2016 was a banner year for West. Among other accomplishments, we renewed our ACCJC accreditation with 9 commendations and were recognized as the #2 online program in the State among community colleges by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. Since 2011, the increase in student awards is up 70% and Fall full-time enrollment was up 13%. The Dental Hygiene Bachelor's Degree program launched, making West one of only 14 California community colleges authorized to offer a Bachelor's degree. The passage of Proposition 55 and Measure CC will provide much needed resources to continue our good work. Community events included the Culver City 4th of July Celebration, LAUSD / Beyond the Bell's CyberGirlz, the Big Data Conference, being an early polling place for thousands, and being the site of a major rally for the first female presidential candidate of a major party. AND, please spread the good news! Per the announcement this Fall, the LA Promise Program will allow students from the LAUSD class of 2017 to attend West tuition-free for a year in Fall 2017.
Information on the events and occurrences above and more appear below. Thank you for your continued support of West Los Angeles College where we say "GO WEST. GO FAR."
>>Dr. James M. Limbaugh
In October, West Los Angeles College welcomed our new president, Dr. James M. Limbaugh. Prior to joining West, Limbaugh served as interim president at Oxnard College in the Ventura Community College District, where he is credited for his excellence in growing student enrollments and institutional planning, initiating successful student success initiatives, engaging in effective community outreach and partnerships, and successfully acquiring additional resources for the college. Before Oxnard, Limbaugh’s experiences in higher education included service as the Chancellor of Montana State University-Northern. Limbaugh replaces the interim president Robert Sprague who will return to his long-term post as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. ...Read More
OUR NUMBERS ARE UP
From Spring 2011 to Spring 2016 there was a 70% increase in the number of West students who earned an Associate degree or certificate. From West, students will enter the workplace in health care, entertainment, business and more or transfer to a UC, Cal State and private universities. Enrollment at West was also up. A 13 % increase made West one of the fastest growing CA community colleges in 2016.
AWARDS & PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
>>Dental Hygiene & Aviation
The Aviation Technicians team from West Los Angeles college placed second in the School Category in the 2016 National Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Dallas. This was the third time West placed in the top three since 2014.
The Dental Hygiene program took second at the CA Dental Hygiene Assoc. Annual Research Competition and 3rd at the National Table Clinic Research Competition sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Assoc.
West was ranked #2 in the California community college category of the 2016 Best Online Schools list published by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org West has one of the largest online community college programs in Southern California. Many degrees can be earned completely online while others can be earned mostly online. Students may also take just a few courses to fill out their schedules. Unlike some online programs, success rates for our online students is on par with students in traditional classroom-based courses.
In 2016, West was the recipient of generous scholarship donations from The Sydney Kronenthal Foundation ($20,000) and Juntos Podemos ($25,000). Mr. Kronenthal, who died at age 92, was an active and popular figure in Culver City for over 50 years and served as its Director of Human Services. He also served on the board of the college foundation for many years, including a two-year stint as its chairman. Juntos Podemos (Together We Can) is dedicated to improving the lives of Mexicans living in the U.S. and people of Mexican heritage.
The popular Poster Showcase returned giving students of many disciplines an opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned in class, share it with other students, and compete for prizes.
Students and community members look forward to the semi-annual Star Party featuring jumbo telescopes, computer aided viewing screens, expert guides explaining the cosmos and pizza...Read More
Year Up is now operating at West Los Angeles College. Since 2000, this non-profit has provided over 13,000 students in 16 cities with job training customized to the needs of specific corporate partners in Information Technology, Finance, Sales and Marketing, In just 1 year, students earn college credit, receive on-the job training at a paid internship, and participate in intensive coaching for how to succeed in the workplace. Within 4 months, 85% of graduates are employed with an average starting salary of $36,000 or they are attending college full-time.
You can find History Professor Grace Chee’s work in the new book, "30-Second Twentieth Century: The 50 most significant ideas and events, each explained in half a minute." The Universidad Potificia de Salamanca Spanish sent a letter of commendation praising Professor Josefina Culton’s leadership of the college’s long-time Summer in Spain study abroad program. Business Professor Charles Daniels had standing room only at his semi-annual college/community events “You & Your Money” – workshops on becoming a better money manager.
West’s Global Studies Program was very active in 2016 coordinating short-study abroad programs to Ireland and China, hosting visiting Chinese university officials and entertainers, holding conferences to help instructors incorporate global thinking into their classrooms, and sponsoring a speaker series which included the following:
"The Flow Of Immigrants & Prospects For Peace In Syria And Sudan” – This panel discussion featured Dr. Tamer Balcı, Associate Professor of Modern Middle East history at University of Texas and a published author with a focus on the clash of Islam and nationalism. Also included was Dr. Lako Tongun, Associate Professor of International and Intercultural Studies and Political Studies at Pitzer College. He has published several books on the Sudan and Africa including his most recent Sudan’s Killing Fields: Genocidal Violence in East Africa.
"Isis & The Future Of The Middle East” – Presented by the Asli Ball, Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and James L. Gelvin, a UCLA professor Modern Middle Eastern History who has also taught at Boston College, Harvard University, MIT, and the American University in Beirute. West’s own Professor Meric Keskinel was also on the panel.
"Trade Competitiveness In The 21st Century” – Presented by Dr. Sarita Jackson, CEO of Global Research Institute of International Trade (GRIIT), a think‐tank/consulting firm focused on trade policy analysis and advising businesses on the best strategies for taking advantage of global market opportunities
"Soccer, History & Society” – Presented by football scholar and sociologist David Goldblatt who discussed the history of the World Cup, how it came to acquire such immense cultural importance in societies around the world, and what it says about our global history.
Visiting university officials from China learned more about West and shared information about their own institutions before signing a memorandum of understanding to work together on future exchange and study-abroad programs.
>>Trip to China
In partnership with the University of West Los Angeles, 10 WLAC students received grants to travel to China to study and tour for eight days.
The Brilliant Sunset Chorus Festival from China, with over 80 middle age and senior performers, appeared with two Los Angeles gospel choirs - Sunnyside Baptist Church and LA Community Praise Choir - in an East meets West cultural celebration at West...read more | additional images
Visual and performing arts students enjoy outstanding instruction and opportunities to showcase their talent. Student artists exhibited in the college gallery which also hosted shows by guests including former LA District Attorney Gil Garcetti and renowned philanthropist Gayle Roski. The Dance program again hosted a day of master dance classes open to the college and community as well as a Fall and Spring concert showcasing student and guest choreographers and performers. The Spring Theater performance featured the staging of student scripts developed in the Fall.
>>Dance... read more
>>Art... read more
>>Track & Football Highlights
The athletics program enjoyed standout moments for both current and past players including one who made it to the Olympics. Track alumnus Alex Amankwah became the first Ghanaian to qualify for the Olympics in the 800 meters. Unfortunately, while in Rio, he did not make it to the final rounds. The 2016 Track & Field squad finished 6th in the State with the women again taking the Western States Conference Championship and the men taking 4th. 2016 Wildcats quarterback Jorge Reyna was named Southern California Football Association (SCFA) – American Metro League – Offensive Player of the Year in recognition of throwing for more yards per game than any quarterback in the CCCAA at 364.4 yards per game. During the season, he threw for 3,646 yards on 70.6 percent completions while tossing 39 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. After his outstanding season which included a victory over rival SMC, Reyna signed with Fresno State. Wide receivers Daniel Bell and Rasheed Cox led the nation in receptions with 94 and 73 respectively. Other alumni highlights include Tray Boone who was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter play of the day clips for his front flip over a Dakota State defender to score a touchdown for Dickinson State. Will Lacey, Jr., now at Lane College, was selected to compete in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS
This Fall, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti joined by Vice President Joe Biden's wife Jill and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the LA Promise program which will provide a first year of college free for LAUSD graduates who enroll at West Los Angeles College and the other 8 LACCD campuses.
West had the pleasure of hosting Culver City High School’s Senior Day held on the first day of their semester. This activity is normally held in the CCHS theater which was being refurbished. While at West, Senior Day was enhanced by a tour of the college and information about how to enroll, college programs and support services.
>>Beyond the Bell
BEYOND THE BELL coordinates the afterschool programs for all of LAUSD. For several years now, West has enjoyed partnering with BTB, led by WLAC Alumnus Alvaro Cortes, to provide outstanding enrichment activities for their students.
SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS – BTB returned to West with their exciting Spotlight on Success event. 2,500 students who had distinguished themselves in the arts, sciences and community involvement attended, performed and enjoyed exhibitions of various kinds at a day-long event. (…additional photos/videos)
CYBERGIRLZ - CyberGirlz day was also held at West. The program encourages girls to pursue education and careers in cybersecurity and other high-tech careers. Approximately 120 young women participated and West instructors and students worked with the girls as discussion leaders.
GETTING STARTED RIGHT
Recognizing the important roles that parents, guardians and/or significant others can play in the success of their college student, West hosted a special information session for this important support system. As many students are the first in their families to attend college, an overview of what college entails was provided. Information was also shared on the college's support services and financial aid.
>>Evening Open House
For the convenience of working adults and others, West now hosts evening open house sessions for people considering starting or restarting their college careers.
Kickoff was established 3 years ago to help new and returning students get off to a strong start in the Fall. Kickoff allows students to complete important business like buying books, paying fees and getting a student ID before school starts. Students were also able to attend information sessions on various academic programs and services, and tour the campus.
GRADUATION & TRANSFERS
Guest speaker and LACCD Board of Trustee Sydney Kamlager put it simply to the graduates..."This here thing called education - it works if you work it." ...view excerpt from her speech and additional photos
>>University Transfer Fair
At West we say - "Go West. Go Far." For some students that is launching directly from West into satisfying careers in business, technology, health care, entertainment and more. For others, it is advancing to competitive universities where they will complete their Bachelor's and higher degrees. The school year begins with a Transfer Fair where students can interact with university recruiters and admissions representatives. It ends with celebrations about acceptance letters.
>>Culver City 4th of July
In its third year at West, the Culver City Fireworks Show, produced by the Culver City Exchange Club, moved to a more spacious location on campus. Approximately 10,000 attendees enjoyed food trucks, picnicking, carnival games, live music and, of course, FIREWORKS….view more
>>Big Data Day
Big Data Day LA is supported by a community of volunteers, sponsors and speakers and features the most vibrant gathering of data and technology enthusiasts in Los Angeles. There were over 1,200 attendees including data scientists and analysts, software developers, IT managers, and business strategists. Keynote speakers were from Claremont Graduate University, Netflix, Indeed Prime, Yahoo, and Second Spectrum.
>>Howard University Reception
Since its early years, West has had a large African American population and supports student interest in and transfer to Historically Black Colleges & Institutions. In 2016, West was the site of a Howard University reception for newly accepted students from the Los Angeles.
2016 ELECTION SEASON
In June 2016, the county’s first female presidential candidate for a major party rented the college gym for a star-studded, girl-power themed rally in June 2016. Speakers included: actresses Debra Messing, Elizabeth Banks, Sally Field, Mary Steenburgen and Garcelle Beauvais; also Congresswomen Karen Bass, Maxine Waters, and Linda Sanchez… see additional photos.
Over 4,700 people came to West during the two weekends prior to Tuesday, November 8 to cast their ballots early.
WEST ON FILM
Did you think to yourself, “that looks a little like West” when you were watching Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, Life in Pieces or Speechless? You were right. West remains a popular spot for television and commercial shoots.