By Carlos Ochoa/Staff Writer/@carlosochoalbcc
The LBCC Board of Trustees voted 5-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 23, to place an $850 million construction bond measure on the June 7 ballot, saying they want to expand the future of student success.
Along with the support of the trustees, students, school employees and companies spoke in favor of the bond.
The new bond would be used to address enrollment trends, overcrowding and student safety and joint projects could include athletic facilities, day-care centers, facilities for business development and career technology centers.
Area 2 Trustee Irma Archuleta said, “The bond measure is considering the future. Whatever we do today is going to benefit the students in the future. The best thing we can do to increase enrollment is fix our infrastructure. If we listen to the wisdom of the students, we will move in the right direction.” Archuleta encourages the college to visit a Cisco facility to learn from their classroom design and implement innovative ideas for the classroom.
Vice President of Student Support Services Greg Peterson teamed up with Associated Student Body to create a Bond Information Forum on the LBCC website. It explains how the bond is paid for and how the measure could be passed by voting for it in June.
The bond measure survey last Fall showed 65 percent of previous June voters would be in favor of the bond measure. Area 5 Trustee Virginia Baxter questioned the legitimacy of the survey and the survey official who said the people included in the survey had shown consistency in voting in four of the last five elections.
The college is now spending $616 million in bonds passed in 2002 and 2008.
To pass, the bond would need 55 percent of the voters in June. Voters in Long Beach, Signal Hill, Catalina Island and part of Lakewood are eligible. A map of the district may be found at lbcc.edu.
Coincidentally, Long Beach voters also will be asked June 7 to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase.
Another issue discussed Tuesday was student success. According to a survey shown during the meeting, two thirds of student-athletes are male. Area 3 Trustee Sunny Zia asked Athletic Director Randy Totorp if LBCC plans to respond to the disparity between males and females. Totorp said the college is making small steps toward equalizing the athletic program and the college plans to add women’s beach volleyball by Spring 2017.
In collaboration with institutional research, the Athletic Department focused on first-time student- athletes compared to general students. Officials tracked students for six semesters from 2012-2015 who had completed six units per semester and taken math or English.
According to the data, student-athletes and general students maintained similar GPAs, but student- athletes attempted more units, completed more transfer units, attempted more math and English courses, earned more degrees and transferred at higher rates than general students.
Totorp was asked by Archuleta why student-athletes were more successful. He said it is because of the importance the athletic program emphasized on school, from making sure student-athletes have a course plan, giving student-athletes primary access to classes and making sure student-athletes are on track with the grade requirements. The college is looking forward to implementing strategies used for student-athletes to the general student population.
During the meeting, there was no mention of the Superintendent-President’s Mid-Year evaluation. Peterson spoke on behalf of President Oakley’s Mid-Year Evaluation by saying it was not brought up during open session because there were no changes. For that reason, there was nothing to bring up during the open session.