Hartnell issues first series of Measure T general obligation bonds

Publish Date: 
Aug 31, 2017

Hartnell Community College District issues first series of

Measure T general obligation bonds

SALINAS, Calif.  – Hartnell Community College District has sold $70 million in general obligation bonds from Measure T, the November 2016 ballot measure that authorized the sale of up to $167 million in general obligation bonds. 

District voters overwhelmingly approved Measure T with support from 69% of voters.  Proceeds from the bonds will be used to upgrade classrooms, technology, and science labs, expand local access to higher education and job training, including nursing, agriculture, science, technology, and engineering, repair mechanical/electrical systems, improve veterans’ services, safety, security, and disabled access, and acquire and build sites, facilities, and equipment.  In conjunction with the passage of Measure T, a Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee was established. 

The District sold its 2017 Bonds during a period in which interest rates were near all-time lows.  Rates on the 2017 Bonds ranged between 0.70% and 3.45%. The debt repayment ratio is 1.68 which means for every dollar borrowed it will cost $1.68 to repay. In 2014, Assembly Bill 182 added a requirement for school districts and community college districts that debt service on bond financing cannot exceed a 4 to 1 ratio. Hartnell’s Superintendent/President, Dr. Willard Lewallen stated, “We are pleased to demonstrate good stewardship of the funds entrusted to us by the voters by securing a debt repayment ratio far below what is allowed by law.”

Instrumental to the successful sale and low interest rates was the assignment of strong credit ratings by the two rating agencies Moody’s Investor Services and Standard and Poor’s.   The District was assigned an “Aa2” rating by Moody’s and an “AA” from Standard & Poor’s.  The Standard & Poor’s rating was an upgrade from the previous rating of AA-, as a result of the strong financial position of the District. “The strong credit rating helps us lower our borrowing costs for this and future financings from our new bond,” said Dr. Lewallen.

Both Dr. Lewallen and Vice President of Administrative Services, Benjamin Figueroa presented information to the rating agencies at a meeting in San Francisco highlighting the positive operations and finances of Hartnell CCD as well as the strong and growing local economy and tax base.  Standard & Poor’s cited as reasons for their upgrade the effective management of the District’s finances, the District’s healthy financial position, and the large and diverse tax base.  Moody’s strong rating highlighted the District’s growing enrollment, strong financial profile, and disciplined financial management. 

“District employees and the Board of Trustees all work together to make sure our District is financially strong so that resources are available to support student success,” said Board of Trustees President, Manuel Osorio.   

Dr. Lewallen further stated, “We are excited to begin the projects approved by District voters in November.  Improving existing facilities and building new ones will allow us to provide world class learning environments that will support student success leading to high wage, high demand 21st century jobs and transfer to four-year institutions.”

“Our low borrowing cost will allow us to keep tax rates low while maintaining flexibility to sell additional bonds in the future to continue our Measure T projects,” added Figueroa.

The District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the sale of the 2017 Bonds in June 2017. 


Hartnell Community College District – established in 1920

The Hartnell CCD serves over 17,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, courses in basic skills, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science degree in three years.  We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu. 



Boronda International Study Program goes to France in 2015

Publish Date: 
Oct 1, 2014

SALINAS, Calif. – Hartnell Community College District is happy to announce the Sylvano and Maria Boronda International Study Program for 2015.   Applications are now available for a two-week study abroad program in France next summer; up to 10 scholarships will be issued.   This program is open to all who meet criteria and applicants need not be Hartnell students.

Students selected for the Boronda Program will study and travel under the direction of a Hartnell College instructor.  The scholarship includes paid expenses for air and ground transportation, lodging, meal allowance, and accident insurance.

This scholarship was established in 1985 taking students to Argentina, Guatemala, Japan, Hungary, Spain, Africa, and others.  In his will, Lester D. Boronda specified that the recipients are to be “Students of Unusual Promise in the Arts; namely, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Literature, Drama, Music, or Dance.”

Recipients will enroll in a Hartnell course covering French culture, history, and arts during the spring semester of 2015.  To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Demonstrate an active interest in at least one of the arts by serious previous commitment, participation, or study
  • Be a resident in Monterey County from at least January 1, 2014
  • Be at least 18 years of age by May 1, 2015
  • Be eligible for a passport as required for international travel

Applications are now available at the Hartnell College Foundation in room E-101 or by logging in to http://www.hartnellfoundation.org.   

Completed applications must be turned in to the Hartnell College Foundation or postmarked by October 24, 2014.  The mailing address is Hartnell College Foundation, 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901.  If you have any questions, call 831-755-6810.

Hartnell Community College District
The Hartnell CCD serves over 15,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu.                -30-

Hartnell Superintendent/President Dr. Willard Lewallen Announces Intent to Retire in September 2019

Publish Date: 
Jan 4, 2019
Dr. Willard Lewallen

Governing Board Plans National Search for Successor

Dr. Willard Lewallen, superintendent/president of the Hartnell Community College District for nearly seven years, announced today, Jan. 4, that he will retire in September, culminating a 40-year career in higher education.

The Hartnell district, which serves the greater Salinas Valley including north and south Monterey County, plans to launch a national search for its next executive, with the goal of having a successor in place when Lewallen steps down effective Sept. 30.

Aurelio Salazar Jr., president of the HCCD Governing Board, thanked Lewallen for providing “sound leadership throughout his tenure.”

“The board will work diligently to find a successor grounded in the same vision around student achievement and success,” Salazar said.

Since Lewallen joined Hartnell in May 2012, the college has made steep gains in student success, implemented a $167 million bond-funded construction and modernization plan, achieved fundraising levels that outpace even much larger California community colleges, and established strong alliances with industry and educational institutions at all levels.

Compared with the 2011-12 academic year, completion of degrees by Hartnell students is up by 159 percent, completion of certificates of achievement has increased 231 percent, the number of students transferring to four-year institutions has grown by 63 percent, and 54 percent more students are attending from high schools in the HCCD. During that same period, college enrollment grew by less than 2 percent. Hartnell enrolls approximately 17,000 students a year.

Hartnell, which is designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution, has also won national recognition as a top producer of minority graduates.

Lewallen credits these and other gains to a pervasive college culture that supports what he calls a “students first” approach to actions and decisions.

“This college is filled with faculty, staff and administrators who have a relentless focus on student success and institutional effectiveness,” he said. “They have demonstrated unprecedented innovation and creativity in transforming lives, improving quality of life and strengthening families and communities.”

Along with strong and stable financial operations that Lewallen said have made Hartnell “the envy of most other districts,” initiatives undertaken with his leadership have aimed to either increase support services for students or expand their academic opportunities.

Among the outcomes: a 35 percent increase in full-time faculty positions, a 128 percent increase in the number of counselors, a 33 percent increase in support staff positions and establishment of new academic and support programs that include tutoring centers known as Panther Learning Labs and the state’s first community college center for undocumented students, called Mi CASA (Center for Achievement and Student Advancement).

Working closely with California State University, Monterey Bay, Lewallen provided leadership for the 2013 launch of CSin3, a cohort-based computer science program that leads to a bachelor’s degree in three years. In the three annual cohorts that have completed the program so far, more than 75 percent graduated in three years compared with a 25 percent four-year graduation rate for the entire California State University system. 

Also in partnership with CSUMB, Lewallen provided leadership for the 2016 launch of the Teacher Preparation Pathway, a cohort-based program that is addressing the severe teacher shortage in Salinas Valley schools. He said the TPP is preparing the next generation of elementary school teachers by “growing our own from the talented and motivated individuals who reside in our communities.”

On Hartnell’s Alisal Campus, Lewallen has guided continued development of agriculture and technology offerings and strengthening ties to the Salinas Valley agriculture industry through programs that meet the workforce development needs of the industry.

Lewallen thanked the district’s elected trustees for their support and said the board’s stable, consistent guidance has been essential to Hartnell’s success. Four of the board’s seven current members were serving when he was appointed.

One of those long-serving trustees, Candi DePauw, who represents Area 7 in far southern Monterey County, returned the praise to Lewallen. She said he will be “sorely missed” when he retires.

“Six years ago Hartnell College was in need of dynamic leadership to launch the college to its full potential. Dr. Lewallen answered that call and then some,” DePauw said. “His leadership and management style not only attracted new talent, but unleashed existing talent that was never fully appreciated. 

“Now there is a dedicated faculty-administration-staff base that is the glue of the college, and they have taken Hartnell to national recognition.  As well, he has been instrumental in strengthening the connection with local industry and the community.”

Fellow Trustee Erica Padilla-Chavez, who serves Area 6 that stretches from Chualar to Soledad, said Lewallen has “done a great job in ensuring that our college prepares the next generation of leaders.”

“Our educational outcomes are the best they’ve ever been, our spirit of innovation has led to outstanding programs such as the Teacher Pathway Program, and we are recognized for our commitment to equitable access to higher education.”

In particular, Padilla-Chavez pointed to the planned construction of a new education outreach center in Soledad as a “true testament of his leadership and spirit of partnership.” 

The 16,900-square-foot Soledad center is one of five currentprojects funded through Measure T, a bond measure approved by voters in 2016. The other projects are: a 12,270 -square-foot expansion of the King City Education Center, construction of a new 24,000-square-foot home for Hartnell’s Nursing and Allied Health programs, modernization of classrooms in buildings D and E and the central quad on the Main Campus in Salinas, and construction of an approximately 12,000-square-foot outreach center for north Monterey County in Castroville. All are scheduled for completion by 2021.

Lewallen, who plans to remain in the Salinas area with his wife, Michele, said he expects to do some teaching and consulting during retirement. He said he is “not quite ready to leave behind” a career spent expanding opportunities for student success.

Lewallen began his education career in 1979 as an academic advisor at Purdue University. His California Community College career began as a faculty member and a dean at Antelope Valley College, where Michele Lewallen also began her career as a faculty member. He served as a vice president at Victor Valley College and as president at West Hills College before his appointment at Hartnell. 

In February 2018, Lewallen was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, as a member of its 1976 national championship baseball team, and in April, the university recognized him as a Distinguished Alumnus.

“It feels like the right time to pass the leadership reins,” Lewallen said. “Hartnell is about to begin its second 100 years, and I believe a new college leader should help chart that future.”

Other near-term milestones include the anticipated reaffirmation of the college’s accreditation for seven more years, following an evaluation visit in March, and launch of a new five-year strategic plan later this year.

“There is a tremendous sense of energy and optimism at Hartnell — a feeling that our future will be filled with continued success, and that Hartnell will continue moving from a college of excellence to one of pre-eminence as a result of unprecedented student achievement and success,” Lewallen said.

As he often does, he concluded with recognition of the college’s students.


“What truly makes Hartnell such a special place is the students, who demonstrate tremendous grit and determination in pursuing an education often against difficult personal backgrounds and challenges,” Lewallen said. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve our students, our communities and our employees.”

Veterans Program completes busy November schedule

Publish Date: 
Nov 30, 2018

Staff and students in Hartnell's Veterans Program participated in multiple community events throughout November, including: the annual Salinas Valley Veterans Parade, a screening of the critically acclaimed film "Almost Sunrise," and two workshops for students and employees on managing stress and post-traumatic stress order. 

Thanks to generous contributions and donations by the Hartnell community, the Veterans Program and Veterans Club were able to provide 60 Thanksgiving meals to our students and their families. Finally, the month ended with a night of art therapy provided by Main Street Art Gallery at the Northridge Mall on Nov. 30. Thank you for your continued support of the Hartnell veterans community. 


Two gain training certification in Mental Health First Aid

Publish Date: 
Dec 3, 2018

Hartnell College has two new certified Mental Health First Aid trainers on staff. Department of Supportive Programs and Services Counselor Valerie Maturino and Veterans Program Counselor Gemma Uribe-Cruz attended and completed the Mental Health First Aid certification training in Salt Lake City from Dec. 3-5.

As MHFA trainers, they join psychology instructor Alicia Edelen in providing the eight-hour training for Hartnell College faculty, staff and students this spring. This training provides a deeper understanding of mental health while also helping to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Registration dates for the training will be announced at the Annual Student Success Conference in January. 

Respiratory care students deliver services at Greenfield posada

Publish Date: 
Dec 1, 2018

Parent organizer Alma Loredo of teh Salinas Valley Health Professions Pathway Partnership joined with Hartnell respiratory care students Belen Bonilla, Irene Rivera and Martha Salas de Rodriguez on Dec. 1 to participate in a Community Posada at Vista Verde Middle School in Greenfield. The students took vital signs and provided education about smoking cessation, managing chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma. Loredo was able to connect with parents and begin educating parents about health care pathways at Hartnell. 

SVHPP parent organizer interviewed for Women's Foundation newsletter

Publish Date: 
Nov 30, 2018

Alma Loredo, parent organizer for the Salinas Valley Health Professions Pathway, was featured in the November 2018 e-newsletter for the Women’s Foundation of California. Loredo, a member of the foundation’s Women’s Policy Institute-Local class of 2018-19, is a fellow on the institute’s Economic Justice team.

In the interview-style article, Loredo discussed the challenges and importance of policy advocacy as a Spanish speaker from Monterey County.

“I believe that the education system should supply each student with their necessities so that they have the greatest chance of going to college prepared academically and socially and economically,” she said. “This health problem in my community results from poor investment in children, especially English language learners, in their academics and socio-emotional development and from lack of high-quality pre-schooling.”


Women lawyers association honors Anne Secker of foundation board for lifetime achievement

Publish Date: 
Nov 29, 2018

Anne Secker, former president of the Hartnell College Foundation (HCF) board of directors and a longtime board member, on Nov. 29 received the Lady Justice Lifetime Achievement Award for Legal Advocacy and Community Service from the Monterey County Women Lawyers Association (MCWLA). She is an attorney with the Monterey firm of Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss.

In addition her involvement with the MCWLA and HCF, Secker is on the board of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and a member of local wine groups. She has served on the Monterey County Historical Resources Review Board, the Ag Against Hunger Board and the Board of the Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA), a local non-profit agency developing housing for low income families, and the Planned Giving Advisory Committee for California State University Monterey Bay.

In presenting its award, the board of the MCWLA said she “exemplifies the type of lifetime achievement the award is intended to honor. She has practiced law in Monterey County since 1980, contributing significantly to an office that has been a mainstay in law practice in the area for over 90 years.”


Continuing Ed presents Hartnell Resource Fair for Taylor Farms workers at season's ed

Publish Date: 
Nov 16, 2018

As the work season ended on Nov. 16 at Taylor Farms in Salinas, more than 700 of the company’s employees received their final paychecks and information about educational opportunities at Hartnell.

The Office of Continuing Education presented a Hartnell Resource Fair, where employees were able to gather information from the education department, the Salinas Valley Adult Education Consortium, the pathways department, the Office of Financial Aid and the High School Equivalency Program.

Ninety-five workers expressed interest in continuing their education at Hartnell, and a follow-up workshop on Dec. 6 at Hartnell assisted them with application and registration process.


Psychology students present fall research at symposium

Publish Date: 
Dec 4, 2018

More than 40 psychology shared their semester-long work through posters and oral presentations at Hartnell’s Fifth Annual Psychology Research Symposium, held Dec. 4-6 event in the Office of Student Life.

Psychology faculty Alicia Edelen and Dr. Gabriel Searcy organized the symposium to “provide students with a venue to present important psychological topics affecting the community today,” Edelen said. Topics included such things as the impact of violence in media, the relationship between religious faith and anxiety about death and the role of physical activity in reducing stress.



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