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Posts Filed under Announcements

Announcement: Leadership Statement on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision

25 September 2020

Dear Peralta Colleagues,

On Wednesday, a Kentucky grand jury released their decision regarding the killing of Breonna Taylor during a police raid of her apartment earlier this year. The grand jury in Louisville charged only one of the police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. More importantly, the charges handed down were not related to her death.

In a year that has sharply focused our attention on injustice, this development is another evidentiary indictment of our criminal justice system. As an emergency-room technician and EMT trainee, Breonna’s background is similar to many people studying at our colleges, in the sciences, or one of the Allied Health Programs. Her death in her own apartment is a terrible tragedy, and the lack of consequences for her killer is another stain on our national character. We must stand in solidarity; we must declare that Black Lives Matter, and we must be better than this.

We know that this has been an extremely challenging time for our community, and we know more challenges will confront us in the days ahead. Many of us are still facing the dangers of wildfire or disease on top of the pressures of longstanding systemic injustice.

Yet in times of crisis, we can be made stronger by our human connections. Please take a moment to check in with your co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family. An encouraging word and a moment of focused listening can be an important source of support for those close to us.

Also, if you are experiencing difficulty, please be aware that all Peralta employees have access to free confidential counseling through our Employee Assistance Program administered by MHN. You may find information on page 8 of this document in the section entitled “Non-Emergency Care.” Call MHN toll-free at 1-800-535-4985, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a referral to a Participating Practitioner and to request authorization of treatment. TDD callers can dial 1-800-327-0801.

Please prioritize your health and safety during this difficult time.

With our best and sincere regards,

Dr. Carla Walter, Interim Chancellor, Peralta Community College District

Dr. Don Miller, Interim President, College of Alameda

Dr. Angélica Garcia, President, Berkeley City College

Dr. Rudy Besikof, Interim President, Laney College

Dr. David M. Johnson, President, Merritt College

Filed under: Announcements

Peralta Board Begins Contract Negotiations with Dr. Carla Walter to Become Interim Chancellor

24 September 2020

Oakland, CA — The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, and today is announcing their decision to begin contract negotiations with Dr. Carla Walter to become Interim Chancellor. The goal will be to place the contract for public review and approval at their regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

The announcement was made following an expedited search process that began in July 2020 and included input from students, faculty, classified professional staff, administrators, and community members. Dr. Carla Walter was previously the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration at the District and has been serving as Acting Chancellor since July 18, 2020.

“Dr. Carla Walter’s background in both education and finance is critical to the District’s path forward in improving our fiscal health,” said Board of Trustees President Julina Bonilla. “Serving as Acting Chancellor, the appointment of Dr. Walter as Interim Chancellor allows the District to maintain a seamless transition in CEO leadership as the Board initiates the permanent Chancellor search.”

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

Important announcement regarding Winter and Spring 2021 Semester

17 September 2020

Dear Peralta Community,

I am writing to provide an important announcement regarding the upcoming Winter session and Spring 2021 semester. We are facing a very delicate time with the ongoing crisis of COVID-19, and the recent wildfires that have ravaged our area. As such, our community remains in a declared public health emergency at the national, state and local level. Given the current health orders, safety protocols and restrictions, and expert health advice, it has been determined that the Peralta campuses (Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Merritt College and Laney College) and facilities will remain closed through May 29, 2021. All classes for the Winter session and Spring 2021 semester will be delivered via a remote/online learning environment. An exception has been made for a very limited number of laboratory and CTE classes that cannot be conducted via a remote/online platform. Please be assured that all face-to-face laboratory and CTE classes will be monitored closely, and must adhere to strict safety protocols and restrictions.

Student services will continue to be offered online, including Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, and Counseling. As is currently the case, personnel performing essential functions may be required to work on-site. If you need access to campus, please check with your supervisor or college President’s Office to make arrangements.

We will continue conferring with public health officials and make an announcement by March regarding the delivery of Summer 2021 classes, and potential continued campus closure.

While many of you may be eager to return to campus life, the health and safety of everyone in our community is the top priority at Peralta Community College District. Therefore, we will only return at the advice and guidance of public health officials, and when the necessary safety protocols are in place district-wide.

As you know, COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person. Everyone can help to prevent the spread by washing their hands often, staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a facial covering over your nose and mouth, and cleaning and disinfecting areas.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Administrators, Classified Staff and Faculty that have remained dedicated throughout this challenging time. We are truly a remarkable community.

If you require any support with your employment or benefits needs, please contact Chanelle Whittaker, Interim Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Employee Relations at cwhittaker@peralta.edu.

The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are available at the Safe Peralta website

All my best, and please be well! 

 

Dr. Carla Walter 

Acting Chancellor, Peralta Community College District 

Filed under: Announcements

Peralta Executive Leadership Statement

31 May 2020

The world watched as Mr. George Floyd lay dying an excruciatingly slow death as a Police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – an eternity if you are simply trying to breathe.  By now, most of us have seen this video and have had the experience of watching someone die – invoking a kind of anguish that is inconsolable.

We want to acknowledge that pain and anguish.  As a community, we are in the midst of responding to a pandemic that has already killed more than 100,000 people in the United States (disproportionately, black and brown people) and we have mobilized our institutional resources to continue to carry out the mission of the district – to continue to empower and transform the community through education.

However, the killing of Mr. Floyd reminds us that long before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had another epidemic, the legally sanctioned and systematically structured brutality and destruction of black people – people of the African diaspora.  And each “outbreak” of this epidemic – whether it is started by being black and jogging, shopping, driving, or birdwatching, re-opens the wounds and intractable pain of longstanding racism.

We invite you to share ideas you may have that support us all in learning and growing in this space of racial literacy and critical consciousness.  We are committed to the responsible use of our positions to support the Peralta Community College District family and we invite you to do the same.  You may consider:

  • Using your professional or academic expertise to convene forums and panels that provide discussion, exploration, and reflection on structural, historical, and systemic racism.
  • Sharing a list of helpful resources.
  • Sharing ideas on how we may support the community and engage in anti-racist efforts.
  • Accessing your MHN Employee Assistance Program (Company code: Peralta) services.

Ms. Kaitlin Smith, marketing and communications writer for Facing History and Ourselves, recently posted a Facing History Blog entitled “Bearing Witness: The Death of George Floyd”.  In it, she invites one to “…explore the resources below as you process this tragedy and the broader histories of violence in which it is embedded:”

Our students and community deserve the leadership that we all can bring to bear on this challenge.  Reach out to your respective leaders if you need us or have ideas for us.  We want you to know, that with every ounce of our being, we are here with and for you as members of the Peralta Community College District family.

Signed,

  • Dr. Siri Brown
  • Dr. Angélica Garcia
  • Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson
  • Dr. David Johnson
  • Mr. Mark Johnson
  • Dr. Tim Karas
  • Mr. Antoine Mehouelly
  • Dr. Leigh Sata
  • Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud
  • Delisle Warden, JD
  • Chanelle Whittaker, JD

Additionally, across the district messages were shared responding to this terrible tragedy, touching on the larger issues that it raises. Below are letters sent from the chancellor and the four college presidents.

Chancellor Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud
Berkeley City College President Dr. Angélica Garcia
College of Alameda President Dr. Timothy Karas
Laney College President Dr. Tammeil Y. Gilkerson
Merritt College President Dr. David M. Johnson

Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News, Press Release

Peralta Community College District Partners with Local Nonprofits to Provide Thousands of Meals to Students

26 May 2020

Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and World Central Kitchen provide resources and logistics to offer meals at three PCCD colleges

OAKLAND, CA – In response to dramatically increased food insecurity from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peralta Community College District forged a partnership with two nonprofits – Oakland’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and the World Central Kitchen – to provide thousands of meals to students at three of its four campus locations. The Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation underwrites the cost of the meals, while the World Central Kitchen helps provide food delivery and distribution logistics.

While the District’s four colleges, College of Alameda, Berkeley City College, Laney College and Merritt College, have long offered food assistance programs, the District recognized the need to quickly ramp up its capacity to address the growing need of its student population.

“It became clear early on that some people in our community might need additional support to weather this difficult time,” said Chancellor Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud. “Thanks to the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and the World Central Kitchen, we have been able to bring in the additional resources to keep our community fed. I’d like to give special thanks to Peralta Colleges Foundation Executive Director LaNiece Jones for helping make this new venture possible.”

Laney College and the College of Alameda launched their partnerships with both organizations this past April. Merritt College will launch its food pantry this coming Thursday (May 28), and discussions are currently underway for a partnership at the District’s Berkeley City College.

“We are so grateful to the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and the World Central Kitchen for the work they are doing to keep our community from going hungry,” said Peralta Colleges Foundation Executive Director LaNiece Jones. “I’d also like to thank all of the District staff at the colleges who are working hard every day to ensure these meals are distributed to students.”

According to Jose Corona, who heads Programs & Partnerships for Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation,  “The Peralta District does an amazing job of serving young adults, and we want to make sure that we do our part in supporting their students and families during this unprecedented time.”

The Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation was founded by Stephen and Ayesha Curry to end childhood and family hunger in Oakland, and provides critical funding to a variety of local organizations that provide food and distribution logistics, including the World Central Kitchen. Celebrity chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 to provide meals in response to natural disasters, and has served 19 million meals since its founding.

Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, Peralta Colleges Foundation, Press Release. Tagged: ,

College Campuses and District Office to remain closed through June 2020

27 March 2020

The Peralta Community College District college campuses and the district office will remain closed through June 30, 2020.  Personnel performing essential functions may be required to work on site.   

 

Classes that can be conducted remotely will resume on Monday, April 6, 2020. Faculty will continue the excellent work of converting face-to-face classes into remote instructional formats. Also, important student services will be provided remotely.  Classes and servicethat cannot be transitioned to a remote format will not be able to proceed until the campuses reopen.  We will continue to explore the possibility of resuming instruction of programs that prepare essential sector critical infrastructure workers identified in Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20 but cannot be converted to a remote modality.  

 

Thank you to the many administrators, faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly to transition on this unprecedented scale.   

 

I realize this is a difficult situation. We will do all we can to keep this community safe and support student educational needs, during this pandemic and into the future.  

 

Take good care, 

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor 

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

COVID-19: March 20, 2020 Update from Chancellor Stanback Stroud

20 March 2020

Following Alameda County’s “Shelter-in-Place” order, Governor Newsom has now issued the same directive statewide.  The PCCD Emergency Management Team has been convening via Zoom every day to respond to the emergency and facilitate institutional and academic continuity.

I would like to thank those of you who have stepped up in support of the effort.  Your flexibility in these uncertain times has been invaluable as we navigate these paths. Your commitment and perseverance in service to students and the community is inspirational.

Please be reminded, all classes are canceled March 23-April 5, 2020. Remote instruction is scheduled to resume on April 6, 2020.

Over the next two weeks, faculty will continue the excellent work of converting face-to-face classes into remote instructional formats. Non-instructional faculty and staff will continue to provide important student services using remote formats.

Thank you to the many faculty and staff who have been working with us to transition on this unprecedented scale.  We will continue to disseminate information related to the many details that are being worked out in order to maintain institutional and academic continuity.

The health and safety of members of the Peralta community remains our top priority. We will continue to make sure our decisions are informed by the latest information from local, state, and national health authorities as well as the state chancellor’s office.

Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has projected, based on data from the California Department of Public Health, that the need for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will continue well into June and perhaps beyond.   Vice Chancellor Siri Brown and her team, the college Vice Presidents of Instruction, the District and College Academic Senate leaders, Distance Education coordinators and leads are exploring options for laboratory, career education, and activity classes.  Thank you to the more than 35 science discipline faculty who participated in the Labster demonstration as they consider remote laboratory instruction.

We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are available at https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus.

Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

Thank you for the incredible job you are doing as we respond to the emerging information.

Take good care,

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor

Filed under: Announcements, Peralta News. Tagged: ,

COVID-19 Update: Information For Students

18 March 2020

Dear Students,

As the majority of Peralta Colleges faculty (College of Alameda, Berkeley City College, Laney and Merritt College) prepare to transition their classes to a remote delivery format, please know that you have options and support during the challenging times we face with the COVID-19 public health crisis.  Note that this information applies to partial closure and full closure conditions for our college communities.

The latest information about COVID-19 at the Peralta District always available here: https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus/

Classes Resume April 6, 2020

  • We are working hard to convert as many classes to a remote form of instruction by April 6th. The majority of the classes will be taught through “Canvas”. Canvas is the name of the online classroom software that is used at the Peralta Colleges. Prior to April 6th, faculty are receiving training, preparing to teach online and we are exploring ways to convert as many disciplines as possible to an online format.
  • For classes that CANNOT be moved to a remote form of instruction, you will receive notification with details and next steps before April 6th.

 

Student Support for Learning Online

  • Student Resources for Distance Education: Canvas https://peralta.instructure.com/courses/442
  • Low Cost Internet: https://foundationccc.org/What-We-Do/Student-Success/California-Connects
  • Comcast is offering 2 months free internet to low-income households https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19
  • Be sure to communicate with your faculty if you are not familiar with online learning or need additional support to be successful in the class
  • Make sure you check your Peralta email daily. To forward your Peralta email to your gmail or yahoo see here for instructions
  • Check your email daily so that you don’t miss communication from your instructors or other key announcements
  • We are working to increase our online accessibility and support for DSPS students who may have concerns about moving to remote forms of instruction. Please email your counselor and instructor with concerns

Online Tutoring

  • Peralta’s Online Learning Platform (Canvas) has free Online Tutoring that may help students be successful in the transition to online learning

Pass/No Pass Grading Option

Many classes can allow a student to change to a Pass/No Pass grade option. This may provide you with a sense of ease in this transition. Please contact your instructor(s) to see if this is an option for your course. Note that choosing this option may impact whether or not the UC or other 4-year colleges accept a course for transfer. It is recommended that you contact your counselor who can assist you in making this decision. For the current spring 2020 corona virus related emergency, this option may only be available for late start classes.

Excused Withdrawal

Our hope is that each student can successfully finish this semester. If not, please consider the following options and know that you can attend classes this summer and fall—enrollment begins April 6, 2020.

  • “Excused Withdrawal” (EW) occurs when a student is permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific events beyond the control of the student affecting his or her ability to complete a course(s). This can include illness of the student or someone they care for (documentation is required). It can also include a student statement that they are unable to transition from a face-to-face class to an online learning format
  • Excused withdrawals are not counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations.
  • Excused withdrawals are not counted toward the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt
  • Excused withdrawals do not result as F grades on student transcripts. Instead an “EW” will be on the students’ permanent record and transcript

Incomplete Grade:

Incomplete Grades (I) may be provided to students where faculty agree and if you have successfully (C or better) completed this class by (2/3 or 75% of the semester).  If the faculty agrees to give an I grade, there is a form that must be completed and signed by the faculty and student. The form must describe what course work the student is to complete to replace the I grade with a final course grade. An I grade allows students one year to complete the work. Remember, that not all faculty can or will agree to give an I grade.

Waiving of Some Financial Aid Regulations

The federal government has relaxed Financial Aid penalties in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. Absence and a decrease in units due to illness and/or COVID-19 related issues might not negatively impact a students’ financial aid. For more information or for questions about your particular situation, please go to the financial aid office at your college. More information is also here.

Graduation and Transfer

More information will be sent about alternative formats for graduation ceremonies and the impact of the emergency on students seeking to transfer this fall.

For additional information on any of the above items, please email Dr. Siri Brown, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, at sbrown@peralta.edu.

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

COVID-19 Update: Classes cancelled to April 6, 2020

16 March 2020

In light of the “shelter in place” directive issued earlier today by Alameda County, all classes at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College are cancelled from March 23, 2020 to April 6, 2020. All four college campuses as well as the District office, currently closed for Spring Break, will continue to be closed to April 6, 2020.

All employees will continue to work remotely while the college campuses and district offices are closed. Employees (including student workers) will maintain their respective schedule and continue to be paid during this time.

Additionally, travel on behalf of the district is now suspended, including previously approved travel plans.

Services for students will be available following Spring Break, beginning on March 23 through the April 6 campus closure period, but are offered online and not via in-person contact.

The health and safety of members of the Peralta community remains our top priority. Peralta Community College District will continue to follow the guidelines and best practices for institutions of higher education as recommended by the Alameda County Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are always available at https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus/. Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

Thank you for the incredible job you are doing as we respond to the emerging information.

If you have questions, please contact Mark Johnson at markjohnson@peralta.edu.

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

COVID-19 Update: Campuses Closed March 14-21, 2020

13 March 2020

A Message from Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud to the Peralta Community:

Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Merritt College, and the District office will be closed starting tomorrow, Saturday March 14, 2020 through Saturday, March 21, 2020.  All employees are asked to work remotely while the college campuses and district offices are closed. All employees (including student workers) will maintain their respective schedule and continue to be paid during this time. 

 

I recognize that there are some jobs that cannot be done remotely. If this applies to you, please contact your manager promptly for guidance and instruction. 

 

Student services will continue to be available remotely (online or via telephone) during the campus closures. 

 

The health and safety of members of the Peralta community remains our top priority. Peralta Community College District will continue to follow the guidelines and best practices for institutions of higher education as recommended by the Alameda County Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

 

The latest updates from Peralta regarding COVID-19 are always available at https://web.peralta.edu/health-services/coronavirus/. Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community. 

 

Thank you for the incredible job you are doing as we respond to the emerging information.  

A PDF version of this announcement is available here.

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

  • Peralta Colleges

    Saturday 26 September 2020
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