SanFACC helps students build leadership skills

This month begins the 6th annual San Gabriel/Foothill Association of Community Colleges (SanFACC) Mentor Program in conjunction with Rio Hondo College.

The program is meant to “build both individual and regional leadership capacity” in regards to community colleges.

Both mentors and mentees apply for the ten month long program and work with a colleague from a different college to improve strengths and obtain differing perspectives on management.

This is done to lower possible confidentiality issues as well as to branch out and expand viewpoints on how to best address administration issues.

Once mentors and mentees are selected for the program, mentees are asked what their career goals and intentions for joining the program are.

They are then matched, to the best of the program’s abilities, with a corresponding mentor from a separate college with an expertise in a desired field of knowledge.

The program is intended for any employee of the six participating colleges who is seriously considering improving or obtaining an administrative position within a community college.

The way the system is set up is to focus on specific goals mentees may have and work on them over the course of ten months.

Experienced mentors work with them over the academic year communicating and checking in to see if progress is being made on said goals.

Since I’m in a brand new [job] position, I thought that this could help me fill those gaps in knowledge and help identify what my journey is going to look like, now that I’m in a different role.

— Jasmine Mageno

Dr. Robert Holcomb, dean of the communications and languages department at Rio is starting his second year as a SanFACC program mentor.

He says that the goals most applicants want to work on are common ones like networking, resume-building, and improving interview strategies.

Holcomb stated, “I’ve enjoyed helping to develop career advancement opportunities for others and reflecting upon my own approaches within the workplace.”

Both mentors and mentees alike will get one-on-one assistance with personal development and be able to use information learned through the SanFACC program during their everyday positions or in their future community college administration positions.

Jasmine Mageno is one of three mentees for this year’s SanFACC program from RHC. It is her first time with the association and she has been paired with Dr. Ricardo Perez from Glendale Community College.

She joined the SanFACC program this year off of being in a new position at the school for the TRiO program but has always had an aspiration to be a Vice President of Student Services. “I’ve been thinking about applying to the program for some time now, and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity,” she says.

The program acts as a way for adults to have a formalized mentor almost akin to being back in school and having a guidance counselor or adviser, something many might not have had for several years. The program works both ways with mentees learning information, shadowing job positions, and gaining insight while mentors also benefit from both gaining a new perspective and possible intrinsic rewards- feelings of “giving back” after reaching a point in administration others are interested in learning about.

Mageno finishes up the point of the San Gabriel/ Foothill Association of Community Colleges by stating that it helps her with ‘knowledge gaps’ she may have. “Since I’m in a brand new [job] position, I thought that this could help me fill those gaps in knowledge and help identify what my journey is going to look like, now that I’m in a different role.”

Rio Hondo is one of six community colleges in the program.

The other schools involved with SanFACC are Chaffey College, Citrus College, Glendale College, Mt. San Antonio College, and Pasadena City College.