Commentary: College district's worth measured in graduates

As elected trustees for Coast Community College District, we are committed to ensuring that sound policies and fiscally responsible practices continue at our three colleges: Orange Coast, Golden West and Coastline.

During this time of statewide fiscal uncertainty, this has been a daunting challenge. Despite these challenges, our colleges continue to provide educational opportunities to the communities we are privileged to serve. At this time of year we are fortunate to harvest the fruits of our labor with graduation.

For our students, graduation marks the end of their studies. It also marks the beginning of their university studies or the start of their careers. For us, it is a time to reflect upon our contributions to their accomplishments. This year, as Board of Trustees president, I was proud to accept three graduating classes in traditional ceremonies recognizing the completion of career programs such as nursing and programs at the Criminal Justice Training Academy. All of these ceremonies happened here, at our community colleges.

In fact, since 2006 our three colleges have awarded more than 23,000 degrees and more than 5,900 certificates to students. We have done this despite crippling budget cuts and the state's disinvestment in higher education.

The dedication of our board, faculty, staff and administrators has made it possible in providing quality education and a fresh start for more than 30,000 community members. Whether they are continuing their studies or have entered the workforce, at Coast Community College District we are proud of their accomplishments. Our report card is measured in the number of successful graduates we send forth.

Together, we will continue to move forward. I am proud to present our report card — our graduates.

As always, I value your input and welcome your feedback to

JIM MORENO is Coast Community College District Board of Trustees president.

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