Published October 27, 2020

To the Shasta College Community:
I trust you are doing well in spite of the emergencies on top of emergencies we continue to face and overcome.  This is a little longer of an update, starting with some business relating to the changing tiers we find our area in and the way in which it affects our operations, followed by some great success stories. 

Business –Red to Purple and back to Red…
As you know, last week, the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency announced that Shasta County would be moving to the Purple Tier on October 20th.  Then, over the weekend Shasta County Health and Human Services announced that the county would be remaining in the Red Tier. The Shasta County HHSA made public comments on the increase in cases stemming from college aged individuals. We want you to know that our district has reported five cases to HHSA, but those cases were not related to transmission on campus. The cases occurred off site and all of the parties considered close contacts are no longer in self-isolation and have tested negative for COVID.

In preparation for the transition to Purple Tier, the District notified the athletics department and cafeteria that they will have to cease on-campus operations.  Additionally, the District planned a shift to essential work on-campus only, including lab classes for essential workforce sectors.  However, with the change back to the Red Tier, we can return to Red Tier operations on campus. The campuses will be accessible to employees with supervisor approval. At this time we plan to keep the cafeteria closed. Athletic practice sessions will return with some modifications in place. We will continue essential work on campus and lab classes for the essential workforce sectors will remain in person. The bookstore will remain open with reduced capacity limits. We will continue to offer Wi-Fi to our students in the parking lots. As well, we will continue to operate the state testing center and our ECE childcare facilities. Today’s blood drive and the Christmas tree sales will continue, but with modified operations.

The big news from Instruction is that we look good to go for Spring 2021.  Vice President Frank Nigro reports that more than 300 distance education addenda have been approved by the Curriculum Committee this fall.  These approvals will mean Shasta College can offer our courses online in Spring 2021, and that the courses will also make it onto the spring schedule when it goes live at the end of the month.  We thank the many faculty who rose to the challenge of completing these, and we especially thank the good work of the Curriculum Committee, its chair Scott Yates, the deans, and especially Iva Weidenkeller for their great work on this project.

Financial Aid to Students
During the 2019-20 school year, students received $37.5 million in regular financial aid funds (federal, state, fee waiver values) as well as $1,773,310 in CARES Act Emergency Student Grants. The CARES Act funds, half of Spring 2020 awards, and all Summer 2020 financial aid awards were processed by staff working from home on laptop computers – a huge thank you to the staff involved for their dedication to our students! 

Degrees awarded 2019-20
While the total number of awarded degrees and certificates dipped slightly for 2019-20 (by 68), the number of baccalaureate, ADT, and AA/AS degrees went up slightly in 2019-20 from 2018-19. 

2018-19 Grad Term Baccalaureate of Science Degree Associate Degree for Transfer AA or AS Degree Chancellor Approved Certificate Local Certificate Total
2018U 1 29 65 62 1 158
2018F xx 65 218 148 37 468
2019S 5 178 421 440 122 1,166
Totals 6 272 704 650 160 1,792


2019-20 Grad Term Baccalaureate of Science Degree Associate Degree for Transfer AA or AS Degree Chancellor Approved Certificate Local Certificate Total
2019U xx 18 39 48 1 106
2019F 1 57 247 189 82 576
2020S 7 180 406 326 37 956
2020U xx 19 33 32 2 86
Totals 8 274 725 595 122 1,724

Historic Scholarship Donation for our system and Shasta College Students
Just last week one of our nursing students, Aliyah Hinkley, Eva Jimenez and I were asked to participate in a press conference with the Chancellor’s Office to announce a historic gift to the California Community College system of $100M over the next 20 years. This philanthropic gift is the largest ever received by a Community College System and will be distributed to 34 community colleges in the Far North, Inland Empire, and Central Valley districts to be given n out as scholarships to students who need help to complete their degrees. There are more details than this but you can read more about it on our website  Combined with the $400K we currently give out in scholarships annually and the great work our own Foundation has done with the Survive and Thrive Fund (which is coming close to giving out $100K to students impacted by the pandemic) we are truly working to help our students achieve their educational goals.

It is good to be back after my knee surgery and to see progress reports like those above.  In spite of power outages, fires, and pandemics, we continue to do amazing work to serve our communities and help students achieve their goals.  Thank you!

Joe Wyse
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District 
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA 96049-6006