The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

New Academic Senate President begins her term, growing enrollment discussed during meeting

New Academic Senate President Charlene Brewer-Smith (left) standing next to former President Darcie McClelland during public comments in the first senate meeting of the fall semester on Tuesday, Sept. 5. (Eddy Cermeno | The Union)

The first Academic Senate meeting of the fall semester saw the organization’s first African American academic senate president in its history host her introductory meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Rising student enrollment at El Camino was also discussed during the meeting by Vice President of Academic Affairs Carlos Lopez.

Charlene Brewer-Smith opened the 1 p.m. meeting to applause from colleagues after going through some technical difficulties at the start.

The new senate president said one of her goals in this new role is to reach out to different El Camino College divisions throughout campus to give people a “positive presence” of the organization.

“I can attend division meetings and say I’m the Academic Senate President, I care and I’m here if you need any resources,” Brewer-Smith said.

Brewer-Smith plans on getting to personally know more faculty to learn more about individual roles on campus.

“It’s not just about my division, it’s about everybody’s division,” Brewer-Smith said. “I look forward to being a part of the whole campus instead of just my little part that I play.”

As senate items on the agenda were being discussed Vice President Lopez briefly spoke to the senate about growing enrollment at El Camino and some of the factors behind the growth.

Lopez said there was a “big increase” in the previous winter and spring semesters, helped in part by marketing campaigns done by the college.

The increase in marketing was just one part of the Emergency Conditions Recovery Plan, an extensive recovery outlined by Lopez and other college officials earlier in the year.

Last semester Lopez presented at differing senate and Board of Trustee meetings, discussing strategies the college was taking to possibly grow the student count. Beyond marketing the recovery plan included increased student outreach and an emphasis on retention.

Speaking after the meeting Lopez said El Camino has “created a call center to focus on groups of students” in the community and reach out to them to make sure they know of the options available to them.

Along with marketing on social media, billboard advertisements and other advertising venues, Lopez believes the marketing office has been getting the message out to the community to enroll at El Camino.

“They’re making hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of calls and text messages so I think that’s been a key component,” Lopez said.

While relenting that the college is still not at “pre-COVID-19 levels” Lopez said “we’re on the right trend in order to recover.”

Commenting about the new senate president Lopez said he worked closely with Brewer-Smith when she was a vice president on the Academic Senate and looks forward to working with her now.

“I think she’s a great faculty member and representative of the faculty on campus,” Lopez said. “She’s an advocate for faculty and I think she’s going to do a great job.”

Vice President of Educational Policies and former Academic Senate President Darcie McClelland said Brewer-Smith did a fantastic job at her first meeting and is a “wonderful leader” for the senate.

McClelland said she is excited to see the Academic Senate stand behind “the goal and value of diversity” they have set after talking about valuing diversity as a campus.

“I think it’s important as a leadership body, we’ve modeled [that goal] and diversifying our board and allowing people of color into leadership positions is an important part of that,” McClelland said.

More to Discover