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I am proud of the many accomplishments that the San Mateo County Community College has been able to make under my leadership. Here's a partial list of some of the highlights:

- Our District responded quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a fast transition to online education, technology support for faculty, staff, and students. While making sure that students, staff, and our community were kept safe, we continued to provide as much outside-of-classroom support as possible, including our drive-through food pantry and access to essential training.

- We now have a strategic plan in place for the first time in the history of the District.  This plan clearly places Students First, focuses our effort on measurably increasing student success in achieving their educational goals, and also reaffirms the District’s commitment to Equity and Social Justice. 

- Based on data from the State Chancellor's office on Transfer Level Achievement in English and Math, our students succeed at well above the statewide average, and our overall success rate has increased by 35-40% from 2010-11 to 2015-16 (last cohort that data is available for). We also substantially closed the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic students over that timeframe, and both groups succeed at or above the statewide average. While our results are better than average, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

- We have made tremendous strides forward, but still need to do more, to address equity and social justice, for our students, staff, community, and in our District hiring and promotion practices.  I have always been active in promoting, encouraging and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion inside and outside of the classroom, including in our hiring, promotion, employment, contracting, and purchasing practices. We created the Equity Institute at Skyline College; hold regular Contemporary Conversations on Race, Class, Gender, Privilege, and Equity at our Board meetings; and the Board has made a public Affirmation of our Commitment to Social Justice.

- Our three colleges (Skyline, Canada College, and College of San Mateo) continue to be fully accredited without qualification. 

- The College of San Mateo was recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the “Top 150 Community Colleges in the United States,” eligible to apply and compete for the 2021 $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

- Our students now have consistent enrollment and graduation requirements across all three campuses, along with course articulation and the implementation of Associate Degrees for Transfer to make it easier to take the right classes in order to transfer to a four-year institution.

- We have reduced barriers to equitable access by eliminating placement testing that reduced student success by sidetracking students into non-transfer Math and English courses.

- Our Promise Scholars programs are enabling even more students to succeed and achieve their academic dreams, in spite of the ever-increasing burdens of tuition and fees, books, housing costs, transportation, and food insecurity in San Mateo County. 

- Our District has been one of the leaders statewide in lowering the costs of textbooks for students (books often cost more than tuition does for a class), including setting up an innovative textbook rental program and encouraging faculty to move to lower cost "open source" course materials.

- I have led efforts to provide our students with subsidized meals, food pantry access, and other resources in order to reduce food insecurity.

- With grant funding that I helped secure, we've added free shuttle buses to Skyline College and Canada College from transportation hubs and underserved communities to address the difficulties our students have getting to campus from where they live. 

- While not yet complete, I have led discussions to address the housing crisis that our students face, including proposing safe parking on campus for students living out of their cars, and developing the appropriate scope and policies for building permanent student housing.

- We now have Veterans Resource Centers at all three campuses to support those who sacrificed so much to serve our country.

- We have Dream Centers at all three campuses to support our "Dreamer" or DACA students and those who qualify under the California Dream Act. Since 2003 I have made sure that we provided an open, supportive, and equitable environment for our undocumented students.

- Since 2014, in partnership with the San Mateo Building Trades Council, Bay Area Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, NOVA Workforce Board, San Mateo County Union Community Alliance, and Working Partnerships USA we've hosted the Trades Introduction Program, a pre-apprenticeship course that exposes students to a wide variety of building trade occupations such as electrician, pipe fitter, carpenter, sheet metal worker, and more. TIP has resulted in the placement of hundreds of students into union apprenticeships since its inception.

- Encouraged the creation of multiple Learning Communities (students who enroll in a group of classes taught by the same instructors across multiple disciplines, and learn with other students who share the same passions, interests, or specific field of study) to increase student success. Some of our current Learning Communities include Umoja-STEP, Puente, CIPHER, Kababayan, PACE, Engineering & Technology Scholars, Biology & Chemistry Scholars, Teacher Track, First Year Experience, COLTS, Honors Project, Mana, Project Change, and Writing in the End Zone. Many of these Learning Communities have won awards and recognition at the local, state, and national level for their contribution to our students' success.

- Supported the implementation of Guided Pathways, integrating student services and instruction to create a cohesive student experience that helps students clarify their college and career goals and provides counseling, academic support, and proactive feedback that facilitates student progress towards successfully attaining their educational goals. Guided pathways provide structure that ensures the most efficient journey to graduation. 

- I have called for, and started the process of creating, better career planning and job placement opportunities for our students who are seeking to enter the workforce.

-  Since November 2016, while making sure that our campuses are safe zones for sharing ideas and opinions, and are models for open expression, I have reaffirmed our commitment to social justice and made sure that we have protected our students and staff from the discriminatory attacks by the Trump Administration on immigrants (both documented and undocumented) and on transgender members of our campus community.

- Our District is one of the first in the State to offer a four-year Bachelor’s degree (in Respiratory Therapy at Skyline College). 

- I’ve helped lead the discussions around expanded four-year degree opportunities in San Mateo County for our students, including expanding the 4-year-degree pilot program, finding partnering opportunities at local colleges, and holding discussions with CSU regarding offering four-year degrees in San Mateo County.

- We have improved our ties to local K-12 school districts, especially the high school districts, through our Middle Colleges (now at all three campuses), concurrent enrollment and dual enrollment programs, and increased outreach meetings with school guidance counselors.

- We thoroughly reviewed and upgraded our Public Safety Department, creating a safer environment for our students and staff that is consistent with our community values and desires. I championed basic necessary measures, such as improving our radios and communications capabilities, and making sure all classroom doors could be locked from the inside (one of the items shown to actually increase safety during an “active shooter” event).

- Our below-market-rate faculty and staff housing facilities at College of San Mateo and Canada College (and soon to be open at Skyline College) serve as a model for the rest of the Bay Area. 

- I’ve helped steer our District through difficult financial times and massive state budget cuts in the past, especially during the "Great Recession" from 2008 - 2012, keeping core programs and services in place to benefit all of our students.

- The District has successfully transitioned from being State-funded (Revenue Limit) to Community-funded (Basic Aid) status, which has allowed us to increase spending per student and create adequate reserve funds.

- Every year I've overseen a balanced budget that is now in excess of $200 million dollars annually (General Fund).

- We’ve created a trust fund that now covers 100% of our employee post-retirement benefit liabilities. 

- Since 2003 we've also invested almost a billion dollars into new and upgraded facilities on our three campuses (and keeping those investment dollars benefiting our local economy and local labor workforce through our Project Labor Agreements). 

- Our new buildings are LEED certified, green, and sustainable, and we've built a successful cogeneration project at College of San Mateo and a solar farm at Cañada College, substantially reducing our use of fossil fuel-generated energy (the Cañada solar farm alone provides 50% of the energy used at the College). 

- We’ve created educational programs in fields like solar energy and environmental sciences that prepare our students to help fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future, while also securing local jobs with good pay. We offer degrees such as the AS-Transfer degree in Environmental Science at Skyline College and Cañada College. We also offer Career Technical Education Certificate programs in “Climate Protection Professional” and “Solar Design, Estimation, Finance, and Sales” and a course in Solar Panel Installation at Skyline College.

- I started my service on the Community College Board by creating an innovative funding mechanism that raised tens of thousands of dollars a year for student scholarships. The San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation now provides millions of dollars of scholarships and innovation funds each year for our students.

- After many years of fighting for this, I am pleased that we have finally begun live streaming our Board meetings and archiving the videos of our meetings on our website, increasing the transparency of (and access to) our Board meetings for all San Mateo County residents.

- And on a personal level, I have recently completed the Community College League of California's Excellence in Trusteeship Program.

Mandelkern for Community College Board 2020 FPPC ID#1428322
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