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The Campus Connection - December 2023

Office of the President

College of the Siskiyous Wishes you and Your Family a Happy Holidays and a Wonderful Start to the New Year!

Fall Reflections & Happy Holidays from the Office of the President

This fall semester has been a productive one. We launched off the semester with Convocation Day which featured our keynote speaker, Dr. Joshua Moon Johnson's presentation 'Beyond Surviving: Empowering & Advocating for Queer and Trans Students' and concluded the day with an Educational Master Plan discussion.
Throughout the semester, we facilitated Town Halls that focused on the 50% Law and hosted a number of College and Community events. I am especially appreciative of our collaborations with the Karuk Tribe and the opportunity to coordinate the following Native American events:

  • Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Karuk Indigenous Women Training Exchange (WTREX)
  • Karuk Language and its survival

These events allowed us to celebrate our indigenous populations and learn about their current challenges and recent accomplishments.

The College's enrollment was also very promising. Fall 2023 resulted in higher enrollments compared to fall 2022 (11% increase) and fall 2021 (10% increase). We hope to see continued enrollment increases throughout the winter session and spring semester.

As we close this calendar year, I want to acknowledge the ongoing dedication of our employees. The commitment of our classified professionals, administrative support management, faculty and administrators is admirable. As a small rural college in the California Community College system, all of our employees wear many hats and endure significant workloads. I am so very appreciative of all of their efforts and extremely fortunate to work with such talented, student-centered individuals. The College is also very appreciative of the ongoing support of our devoted community members. I am beyond grateful to work at this reputable institution in the most beautiful county in California.

Research & Evaluation

The Office of Research has been working on the data portion of the Educational Master Plan (EMP) and wanted to share some of the survey results we have thus far. Below you will see survey data from both faculty/staff and students side-by-side for incorporation into the EMP.

Some notable examples are:

Bar Chart - Greatest Strengthes of the College (Students)
Bar Chart - Greatest Strengthes of the College (Faculty and Staff)
Bar Chart - Needed Improvements at the College (Students)
Bar Chart - Needed Improvements at the College (Faculty and Staff)

General faculty/staff sentiment on the Helpfulness of Staff and Support Services was regarded as one of the college's greatest strengths. This was also echoed in the student survey as the highest rated strength. Additional alignment in sentiment from both faculty and student surveys were high ratings for library services, tutoring services, and student services.

Conversely, faculty / staff highlighted food services as the highest need for improvements. This finding was followed by student life activities and registration / enrollment as the second and third highest areas requiring attention.

Similarly, the data showed food services as the biggest area in need of improvements by students, with better class availability and student lodging following as the second and third priorities.

Overall, the survey data has provided some valuable insights into the college's strengths and weaknesses, and where efforts towards improvements can go to better benefit the campus and community. We aim to integrate this data into the Educational Master Plan and use it to help steer the college's initiatives as we enter 2024.

Public Relations & College Foundation

2024 Winter Session & Spring Semester Schedule of Classes.

Winter Session and Spring Semester Registration is Open: Registration for the 2024 winter session and spring semester is open. Remind students to register early to get the classes they want and need. Look for the schedule in your home mailbox or online.

Holiday Craft Fair The 26th annual Country Holiday Craft Fair was held December 1 and 2, and was a huge success! The two-day event saw a steady stream of foot-traffic all day long. Special thanks to the COS Maintenance and Custodial Team; Angel Keen and her daughters Breanna and Genna; Emily Anderson-Moser, Carie Shaffer, Kaci Masson, Madeleine Ayres-DeAndreas, Kathy Koon, Debbie and Tony Pettack, Sue and Scott Tavalero, and the Siskiyous Baseball Team for help setting up, breaking down, carrying items in and out, and volunteering at the door and in the concession stand. Also special thanks to everyone who came out and supported the event.

North State Giving Tuesday Results: November 28th was "Giving Tuesday" and the North State Giving Tuesday online giving event hosted by the Community Foundation of the North State. The COS Foundation was one of more than 200 non-profit organizations in the North State to participate in the event, and our mission was to raise funds to support the Siskiyou Promise Scholarship Program fund. Online donations for the day totaled approximately $1,500 from 19 donors. I am proud of our community for their support and the love they are showing for our local kids. Every dollar we received on Giving Tuesday is helping to transform the life of a COS student!

Mt. Shasta Ski Park Sign

Together We Make A Difference: Giving Tuesday has come and gone, but the work does not stop there. It is that time of year when we "kick off" the campus Payroll Contribution Campaign. The amount of monthly contribution is not as important as the fact that you participate. Donations range from as low as $5 to as much as $50 or more, and all donations are tax-deductible. I hope you will consider participating. To participate in our Employee Payroll Deduction Program click on the link:

Stay Connected: Now that we are in the beginning phase of the winter season, it is a good time to make sure you are signed up and receiving messages from the College's communication system, COS Connect. This is a free system used to notify students and staff of emergency-situations, campus closures, or general information. To sign up click on the COS Connect button located on the COS homepage and follow the directions to get signed up.

Upcoming Activities & Events: Event dates, times, and locations based on information available at the time of publication and are subject to change.

December 2023

  • December 8: COS Employee Holiday Reception, 4:30 to 6:30 pm – Sparky’s Landing, Mt Shasta
  • December 8: COS Vocal Music Concert, 7:00 pm – Theater
  • December 9: COS Concert Band Winter Festival Performance, 3:00 pm – YHS Old Gym
  • December 10: COS Concert Band Winter Festival Performance, 7:00 pm - Theater
  • December 12 - 15: Finals Week
  • December 12: Board of Trustees Monthly Meeting, 4:00 pm – Weed Campus Board Room
  • December 14: Fall Semester Ends
  • December 15: Law Enforcement Academy Graduation, 1:00 pm - Theater
  • December 22 - January 1: Campus Closed for Winter Break

January 2024

  • January 1: Campus Closed
  • January 2: Winter Session Begins, COS Campuses Reopen
  • January 15: Martin Luther King Holiday (Campus Closed)
  • January 16: Monthly Board of Trustees Meeting, 4:00 pm – Board Room
  • January 17: Basketball vs. Butte College, 5:00 pm (Women) and 7:00 pm (Men) – Gym
  • January 20: Basketball vs. Lassen College, 1:00 pm (Women) and 3:00 pm (Men) - Gym
  • January 25: Winter Session Ends
  • January 27: Basketball vs. Feather River College, 1:00 pm (Women) and 3:00 pm (Men) - Gym
  • January 29: Spring Semester Begins
  • January 29 - February 1: Week of Welcome – various activities planned (TBA)

Follow us on Social Media:

  • Facebook – College of the Siskiyous (COS) & COS Foundation
  • Instagram – @siskiyous_eagles
  • LinkedIn: college-of-the-siskiyous
  • Snapchat – @siskiyous_eagle

Student Services

Vice President, Student Services

With the Holiday Season here and the end of the semester fast approaching, it has been fun to look back and see the wonderful accomplishments of the Student Services team. ConexED is moving along and will be implemented with many additional departments in the spring. TimelyCare will be launched in early spring and this new service will create greater access for Mental Health and Medical services for students. Review of Chapter 5 Board Policies and Administrative Procedures is moving along rapidly and will be completed in its entirety, and on schedule, during this academic year. Numerous reports and plans have been submitted to the Chancellor's Office or other reporting agencies. Large-scale events have occurred such as College & Career Day and the Veterans Day Celebration. Fields trips to institutions of higher education have also taken place and the list goes on and on.

Student Services is always working and striving to provide an environment that is conducive to student success and welcoming to students of all backgrounds. It is a passion of all within Student Services and a commitment to do our best. Thank you to our awesome Student Services team.

This semester we welcomed Jennifer Reynolds as our new Coordinator for Guided Pathways. Jennifer has been a breath of fresh air and brings a welcome infusion of new ideas, enthusiasm, and needed leadership. Jennifer has been actively meeting with the Pillar Chairs to discuss our Guided Pathways work and our vision for the future. Thank you, Jennifer, for your hard work. Below you will find some additions from Jennifer regarding recent meetings with Pillar Chairs from two of our Pillars and what they are working on currently and in the near future.

Pillar 1: Create Clear Curricular Paths

  • Degrees and COA to be determined by the end of 2023 fall semester.
  • Program groupings to be determined with recommendations sent to Academic Senate, Administration etc. for approval by the end of 2024 spring semester.
    • Once determined, we will work with faculty to create clear curricular pathways that will help students access information about our programs and support services and explore educational options with understanding of courses, recommended course sequences, program goals, and career and transfer options.

Pillar 4: Ensure Learning is happening with Intentional Outcomes

  • DE Coordinator requested data for Peer Online Course Review (POCR) be collected which shows course alignment helps with student success. Presentation on POCR and data will be presented to the Academic Senate Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 - TBD
  • Equity Survey Pilot for campus whole - developed by EEO trainer. Will provide data of campus culture, accessibility, and focus by end of the 2024 fall semester.
    • Once complete, what will COS do with this data?
      • Suggestion: conduct a campus climate survey every five years as we continuously seek to develop and improve a positive, welcoming culture.


The end of the semester is coming up quickly and students are coming in and getting some 'brain fuel' to finish last minute projects before finals. To ensure our students have the snacks they need while studying, Basecamp and the Library have collaborated to have a snack basket out for after hour study sessions. Basecamp also hosted its annual Holiday party for students, along with puppies from the Siskiyou Humane Society. We love having them during finals week so student can de-stress with some puppy love. Puppies make everything better!

It is always a fun time during the holidays at Basecamp! We are excited to come back to campus after break and plan another semester full of fun events, food, and gathering. Happy Holidays from everyone at Basecamp!

Financial Aid

Please join us in welcoming our new Financial Aid Student Services Specialist, Virginia Taylor. Virginia was born and raised in Shasta County and holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Drake University. Fun facts about Virginia… she studied abroad in Germany; she is married with three children; and, she is an avid hiker. Please stop by the Financial Aid Office to give her a warm COS welcome.

The last financial aid disbursement for the fall semester is scheduled for December 5. Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Cal Grants and Student Success Completion Grant funds will all be disbursed.

  • 24-25 FAFSA will be available to students on December 31, 2023.
  • 24-25 FAFSA changes will be announced towards the beginning of the 2024 spring semester.

Administrative Services

Fiscal Services

Reduced Hours in the Business Office: Due to staff shortage, customer service hours in the Business Office have been temporarily reduced (9:00 am to 3:00 pm). Staff will still be in the office (8:00 am to 5:00 pm) but hope to have time to focus on increased workloads with minimal interruptions outside of this timeframe. If you need to submit any documents, please use the mailbox in the mailroom outside of these hours. Staff will still be available by phone and email.

2023 W-2 Reminder: Employees can select to receive their W-2 electronically. This will allow you access to your tax form on the day released, and allows you to print any additional copies you may need.

You can select this option by logging into mySiskiyous, then… under the Employee tab select the Pay icon. Under Pay Stub, select Employee's W2. This will bring up a screen titled W-2 Wage and Tax Statement. Then select the Employee tab at the top of the page, and then select tax forms. Under Tax Forms select the link Electronic W-2 Consent and then check the box Consent to receive W-2 electronically and submit.

Technology Services

The Client Services Team has completed the workstation refresh the Student Services division. It will apply the workstation standard to workstations in the Academic Affairs division in the first half of 2024.

The Enterprise Application (EA) Team is currently implementing existing customizations to Self-Service Banner 9 in the test environment. We expect to have these customizations in-place by the end of January so departments can begin testing. The EA team is working also with the Fiscal Services department to automate two processes that are currently being executed manually – daily close and clearing checks. Once these processes have been automated, it is estimated this feature will save the department at least three hours' time a week on average.

In December, the Infrastructure Services (IS) Team will further secure remote access to the College by implementing a restriction that will only allow remote access from computers issued by the College or, in the case of consultants, those explicitly approved by Technology Services. The IS Team has currently been working with ResoluteGuard, a vendor engaged by Keenan (the College's cybersecurity insurance provider), to perform another security review. In January, the Infrastructure Services team will implement a new circuit between the Yreka and Weed campuses that will upgrade the network bandwidth from 100Mb to 1 GB.

The College recently selected a new copier vendor, and is in the process of entering into a new lease agreement. The copiers currently being leased (11) will be replaced with new copiers.

Academic Affairs

Peer Online Course Review (POCR) at College of the Siskiyous

Presented by Maria Elena Fernandez, M.A.
Distance Education and Instructional Design Coordinator
Data prepared by The Research and Evaluation Department

Introduction - Prior to establishing our local POCR process, instructors earned quality reviewed (QR) badges independently through the CVC OEI Course Design Academy. A small number of COS instructors earned QR badges between 2018 and 2019.

Peer Online Course Review (POCR) at College of the Siskiyous was modeled on the CVC-OEI's Course Design Academy. Our local process was created during the AY 2019-2020 through the Online Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways grant program. With that grant, the DE Coordinator was able to create a small team of peer reviewers and adapt the CVC POCR process locally. Our reviews focused on ADJ courses.

POCR at COS is now a robust initiative, and we earned our local POCR certification from the OEI in June of 2023. There are currently 18 QR courses from 12 different instructors, and that number continues to grow each year. Our POCR team now includes 15 instructors who attend at least two statewide OEI rubric norming sessions per year.

The Siskiyous Course Design Academy, featuring our local POCR team and the dedicated instructors who do the work of aligning their courses to the OEI rubric, improves student success rates, as this report will illustrate.

The Distance Learning area in collaboration with the Research and Evaluation Department will produce this report annually. This type of research project is in alignment with Pillar 4 of Guided Pathways (Ensure Learning) and is as an excellent example of using data to help inform processes that lead to better outcomes for students.

Pre/Post POCR Comparison Charts

POCR Methodology

Career & Technical Education

Fire Academy and trucks.

Fire Technology is pleased to announce Academy 45 is in its sixth week of training. We have 36 Cadets that have already learned about their Personal Protective equipment including the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, Fire Behavior, Building Construction, Fire Tools and the Incident Management system. They are starting to come together as a team. They will need this teamwork to make it to the finish line of graduation on May 5.

Our Core classes for our AS Fire Science degree are doing well with enrollments up in both in person and online offerings. The students will be wrapping up finals soon along with the rest of the college.

We have completed the following State Fire Training approved classes:

  • Driver Operator 1A – This class teaches the student how to operate and maintain the Fire Engine. This class was possible after recruiting two new instructors from Woodland Fire Department.
  • Rope Rescue Awareness/Operations – This class teaches the student how to do technical rope rescue from low to high angle.
  • River Flood Rescue Technician – student learners how to operate in and around swift water and standing water.
  • Company Officer 2C – Company Officer class for fire inspections and investigations.
  • NWCG-S-290 – Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior.

Thanks to a lot of hard work by the staff, we are pleased to announce that we took delivery of our new 'Flash Over' Fire prop on December 1. This prop allows us to place our fire students in a controlled environment that lets them see real fire behavior and how it is affected by controlling the flow path of heat and air. The old prop lasted about 20 years but has been unusable for the last five years.

Fire Academy Student Repelling
Fire Academy Fire Truck
Fire Academy Fire Tower
Fire Academy Burnt Containers

Noncredit & Community Education

Winter Session Classes: Excel for Business 1, Communication in the Workplace, and Introduction to Trade Welding will be offered during the Winter Session.

Spring Semester Classes: Excel for Business 1, Strategic Thinking, Decision Making, and Problem-Solving, ESL 1/2/3, Small Business Marketing and Media, Body Dynamics and the Aging Process, Life Story Writing for Older Adults, and Art for Older Adults will be offered during the Spring Semester.

Collaboration is underway with Tanja Ramming and Tara Yardberry to introduce a DSPS Life Skills Course at the Modoc College Center, potentially establishing a larger, continued partnership. Courses in the approval process encompass a mirrored EMS 1 class, a Fire 1C course for the CalFire Academy, Introduction to Tungsten Gas Welding, American Heart Association CPR, AED, and First Aid, taught by nursing faculty, and an All-Level Pilates course.

Library & ASC

The Library and ASC are teaming up to offer additional hours at the end of the semester:

  • Sunday, December 10: The Library will be open 12:00 to 7:00 pm to provide additional study time
  • Monday – Wednesday, December 11 - 13: The Library will be open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (ASC open normal hours)

Help us spread the word to let students know about these opportunities to prepare for finals!

Academic Senate

Hi Everyone.

It is hard to believe finals week is almost here and then the holiday season will soon be upon us. During this week's Academic Senate meeting, members officially approved the changes to our local GE pattern. Area 5 of our COSGE pattern has been changed to "Lifelong Learning and Self-Development" (instead of "Multicultural/Living Skills") and a new outcome for this category was identified. Since this category and outcome align with Area E in the CSU GE pattern, the counselors identified classes that will populate Area 5 based on research into what courses are included in Area E. Additionally; we added Area 6 for Ethnic Studies since it is now a requirement for graduation. These changes to the COSGE pattern will be reflected in next college catalog.

The Academic Senate also approved a resolution pressing for the hire of an Instructional Accessibility Specialist. This position is expected to work in collaboration with faculty and instructional staff to create quality and inclusive digital solutions or alternatives for students and to identify effective goals and strategies in scaling such solutions across the campus. One particular area that an Instructional Accessibility Specialist would be invaluable is regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). Many instructors want to adopt OER textbooks/resources so that they can provide free course content to their students. An Instructional Accessibility Specialist would assist faculty in making sure third-party content is accessible to students.

Accessibility is a critical issue on many levels. Research clearly shows that instructors who incorporate accessibility into their content have more student engagement and higher success rates. In addition, it aligns with the college's mission of supporting inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism practices. Most importantly, all California community colleges are required to ensure that educational printed and digital materials are accessible as mandated by the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 sections 504 and 508, and Title 5 Educational Code sections 55200 and 55206. This resolution will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the December 12, 2023 meeting.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!
Andrea Craddock, Ph.D.
Academic Senate President

No other reports received.