First of two candidates for Vice President of Instruction holds forum
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Leading with a message about the importance of a good student/faculty relationship, Ken Sherwood, a candidate for the Vice President of Instruction (VPI) position at Skyline, made his case to students on March 1 at the first of two open forums for candidates.
Vice President of Student Services, Angelica Garcia, counts a “responsibility to eliminate barriers” as a quality that is important to have in the new VP of Instruction. Also highly valued by her for the new VPI is someone that is “as passionate … as the faculty here”.
Sherwood, who was previously the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Learning at Oxnard College, picked this job to be closer to his daughter who is attending San Jose State University. During the forum, Sherwood stated that he would like to do for Skyline’s students like what he did for his daughter- become more involved in ensuring their [student’s] success.
One way he wants to accomplish that is to facilitate better relationships with feeder schools in order to grow Skyline’s student success rate. Feeder schools are schools whose graduates attend a particular higher-level education.
In relation to Skyline college, feeder schools include local high schools where a high level of graduates go on to attend Skyline for community college.
By getting Skyline faculty to meet with high school faculty, they could discuss what the students need to learn before going into college courses. This would better prepare students to learn advanced material and allow college professors to spend less time doing reviews of previous course material before getting into their curriculum.
Sherwood has had 26 years as a college educator, and has spent 20 years in the classroom as a teacher. His long career interacting with students may be one reason why he feels so strongly about creating a valuable student/faculty relationship.
The reason he decided to go from a professor to an administrator was simply stated, “The VP position has a clear and direct impact on students’ lives.”
Skyline students are looking forward to more involvement from the new VP of Instruction. The implementation and protection of programs and a willingness to talk to students is something that student Dessa Hipolito would like to see.
“Hopefully it changes the perspective of students,” Hipolito said.
ASSC member Andrea Mendez echoed that sentiment, stating that student engagement was very important to her from the office of the VPI.
“They [the VPI] should have some time of day to go into classes or the cafe to get to know students,” Mendez said. “It’s important for students need to get to know the administration”.
In his time as a professor, candidate Sherwood intervened when students were having issues with counselors not knowing which classes students should take. He gathered teachers and counselors alike to help minimize confusion over courses offered and paths to graduation. This experience is something he could draw on if he got the position. Which would be a boon to many, since students.
Dennis Zheng a skyline student would like to see some how the VPI will work with the different deans.
“How the new VPI can work with Division Deans to incorporate curriculum” Zheng said.
As for the other candidate, Mary Gutierrez, Dean of Language Arts at Skyline College, an open forum will be for her to answer any student questions on March 2, 2017, in building 6, room 6-202 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m..
A follow up article will be posted tomorrow for Gutierrez on theskylineview.com.
The results for the fulfillment of the position will be announced soon by the Skyline College administration.