All career and technical education (CTE) programs at all community colleges in California are required to establish an advisory board consisting of individuals, representing organizations and institutions, who have experience and knowledge in the fields where students are enrolled in a specific CTE program at a given community college might ultimately seek employment, possibly leading to a career. These advisory boards are to meet, either in-person or virtually) at least once per year. The purpose of these meetings is to seek the advice and counsel of advisory board members on CTE curricular issues and to work with the faculty and administration at the college on issues that are deemed to be important to the success of students and helping them achieve their career and academic goals.
Here at West Valley College, we are seeking to broaden the membership of our Business, Accounting & Real Estate (BARE) advisory board to make our board more diverse in both technical expertise and ethnicity. In addition, we would like for our board members to have positions in their respective organizations and institutions where they have access to human resources who can provide needed support to our students. We believe having 5 years of experience in business or higher education in areas such as management, marketing, human resource management, accounting, taxation, finance, law, real estate, etc. to be important.
The BARE advisory board meets twice per year (May and November), either in person or virtually, for 90 minutes, normally on a Friday morning and we try to begin our meetings at 8:00 AM so that the board members have most of their day remaining after the meeting. The agenda for each meeting includes a discussion of current issues at the college and time for board member advice and counsel. Over the past few years, board input has been extremely important in helping us overhaul our business and accounting certificate programs to help completers of our certificates develop the skills needed to be successful.
Looking to the future, the expectations of board members will change. In addition to the advice and counsel previously described, it is hoped board members will be able to help with the implementation of two very important programs for students described below: mentorships and internships. In addition, having board members come into our classrooms as guest lecturers has proven to be very valuable to our students the guest lecturer provides some “real world” perspective to some of the material discussed in the course.
We believe mentorships can be helpful to students and improve their success at West Valley College. Board members will be expected to help develop this mentorship program. Board members should be able to personally mentor one or more of our students in need and/or assemble resources within their respective organizations and institutions to provide this mentorship support.
Student’s mentorship needs vary from one student to another and can include job and career related advice, academic or course content related support, or just someone to talk to. Board members and mentors will be expected to identify what kind of mentoring they can provide and work with West Valley faculty to assure a proper student/mentor match.
Board members will be expected to work within their respective organizations and institutions to develop paid or unpaid internship programs that will enable West Valley business, accounting & real estate students to gain valuable experience that will help prepare them to achieve their academic objectives and chosen career path. In addition, students who choose to enroll in our internship program will be able to earn as many as 4 units of college credit.
Board members will be expected to be ok with having their name and position listed in the West Valley catalog as well has having their picture and short bio appear on the West Valley College Business, Accounting & Real Estate department website.