_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


Statement from Madeline Shapiro, President of the Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees 

Rio Hondo College Board President Madeline Shapiro


November 1, 2018

Rio Hondo College can take justified pride in our continuing trend of upward performance for student success, a growing slate of support programs for our students and a legacy of long-term financial health that is second to none in the California Community Colleges system.

These trends are the result of years of collaborative planning and implementation on the part of our community of dedicated administrators, talented educators and committed staff members, who place the needs of our students at the forefront of all we do.

Lately, as sometimes happens during political seasons, information has spread that can create confusion or uncertainty about our institutions and their performance.  But, for Rio Hondo College, our numbers tell a clear story of successful outcomes.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

• Student completion rates: Completion rates in 2016-17 reached 73.4 percent for college-ready students who earned at least 30 units and 60.4 percent for college-ready students who completed a degree, certificate or transfer-related outcome.  This information comes from the California Community Colleges system’s 2018 Student Success Scorecard.  We are confident our numbers for 2017-18 are even stronger.  

• Student persistence rates: Persistence rates reached 78 percent for college-ready students who are enrolled for their first three consecutive terms, according to the Student Success Scorecard.  Persistence rates for students deemed unprepared for college are nearly as high, at 77.8 percent – a testament to Rio Hondo College’s depth of student support services.

• Degree and certificate awards: From 2013-14 to 2017-18, degrees and certificates awarded to college-ready students rose by 234 percent, from 1,263 to 4,224, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart.  

• College-ready student outcomes: Degrees awarded to college-ready students rose 84 percent during the same time period, from 982 to 1,824; certificates awarded to college-ready students climbed by 785 percent, from 271 to 2,400, according to Data Mart numbers.

• Fiscal prudence: Now in the first year of a new state funding formula, Rio Hondo College will receive additional state revenue over and above a cost-of-living adjustment, which is more than what the College received under the previous funding formula.  To illustrate the College’s fiscal prudence, the Board of Trustees’ Oct. 10, 2018 agenda lists $2.7 million in General Fund expenditures for supplies and operations, excluding salaries and benefits. 

• Lifetime medical benefits: As of June 30, 2018, Rio Hondo College has met all unfunded liabilities for providing lifetime medical benefits to retirees and to an allowed  dependent.  At present, the College has $50 million in an irrevocable trust for the lifetime benefits.  This further illustrates the District’s outstanding fiscal management in being able to provide for current and future retirees.

• Chancellor’s Office recognizes career programs: Rio Hondo College, among other accolades, has received a Gold Star, Silver Star and seven Bronze Stars from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for programs that advance social mobility for students.  The Strong Workforce Stars honors gave special recognition to the College’s extraordinary nursing and automobile technology programs.

These performance factors would be a cause to celebrate at any time.  But they are especially significant in these days, when about half our students struggle with food insecurity, when housing continues to challenge many families and when so many of our students need an extra hand to meet the rigors of our higher education standards.

Rio Hondo College has stepped up to help its students on every front.  We offer a host of services for students, including a campus-based food pantry.  We also offer academic support that ranges from our Summer Bridge program, which helps students boost their performance, to our First Year Success Center, which guides students through their first year of instruction and ensures they remain focused on their degree goals.

One of our most recent initiatives expanded our Rio Promise tuition program to offer free tuition to new full-time college students for their first two years.  This is a remarkable example of how a community college can break down barriers and help community members achieve their dreams.

I am also proud to say that we remain steadfast in continuing our efforts to refine how Rio Hondo College serves its students.  Every day, the community of individuals who run this institution explore innovative ways to expand our instruction, adding new career programs and degree and certificate pathways.

As our student needs change, so too will Rio Hondo College grow and change with them, so that they can achieve their dreams, which in turn will strengthen our community, region and state.

Madeline Shapiro
Board President