Happy Fall Term . . .

Didn't we have a fabulous October?  Warm days and cold nights . . . my plants don’t know whether to hibernate or bloom. There's nothing like those sunny fall days full of sun. I enjoyed walking around campus looking for leaves to crunch.  Does anyone remember doing that when you were a kid? Now the time has changed and daylight is short. Here are some ideas on how to add to short bursts of activity to your day:
  • Use your commute to do some extra walking. Park in a lot far from your office.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator, at least for a few floors.
  • Suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk, inside or outside the building.
  • Go the extra distance when possible: Get your coffee on another floor (use the stairs) or use the restroom that's the farthest from your office.
  • If you need to speak to a coworker, walk to that person's office or station rather than using e-mail or the phone.
  • Use your morning and afternoon breaks to take quick 15-minute walks.
Over the last year that I have been holding employee feedback sessions, communication seems to have improved, especially in our use of e-mail. Thanks everyone for your help in improving communication. I expect to have another feedback session late this term, so look for an invitation from me. People are selected at random. I look forward to your feedback as we work to improve SWOCC. Keep in mind there are lots of events ahead to engage with each other. Van Jam is coming, 12 Days of Celebration in December, and our Holiday Party on December 6th. I look forward to seeing all of you at these events.

Finally, in my attempt to be sustainable, one of my long-term goals is to produce a video version of our Annual Report. In order for this to happen, we need to know what is happening on campus and in the classroom, so that the media department can capture the events on video when they are happening. Please let the media department know of any important, memorable or just plain fun events that you are involved in. The media department can also help you with video footage that you or your students can use for their e-portfolios.

To watch a short 'end-of-the-year' video the guys put together for the Annual Report this year click here:

Thank you Brenda Rogers for this
fabulous photo capturing one
reason why Southwestern
is such a special place.


Thank you for your attendance at Fall Inservice! 
Attendance was up by 9% over Fall 2012.
How much can we increase that by at Winter Inservice on January 2nd?

"90% of success is just showing up." - A Vince Lombardi quote that I use to share with my students.


Be Well!
Here are some tips for living better. Something we all want to do.


Are you confused about all that happened in the last legislative session? Fifteen bills passed (see attached document) that affect community colleges. The new P-20 structure starts July 1, 2014. Community Colleges move from the State Board of Education (SBE) to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). Ben Cannon, former advisor to Governor Kitzhaber is the Executive Director of HECC.

More information is found here:

Achieving the Dream at Southwestern - Update

We spent last year reviewing student performance data and creating an implementation plan based on three initiatives already under development or consideration by Writing and Math departments and the Student Life Director. These initiatives address many (but not all) of the main barriers to success that most of our students face.  The data indicate that if we can keep a student through the first four terms of attendance, there is a high probability of completion.
Fall Term 2013 Reminders:
Mid Term Grading
A reminder to faculty to please use Mid Term Grading. It is our Early Alert System. Please follow-up with your advisees/students who get an early alert notification. We must strive to “close the loop” by checking in with these students to get them to respond to the Early Alert and improve their performance. A caring staff member who reaches out to students is often the difference between success and failure.
Advising Tips
Introduce yourself and make yourself available. Be assertive and send reminders to students who fail to seek you out.  Please discourage students from withdrawing from courses they are “concerned about” and encourage them to work out their concerns with the professor. Too many students withdraw from courses prematurely without talking to the faculty member to see exactly where the grade is. If you want some ideas on great advising, ask Carolyn Byrd to show you her Advising Syllabus.
Support the Writing and Math Initiatives
Tell your students of the value of intellectual struggle and help them set expectations for working hard and struggling to gain success. Support the Math and Writing faculty and the importance of their curriculum to the future success of the struggling student. Support students in their struggles but challenge them to persevere and strive to complete and succeed.

And . . . In case you haven't seen the ATD Commit-2-Complete
(We are never ever ever giving up on students) Video you can watch it here:

Community Colleges Train the Nation's Health Care Workforce

I wanted to share with you all two fascinating articles from the October/November issue of Community College Journal. Unfortunately the digital version of the publication isn't available, yet so I've provided scans that are attached.

Oregon Community Colleges Budget Picture 2013-2015:


Coach Ray Fabien recently received this e-mail message from former student Abel Romo.
A lot of us remember Abel and what a great pleasure it was to have him at Southwestern.

(He's the student on the front of the mobile welding lab.) 
Please e-mail me when you hear from our students!

Hey Coach Ray,
It has been a while. Just wanted to see how you've been.
I really miss the program and I hope everything has been well. How is your wife?
I'm doing great Coach. I currently live in Sparks, NV. I'm a manager for one of the new Samsung stores.
Just wanted to thank you for all you did for me when I lived in Coos Bay. You were a big reason why I am the person I am now.
Thank you so much Coach. I hope you get this email and I hope to hear from you.
Abel Romo


Thanks for your time and as always don't hesitate to get in touch with me

if you have anything you'd like to talk about. 


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Southwestern Oregon Community College is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
If you have questions or concerns please contact
me at x7401 or