Budget forum strives for ELAC’s revitalization

By Russell Zazueta

East Los Angeles College President, Marvin Martinez, wants more students to transfer and is setting a 5 percent growth plan to make East Los Angeles College the No. 1 transfer school in the district. He said financial commitment to ELAC’s transfer program is vital to its reorganization and success.

“We’re behind, (in transfer applicants) but not too far behind. How do we need to reorganize? What sort of staff do we need? What are the relationships we need to build with UCLA and USC . . . to get more students to apply?” said President Martinez.

Under the May Revision, California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a revised state budget that will allocate $26.4 billion to higher education, giving ELAC’s budget a balance of $14 million — $2 million more than last year — to spend on the student transfer program, to upgrade student services and maintain facilities.

 ELAC is organizing a task force of experts that deal in the science of transfer to meet this summer to identify what needs to happen in order to get more students to transfer.

President Martinez said that he will continue to support the “GO ELA Project,” emphasizing that the goal is to create college-ready students out of high school in order to reduce the time in remedial classes so that ELAC students can transfer out sooner.

ELAC plans to revitalize campus facilities, renovate the auditorium (including a state of the art sound system), provide maintenance to classrooms and repair mechanical issues around campus. Martinez said that funding revitalization would ensure the safety of students and staff, and the means to keep facilities up to modern standard to ensure their efficient usage.

Director of College Facilities, Abel Rodriguez, presented a long list of maintenance issues to ELAC to plan ahead.

As of now, the revitalization plan is estimated by the budget committee to cost more than a $1 million, with the scope of work to be determined.

Another ELAC focus is to update and modernize the school website. The idea is to upgrade the system’s intuitiveness, so that in turn students can navigate comfortably and be well informed of the programs and services being offered.

In discussion with the I.T. Department, Martinez said that a recommendation was made by the department to hire a public information officer that would upkeep the website to maintain its efficiency.

Associate Vice President of Administration Services, Erlinda De Ocampo, said that discussion about implementing security cameras on campus parking lots is a priority for the safety of students, faculty and staff.

All funding plans by ELAC look to start by this summer, when the allocation of money to California Community Colleges arrives from the State Budget.

 

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