SDCCD chancellor gives update on state of the district

Carlos Cortez presented an update to his 10-point plan at Convocation


Shamere Grimes

San Diego City College students gather under tree after class on Aug. 30, 2022. Photo by Shamere Grimes/City Times Media

Shamere Grimes, Multimedia Journalist

Carlos Cortez, the chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, marked the first year of stepping into the top job with an update to San Diego City College faculty and staff last month.

Cortez, who took the position of chancellor on July 1, 2021, gave a speech highlighting a 10-point plan for the district at City’s fall convocation.

The updated version of the plan included a range of topics from inclusion and equity to low-cost campus housing and fundraising opportunities.

Among the key points was a focus on safely moving through the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to offer online courses and support systems for students and faculty.

“Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of our employees and students has remained our highest priority,” Cortez said.

Cortez said the district has dedicated many resources to online learning and as a part of his plan, he estimated that moving forward about half the courses offered will be offered online.

After California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 927 into law in October 2021, which would open the door for more community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees, Cortez said he and his staff are working to expand the number of four-year degrees offered.

City’s Cyber Defense and Analysis program was selected as the first candidate from the college to apply to establish a bachelor’s degree.

Another point in the plan, Cortez said, is a focus on the expansion of concurrent enrollment programs for high school students, giving them a chance to get a head start on furthering their education, especially for students at risk of dropping out.

The district’s colleges are adjusting requirements for concurrent enrollment to allow students in charter schools, private schools, and independent schools to enroll, and have made efforts to lower minimum grade point averages and age requirements for the programs.

Cortez said he has made a comprehensive plan for the inclusion of people from all backgrounds.

Cortez has also pledged to update the facilities and equipment by 2024.