Nov. 26, 2013
Food Drive Offers Mutual Benefits
The MiraCosta College Food Pantries, located on both the Oceanside and San Elijo campuses, offer free emergency food services to struggling students. Donations keep the pantry shelves stocked. Food drives are a great way for campus clubs to demonstrate leadership and make an impact.
“We put together brown bag lunches that consist of canned goods, snacks, and juice, if available,” said Student Services Interim Coordinator Bea Palmer. “We are often able to provide food for a day or two, depending on our supplies, to help the students while they obtain other food resources within the community.”
Students who seek emergency food services face a variety of hardships including homelessness, unemployment, unexpected expenses and poverty. “We have also helped veterans that are waiting on their GI Bill benefits and can’t buy groceries. Although the reasons for being hungry vary, they all have one common thread that connects them—a desire to accomplish their educational goals,” said Palmer. “As of today we’ve had 90 student contacts for Food Pantry services. The ages range from 18-59 years of age.”
“I was poor and had only $85 per month to spend on food. (The food pantry) helped me feel less panicked about being poor. It made me feel more secure knowing that I was not going to starve. It was convenient because it was located at school. It helped me feel secure about surviving and helped me stretch my budget,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous.
“The food pantry is sustained through the donations from staff, faculty, students, and community,” said Palmer. Club Biomed raised over 700 pounds of donations during the Thanks for Giving Food Drive, a campus-wide food drive held on the Oceanside campus.
For further information contact Stephanie Price at StephaniePriceLifeCoach@gmail.com or (760) 283-7681.
By Stephanie Price
Nov. 20, 2013
Veterans Services to host workshop
Veterans Services is hosting a workshop on Friday, for all veterans to learn about the process of adjusting to college life. The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon in Computer Lab OC1201 on the Oceanside campus. They will talk about a variety of topics including financial aid and academic benefits available to veterans. Veteran Services requests that those who plan to attend call (760) 795-6680 to reserve a seat.
Nov. 18, 2013
Nominate a staff member for an award
Every year, MiraCosta College students are welcome to nominate staff members for the Associated Student Government’s Outstanding Faculty & Staff Awards. Awards will be presented to one member each from tenured faculty, associate faculty and the classified staff. Students can recommend a staff or faculty member by downloading and filling out the appropriate forms here or picking one up at the Student Activities Office by Nov. 22. The winners will be announced on May 20 at commencement.
Nov. 8, 2013
Drop your course deadline approaching
Friday is the last day students are able to drop a semester-long course with a “W” grade. For short term courses, students are advised to look at their class roster or page 13 of the MCC class schedule for the “W” deadline. Dropping after Friday will result in an F grade. Students can drop a course by accessing SURF.
“I came to MiraCosta because…” sign grabs students’ attention
On Nov. 5, a sign titled “I came to MiraCosta because…” was hung by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in various hallways on the Oceanside and the Community Learning Center (CLC) campuses. According to the MCC website, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness works to encourage student success and learning by giving resources and various support.
The sign repeated this prompt multiple times on the sign and had a black line following it for students to fill in. Within a day, every line and various white spaces were covered with reasons. Student Debbie Enverga writes down her reason for coming to MCC.
Nov. 7, 2013
Give the gift of giving to others this holiday season
November 9, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation needs help with their Encinitas Oil & Filter Exchange Event. Assist with accepting oil and filters, providing vouchers, and overall set-up and break down. For more information, contact Erin Tessier at (760) 436-7986 x223 or email@example.com.
November 9, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: The City of Oceanside Parks & Recreation Division needs volunteers for the upcoming Heritage Park Fall Festival. For more information, contact Eileen Turk at (760) 435-5529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 13, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: South Oceanside Elementary School is having its Annual Native American Day. For more information, contact Heather Hurley at email@example.com.
November 23, 9:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation needs volunteers for their Encinitas Composting Workshop. Assist with registrations, surveys, and overall set-up and break down. Contact Erin Tessier at (760) 436-7986 x223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
November 23, 25, 26, 27, 28: The annual O’side Turkey Trot is here again! Various volunteer opportunities are available, including goodie bag stuffing, pre-registration, and helping on the day of the event. Please go to http://www.osideturkeytrot.com/volunteer.html to register or to learn more about volunteer needs. Additionally, if you are planning to participate in the run on Thanksgiving, please consider selecting the MiraCosta College Student Food Pantry as your charity of choice. All proceeds to the Student Food Pantry will provide emergency food assistance for students in need.
December 7, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Each year the City of Carlsbad transforms Leo Carrillo Ranch into a wonderland of glittering lights. Volunteers are needed to help families with pony rides, cookie decorating, and photos with Santa. For more information, contact Natalie at email@example.com or call (760) 602-7511.
December 14, 17, 18: North County Lifeline need holiday volunteers on the following dates and time:
- December 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Holiday Food Baskets. Help fill 150 food baskets for needy clients this holiday season.
- December 17, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Toy Distribution & Give-A-Way. Help sort and distribute toys to kids in need.
- December 18, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Toy Distribution & Give-A-Way. Help sort and distribute toys to kids in need. Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Melissa Alcazar at (760) 842-6254 or Kenia Valdovinos at (760) 842-6273.
- December 18, 19, 20: TERI serves individuals with austism and other intelluctual differences. TERI needs help backstage for their TERI Players Annual Holiday Benefit Performance at the STAR Theater. Help is needed on the following dates and times:
- December 18, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.. Tech rehearsal.
- December 19, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.. Dress rehearsal.
- December 20, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.. Evening Performance.
For more information, contact Greg Snaer at (760) 721-1706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2013 – February 2014: Make a difference in the life of a kid. Coach your own team of girls or boys between 6-14 years old. From November through February, there will be practice once a week and games on Saturdays. To learn more, contact Sue at email@example.com or (760) 434-2906.
The Community Resource Center in Encinitas is always looking for students to help out in their food pantry, Monday-Friday 9-5, and in their Thrift Store, Monday-Sunday 9-5. No weekly commitment needed. Contact Laura Sweeney at (760)-753-1156 ext. 1321 for more information.
North County Community Services needs student volunteers in the Gardens at North River Road every Monday, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., and the second Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.. Contact Abby Weglarz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (760) 471-5483 for more information.
Nov. 6, 2013
ASG reports on CCC General Assembly
On Nov. 1 the Associated Student Government participated in the bi-annual Student Senate for California Community Colleges General Assembly in Monterey, California. According to the SSCCC website, the General Assembly is presented as an opportunity for campus-governments to come together and discuss the organization of the SSCCC and debate ways to improve California community colleges and solve multi-district problems.
“The conference began with some inspiring thoughts from keynote speaker Dr. Beth Smith (President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges). Dr. Smith emphasized the importance of using parliamentary procedures such as ‘request for information,’ which asks the author of a resolution to provide more clarity so that voting delegates can make the best decisions when representing their student body. There were 42 resolutions, but the wording of some resolutions had no specific focus. Voting delegates used this parliamentary tool quite a bit, which produced very good debates,” stated Antoine Stevens-Phillips, ASG Vice President of Legislative Affairs. According to Stevens-Phillips, the following resolutions were the most relevant to MCC.
(5.01) S13: LEED Green Associates Program
Submitted by Nathan Wofford, El Camino College
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges direct the Student Senate Council to work with local ASO’s to pilot LEED Green Associates Programs throughout the system.”
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges advocates the continued funding of LEED Green Associates Programs so that students are able to take the examination and receive the credential.”
(7.01) F13: Mental Health Services for Trans Identified Students
Submitted by Brennan Gonering, Riverside City College
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges shall advocate and encourage that community colleges research and implement gender identity training programs for at least one of any current counselors conducting therapy sessions at, or through, a community college.”
(21.01) F13: Awareness and Advocacy for Veteran Resource Centers
Aaron Pepin, Barstow Community College
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges encourages colleges to advocate for the creation of permanent Veterans Resources Centers on all 113 Community College Campuses adhering to proper college channels, which includes, but is not limited to; college administration, college student government, and general advocacy.”
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges advocates for on-site Veteran Resources Centers providing Student Veterans services for academic success, counseling services, and assistance for Soldiers transitioning into civilian life after discharge, and preparing them to pursue educational goals.”
(8.01) F13: Discouraging the Increase of Student Debt & Encouraging Full Funding From the State
Taynara Costa-Moura, Santa Monica College
“Resolved, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges acknowledges that financial aid in the form of loans is not a measure that focuses first and foremost on the learner.”
“Resolved, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges will not endorse legislative bills or administrative decisions that push students towards getting loans.”
“Resolved, the Student Senate for California Community Colleges will advocate for full funding from the State government as the most important solution to college affordability.”
(9.01) F13: Student Trustee Empowerment
John Fraser, Pasadena City College
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges support the introduction of legislation to guarantee that abilities which are currently considered privileges for student trustees become rights.”
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges support the introduction of legislation to grant each Student Trustee a full vote on each respective district governing board.”
“Resolved, that the Student Senate for California Community Colleges ensure that liability concerns forwarded to the organization are appropriately considered and addressed.”
Nov. 5, 2013
Professor collects for UNICEF
Professor Dara Perales of the Letters Department has completed her third annual UNICEF charity drive on the Oceanside campus. According to Perales, the drive was made possible by the support of over 10 fellow faculty members and five classes worth of students. “We have had a generally overwhelmingly positive response from students and participating faculty usually come to me for boxes,” stated Perales. According to Perales, the on-campus drive generated over four thousand dollars in the first two years. “I do it during the two weeks surrounding Halloween,” said Perales. She uses Blackboard to get the word out. According to Perales, if faculty or students want to participate next year they should keep their eyes open for the announcement. “UNICEF is one of the highest rated navigator charities. I am motivated to collect for UNICEF because it can make the poorest person feel like they can contribute,” stated Perales.
Nov. 4, 2013
Vet symposium aims for understanding
MiraCosta College will be hosting a series of events on Thursday and Friday to highlight the experiences of veterans transitioning from the battlefield to college life. Read more
Don’t take traditions too seriously
Nothing brings joy to my holiday season like soaking in all the love my family spreads around to make up for all the bullshit we dish out on Thanksgiving. Spending 364 days a year asking yourself why the world is full of so many crazies becomes much less daunting when you spend one day realizing nothing compares to the lunacy of your own kin. Read More
There’s lots of entertainment for the season at MCC
Click here to read about events MCC is hosting this holiday season.
How to study for finals 101
Click here for some tips on how to do well on your final.
HSP Goes to UCSD
On Oct. 25, the Honors Program took about thirty students to the UCSD campus for a transfer day. The university provided numerous workshops and presentations centered on the transfer experience and application process for the upcoming year. Read more
Read the latest from The Fuzz, Health Services, the Career Center, the Transfer Center and Scholarships here.
Oct. 29, 2013
FYE sells Halloween candy to raise funds
The First Year Experience Club sold out of 110 bags of Halloween candy on Tuesday, wrapping up the second of three days in which they have been working to raise money for field trips and club activities. Located outside the cafeteria, the club sold bags of candy costing $2 each. The club accepted donations from students as well. Members participating were Danny Orango, Jessica Pantoja, Montse Barrojas, Austin Steele, Erick Bautista, Chloe Herd and Vice President of the club Alfredo Ahumada.
Oct. 28, 2013
Men’s basketball team presents championship banner to Board of Trustees
On Oct. 22, the MiraCosta Community College District Board of Trustees was presented the 2012/13 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference basketball championship banner by the men’s basketball team and Head Coach and Athletic Director Patrick Conahan. The 2012/13 team ended their season with a 19-9 overall record and a record of 10-2 at the conference. Read more
Day of service honored at MCC
On Saturday, the Service Learning and Volunteer Center will be celebrating Make a Difference Day by leading volunteer projects at various locations in North County. The center is seeking 25 volunteers for each of the projects. Students or staff that would like to participate should visit the Service Learning and Volunteer Center on the Oceanside campus in room 3306 or call (760) 795-6616. Read more
This Season’s Scares to Share
For many people, dressing up and going trick-or-treating isn’t enough to satisfy their thirst for Halloween. Many special Halloween events have beckoned throughout October. Knott’s Scary Farm may now be sold out, and most of the biggest Halloween events and parties in downtown San Diego may have crashed their way through town. But if you haven’t made the journey this year, don’t worry. There are plenty of other places to go in our beloved San Diego County for a scary good time this Halloween that do not involve a long car drive or thick crowds at a converted amusement park. Read more
Read the latest from The Fuzz, Health Services, the Career Center, the Transfer Center and Scholarships here.
Oct. 21, 2013
Law attempts to clear pathways to transfer
On Oct. 10, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 440, modifying the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2010. The bill mandates all 112 California community colleges to meet prior established goals of creating programs for Associate degrees for transfer, in specified disciplines, by the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Read more
Shutdown shines light on lack of Presidential leadership
Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is not affordable and President Obama does not care. The drive to insure the estimated 15 percent of Americans without medical coverage has only shifted the medical marketplace into chaotic overdrive. Read more
iProducts stand up and rule the world
The use of mobile technology has become an increasing phenomenon among every age group. But what is mobile technology? The old definition back in 2001 was technology used for cellular communication. Anyone who hears that definition now, however, can say that some of the current mobile devices are no longer used for just phone calls. Internet, music, applications, games and more are all accessible at the touch of a screen or the push of a button. This increase in mobile computing didn’t just suddenly land in humanity’s lap though. Read more
Plan to Transfer? Don’t get Lost!
Read our guide to transfer here
HSP goes to the theatre
On Oct. 3, the Honors Scholar Program gathered twenty theatre-loving students to attend MiraCosta College’s performance of “The Matchmaker.” Every year, the program schedules four theatre nights to strengthen awareness of the arts and support the development of the Honors community. Before the play began, students met for a casual dinner and dessert soiree, while getting to socialize with new and current students in the program. After the show, Honors students met with Zed Villegas, who played ‘Cornelius Hackl,’ the determined worker who yearned for an adventure. Read more
Read the latest from The Fuzz, Health Services, the Career Center, the Transfer Center and Scholarships here.
On-Campus programming dominates the ASG budget
Throughout the 2013-2014 school year, there will be a number of events and programs on campus, at San Elijo, Oceanside and the CLC, that will be funded by the Associated Student Government. The ASG has authority over a $157,000 estimated annual budget. The proposed ASG Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 was published before the start of the fall semester and can be accessed on the ASG page on MCC’s website. Within are itemized expenses that the ASG Finance committee has agreed to undertake.
The $157,000 budget is mostly financed by student ID card sales. The estimated cost of ID card production, which is the ASG’s responsibility, is $5,500. ID card sales are projected to provide the ASG an estimated $150,000 of income for FY14. The ASG is expected to receive a $5,000 contribution from the bookstore fund, which itself is primarily funded by commission payments from Follett books. The bookstore budget can be viewed on page 21 of MCC’s Final Budget for FY14. The ASG also rents “contact tables” to off-campus entities for an estimated $2,000 in annual income.
The largest individual expense is on-campus programming like the complementary “College Hour” entertainment program which includes live entertainment and free food. The annual estimated expense for on-campus programming is $33,700. The expense is divided among campuses by the approximate number of students attending. Oceanside, with an estimated campus population of 10,000 sees the largest portion of the programming fund spent there at $8,000 per semester for an annual cost of $16,000. San Elijo, with an estimated campus population of 3,600 will require an estimated $12,100 annually for on-campus programming. The SEC will see an estimated $5,600 spent on programming there.
The college’s many clubs are to receive 21 percent of ID card revenue, an estimated $31,500 for FY14. Money is distributed among clubs based on membership size and by special request. The Chariot receives $1 from each ID card sold.
The ASG is expected to spend an estimated $18,500 in FY14 on travel and legislative affairs, which include conference attendance for ASG members and the ASG retreats held once a semester. An estimated $15,336.76 will be spent on Administrative costs, such as office supplies, print costs, equipment purchases, and wages and benefits for the ASG secretary. The ASG has proposed spending $7,900 on public relations activities. A guest speaker program is financed with $1,100.
A number of individual projects and activities are hosted and financed by the ASG throughout the year, including the Encuentros Leadership Conference, held on Oct. 5, and the upcoming Emerging Leaders Institute being held on the San Elijo campus Nov. 15 and 16. The estimated cost of such projects is $19,600 for FY14. The MCC Bus Voucher program is also included in this expense, costing the ASG an estimated $3,000.
The ASG has proposed to put aside $10,000 for scholarships for ASG members. An estimated total expense of $143,436.76 will leave the ASG with net income of $8,563.24 for FY14. Budget matters, including requests and amendments, are decided by the ASG Finance Committee on a monthly basis. The last meeting of the committee was scheduled for Oct. 8. The meeting did not make quorum, meaning there were not enough members present to conduct deliberation. -Oct. 14 2013
By Jason Gerdes, Editor-in-Chief
Grant paves way for the future of technology at MCC
The Community Services & Business Development Office has begun meeting with the Carlsbad Economic Development Manager and Director of Carlsbad to rent approximately 10-20,000 square feet of industrial space to establish a new Technology Career Institute.
According to Linda Kurokawa, Director of the Community Services & Business Development Office, this initiative is being funded by a federal grant. According to Kurokawa, who is also serving as lead on the grant, the award was made possible by her collaboration with Mimi Lively of the Grants Office along with a professional grant writer. “We had only five weeks to design the new TCI’s programs and complete the request,” stated Kurokawa, “We had to know exactly what curriculum we wanted to implement, we had to explain how we would evaluate our curriculum, even how we would evaluate our evaluation. We had to ensure our programs would be nationally recognized. We also have to track the success of our students after certification,” stated Kurokawa.
The grant is for $2.75 million and will fund the TCI for four years. It is part of a larger grant of $29 million being shared by 12 California Community Colleges. The entire grant is a part of a larger initiative called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program, which is intended to expand programs for unemployed workers. “The Community Services & Business Development Office is independently funded through our student fees, so this grant will really help us get things up and running to accommodate new students. We will be meeting with existing grantees for input on what worked, and what didn’t, for them. We hope to establish the premier tech training facility for existing and new workers in our district,” stated Kurokawa. “We will be offering programs designed for career mobility.”
The existing Manufacturing Machinist Technology Program will be the first curriculum to be launched at the new TCI. According to Kurokawa, the new TCI will expand the existing Machinist Program and establish new programs in Hydraulics, Electrical Mechanical Technician Training, Robotic Automation Technician Training and Programmable Logic Controller Training. “The most important aspect of this grant is how well we collaborate with local industry to guide the curriculum so our students will get hired,” stated Kurokawa. “Representatives from local industry are welcome to come to our classes and speak with the students. Representatives often come to graduation, and some students have even received job offers at graduation,” stated Kurokawa. “We don’t guarantee employment. We don’t have job placement. We help our students create connections in the community, I offer free resume training and Jim Molina provides leadership classes.” According to Kurokawa, 14 of 15 of the last class of graduates from the machinist program were hired by local industry. The fifteenth student has established his own business. “We have work skills programs that grew from the recession. The positive stories from our students were very motivating to provide similar opportunities for future classes. We were also approached from local industries requesting technician training programs. The maritime, biotech, and manufacturing industries are in desperate need of skilled workers. My hope is that MCC takes an ever increasing leading role to fill the skills gap by providing a well trained work force,” stated Kurokawa.
The entrance to the Community Services & Development Office is located on the south side of the administration building and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. thru Thu. and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fri. The office currently provides a number of certificate and work skills training programs that can are detailed on the office’s website, miracostatraining.com. Students who may be interested in attending the new TCI or pursuing any of the other programs offered by the office can call for an appointment to meet with Kurokawa at 760-795-6820. -Oct. 7, 2013
by JL Gerdes – Editor in Chief
Campus faculty reviews history of censorship
The Writing Center hosted a faculty panel discussion on censorship last Monday on the Oceanside campus. The panel was the first of three events being held by the Writing Center to celebrate Banned Books Week. The Writing Center and ASG will be co-hosting banned book events during college hour on Thursday at the Oceanside campus and Oct. 10 at the San Elijo campus. “We will have readings from ‘Tidepools,’ free book giveaways, and more,” said Denise Stephenson, Faculty Director of the Writing Center and panel host.
The faculty panel consisted of seven faculty members. Participating were: history professor and full-time faculty member Christopher Sleeper, Department Chair of Library Science Myla Stokes Kelly, astronomy professor and full-time faculty member Rica French, theater and film professor and full-time faculty member Eric Bishop, Faculty Director of Online Education Dr. Jim Julius, art professor and full-time faculty member Leah Cluff and Department Chair of Social Science Herschel Stern.
The panel members presented information regarding the evolution of censorship within each member’s area of profession.
Professor Sleeper presented a historical overview of the development of censorship. “The word ‘censor’ first came to being in the time of the Roman Republic. Censors were tasked with the accounting of people within the republic. Accounting included observations of ‘morality.’ Those deemed ‘un-roman’ were often forced to leave or killed,” said Sleeper.
Stokes Kelly took the podium to inform attendants of the policies and procedures in place at the college to handle challenges to collected materials. “We have had challenges in the past. Librarians follow a code for collection established by the American Library Association and the college has a library bill of rights to guide the review of challenged materials,” stated Stokes Kelly.
Professor French discussed the censorship of science. Focusing on the development of heliocentric thought, French explained the difficulties faced by early astronomers Galileo and Copernicus during their attempts to convince the political establishment to accept that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. “The church at the time enforced geocentrism, the idea that the planets and sun revolved around the earth,” stated French.
Professor Bishop spoke of the censorship of theater, emphasizing current issues regarding theater censorship in the world and at the college. “We always have to look at our selection before play season. I’m comforted to know we have done a few plays from the banned list,” stated Bishop. According to Bishop, theater is traditionally opposed by totalitarian governments, religion, forces of bigotry, and corporations. “These forces resist the free minded, challenging nature of theater,” said Bishop.
Dr. Julius discussed the censorship of the internet. “The internet is censored through the control of what can be accessed, published or viewed. The internet was held and controlled by the U.S. Military from the 1960’s until 1993. We like to think the internet is uncensored in the United States but there are constant challenges to this freedom. China has a national firewall and an internet army whose mission is to monitor all incoming and outgoing internet communications. Bills have been introduced in the United States to censor the internet, like PIPA and SOPA, and were defeated,” stated Dr. Julius.
Dr. Julius’ presentation on Internet censorship can be viewed online at tinyurl.com/censorshipmcc.
Professor Cluff presented a time line of censorship in art, mentioning challenges to the National Endowment for the Arts by censorship proponents. “Unfortunately, the NEA has seen its funds rolled back year after year. The government is using money as a censor, threatening defunding of museums and galleries that depend on NEA support,” stated Cluff.
Professor Stern discussed the censorship of maps. Stern explained that the United States Geological Survey contains the United States Board on Geographic Names. “This board was created at the turn of the century to censor names deemed inappropriate. Names of settlements, features, and regions were often changed if they contained references to swear words, sex or anatomy, or racism,” said Stern.
Banned Books Week was started in 1982. According to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, over 11,300 books have been challenged since. 464 challenges were reported in 2012. The number one most challenged title of 2012 was “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey. -Sept. 30, 2013
by JL Gerdes – Editor in chief
MCC Nursing Department meets tough new standards
The Nursing Department has announced the Registered Nursing program’s last two graduating classes have achieved 100 percent licensure. RN graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses to practice nursing in the United States. The current national pass rate for the NCLEX-RN is 84.91 percent.
The last two classes of RNs totaled 42 students. The current number of RN students at the college is approximately 100, according to Sandy Comstock, MPA, MSN, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Occupations. “The next classes to graduate will do so in December and May. To help prepare for the exam we offer tutoring and have expanded the availability of open lab hours for students to use when convenient,” stated Comstock. “Our success can be attributed to the dedication of the faculty and their persistence in helping the students succeed.”
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing examines the standards of the NCLEX once every three years. In 2012, the NCSBN voted to change the requirements for licensing, increasing the passing standard. According to Comstock, the NCSBN expected a 3 percent drop in passing rates to trail the changes to the test. After the changes took effect on April 1, 2013, the NCSBN reported a 9.74 percent drop in passing rates. “We took steps to mirror our testing techniques to those of the new standard. Our faculty took great effort to prepare for the changes. They attended conferences and focused on strengthening the curriculum,” said Comstock.
Attrition rates of the RN program have stayed steady in spite of the increased standards. The current attrition rate for the RN program is 8-18 percent. “It takes self-motivated and persistent students to complete this very rigorous program. Students with family and other external support tend to do better. We suggest students don’t work more than 20 hours a week if possible,” said Comstock.
In 2012, The RN program’s entry requirements changed. The new system takes into account applicants’ life experiences, language skills, TEAS scores and previous degrees earned. Grade point average is still considered in the application process, the minimum GPA for admission is 2.5. According to Comstock, students are now evaluated on a point system. “All course work is important, but we look more closely at the three core science requirements. Students must complete physiology, anatomy, and microbiology. Students should focus on these courses especially. We suggest that students not take these courses simultaneously, as they are very demanding courses and students should strive for the highest grade possible,” stated Comstock.
In addition to the RN program, the Nursing Department offers certification coursework for Certified Nursing Assistance and Licensed Vocational Nursing. “The department offers programs for students wishing to move up through the nursing field. We collaborate with Cal State San Marcos to offer a transfer program for nursing students desiring a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Students who participate in the program often complete their BSN in a full year, usually two summer sessions and two full semesters,” stated Comstock.
The department offers opportunities for prospective nursing students to meet with instructors and learn more about the program. Students can call 760-757-2121 to schedule a lab viewing and tour. The department holds information sessions once a month to field questions and inform students. The next information session will be held on Friday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. in room 3450 and 3474, on the Oceanside campus. According to Comstock, the information sessions are great resources for students wondering how to prepare for entry into the program. -Sept. 23, 2013
by JL Gerdes – Editor in chief