Fierro addresses safety and student success at President’s Hour


During President’s hour, President Fierro answered questions the audience in attendance. This is the second annual president’s hour. Photo credit: David Jenkins

David Jenkins

Questions about student completion and safety were among the topics discussed at the first President’s Hour of the semester.

The meeting took place on Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room.

Cerritos College President Jose Fierro was asked a series of questions by campus staff members and students alike.

About 11 people showed up to this event and very few asked questions with only three individuals asking the president anything.

One of the questions was about the issue of moving students out of Cerritos College who have completed their criteria and want to transfer, while not having those same students stay for such a long time.

Fierro answered by saying, “We are getting more part time students than we are full time students, if we go back five, six, seven years, the numbers were the opposite. More were full time than part time.

“We want to change that, but the challenge is the economy. We know that students work and they need to take care of their families. So a traditionalist schedule is not conducive for full enrollment for students.

He added, “We need to be a little more creative. We have conversations about offering classes on Fridays, Saturdays[…] Sunday evening, online, and hybrid.”

Bio-chem major Rachel Hudson relates to this as a part time student and part time employee.

Hudson stated, “I do not have a fixed work schedule so the online classes really benefit me because I can take courses at home and complete school work around my work schedule and not have to attend the campus.

“Since I do not want to be at the college more than the necessary time to acquire my AA-T degree the classes also allow me to be able to register for several classes in order to be able to complete my degree in an efficient and productive time schedule.”

A question of safety came up, due to last semester’s shooting at the 7-Eleven across the street.

Fierro responded by addressing programs that are new to the school he said, “The C.A.R.E team went through the different departments and went through the specific actions that could be helpful in the case of an emergency.

“We also upgraded our alert system[…]. What was also spoken at the department meeting, we will do whats called ‘security walks’.”

He also spoke on the increasing installments of cameras both within the campus and parking lot, while altogether increasing the presence of police as well.

Dr. Fierro was pleased with the meeting and felt that it went well. He stated, “Being the first meeting of the year i thought the questions were nice, it’s just the beginning of the semester. So, it’ll heat up as we get closer to December.”

What made Dr. Fierro want to do President’s Hour was that he wanted “the opportunity to speak candidly with constituents across the college.” Fierro wanted to create a setting where people feel “comfortable on speaking about concerns they themselves would like to see differently.”

Fierro says he likes doing these things and doesn’t getting to know people and giving those same people the opportunity to get to know him. He wants people to get to know him outside “work based situations”.