Interim President updates Academic Senate about Welcome Center issues

Interim President updates Academic Senate about Welcome Center issues

Interim President Ara Aguiar spoke about ongoing issues at the Welcome Center—which is still open but has been slightly restructured—during Monday’s Academic Senate meeting in Building 600. 

“One of the things that was happening is we had a small group of people from financial aid downstairs and we had a couple of people also from A&R available for student support,” Aguiar said. “And unfortunately, we had a couple of incidents. The place is just not structured to really serve students one-on-one.” 

Aguiar moved to create more room by opening the Financial Aid office to serve students, and to do the same for Admissions and Records. 

Dean of Academic Affairs Sharon Dalmage will be stepping down to transfer over to Los Angeles Southwest College in the coming weeks. 

“Ideally the best thing to do is not to have this position go without anyone in place and then bring in someone as soon as possible,” Aguiar said. 

There will be an acting position for now until a permanent decision is decided, which can take up to six weeks. 

Academic Senate Treasurer Kalynda McLean—who is also a Umoja Coordinator and Counselor—spoke about the budget committee meeting on March 5 regarding the school budget for the remainder of the year, going forward into the next academic school year. 

“Looking forward into 2024-2025, the budget forecast looks challenging for Pierce College,” McLean said, noting that more information will be presented as it comes. “Pierce is projecting an eight million dollar deficit at this time, with no carry forward balance to offset that. Basically, moving into the next academic year we should expect to see reductions in a lot of different areas.” 

The Career and Transfer Center is having a rollout of events when students return from spring break, starting with a job fair on April 17 where students will have the opportunity to take professional pictures for their LinkedIn accounts for free. 

“We’re going to have about 50 employers, 19 of them have signed up and we’re still recruiting,” Career Center Director Judy Lam said.

Lam, also the Guided Pathways coordinator, spoke about the opportunity students will have on UCLA and CSUN Day, which will be on campus May 15 along with Brahma Fest. 

“It’s a celebration for all transfer students to come get their transfer cords,” Lam said. “We’re also bringing incoming seniors who are graduating high school seniors who have committed to coming to Pierce already. We do have a transfer fair in the fall that is usually around Halloween time that’s going to have tons of different schools that are coming in that students can meet with.”

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