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Message from the PRESIDENT/CEO

March 26, 2020


Campus Community,

I want to provide you with an update on Compton College in terms of COVID-19. The Compton CCD Pandemic Outbreak - Emergency Operations Plan guides our response to the possible scenarios that may occur as the COVID-19 situation progresses. As of March 25, 2020, 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, the California Department of Health reports there are a total of 3,006 positive cases and 65 deaths in California (including one non-California resident). For more information, go to www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.

Compton CCD is currently operating at Level Three - Moderate Infection Rate. Recent confirmed case(s) of a community member, and/or family member of student, staff, or faculty within the county. Today marked the fifth day of alternative academic instruction and online student support services. The Compton College Pandemic Coordinators and members of the President/CEO Cabinet met today, and below are some updates:

  1. As of today, we only have one class (PHIL 101) that has not moved to alternative academic instruction, which is a reduction from three classes yesterday. Compton College faculty, please communicate with your students to ensure they are aware of the transitions. For those Compton College faculty teaching dual enrollment courses, we are working with our local partner school districts to make sure the high school students are informed about our move to alternative academic instruction.

  2. The Compton College Financial Aid Office manually updated 1,767 student files and disbursed approximately $2 million in federal Pell grants. This is not an additional payment to students, but an advance payment. Compton College students would have received this disbursement in May 2020. Eligible Compton College students should start receiving this disbursement on Friday, March 27, 2020, in the method that they have individually selected to receive their payment. Special thanks to Keith Cobb, Director of Financial Aid, the Financial Aid Department staff, and the Business Services staff for working together to move the financial aid disbursement up and for issuing payments to our students.

  3. The Compton College Student Laptop Loan Program begins next week! Laptop computers are available on a first-come-first-served basis to students who submit a Student Laptop Loan Program RSVP and are currently enrolled in spring 2020 courses at Compton College. As of 9:00 p.m. this evening, we have received 361 online RSVPs from Compton College students. The laptop computer distribution will occur on Monday, March 30, 2020, and Friday, April 3, 2020.  Our goal is to distribute 400 of the 725 laptop computers next week. Please note, only students who complete the RSVP and who receive an email confirmation with instructions for pick-up will be allowed on campus. If you have any questions about the laptop computer loan program, please email your questions to studentlife@compton.edu.

  4. The Pandemic Coordinators began working on the Compton College FEMA's Public Assistance Program Application, which is due by Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and exploring all options for federal reimbursements for the implementation of the Compton CCD Pandemic Outbreak - Emergency Operations Plan. The Pandemic Coordinators will have the first draft of the Compton College FEMA's Public Assistance Program Application completed on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Compton Community College District Board of Trustees Meeting - April 21, 2020
Considering the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Compton Community College District Board of Trustees April 21, 2020 board meeting, will be moved to a Zoom meeting.  We ask for the college community's understanding that the intent is not to limit public participation but rather to comply with Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20.

Public comment will be allowed as required by law.  However, those wishing to make public comments need to submit their comments by email to pvanbrown@compton.edu.  All email comments received by 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, will be provided to the Board of Trustees and made publicly available during the Zoom meeting.  Email comments will be read aloud; however, email comments will be subject to the Board's three-minute limit on public comment. More information on the Compton Community College Board of Trustees April 21, 2020 board meeting, will be provided in another communication sometime next week.

Facilities Update
While Compton College is providing alternative academic instruction and student support services, and many individuals are working remotely. Construction of the Instructional Building 1, Instructional Building 2, and the Student Services Building is continuing. The demolition of the old Library Building, built-in 1952, will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020. The site is being prepared for the construction of a new 36,712 square foot two-story Student Services Building. The new Student Services Building will provide a one-stop location for Compton College students. We anticipate the Student Services Building to be completed sometime in December 2021.

Finally, the 254 new chairs for eight laboratory classrooms in the Vocational Technology Building will arrive on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  Thank you to the Compton College faculty and Classified staff who brought this issue forward to the administration.

Compton College COVID-19 Updates
Reminder, please visit the Compton College COVID-19 webpage here for updates. The Community Relations Department has developed an Alternative Instruction FAQ webpage for Compton College students, which is available here. If you are experiencing distress or anxiety due to the current circumstances, please contact the Employee Assistance Program at (800) 531-0200. We will continue to work through many issues and concerns as it relates to COVID-19.

Final Thoughts
As an educational leader, I continue to try to improve my communication with the campus community, especially how I make decisions. Not every one of my decisions has been the right decision; not everyone will agree with or support some of my decisions. My decisions are focused on what's best for Compton College, Compton Community College District, our students, and the community we serve.  As a campus community, we must continue to work together to support our students and their success.

This morning, I received the following quote in response to the Compton College COVID-19 Update - March 25, 2020, from Iris Fernandez, Program Specialist, for the Tri-City Consortium about our college family:

"Once all this chaos is over, we should celebrate one another, including those who parted before us.  We've come so far.  Yes, we argue.  A lot. Sometimes.  But we have each other’s back just like any other wonderful, beautiful, dysfunctional family... :-)"

I agree with Iris Fernandez, when this is all over, we need to celebrate each other, and how far we have come as an institution. Educational leaders across the country are talking about the transformation of Compton College, so we have come a long way, and our future is bright. I know we all support each other; for example, in the last two weeks, I have witnessed firsthand, everyone working together to support the move to alternative academic instruction and student support services.

Tomorrow, March 27, 2020, can everyone select one person to send them a special note thanking them for the education or support services they provide to our students? In these times, many of us need some words of encouragement, especially when it comes to us from our colleagues.

Finally, thank you all for your support and for providing excellent instruction and support services to Compton College students.

Sincerely,

Keith Curry, Ed.D.
(preferred pronouns: he/him/his)
President/CEO
Compton College


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