iFALCON gets ready for its launch

Rick Gomez

With 24,000 students enrolled , Michael Barrita, ASCC president wants to leave a program of student success behind for Cerritos College. 

The answer is iFALCON.

Bryan Reece, President of the Faculty Senate, introduced the new campaign, “Habits of the Mind,” to fellow faculty members Thursday morning.

“We want to focus on student success.  We saw this program bigger than anything else,” Barrita said.

With a majority of Cerritos College having first generation students enrolled, “Habits of Mind” may benefit them the most. 

“Habits of Mind,” scheduled to launch Spring semester of 2009, will be the defining program for Cerritos College students.

“It’s a fantastic campaign.  It is well organized and it’s needed,” said David Betancourt, chair of Music Department.

 The campaign will feature a new website, cards and posters to promote the program, and a catchy acronym to go along with it, iFALCON.

With the craze and popularity of Apple inserting the letter “i” in front of its products such as the iPod, students in Cerritos literally put the “i” in iFALCON,  it meaning Focus, Advance, Link Up, Comprehend, and New ideas.  Habits of the campaign will treat F.A.L.C.O.N. as a verb.

“To falcon is to practice ‘Habits of Mind,'” Reece said.

In the website, each letter in the word F.A.L.C.O.N. will provide great detail of what it means. 

The website will also include videos of students describing their own views and opinions of what to do to be successful in college. 

Quizzes and resources will also be provided through the website to help students think about each topic or letter.

The promotional approach has also taken a similar approach to that of iPods.  There will be posters and cards with the same  silhouette theme iPod advertises.

The unique component of the cards and posters is that the people as silhouettes are actually students from Cerritos. 

The cards will contain two main features. 

The first one being a quick background of the student and his success in Cerritos College and the second being a code provided on the back of each card that can be entered into a contest to win various prizes varying from an iPod to a flash drive.

Every time there is some sort of purchase, whether it be in the bookstore or Taco Bell, the iFALCON cards will be distributed to students along with their receipt.

In addition,  “Habits of Mind” will be a two-part campaign, an in-class and a general campus campaign.

The in class campaign requires the help of faculty  members.  It will consist of a 14 week cycle in which every week, the teacher will focus on a specific letter to students in the class.

Faculty is being asked to use iFALCON when teaching study skills to students and also contribute to the iFALCON website.

“It set up to be successful, if [faculty] gets involved, then I believe it will be successful,” Betancourt adds. ” [Faculty] needs to make sure students are aware of iFALCON. It’s quite easy to incoporate iFALCON in my class.”

The other part of the campaign, the general campus campaign, has one main goal: general awareness.  This aspect of “Habits of the Mind” will be student driven with the message of iFALCON being delivered through the banners, campaign cards, posters, and websites.

“Overall, students are excited.  The students are nothing but positive about ‘Habits of  Mind,'”  Barrita said.