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PCCD Board of Trustees elects new officers for 2019

20 December 2018

Newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss welcomed to the board; outgoing Trustee William “Bill” Riley honored for 20 years of service to the District

OAKLAND, Calif. (Dec. 17, 2018) – The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees elected new officers for 2019 at its annual organizational meeting held on Dec. 11, 2018.

Honorable Julina Bonilla, representing Area 7, was elected president, and, Karen Weinstein, Ph.D. who represents Area 6, was elected vice-president. Jowel C. Laguerre, chancellor of the District, was elected board secretary. Meanwhile, newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss (Area 5) was sworn in while outgoing Trustee William “Bill” Riley, who served as vice-president in 2018, was honored for his 20 years of board service to the District.

Bill Withrow (Area 1), Meredith Brown (Area 2), Linda Handy (Area 3), Nicky González Yuen (Area 4), and student trustees Aisha Gordon and Nick Galan continue to serve on the nine-member governing board.

“I want to thank my constituents and community for the opportunity to serve you,” said PCCD Board of Trustees President Bonilla. “I am committed to ensure public oversight with the highest degree of integrity and as a community college alum, and I understand the life transforming impact community colleges impart. It is with this sense of value that I commit to improve fiscal oversight to ensure students are our number one priority.”

President Bonilla was elected to the Peralta Board of Trustees in 2014 and is a former Oakland elementary teacher, eventually moving into workforce development providing education and job training to young adults in Northern California. Bonilla is also the former Executive Director of the West Oakland Job Resource Center, where she managed the Oakland Army Base local hire Jobs Policy for the City of Oakland. Her community work and active member-ships include: Board President of Tradeswomen Inc., National Women’s Political Caucus-AN, and she served as a member of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board and co-chair of the Oakland Youth Council. Today, Bonilla is the Workforce Development Manager at the Port of Oakland. She is a community college graduate and received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Also during the meeting, both Bonilla and Hardy were sworn in for new terms on the board, along with newly elected Napoli-Abella Reiss, who defeated Riley during the election on Nov. 6, to represent Area 5, which includes Oakland’s Rockridge District and the City of Piedmont.

Napoli-Abella Reiss has been an educator within the California Community College System for more than 20 years, as well as a vocal advocate for the arts, civic engagement, global education and equity issues in higher education at the local and state level. She has spent much of her academic work researching African-American and Latino/a students’ success rates and has worked to increase success and persistence through pathway and learning communities at her own college through Global Education initiatives and Pipeline projects. Napoli-Abella Reiss has been very active in governance as vice-president of the West Valley Academic Senate and on many committees of the State Academic Senate (ASCCC) in the areas of curriculum, governance and internal policies, legislation and advocacy, and education policies. She is a commissioner on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), and has been a board member on Oakland Leaf, an educational non-profit organization for Oakland youth, since 2012. Napoli-Abella Reiss holds bachelor’s degrees in Comparative Literature and in Art History from the University of California; a master’s in Art History from San Francisco State University; a doctorate in Art History from the University of California, Irvine; and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.

Riley was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1998. He served as president of the board twice and also as vice-president. He is a Merritt College alumnus and has served in public education for more than 30 years, including the Oakland, East Palo Alto/Ravenswood and San Ramon School Districts.

A month ago, Northern Alameda County voters approved Measure G, Peralta Community College Districts $800 million bond proposal, to facilitate improvements to facilities and new construction. Voters also approved Measure E, extending the current $48 parcel tax to supplement funding for core academic programs at the Peralta Colleges, which include Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. With the passage of the bond issue, the District will address several priorities over the next five-to-seven years. Many new facilities will be built or refurbished, including a new library at Laney College and a new child development center at Merritt College.

About the Peralta Community College District

Founded in 1964, the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is a collaborative community of colleges comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, Calif. The Peralta Colleges provide a dynamic multicultural learning environment offering accessible, high-quality educational programs and services, including two-year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs, to more than 35,000 students. PCCD is home to award-winning Peralta TV (Comcast ch. 27/28, AT&T ch. 99) and public radio KGPC 96.9 FM. To learn more about The Peralta Colleges, visit

PHOTO: Newly elected Trustee Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss is sworn into service by newly elected California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond as family and friends look on.

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Campuses now protected by the CampusShield Smartphone App

17 December 2018

The Department of General Services (DGS), Information Technology (IT), in collaboration with Peralta Police Services (PPS), has deployed a new security mobile app for everyone to reach the District Police Dispatch Center. For the step-by-step guideline on how to install this FREE “CampusShield” app on your mobile devices (download at IOS Apple Store and Android Google Play), click here. A geo-fence has been built around each college and the surrounding freeways and any call from the colleges will be routed to Peralta Police main dispatch phone number at (510) 466-7236. Any call outside the geo-fence will be routed thought the Global Positioning (GPS) to 911call centers system for immediate response in the city where the call is initiated.

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Facebook Digital Marketing Program – Apply here!

15 November 2018

Level UP ↑ your business with Peralta and Facebook

Calling all entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profit organizations!!!


Peralta is partnering with Facebook to launch a Digital Marketing Program in January 2019! This exciting 16-week pilot program is designed to give small business owners, entrepreneurs, and non-profits the critical training needed to market their business in order to grow and compete in today’s fast-changing global environment. 

To demonstrate their commitment, Facebook is offering scholarships to participate as well as Ad Credits to advertise your business or organization on their global platform at no cost to you!


Space is limited, so apply today!



  1. Please fill out this form : Pilot Program application
  2. Print, sign, and date the application
  3. Email the application to by December 15th!
  4. You can also mail the form to: Peralta Community College District, Attn: Strong Workforce, 333 East 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94606
Peralta-Facebook Partnership v3-2

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Applications for Spring 2019 are now available!

5 November 2018

Great news:


Applications for Spring 2019 classes at the Peralta Colleges are now available!

Click Here to Apply!

Spring 2019 Enrollment Dates:

Priority Enrollment Appointments: begin November 13

Continuing Student Enrollment Appointments: begin November 16

New & Returning Student Open Enrollment: begins December 03

High School Student Enrollment: begins December 10

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Transfer Opportunity for CIS, Math and Physics Majors

13 March 2018


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College Notes: Black History Month highlighted at Peralta Colleges

20 February 2018

A detail is shown from one of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland's handmade quilts that will be on display at Laney College throughout February in honor of Black History Month. A detail is shown from one of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland’s handmade quilts that will be on display at Laney College throughout February in honor of Black History Month.


Midwinter is usually a time for hunkering down. Not so at our local community colleges, where February is one of the busiest months of the year.


There are a plethora of events at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College this month in commemoration of Black History Month. To read more about them, check out the latest College Notes article in the East Bay Times : link


If you have a story you would like me to feature in the column, please email

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EJ Holowicki – Why I love Berkeley City College

9 February 2018


The renowned E.J. Holowicki, sound designer for Pixar and Lucasfilm, who has been nominated eight times for sound editing awards has come to Berkeley City College to share his experiences with Multimedia students!


Great sound design can mask poor performances and build suspense and drama. Sound hits us on a gut level and transforms our emotional response to a story. The sound design class at Berkeley City College is open to all. With a great mix of students that are both working industry professionals (like Dolby) and sound enthusiasts that just want to understand the concepts of sound better.


Berkeley City College, one of California’s 114 community colleges, is located at 2050 Center Street between Shattuck Avenue & Milvia Street in downtown Berkeley, in one of the world’s great education centers. In August 2006, the college moved to a newly constructed six-story, 165,000 square foot urban campus, only one-and-one-half blocks from the University of California at Berkeley. The college is part of the Peralta Community College District which includes College of Alameda, Laney and Merritt colleges.



For more information on the Sound Design or Multimedia courses and to sign up for classes, please visit:


For more information on the Peralta Community College District and our other colleges, please visit:

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Report to our Community from Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees

30 January 2018


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

We welcomed the New Year and returning students, while rededicating ourselves to serving our learning community at the regularly scheduled Board of Trustee meeting on January 23, 2018. The Trustees will provide these regular updates to our partners in community organizations, business, labor, government and neighborhoods across the East Bay, so that we may continue to work together to improve student success.

Facilities Master Plan Draft

Trustees accepted the Draft Facilities Master Plan (FMP), with the goal of continuing to provide a quality learning and working environment. Collaborative efforts by administrators, faculty, staff and students assessed the District’s current and future needs. Technology and accessibility improvements coupled with necessary electrical and utility upgrades drive many of the projects. Kelle Lynch McMahon, Interim Director of Capital Projects, was joined by Suniya Malhotra, project manager with Steinberg Hart Architects, to present the Plan. Highlights presented for each College include:

  • Berkeley City College, Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, President: building out the third floor of the recently acquired Milvia Street property; reconfiguring the main building on Center Street
  • College of Alameda, Dr. Tim Karas, President: replacing the Aviation and Automotive/Diesel Complexes and building a Performing Arts Center
  • Laney CollegeTammeil Gilkerson, President and Stephen Corlett, Laney College facilities chair: adding a new STEAM Center and new Library Learning Resource Center
  • Merritt College, Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, President: renovating five buildings, replacing the Horticulture complex and adding a Kinesiology Physical Fitness area
  • Other: Renovating the 860 Atlantic Avenue building in Alameda to support the new Peralta Genomics Institute 

21st Century technology has changed teaching and learning requirements. New pedagogy calls for smart classrooms, upgraded libraries, and improved lecture, laboratory, and office space, as well as enhanced safety and environmental impact features. Under the Plan, each College will be upgraded, and facilities brought on line or improved.

Check out plans and drawings on our website.

Auditor’s Report

Vavrinek, Trine & Day LLP, the District’s auditing firm, presented the 2016-17 audit, a snapshot of the June 2017 year-end financial position, including accounting adjustments. The audit does not reflect measures that Peralta has implemented since June 30, 2017.

Trustee Bill Withrow commended Finance and Budget staff for addressing complex issues, and Trustees Julina Bonilla and Karen Weinstein encouraged continued progress in tracking expenditures and enrollment. The auditors review financial management annually, as well as compliance with state and federal laws. The District achieved an “unmodified” or highest rating in all but one category, owing to unpaid student debt. Throughout the recession, students had a higher rate of non-payment, and while the District continues to collect tuition and fees wherever possible, it was necessary to write off approximately $6 million in student debt dating back to 2009.

Despite this fact, our Peralta Colleges finished the year with a positive fund balance.

The audit’s good news is that our fund balance is healthier than previously thought. This reflects the prudent stewardship of the Office of Finance and Administration. At the same time, we recognize we need to continue to make needed improvements.

Read the complete Auditor’s report for June 30, 2017.

Water Career Pathways Consortium

During the recent drought, we learned just how important water resources and the systems that deliver them are to our region. In partnership with the West-Valley Mission Community College District, Peralta Colleges will receive a $150,000 grant to engage East Bay employers, including EBMUD, the Port of Oakland, school districts, and others in developing learning and employment opportunities for our students.

In memoriam

The Board adjourned in respectful memory of Phyllis Jones, a respected, long-time Peralta employee, and John Steiner, a Professor of Biology at College of Alameda.

Our next Board of Trustees meeting will be February 27, 2018. View the agenda at

* * * * 

If you would like more information about the Peralta Community College District Governing Board, please visit or email

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Romaneir Johnson appointed Peralta Community College District Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration

29 January 2018


The Peralta Colleges is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Romaneir Johnson to the position of Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration for the four-college district that includes Berkeley City College, College of Alameda and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland.


Of her new appointment, Ms. Johnson says: “As I approach a new and exciting opportunity to serve Peralta Community College District constituents, a quote from Alan Greenspan comes to mind: ‘It has been my experience that competency in mathematics, both in numerical manipulations and in understanding its conceptual foundations (accounting), enhances a person’s ability to handle the more ambiguous and qualitative relationships that dominate our day-to-day financial decision-making.’”


Romaneir Johnson was the State of Michigan’s Executive Director of the Financial Review Commission (FRC), which provides financial oversight of the city of Detroit’s finances. She was appointed by the Treasurer of the State of Michigan to implement programs pursuant to Public Act 181 of 2014. In part, Ms. Johnson oversees the finances of the Detroit Public Schools Community District in order to help ensure that the District is in compliance with applicable legislative statutes and administrative policies.


Prior to becoming Executive Director of the FRC, Romaneir has held a myriad of roles that range from Director of Finance to Chief Financial Officer. She has many years of experience in challenging times strategically leading deficit districts from K-12, Universities, and Community Colleges to becoming fiscally sound through budget cuts, budget realignment and negotiation of contracts. She has extensive experience leading teams of highly experienced financial professionals that were responsible for ensuring proficient financial reporting, compliance with regulatory standards and regulations; production of accurate and timely financial statements, and the creation of various revenue and budget reports..


Romaneir earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the Davenport University.


Romaneir Johnson

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

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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: , , , , ,

  • Peralta Colleges

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