Clovis Community College Educates Through Summer at SEA

Students of the Summer at SEA program look on as Instructor and Coordinator of the program Gabriella Ramirez speaks. The Summer at SEA program is a six week program for high school students worth three units of college course credit.
(Photo JT Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

At Clovis Community College, a new but not so new summer program is opening up aiming to help Latinx and low-income students explore science areas.

The new program, titled Summer at SEA, is put on by Clovis Community in which they welcome Clovis Unified School District students to explore different STEM activities.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The Summer at SEA program was helped by the Title V Grant which focuses on two main tasks according to the Clovis Community College website. These two tasks are to develop “seamless educational pipelines” and  “develop effective individualized student support services”.

Title V Project Director Stephanie Briones describes the program as one component of the Title V grant. She then stated that with this grant there was a “holistic approach to STEM for success and transfer readiness.”

“Really what this means to our grant is that it’s the start in the right direction. So our students are not only learning about what college is, but also learning about what they can contribute and also what questions to ask in between then.”

Gabriella Ramirez, Student Success Coach and Instructor and Coordinator for the Summer at SEA program, mentions that so far the program has been beyond her expectations. “So far the group of students here are amazing….So far, so good, I’m looking forward to the next five weeks.”

The program will last a total of six weeks, and the media was allowed to look into classes on the last day of the first week.

Ramirez went on to say that this was the second year that they were able to fulfill this program for the students of CUSD, but this year was far more planned and “revamped” as she calls it. “This is our second year doing [the program]. From last year to this year we’ve kind of revamped it a little bit, and so I was a little nervous with the new year coming up.”

She mentions the changes made from last year to this year include a more hands on approach. “Last year we weren’t as hands on with the different STEM disciplines. So last year, we kind of picked one, and stuck with that through the entire program. And that worked well, that was really nice, but the feedback we got from our students was, ‘We’d like to get a broad idea of what does STEM mean?’”

Gabriella talked about the “robust” STEM project that is alive at Clovis Community and how they could use that to their advantage with this Summer at SEA program.

“We put our heads together and for us, we thought, ‘Well we have such a robust STEM program here at Clovis Community College-why don’t we use what we have in house already?”

She went on to say that the program connected with different departments throughout Clovis Community in order to fulfill those responsibilities of providing a true STEM experience for their students.

“We connected with chemistry, we connected with engineering, computer science, we’re gonna have a talk from our physics department, and then we’re gonna end off the summer with geology.”

The students of Clovis Unified don’t only have the opportunity to learn about STEM programs though, they also have the opportunity to earn college course credit.

“In combination with getting hands on STEM exploration, they are taking a three unit college success course. In terms of that, they’re already understanding what it means to be a student on a campus…We’re also talking so much within the scope of college success.”

Gabriella states that the transition from high school to college as a student can be stressful, but with a program such as the Summer at SEA program, prospective college students are making their lives a bit easier and getting that hands-on experience that so many people crave.

The Summer at SEA program looks to finish in about five weeks, and just as is with any other program at Clovis Community College, it hopes to fulfill more to student success than merely a regular college or high school course.

Thinking in terms of community rather than solely student success, Stephanie Briones reminds,

“It’s giving back to our community, because that’s what our grant is as well, it’s remembering that the biggest part of community college is the community.”

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.