices in improving education quality, and effectiveness and outcomes of programs; and the college’s ability to maintain competitiveness through institutional improvement, innovative educational programming and curriculum design that responds to students’ and adult learners’ evolving learning and career aspirations and needs.

Mr. Huang and his delegation stated that College of Alameda was chosen because of its extensive experience and expertise in developing highly interactive and practical technical education programs (especially, award-winning vocational programs, including the Transportation Technology Program, Diesel and Truck Mechanics Program, and Computer Information Systems Program) through extensive partnership building with associated industries, ensuring that curriculum is relevant and meets industry current and future needs, and thereby preparing graduates for excellent career opportunities.

Guangxi College of Water Resource and Electric Power is situated in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Region. The college was founded in 1956, as a key institution co-sponsored by the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China. It is a technical post-secondary educational institution specializing in the field of water resources and hydropower, mechanical and electrical engineering, architectural engineering and other multidisciplinary subjects. For more information about the College, please visit its official website:

Filed under: College of Alameda, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , , , ,

Chancellor José M. Ortiz Announces That Peralta Colleges Will Add Up To 200 New Classes for Spring Semester

18 December 2012

The Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, Dr. José M. Ortiz, has announced that the four Peralta Colleges – Berkeley City College, College of Alameda and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland – will be adding up to 200 new classes for the spring 2013 semester.

The passage of Proposition 30 has made it possible for the Peralta Colleges to add additional classes for the spring semester in order to accommodate up to 700 more full-time students. Enrollment for the semester has already begun, and classes are being added by each of the colleges. Classes for the spring semester start on January 22, 2013.

The District, which includes Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont, took the prudent approach of budgeting for a scenario that assumed Proposition 30 would not be successful.  But Proposition 30 passed and as a result the Peralta Colleges will be able to restore approximately $5.5 million to the unrestricted general fund.

“While this restoration allows us to build back many of the class sections and services that had been provided in the past, the $5.5 million is only a start to the restoration process,” Chancellor Ortiz said in a statement to faculty and staff.

For the last three fiscal years the District, which serves about 27,000 students each semester, has had to cut approximately $20 million in response to state-imposed budget reductions. This has meant that as many as 3000 students could not get into classes.

“Immediately,” Chancellor Ortiz said, “we will be adding up to 200 strategically selected sections to our existing spring schedule of classes.”

“We are also looking to further promote our spring 2013 schedule to attract additional students,” he said.

“Each of the Peralta Colleges will be adding sections and the deans, vice presidents and presidents will be working closely with faculty to determine which classes and sections will be added to our schedule,” the Chancellor added.

Classes to be added include sections in English, Math, Biology, Business, Biotechnology, Multimedia Arts, Music, Art, Social Science, Ethnic Studies, Political Science, ESL, Environmental, Dance and other areas of study.

“This is a very good opportunity for our students to get the classes they need,” Chancellor Ortiz said. “I encourage students to check our Website (click here) to see which classes we are adding and to enroll as early as possible.”

Filed under: Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Press Release. Tagged: ,

Merritt College’s Environmental Program Celebrates 50 Years. Oakland Mayor, San Leandro Vice Mayor and City Manager Honor Accomplishments

17 December 2012

The Environmental Program at Merritt College celebrated its 50th Anniversary on December 1, 2012 at the Self Reliant House on campus where 60 people gathered for a day of hiking, history and discussion about the future of both the program and the globe.

Program Director Robin Freeman lauded colleagues for having begun some of the first college environmental activities in the state and nation.  Accomplishments include the first ecology course at the Peralta colleges in 1962, the first dedicated student-built environmental center in 1981, the first ecological restoration certificate program in 1991 and the first Green Building Materials Conference in 1994.

Freeman noted that the program has consistently been decades ahead of the curve. “The program has been able to predict the future,” said Freeman. “If so,” he continued, “the sustainable green cities students and faculty study now suggests a hopeful, thriving future for our planet.”

The celebration came two weeks after Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and San Leandro Vice Mayor Michael Gregory spoke at the Merritt Environmental Program.

Last month, Merritt College environmental students joined local leaders and residents in an event organized by Friends of San Leandro Creek (FOSLC) to imagine and plan activities around the creek and the watershed.

Bringing back the creek’s vitality was at the top of the agenda for the dozens of people who gathered at San Leandro City Hall to brainstorm on restoring the creek’s 6.5 mile open greenway. The creek flows from Lake Chabot in the hills to the estuary between the Oakland airport and Alameda. The goal is to make the creek cleaner and safer, and more natural and more accessible so the community can fully enjoy it.

Participants described many ways to do that: Planting a tree farm and a community garden, involving San Leandro high school students, posting interpretive signs, building creek crossings and adding disability access.

Several local leaders, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Vice Mayor Michael Gregory and City Manager Chris Zapata of San Leandro spoke at the meeting about the history and value of watershed restoration work. Quan endorsed the group’s goals and touted how Friends of Sausal Creek, primarily through the work of hundreds of volunteers, has succeeded in returning a good portion of the creek to its native habitat.

Jeanny Wang, an environmental scientist who has recorded some of the creek’s “vital statistics,” explained the importance of monitoring and improving the creek’s health.

Instrumental in organizing the meeting were Freeman, Gregory and Susan Levenson of FOSLC.

Each semester, students at Merritt College’s Environment Program organize meetings, field research and community work to maintain efforts to restore native fish and provide parks along the creek. Merritt classes have been using the creek as a field lab for four years.

Freeman noted, “There are enough real opportunities in the world that we don’t need to make up a field lab site for our classes. Instead, we are using the San Leandro Creek Watershed. The students are learning while making an impact.”

Overall, the meeting convened community members from many backgrounds passionate about improving the state of the watershed. Their ideas and commitment injected fresh energy into a long-term project that requires the input of San Leandro and Oakland neighbors to bring the creek and its environs back to life.

Those interested in exploring more about San Leandro Creek can enroll in “Introduction to Sustainable Urban Planning” (ENVMT 11) at Merritt College or “Tree to Sea, A Bay Area Cross-Section” (ENVMT 40).

For more information, see or Friends of San Leandro Creek,




Leanne A. Grossman contributed to this story.

Filed under: Merritt College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , , , , , ,

Peralta Colleges Chancellor Dr. José M. Ortiz Selects New Presidents For Berkeley City College and Merritt College

14 December 2012

New presidents for two Peralta Colleges were announced last night at the District’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Dr. José M. Ortiz, Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, has tapped Dr. Deborah Budd to lead Berkeley City College and Dr. Norma Ambriz-Galaviz to be the next President of Merritt College.

Budd is currently the Interim President at Berkeley City College and Ambriz-Galaviz is Vice President of Instruction for Mission College.

“I am very pleased with the quality of the candidates we had for these two presidential positions, and Dr. Budd and Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz are both accomplished administrators who will bring much to their leadership roles at the colleges,” Chancellor Ortiz said.

“I am looking forward to working with both our new presidents as we move forward at the Peralta Colleges to bring quality education to our community’s students.”

“They have my full confidence,” the Chancellor added.

Dr. Deborah Budd has over 16 years of administrative experience and nine years of teaching experience. She is currently serving as the Interim President for Berkeley City College of the Peralta Community College District. Previously, she served over the past four years as the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Peralta Community College District. Dr. Budd also served as Vice President of Instruction for Berkeley City College prior to assignment at the District Office. She was Vice President of Educational Resources and Instruction for Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, and served for six years as the Dean of Applied Health, Physical Education and Community Affairs for Chabot College.

In addition to her community college experience, Dr. Budd has been both a teacher and administrator at the middle and high school level. Her recent dissertation, Institutional Effectiveness and the Relationship to African American and Latino Transfer Rates, highlights her extensive knowledge relating to the integration of planning and budgeting, accreditation and suggestions for beginning to close the opportunity gap. She has a great deal of experience with enrollment management, grants, and facilities bond implementation, and has expertise in working with faculty to develop innovative programs to increase student success.

Dr. Budd received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics and Physical Education from University of California at Santa Barbara, her Master’s in Education from Stanford University and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Francisco State University.

Dr. Norma Ambriz-Galaviz has served since 2008 as Vice President of Instruction for Mission College of the West Valley Mission Community College District. Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz was employed for 17 years at Chabot College, Hayward, California, and she also worked at Cabrillo and Hartnell Community Colleges holding various academic and student services positions, from psychology instructor, counselor, Special Student Services Dean to Social Sciences Division Dean.

Coupled with numerous college committees, task forces and/or selection committees, Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz has earned a reputation of being well-versed on the day-to-day operations of both student services and instruction.  She is known for her advocacy and collaborative approach that promotes academic excellence, and student success at the college.

Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz holds a Doctorate Degree in Education-Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne, a Master of Science Degree in Counseling, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Diego State University and an Associates of Arts Degree in Administration of Justice from Hartnell College.  Her doctoral degree explored “The Use of Strategies Used among California Community College Chief Administrative Officers to Produce Change.”

In addition to her career in higher education, Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz is active in a variety of national, state and local organizations.  She is a member of National Hispana Leadership Institute, Association of California Community College Administrators, Silicon Valley Education Committee, California Community College Chief Instructional Administrators and the Alameda County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.   She recently completed her elected two-year term to the California Community College Instructional Chief Officers Council representing the South Bay region.  She has served as an evaluator on four accreditation teams for ACCJC. State Senator Ellen Corbett recently recognized Dr. Ambriz-Galaviz for her outstanding service to the Latino community.


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Note to Editors: Photographs of the new presidents are available for publication.

Filed under: Berkeley City College, Merritt College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , ,

  • Peralta Colleges

    Monday 23 April 2018
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