It has been over a year since the implementation of the two-year pilot program for Classified Staff Development. The mission statement of the ad hoc committee, which CSEA convened at the request of Dr. Viar, stated that “the program is systematically designed and evaluated to develop, acquire, and maintain skills among all classified staff as an essential component of the superior student service and support at GCC.”
Based on a CSEA survey conducted before the program was launched and based on meetings with staff from different departments, we started to coordinate events which addressed staff concerns and with limited funds. In April 2016 we began with a workshop on shared Governance with Frankie Strong. The following month Ron Nakasone taught us How to Read Your Pay Stub. Patricia Chamroonrat and Jason Dorff held a hands-on computer workshop for staff who had limited or no access to computers and helped them sign in their emails, the CSEA website, HR page, etc. In the fall, Patricia conducted two more programs: a SharePoint lecture and a CMS workshop. We had a 4-Friday Excel series taught by Chris Wilson, a Garfield instructor. A week before the annual Health Fair in November, Menchie Braza explained our Health Benefits.
In March, we again surveyed staff for direction and guidance, asking for their opinions, preferences and suggestions. Frankie Strong accepted our request and facilitated a governance workshop on Simplifying Minutes. Last week, Dr. Susan Courtey defined our purchasing policies and procedures, demonstrated the requisition process, and showed us Oracle shortcuts.
Aside from the on-campus events, Classified Staff Development is also part of the Classified Annual Retreat. This year’s Retreat will be held on Monday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 18, at a local venue, GlenArden Club. CSEA chose a location closer to both the Verdugo and Garfield campuses so that staff, who could not attend the Malibu overnight retreats in the past, would be able to do so this year. As a result we have over 70 registered attendees.
The two days will be packed with workshops and presentations designed to update staff knowledge and enhance their professional development. We will open the retreat with Dr. David Viar’s College Update. Dr. Ed Karpp will then discuss Outcome Measures. Dr. Daphne Dionisio will walk us through Program Review and Accreditation. Val Dantzler will talk about the internal application process. Debb Jachens, CSEA Member Benefits Coordinator, will do a presentation on CalPERS and Merrilee Ahaus will be on hand to notarize forms. We will cap off the first day with a Know Your Rights program by our CSEA Labor Rep, Noelia Cintron.
Hoover Zariani will start the second day with a Safe Zone presentation. Menchie Braza will discuss our Health Benefits. Patricia Chamroonrat will show us around the new GCC website. Erin Calderone will demonstrate Fitness exercises and discuss Nutrition. We end the retreat with a leadership program, Develop Your Inner Leader, by a CSEA Education Office trainer from the San Jose head office, Marc Cardenas.
Every classified staff is encouraged to attend. As usual, we have the retreat during Spring Break when students are not on campus, to minimize the impact of lack of coverage in student services and administrative offices. The retreat also gives the best opportunity to employees with non-traditional work schedules to attend staff development workshops. Those who are registered to attend will be released from their duties on those days.
Just as we have a much more significant presence on campus, we have also grown in number and votes in the Staff Development Committee. Thanks to Frankie Strong, CSEA Rep in Governance Review, Saodat Aziskhanova, CSEA President, and Dr. Viar, we now have six voting representatives. They are Agnes Eisaghalian, Nane Kakosian, Austin Kemie, Nonah Maffit, Yazaret Mascorro, and Virna Silva.
Classified Staff Development will continue to evolve. We will keep the collective dialogue going, relying on each other for support, keeping in mind our mission: