Cañada Hosts Fourth Annual High School & Community Partners Forum

Wed, 4 January, 2023 at 9:54 am

After being held virtually the past two years, Cañada College’s fourth annual High School & Community Partners Forum was held both in-person at Cañada College as well as via Zoom on December 7. The event provides a great opportunity for community partners to connect with Cañada College staff/faculty/administration and share feedback on how the College can best connect with our community.


The event kicked off with breakfast for more than 50 in-person attendees. The in-person and virtual program began with a warm welcome from College President Kim Lopez and Vice Presidents Manuel Alejandro Pérez, Ludmila Prisecar and Chialin Hsieh. During the welcome, attendees received updates on SMCCCD’s Free College initiative, Cañada’s Educational Master Plan, and fully online programs offered as well as in-person and hybrid schedules for the upcoming semester. Middle College Executive Director Stephen Redmond shared an overview of the Living the Promise partnership with Sequoia Union High School District as well as outreach plans for Spring 2023. David Vera, Financial Aid Director, provided updates on the financial aid application and counselor tool kit for the community partners to use.


The Cañada Outreach team shared that Priority Engagement Program (PEP) sessions will resume in the Spring and encouraged counselors to have their students participate. Lezlee Ware and Elizabeth Terzakis, Cañada College Professors and Program Coordinators for Cañada’s Umoja program, shared exciting information about the recently launched program. Their presentation transitioned into a student panel of former students based on the College’s Interest Areas.

After program updates, attendees chose from one of two 20-minute sessions to attend.  Sessions included: steps to get into college, tips for students who are interested in transferring to a university, exploration into career certificate programs offered through Cañada’s Strong Workforce program and updates on support programs for undocumented students through Cañada’s DREAM Center. In addition, campus tours were offered.

The program closed with lunch, networking and closing remarks given by Mayra Arellano, Cañada’s Director of High School Transitions & Dual Enrollment and College Recruiter Olivia Cortez-Figueroa. Feedback from the attendees was very positive and some great ideas were discovered throughout the day.

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