gmhTODAY 08 gmhToday May June 2016 - Page 15

Preparing Students for the Future As Steve wraps up the last few months of his service as Gavilan’s president and super- intendent, the college is fiscally healthy and increasingly relevant to the changing educational needs of its students, which number around 9,000. Steve gave much of the credit to the board of trustees. “During my years with Gavilan, the college has benefitted from a stable, unified board of trustees that is connected to the local community and passionate about their service,” Steve said. “They under- stand that our college district must have qualified faculty, proper facilities and an appropriate mix of accredited programs, or we risk losing students to colleges in the north.” Gavilan programs are meeting demand for skilled workers in nursing, water resource management, aviation and other professions. The new Coyote Valley campus will provide essential training facilities for police, fire, EMT and other public safety workers. It will also offer evening classes for students in a variety of degree programs, with the potential to expand and serve up to 10,000 students in the coming years. Gavilan is also sensitive to the needs of under-served and under-prepared students in South County. The college district serves an immigrant population with the need to overcome language and literacy challenges. The school’s free non-credit program is open to non-documented students to equip them for higher learning and degree programs. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN “Gavilan operates in three communities, each with an individual identity and needs. It takes someone with a big picture view. Steve has that. He led the college through a tough recession, without the need for layoffs, and dealt with the ebb and flow of government funding.” Jeff Perkins, SVP and Regional Manager Heritage Bank MAY/JUNE 2016 15