top
California
California
Indybay
Indybay
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Dozen LAVC Cinema Student Narratives challenges Erika Endrijonas’s LACCD Success Story

by Anonymous
Erika Endrijonas has built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley College are creating cracks in this image.
sm_endrijonas_and_media_arts_department.jpg
Erika Endrijonas’s name has been synonymous with success in higher ed. The current Superintendent-President of Pasadena City College has built a solid reputation as a self-described “professional problem solver.” Nearly a decade ago Endrijonas took helm of Los Angeles Valley College, an LACCD campus financially in the red and mired in Accreditation troubles. Within a short period of time Endrijonas moved the campus finances back into the black and removed accreditation warnings from the college in a year.

Having turned around LAVC, Endrijonas moved on to become the Superintendent-President of Pasadena City College, one of the more prestigious Junior Colleges on the West Coast. And again Endrijonas seemingly made miracles happen with PCC receiving a thirty-million dollar donation in 2021. Endrijonas proudly announced “I cannot wait to put this investment to work.”.

Elsewhere Endrijonas has been quoted describing her passion for education, “Community Colleges have a vital role in equalizing the playing field because not everybody has a family that will send them off to college.”

Endrijonas’s own personal backstory has driven her career as a Community College Student champion “I grew up where it was assumed we’d go to college. But the day after I graduated high school, my mom said she would not pay for it and would not fill out financial aid forms. They could have paid,” she explained. “I worked all through college. I had a typewriter and went around the dorm, and I’d exchange food for typing if students didn’t have money.”

And Endrijonas has been handsomely compensated for her work.

According to Transparent California, Endrijonas currently commands a salary and benefits of $442,444.08 annually. During her Presidency at Los Angeles Valley College, Endrijonas’s was paid over a quarter-of-a-million dollars per year.

Now Endrijonas has been announced as possibly returning to the LACCD, as a finalist for President of Los Angeles City College.

But new cracks have emerged in this academic rockstar’s professional image.

In the past year the Pasadena City College Academic Senate and Faculty Union voted to pass a resolution of no confidence in her leadership. This has been followed by division between the Pasadena City Board of Trustees regarding whether to continue her employment or not, and Pasadena voters retiring sitting trustees last year signaling public displeasure with the college’s direction.

Now a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from Los Angeles Valley College Media Arts students further contradict Endrijonas’s success based resume.

On May 2, 2023, ‘Endrijonas faces new questions in LACCD fraud’ hit the wire, questioning Endrijonas role in a massive racketeering scheme at her previous institution.

The article included two accreditation complaints filed by students in the LAVC Media Arts Department. Student 1 included emails to then LACCD Board of Trustees Scott Svonkin in Fall 2014, raising multiple issues. But a 2016 email thread from a dozen students show that these problems remained unaddressed two-and-half years into Endrijonas’s leadership of Los Angeles Valley College.

In her response to the Accreditation Commission, Endrijonas acknowledged both that classes had not been scheduled and that work to ensure LAVC Media Arts Website accuracy had only commenced in February 2016, despite issues first being raised in 2014. Endrijonas provided no explanation as to why she had not taken steps to ensure the programs LAVC advertised were accurate or taken action against College officials responsible for submitting fraudulent reports to the LACCD Board of Trustees, Chancellor and Accrediting Commission.

Student 2's email includes similar complaint about scheduling with a petition signed by twenty three students demanding a class required for graduation that had not been offered in four years.

In 2018, LAVC Media Arts Department reported that during the 2015 – 2016 School Year, the number of certificates issued to students across all Media Arts disciplines amounted to only twenty-one total certificates issued. Only one certificate was issued in the Cinema track and one in the Television track. None were issued in Media Arts: Post Production. Multiple certificates were issued to the same students, further lowering the number of total students successfully completing a certificate program.

From 2008–2018, only thirty-one students had completed an AA in Cinema Degree, eighty-four had completed one of the four existing Media Arts Degrees; averaging three students per year completed a Cinema Degree, two students per year completed a Media Arts Degree program.

California Community College’s in general struggle with student success.

In 2018, The Los Angeles Times reported that 70% of California Community College students statewide do not earn a two-year associate degree or transfer to a four-year school in six years.. In 2017 it was reported that “1 in 5 L.A. Community College students were homeless.”. And 65% of LACCD students were food insecure..

But the student narratives and petitions describe the obstacles to graduation as being entirely based on LAVC's Media Arts Department and the school Administration violating accreditation standards requiring scheduling be based around student completion. Several years prior a Media Arts student also filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles Valley College alleging the same problems under the same Department Chair of delayed graduation, deceptive advertising and finally retaliation by being denied graduation.

Yet there is no evidence Endrijonas, the self-described “professional problem solver” took any action against the Media Arts Department Chair whose actions were cited as grounds for Los Angeles Valley College as a respondent in the 2008 lawsuit and 2016 Accreditation Complaints. During Endrijonas's leadership of LAVC, Eric Swelstad remained Chair of the Department and a full-time faculty member. According to LAVC’s current website, Eric Swelstad is still the Department Chair of the Media Arts Department.

On the surface Endrijonas's response of admitting multiple failures to abide by Accreditation Standards and submission of fraudulent reports to Accreditation, while failing to hold the Department Chair accountable appears uncharacteristic. Endrijonas has a solid reputation of heavy-handed responses to what she views as campus problems. According to LAVC’s student newspaper The Valley Star News, Endrijonas fired LAVC English Department Chair Alfred Zucker, who had taught at LAVC since 1997, due to “questions pertaining to his leadership of PTK [honor society Phi Theta Kappa] on campus.”. At Pasadena City College Endrijonas mandated faculty return to in-person teaching during the middle of the 2022 omicron surge stating it was “non-negotiable.”

Part of the answer may lie in how Endrijonas has demonstrated she operates.

At Pasadena City College Endrijonas is greatly disliked. The vote of no confidence passed the Senate 17-12, and the faculty union by 60%. Adjunct faculty denied the opportunity to vote staged demonstrations and voiced their discontent in Pasadena Newspapers and at Board of Trustee meetings. Pasadena City College’s Student Newspaper The PCC Courier described the Academic Senate vote on April 13, 2022 as follows “During the Academic Senate meeting Endrijonas was called “stubborn,” “arbitrary,” “unsafe,” among other descriptions. She was accused of violating “the regulations and spirit of shared governance.”

Endrijonas’s only support has been the PCC Management Association who has resorted to staging protests trying to overthrow a U.S. election demanding the President of the Board step-down. According to the President of the Board they represent 5% of PCC stakeholders. Yet, the PCC Management Association felt comfortable with staging a poorly received protest on Endrijonas behalf at the April 19, 2023 Board of Trustees meeting demanding that Endrijonas's contract be extended and that the President of the Board of Trustees ignore Pasadena voters mandate for change by resigning.

In 2016, LAVC school administrators appear to have worked to cover-up the situation. Student 1 brought complaints to LAVC Omsbudsman Annie G Reed. In an email to Student 1, Reed refused to address the schedule issues and was dismissive of student progress as a measure in how courses were scheduled – despite LAVC’s Accreditation Standards clearly stating student achievement was to be the primary consideration in scheduling practices. Annie G Reed is married to Dennis Reed, the former area Dean over the Department, also listed as a respondent in the 2008 lawsuit.

Dennis Reed, the 2008 lawsuit alleged, had protected Department Chair Eric Swelstad from consequences and retaliated against the student filing the lawsuit by denying him graduation. The student’s concerns about the LAVC Media Arts Department's deceptive practices were brushed off. Around the same time Dennis Reed was involved actively lobbying the LACCD Board of Trustees for approval of the Media Arts Building that was also up for approval in 2016.

Instead of serving low-income LAVC students, Endrijonas built workplace alliances with Deans, Department Chairs and Administrators to craft a success story that didn’t exist, while refusing to deal with the real problems and ensure real student success.

The other part of the answer as to why Endrijonas was willing to fire a long time Department Chair in one Department, but not the other, may lie in the fact that Endrijonas wasn’t gearing up to lobby the LACCD Board of Trustees for approval of a building project over budget for the English Department; a project that would turn out to be a racketeering scheme exploiting low income students need while creating a windfall for the racketeers at the taxpayer and Pinner Construction's expense.

As more information comes to light more cracks appear in the carefully manicured image Endrijonas has cultivated in SoCal Academia. The newly surfaced dozen student narratives, accreditation complaints, lawsuits against Los Angeles Valley College, the votes of No Confidence by the Pasadena City College Academic Senate and Faculty Union, adjunct-faculty Op-Eds, the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees division over extending Endrijonas’s contract all point to the “professional problem solver” reputation she has built being a work of fiction. Instead of cleaning house, Endrijonas swept ALOT under the rug. Erika Endrijonas may be a problem solver, but as these narratives indicate it is not for the low-income students she professes to serve.
sm_student_2_complaint__1_.jpg
From:
Sent: Monday, June 6, 2016 3:49:14 PM UTC To:
Subject: Re: Fwd: LAVC Fall 2016 Schedule

Hello Ms. President,

My name is , I have been a full time LAVC student for the past two years, my degree is in Cinema Arts, and by all accounts I should be done by this Fall, but I won'tbe. Now,I'memailingyoudirectlybecausetheproblemthatmeandtwenty three of my colleagues are facing is one we believe only you could possibly solve. This is because the Chair of our department (Eric Swelstad), and our Dean (Laurie Nalepa) has given us no alternative. The problem that we are facing is that (as of May 25th 2016) Cinema 125 is planned to be offered in the FALL of 2017, and we need it not to be in the Fall of 2017 but at the very least in the SPRING of 2017.

A bit of backstory, Cinema 125 used to be Cinema 123/124 (they combined it this Spring). Now 123 was offered in the Fall of 2015, but as colleague of mine would also like to have you note is that the full capstone class has not been offered in four years (they never scheduled 124) and that pushing 125 off to next Fall will make it five years since the full class has been offered. If my colleagues and I are correct, this would pose a very serious problem to Valley's accreditation because this would put the college in violation of the standard about the schedule and timely completion, and yes, we do plan on taking this up to accreditation if we do not get a promise, in writing by Eric Swelstad, Laurie Nalepa, and yourself, that Cinema 125 will be offered in the Spring of 2017, no matter what.

This is because the majority of us have been coming to Valley for over two years, and every semester we've been taking the classes required to take Cinema 125 (Cinema 101, 110, 115, and 120), and just frankly, we need to get our degrees and move on with our lives, and Cinema 125 is the class these people and I need to graduate, and these people, including myself, are not going to wait another year and half for a class that the majority of us should have been having this coming Fall.

Most of the names I'm giving to you with this email have been going to Valley for at least a year, some you may find have been coming here for four, and all of these people have taken or will have taken (and passed) all of the necessary classes for Cinema 125 (Cinema 101, 110, 115, and 120) by Spring 2017. Those who are "Years Unknown" are people I just met this past semester, and I don't know how long they've been taking.
sm_student_2_complaint__2_.jpg
Again, we are students who want to graduate with degrees in Cinema Arts, and are not going to wait another year and a half for a class that should've been offered to us this Fall, and we will not accept anything less that a promise in writing that "Cinema 125 will be offered in the Spring 2017, no matter what." from the Department Chair Eric Swelstad, our Dean Laurie Nalepa, and you yourself. I would also like to remind you that we will take this up to accreditation if we do not get what we need.

Thank you for reading this, and have a nice day.

(Sent 6/6/16)
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 1 (May 2, 2016)
by Anonymous
sm_student_1__1_.jpg
To Whom Who Cares and Have Power to Make a Change,

I came to this college hoping that I get the best program specially with my time and budget because I am in the Film Production Mecca, in the heart of film production anyway! Unfortunately I didn’t get what I was expecting. If I was able to go to City College I think I would’ve finish my Cinema classes last year. I don’t expect from Pierce College or other schools because they don’t advertise that they are art school but Valley college is showing that they have such a successful background in Cinema and Media Art, may be in the past but definitely not now! I lost couple years of my life that I could get a job much sooner. I’m still not graduated just waiting for one class, and not having a job in my field! It’s a sham for me and the college that I attended! Colleges want us to get our classes faster and graduate but what I got from Valley College (Hollywood) was something that I could get way better in the third world countries and I’m not saying this as insult which I am very honest and this is a sad fact.

I am expecting Valley College has to get back to its game and real level and also concern about our time and lives which we are wasting to just get one class in one semester or wait for one special class for a whole year. Never seen like this anywhere. I compare our materials with a college in San Francisco which my friend started one year after that I started in Valley College and not only she finished her program she went to a higher level finished that too and now she is teaching in that college. Can you believe that? I helped her to get to some Cinema schools and now she is working! She knows much more than me and several time she challenged me with her updated materials and knowledge. She asked with a sympathetic sound what did they teach you guys in that school?! You figure it out what I am feeling now. Usually this is the school failed students but I have to say this time Valley College failed to us very badly!
Thanks
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 2 (April 30, 2016)
by Anonymous
sm_student_1__2_.jpg
To Whom it May Concern,

It's taking me three years to get my certificate in Post Production because of class scheduling conflicts and classes not being offered on a regular basis. In Fall15,the only class that I could take towards my major, was Photoshop. I ended up taking three Broadcasting courses just so I could keep my full time status. Had sound, editing and after effects been offered last semester, I would have my certificate in hand and happily seeking employment.

I figured for sure I will graduate in Spring 16. The three classes I needed were offered, but sound and after effects were offered on the same night. Really? There's five days a week that classes are offered and two classes that post production students need are offered on the same night? Why not one in the day and one at night at least? I ended up taking sound and editing and photography as a filler.

I need one more class and none of the classes that would fulfill my certificate are being offered in the summer or fall 16. I will have to wait until Spring 17 to hopefully get the class that I need.

We keep hearing that the school wants us to hurry up and graduate and either transfer or find employment. I would love to do either. When I signed up to get my certificate, I wasn't expecting a three year commitment to complete 36 credits. It should have taken me three semesters, not three years.

I love the program and professors, but I hate the lack of consideration for our expected graduation dates.I also don't appreciate that we are learning out dated programs. Final Cut Pro 7 is not the industry standard. I'd rather learn Premiere. We should have access to the latest, most updated software on the market. How can I consider myself an editor when I have never had access to Final Cut Pro X. I've had access to Premiere, only because I have it on my personal computer. imovie is not industry standard either. It's almost an insult to train us on it. We need updated equipment in numerous areas. We should be state of the art.

Thank you for your consideration of these very important issues.
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 3 (April 29, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
Hello Professor,
I have been attending the Media Arts program at LAVC since 2013. The schedule set up for the classes has detained me from getting my certificate in post production. I work Saturday's and photoshop has not been offered any other day. Just this semester, the after effects class was cancelled at the last moment. Both classes I need to get my certificate. Fortunately, I have been able to switch my schedule around and still able to take the directing class this semester. I love all of the classes that I have taken and have learned so much, from all the professors. I wish there is a way we could have these classes offered on a weekday evening.
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 4 (April 28, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
It seems my graduation will never happen from Vally College after 4-5 years that I spent there just for a certificate not even an AA degree. I waited 2 years for taking Cinema 123, and finally last semester it happened. Now as Prof. Swelstad told us, I have to take Photoshop or AE class instead of Cinema 124 to get my certificate, but I have this challenge with myself that why I have to spend my time and money for something that it's not even close to advanced production workshop( C124) that was supposed to give us the opportunity to make another short movie with our classmates?
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 5 (April 27, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
I feel like all of these classes should be offered every semester. I could have graduated a year before but because some classes are only offered once a year and have prerequisite it makes it harder. Not only that but the fact that sometimes the classes are offered at the same time. When I started at Valley I wanted to get an AA in post production but I can't because some of the classes are offered once every blue moon, so I had to change it. I wish they would have more classes to graduate on time. That is what the school system wants, for people to graduate. How can we do that if the school give impossible requirements?
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 6 (April 26, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
Sometimes at Valley I feel like an outsider is looking in. I am not as active in the film community as my fellow students, but I feel that I always hear all of their horror stories. Stories about classes that they can't get because they are off scheduled, pitted against other core classes, or not scheduled at all. Student losing financial aide. Students missing out on industry jobs because they are hanging around Valley waiting for classes. There seems to be no logical reasoning for the the scheduling and it is so sad to hear what is going on. Do you serve the students or not? Like nothing about scheduling seems to be serving the students. A big example this semester is sound class. I know several students who have gone to other school because sound was not offer at LAVC. And when Sound was finally offer it was pitted against After Effects. LOTS of students want to take After Effects. It is a highly sought out skill in the industry. Why pit the two classes against each other, if the goal of this program is to get students working in the industry? Also because Valley has not offer the sound class in such a long time. The Sound Class is now over-crowded, and combine that with the lack of equipment. Sound is feels like such a waste of time because the instructor has to compensate for too many students and not enough equipment. It's just not fair to the teacher and to the students. I feel that I would have to lie about my sound training because I barely got to use any equipment.Your classes say lecture and lab. THERE IS HARDLY ANY LAB TIME! How can we say we have experience if we never and/or rarely get to use the industry standard equipment? It's like a doctor learning only the theory of medicine then working on live patients, praying that the theory is enough. Would you trust a doctor that has no practical training? Film making is hard enough in practice and failing in the industry is rarely tolerated. So, you are really doing your students a disservice by not giving us more practical training time and scheduling classes in such away that everyone is handcuffed to the mad scramble of we must get classes now because it may not be offered later.

My question to the department is this, if your goal is to get students working in the industry. Why are the classes that are needed not offered? Why do we not get more practical training. Why do we not have equipment access? It's just a poorly structure program and it's sad that so many people feel that are wasting their time at Valley. And if reputation is everything in the industry. My feelings are current students are going to recommend to future students that the Valley Film Program is not worth it unless something changes.
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 7 (April 25, 2016)
by Anonymous
sm_student_1__7_.jpg
Dear Professor Swelstad,

I am writing to you in earnest, along with many of my talented classmates. I have been stuck at Los Angeles Valley College struggling to get the classes that I need since Spring 2013. This was supposed to be a two-year degree. In the time it has taken me to even come close to completing my (3) degree(s), I could have already earned at least a Bachelor's degree AND would now be working in the film and television industry! Due to required classes not being offered in the evenings or not being offered at all, I have been forced to now spend my valuable time and energy going to Los Angeles City College.

A promising student and hard-working single parent with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.803 should NOT have to stress themselves out, spending valuable energy, time and gas money to drive to two or three junior colleges to complete a degree. I understand that there have been budget cuts, but I also understand that colleges make money by having students take their classes.

I have learned so much in my time at Los Angeles Valley College, but I also feel that I will be old and gray by the time I am able to finally check off those boxes on film industry applications for degrees that I have finally earned. I don't even believe that a mere Associates degree carries much weight in the job market these days. Employers don't even scan online resumes for anything less than a Bachelor's degree these days.

The mission of a community college, its professors and board of directors is supposed to be training the students as quickly as they can and offer as much real- world training as they can, not force them to struggle, juggle and beg. I will be extremely proud of my accomplishments when I finally complete my degrees, but it has been a far more cumbersome and time-consuming journey than it should have
been. The route to a two year degree for Cinema, Broadcasting, Media Arts and Theatre absolutely needs to be streamlined, especially for adults who must work full time.

I greatly appreciate your time, consideration and action to resolve any such matters.

Sincerely,
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 8 (April 25, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
It's my personal belief that they should offer the same class at different times so that there is no conflict. That being said I do understand budget constraints and time constraints. Last year I was in a show and was unable to take a Photoshop class because it was not offered at a time that was convenient for me. In closing I am happy with the education that I'm receiving at Los Angeles Valley College and I know that the staff is working with what they have.
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 9 (April 25, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
Here's my story. This goes back to last semester. Since they were not offering #110 or MP Sound then I had to take some classes that did not qualify me for the Pell grant. Meaning I was registered as a Post Production Major so I asked to switch majors to Directing. They thenswitchedmewhichstilldidn'tqualifyme. SoIlostmymoneysoIcouldstayin school. Then I came down with cancer of the Prostate and subsequently radiation therapy. I mention that because I should have gotten my Certificate last semester. Now I'm struggling to pay the rent and could have been working in the Biz. I have been in the Entertainment Biz going on now 40 years. I came back to school because I thought I could make my life story before I die. . . Personally had I been able to get over to LACC I would've gone there...I had no idea LAVC was so inhospitable to the movie
business.

§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 10 (April 25, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
Hello,

my name is . . . I have been a student with LAVC for 4 years. I was majoring in Cinema and Media arts. I have kept a 4.0 GPA and was offered membership with Phi Theta Kappa honor society. I had to stop coming to LAVC for several reasons. It seemed that a year ago the school canceled the Sound Design class, a class I was hoping to take. I went to SIGGRAPH courtesy of and I was discussing my leaving with one of the teachers. She said she was the Dean who was responsible for cancelling the classes, due to the fact she felt it wasn't relevant. It appears the Cinema/Media department does not care for it's students anymore. That is why I have gone on to LACC. Their curriculum is vastly superior, and the petty squabbles are not as present.
§LAVC Media Arts Student Narrative 11 (April 22, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
And I will attest I had to quit that job, I had worked there a very long Tim but I haven't for them since.

Saturday was a big deal
§Email to cc'd LAVC Academic Senate (April 17, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
I have seen the Fall 2016 schedule that YOU and Prof. Swelstad have made up AND I am aware of the curriculum changes made recently.

I am also aware that the Media Arts Department Scheduling Committee for the Media Arts/Cinema Disciplines for the past several years has consisted exclusively of YOU with Department Chair.

. . . was not assigned to teach her Photoshop class that she wrote has wrote and taught for the past several years. Prof. Swelstad has claimed that it is Department policy to offer classes to the new hire first before the adjuncts. That is a lie. Adjunct Professor Dan Watanabe (who does not have an MFA and less academic credentials then . . .) and Adjunct Emeritus Professor Joseph Dacursso (who is retired) have already been scheduled to teach and assigned courses on the published schedule.

For SEVERAL YEARS two adjunct instructors names always scheduled in conflict against each other and always assigned classes that are required to graduate in conflict with one another in a manner that undermines student matriculation and in violation of Valley College's most recent accreditation self-evaluation report submitted to the Accreditation Board in January.
§Email to cc'd LAVC Academic Senate (April 17, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
Fall 2013 -

Monday Nights - Broadcast 26/Media Arts 104
Tuesday Nights - Cinema 110/Cinema101

Spring 2014 -

Saturdays - Cinema 123/Media Arts 103 (Violation of Accreditation Agreement - Both core requirements for Associate of Cinema Arts)

Fall 2015 - Saturdays - Cinema 111/Media Arts 104

Spring 2016 -

Thursday Nights - Media 110/Media Arts 103 (Violation of Accreditation Agreement - Both requirements for Post-Production Associates)

In January, 2016 Valley College submitted it's self-evaluation to the Accreditation board citing its compliance with the student's rights and schedule of the Accreditation
Agreement "Department chairs, in consultation with their deans, ensure that scheduled course offerings enable students to transfer or complete certificate and degree programs in a timely manner"(P.69LAVC-Self-EvaluationReport-January2016) The previous timeline of the past schedules YOU HAVE MADE UP for THREE YEARS contradicts the college has submitted to the accreditation board.
§Email to cc'd LAVC Academic Senate (April 17, 2016)
by Anonymous
sm_student_1__14_.jpg
In Spring 2014, Cinema 123 with was scheduled on the same day and over-lapping time as Media Arts 103, with (AND as you well know Media Arts 103 has been the class that the department has awarded credit for Cinema 124 for several years) preventing my entire Cinema 123 class from completing the Cinema program that semester.

The entire recent curriculum change to archive Cinema 123/124 and create Cinema 125 would have been UN-NECESSARY - but for the schedule YOU made up.

In Spring 2015, students let the Department Chair know that WE DID NOT WANT THE Cinema 111 and Media Arts 104 on the same days and that Photoshop being scheduled on Saturday undermined the ability of many students to enroll for Fall 2015. We were told that it was impossible to move either classes and that they had to be scheduled on that day at the same time. (SEE BELOW EMAIL).

That was a lie.

There were no classes in the CC8 labs last semester and Cinema 111 as a lecture class could have been scheduled in any classroom on any night. More to the point
requested a schedule change that was denied after so many students communicated to that they were un-happy with the situation and was willing to offer class on another day.
Now that the Fall 2016 Schedule is out and neither and are scheduled for Fall 2016 - the Department is suddenly able to schedule the same two classes on different nights that don't have a conflict!

There is more then enough documentation that the Department scheduling committee which has consisted of you and Prof Swelstad, scheduled these conflicts with these two particular teachers and now that the classes they taught last semester are being given to the new hire, there is now no scheduled conflicts.
Whatever personal problems that YOU and Prof Swelstad have with your co-workers HOW DARE YOU use the School Schedule in violation of the College's Accreditation agreement and interfere with students ability to finish and graduate!

Give back Photoshop class AND STOP using the schedule and curriculum to settle YOUR PERSONAL PROBLEMS with your co-workers.
§Email to cc'd LAVC Academic Senate (April 17, 2016)
by Anonymous
 built a reputation as a rockstar "professional problem solver" in California's Community Colleges, but a dozen newly surfaced student narratives from her time as President at Los Angeles Valley Colle
From: Swelstad, Eric J. Sent: Monday, June 1, 2015 11:14 AM
To: REDACTED
Subject: Re: LAVC Fall 2015 Schedule

I'm sorry the classes are scheduled on the same day and time, but there is a limit to how many days and time slots we have available, and instructors qualified to teach the classes.

Unfortunately we need to offer the classes on the days and times we are offering them. There are always other options for getting a class to count (other schools and other classes) for graduation, etc., so I am open to students bringing me their requests.

In the meantime, we will continue to consider all factors when doing a schedule for Fall or Spring, including the comments you made below.

Thank you,

Eric Swelstad
§Email to cc'd LAVC Academic Senate (April 17, 2016)
by Anonymous
sm_student_1__16_.jpg
From: > Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 9:46 AM To: "Eric J. Swelstad" Subject: LAVC Fall 2015 Schedule

Hi Professor Swelstad,

I am emailing you on behalf of the undersigned students. Next Fall, Media Arts 104, Photoshop is a scheduled on Saturday afternoons.

When enrolling for Fall, I found that it conflicts with Cinema 111, which is scheduled for the same time, several other fellow students (some currently enrolled in the Fall Section) have said that it was conflict with their work schedules and have stated they will either drop the class next semester or not sign-up for it at all unless its offered on another day due to work conflicts and would like the day for the class moved to a weekday. I also spoke with several students who took the class last semester on a Saturday and stated not only was it a major conflict with their work schedules, one student had to quit their weekend job to finish the class (and have not been able to get re-hired since) and would also like to see these critical media arts classes offered during the week when they are able to take them.

As of today with registration open for 3 weeks - the Photoshop class currently only has 11 students registered (one of which I know registered just in case but may drop the class if it isn't moved in the event that they can't make their Applebees work schedule conform. The Cinema 111 class only has 10 registered and it may be because both these classes are valuable they are splitting the number of available students down the middle, (I had planned to sign up for both Cinema 111 and Photoshop).

I was deputized by the following students to ask that you talk to the instructor for the class and see if they would be available and agreeable to teach the class on a weekday (other than Monday which would pit it against the new Diversity in Cinema class, Broadcast 5,45 and other courses students also have to have).

Also the list so far is just the students I have informally spoken too so far - the number of students facing a schedule conflict might be larger.

Sincerely
§Email from LAVC Omsbudsman Annie G Reed
by Anonymous
sm_omsbudsman_refused_to_forward_concerns.jpg
Reed refused to investigate schedule irregularities despite clear violations of the Accreditation Commissions standards. Endrijonas in her response the Commission two months later admitted that LAVC had been non-compliant in scheduling and offered that a matric of classes had been created. Endrijonas did not remove Reed from her role as LAVC's Omsbudsman.
Add Your Comments
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

$55.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network