by Dr. Patricia A. Rasmussen, President, Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees
As a member of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, I am proud of the fact that Citrus College has become synonymous with success. The completion of my term as board president provides me with the perfect opportunity to reflect on the college's accomplishments, many of which can be found in the newly released Citrus College Annual Report. From impressive college completion numbers to exciting technological advancements, the progress has been extraordinary.
The theme for the annual report, "The Art of Student Success," is quite fitting. Among the highlights included in the publication are the college's remarkable student success rates. During the 2016-2017 academic year, 1,404 students graduated from Citrus College. The college also had 1,126 students transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Specifically, 759 transferred to California State University institutions, 148 students transferred to University of California institutions, 150 transferred to in-state private universities and 143 transferred out of state.
Citrus College's impressive completion numbers reflect its commitment to empowering students to reach their academic goals. In fact, the college's focus on student success and college completion serves as the one overarching goal of its 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. Introduced in 2016 and highlighted in the annual report, the strategic plan includes 11 focus areas and 18 measureable college-wide objectives. There were 99 activities outlined for the first year of the Strategic Plan, and I am happy to report that significant progress was made on each of them.
Another highlight included in the recent Citrus College Annual Report is the college attaining full accreditation status. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges informed Citrus College that it had met all eligibility requirements, standards and commission policies for full accreditation. Accreditation is the primary means by which colleges and universities in the United States assure and improve their quality, making this a major accomplishment that affirms the excellence of the educational experience of Citrus College.
Providing a high-quality education would not be possible without innovation and growth. For this reason, the expansion of the support services offered by the college is significant news. Every year, prior to the start of the fall semester, Citrus College hosts a Welcome Day. The annual report highlights the event's increased attendance, with more than 200 new students participating. The college's Early Decision program, which facilitates the transition from high school to college, and its I Will Complete College (IWCC) program, which is designed for first-time students, also experienced growth. During the spring semester, more than 900 local high school students attended Early Decision workshops and more than 400 students participated in IWCC.
Keeping pace with technology is also crucial to ensuring continued educational excellence. The Citrus College Annual Report includes information about several technological advancements the college has made to enhance the student experience. One of these advancements is a mobile app. The Citrus College Technology and Computer Services Department worked with a mobile-solutions firm to design an app that features access to the college's website, emergency contacts, a campus map and more. Additional technological advancements included the introduction of an online catalog, the debut of new program assessment software and the transition to Canvas, a new teaching management system.
While cutting-edge technology and innovative programs made 2016-2017 a banner year for Citrus College, there was even more reason to celebrate. That fall, the Citrus College Foundation rolled out the red carpet to commemorate its 50th anniversary. It was a pleasure to join the more than 300 guests who gathered on the Citrus College campus to celebrate five decades of fostering partnerships, recognizing philanthropic involvement, and providing scholarships and resources to help students meet their academic goals.
For more than a decade, I have had the honor of representing Glendora and portions of San Dimas on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. Although my term as board president will be ending in early December, I look forward to serving on the governing board in the months and years ahead. I am certain the progress that was highlighted in the newly released Citrus College Annual Report will continue, thanks to the vision of the college's leadership, the hard work of its employees, and the continued support of its community leaders and local residents.