College of the Redwoods

&

Humboldt State University

CR, Cal Poly collaborate and innovate

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 2:00pm

The fall has been a busy time for me, attending as many community meetings as possible talking about the wonderful work of our faculty and staff, our Education Master Plan, the changing footprint of the college, and our plans for the future. Wherever I go in the community, there is one thing people seem very interested in and excited about — the collaboration between College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt. When asked about the collaboration, I am quick to point out that the relationship we’ve forged these past few years is unique, important, and truly remarkable. As I have said before, we couldn’t have asked for a more reliable and creative partner than Dr. Tom Jackson and his administrative team.

College of the Redwoods has always stressed the desire to be innovative and collaborative; however, we have often approached these two concepts as separate efforts. In the past, when we thought about innovations, we thought of them as springing from one individual faculty member or a small group of faculty at our own institution, and indeed we have implemented several innovative ideas over the years. However, the extraordinary partnership that CR has with Cal Poly Humboldt has caused me to think about being innovative and collaborative and all the possibilities this approach could yield.

We hoped that bringing together faculty and staff, with different experiences and areas of expertise, would create fertile ground for generating noteworthy new ideas, and I am delighted to report that this is just what has happened. I want to take a few moments to highlight the newest projects that this CR/Humboldt partnership have made possible that will prove to have profound impacts on our region.

We are partnering with John Ballard and Dan Phillips — two highly experienced Silicon Valley executives — to launch Lost Coast Ventures (LCV). LCV will provide mentoring, expertise, and seed capital to CR and Cal Poly Humboldt faculty, staff and students to commercialize promising concepts that have the potential to become scalable businesses and will bring jobs and spur economic development. LCV will support projects in all disciplines, with a priority in engineering, marine biology, aquaculture, computer information systems, data science, water and energy, specialty agriculture, environmental sciences, and manufacturing and construction.

Earlier this week, state Sen. Mike McGuire announced the plans for a new CR/Cal Poly Humboldt health care education hub in Arcata, with space for CR’s nursing, LVN, EMT, paramedic, certified nurse aide, and medical assistant programs and Cal Poly Humboldt’s bachelor of nursing program. Our shared goal is to design an educational center that will encourage students from multiple academic disciplines to work collaboratively with shared laboratories, equipment, and classrooms, and to facilitate academic pathways between CR and Cal Poly Humboldt for students who desire additional training in the healthcare field. This new space and the new partnership will allow us to expand our academic programming into areas that will help alleviate the dire healthcare workforce shortage in our region. I want to thank Sen. Mike McGuire for his continued support of CR, Cal Poly Humboldt and our tremendous partnership.

We have also made the transfer process easier for students with two formal agreements. One allows students to transfer credits earned at Cal Poly Humboldt back to CR to complete their associate degree. Recognizing that CR associate degree graduates have received a rigorous, high-quality education, and thus, are prepared to succeed at a four-year institution, the other agreement stipulates the formation of a guaranteed admission program under which CR graduates will be admitted to certain Cal Poly Humboldt STEM degree programs provided they receive an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science from CR with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher and meet all eligibility criteria for admission to Cal Poly Humboldt.

CR is keenly aware that our future depends on a well-developed, highly collaborative win-win relationship between Cal Poly Humboldt and our community partners that leverages the collective power of many. Ultimately, at the heart of the unique CR/Cal Poly Humboldt relationship is the recognition that we have much to learn from each other and that we can better help all students on the North Coast by working cooperatively rather than separately. I believe that the future of our institutions and the future of the students we serve depend on our ability to innovate together.

If you want to learn more about our collaboration you can go to this website: https://redwoods-humboldt.org/.

Dr. Keith Flamer is the president of the College of the Redwoods.