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Foothill's New Sunnyvale Center Now Open
1070 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale 94089
September 26, 2016

For almost 30 years, Foothill College operated its Middlefield Campus in Palo Alto. However, this fall, the college has moved from Palo Alto to Sunnyvale. After searching for a suitable new location for several years, in 2012, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District obtained 9.15 acres of the 18.9-acre Onizuka property, free of charge from the U.S. Department of Education through the federal public benefit conveyance process. After more than a year of construction, the new Sunnyvale Center is now open for fall classes 

A two-story, 46,882-foot state-of-the-art LEED Gold-certified building, the new center features 17 classroom spaces; two dedicated computer labs; one 3-D printing lab; café and on-site parking; admissions and records office; student service support spaces, including counseling, financial aid, testing and assessment; and a student resource center.

"We're going to be cutting edge. The kind of synergy around the established businesses of Moffett Park and what I predict will be the startups in the area really matches the entrepreneurial spirit that is Foothill," says Foothill College President Thuy T. Nguyen.

Classes are offered throughout the day and evening, including a track that begins at 4 p.m., perfect for current high school students and working professionals. An innovative partnership with neighboring Mission College will allow Foothill to offer a wide variety of classes. The center also offers a full suite of support services so students don't need to travel back and forth from the main campus in Los Altos Hills.

Viewable from both the 101 and 237 freeways, the new center is easily accessible via public transportation. There is still time to register for classes, which range from engineering and computer programming to literature and foreign languages. For a full list of courses, visit the Foothill College Sunnyvale Center website.

A formal grand opening will take place in early November. 

Foothill's Middlefield Campus in Palo Alto has closed. All classes have been moved to the new Sunnyvale Center. If you have any questions or need help, please see Contact Us.

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Umoja Learning Community Now Accepting Students
An Education Thatís Personal & Meaningful to Each Student
Room 5419
September 26, 2016 - September 30, 2016 2 to 5 p.m.

Make your college experience more meaningful by joining Foothill College’s newest learning community: the Umoja Community at Foothill College. An innovative instructional opportunity for all students, Umoja groups English, communication, and psychology courses in a three-quarter program. Students are admitted to the program each fall, and progress through the academic year as a learning community cohort.

The Umoja Community–now at more than 30 California community colleges, and expected to exceed 50 campuses during 2017–provides courses that promote learning about African and African American culture, comprehensive student support programs, on- and off-campus enrichment activities, and a safe place for students to discuss real issues that affect them and the broader community. “We believe that when the voices and histories of students are deliberately and intentionally recognized, the foundation for academic success is formed,” says Foothill Umoja Co-coordinator and English Instructor Samuel White, M.A. “We actively promote student success for all students through a method of curriculum and instruction that is responsive to the legacy of the African and African American diasporas.” White says that students who tend to get the most out of the Umoja learning community are those who generally prefer to work with a group of peers, and want to become active, responsible, and conscious learners.

Umoja also seeks to help students develop a sense of pride, ownership and responsibility in their own speaking and writing. The program coordinators see this as vital, given the low numbers of African Americans in Silicon Valley. The Umoja Community wants to educate students who may not be aware of the contributions of the black community to the success of this area. “Engaging in the practice of sharing historical importance enables students to experience language as power,” says Foothill Umoja Co-coordinator and English Instructor Kimberly Escamilla, M.A. “As Umoja faculty members, we are in a unique position to share our stories and our experiences to humanize our classroom instruction. Doing so, helps us create an environment that gives our students the confidence to participate in deep learning and share their individual stories and life experiences.”

By emphasizing a distinct history created by their predecessors, students enrolled in the Umoja Program study a variety of literary contributions from various authors, such as Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Malcolm X, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Robert Johnson, W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, Langston Hughes, Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, and other trendsetters, artists and intellectuals.

Umoja courses provide students with the opportunity to not only discuss issues relevant to the African American experience, but students are encouraged to critically analyze these issues. As an example, students who enroll in Foothill’s four-unit ENGL 12: African American Literature course, read Malcolm X’s speech, The Ballot or the Bullet, which, when written in 1964, demanded deliberate action on the part of America’s black citizens. Students write about the implications of Malcolm’s call to action; they also conduct research to determine how similar calls to action are issued today, and the associated implications on present-day society, White says.

To support students, Umoja prioritizes the powerful one-to-one relationship of the Umoja student and the Umoja counselor. Data suggest that a major reason that students drop out of college is that they have experienced isolation or alienation. “To combat dropping out, each student works with a dedicated Umoja counselor throughout their cohort schedule to develop realistic, and attainable academic and career goals,” says Foothill College Umoja Academic Counselor Tracee Cunningham, M.A. “The unique relationship between a student and a counselor can often provide the encouragement and motivation that a student needs to remain committed to achieving his or her goals.”

To further enhance the student experience, the Umoja Community features a dedicated study and social space on campus that Umoja students can claim as their own. Also, significant to the program, are Umoja’s recently signed pathways to transfer agreements with the University of California (UC) system and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Umoja courses that will be presented during the 2016–2017 academic year include:

Fall Quarter 2016

  • COMM 4: Group Discussion and
  • ENGL 1A: Composition & Reading or
  • ENGL 110: Introduction to College Writing or
  • ENGL 209: Introduction to College Reading

Winter Quarter 2017

  • ENGL 12: African American Literature and
  • ENGL 110: Introduction to College Writing or
  • ENGL 1A: Composition & Reading

Spring Quarter 2017

  • PSYC 22: Psychology of Prejudice and
  • ENGL 1A: Composition & Reading or
  • ENGL 1B: Composition, Critical Reading & Thinking through Literature
  • MATH 220: Elementary Algebra (optional)

For more information about Umoja, visit To schedule free English and math placement tests, visit To schedule an appointment with Umoja Counselor Tracee Cunningham, e-mail

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Foothill Receives Prestigious Statewide Diversity Award
September 26, 2016

The Foothill College Family Engagement Institute was named a recipient of the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award on July 19, 2016. The award, established in 2001, honors community college staff members, districts, colleges or programs that have made the greatest contribution toward faculty, staff and student diversity and equity.

The Family Engagement Institute (FEI) has been making a critical difference in the lives of underserved students and their families since its inception in 2010 as a unique cradle-to-career initiative at Foothill College. The program provides educational opportunities to underserved and low-income families while offering professional development to educators and providers to promote school and workforce readiness, family engagement and pathways to postsecondary education.

Betsy Nikolchev, FEI’s executive director, says she is driven to expand the partnership with Foothill and the community to ensure educational opportunities for all families. Nikolchev began her career as an elementary school teacher. She now has more than 30 years as an administrator and FEI is the continuation of her life’s work to develop and support a comprehensive approach to increasing access to education.

“When you include families in the process of accessing and engaging with education, you get better outcomes from students,” Nikolchev said. "That understanding is the basis for all of FEI’s work."

At the core of the Family Engagement Institute is a belief that in order to break the cycle of poverty, educational opportunities must begin early for children and continuing education opportunities must be offered to families. With that in mind, the Family Engagement lnstitute provides education materials, toolkits and college faculty to deliver developmentally, culturally and linguistically responsive programs to its partner organizations, where families enroll as community college noncredit students.

Angie Cortés had a career in dental assisting for 17 years. Because of her son’s involvement in Stretch to Kindergarten, she enrolled in FEI’s parenting course and became interested in early childhood education. Inspired by the FEI staff, she returned to school and earned a certificate from Foothill College’s Child Development Program. 

“The beauty of the Family Engagement Institute is that there is something for everyone,” Cortés said, looking back, “And as a program, they meet people where they are. The staff and faculty, as well as every participant, helps create a community where there is always someone to help when there’s a problem.” 

The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award is named for a former member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. 

“It is a great honor to support the annual Dr. John W. Rice Awards and recognize the achievements in promoting diversity and equity throughout the California Community Colleges," said Keetha Mills, president and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. "The California Community Colleges is the most diverse system of higher education in the nation, and the three programs we celebrated today are tremendous examples of the systemwide commitment to promoting access for all."

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Sign Up for Free On-Campus Emergency Alert Service
ENS capable of rapidly sending voice, e-mail and text messages
To add or update your contact information for the free ENS service, access your account and follow the instructions listed in the Set Up Emergency Notification section.
January 01, 2015 - December 01, 2016

Foothill College and De Anza College have implemented an emergency notification system (ENS) that rapidly sends voice, e-mail and text* messages to all faculty, staff and students. In the event of an emergency, including a power outage, campus closure or other urgent situation, Foothill-De Anza officials use the ENS service to provide emergency details and information on the appropriate response to all students and employees. The Foothill-De Anza ENS service will not be used for any purposes other than FHDA emergency communications and system testing.

Emergency messages will be sent via e-mail and to all phone numbers that you have signed up for the free ENS service, and can include your work, home, cell and text.

To add or update your contact information for the free ENS service, access your account and follow the instructions listed in the Set Up Emergency Notification section. The contact information used by the ENS service is drawn from the Foothill-De Anza employment database as well as data provided by students who have enrolled at Foothill-De Anza.

Be aware that mobile phone carriers require recipients of text messages to opt in to the Foothill-De Anza ENS service via their mobile phones. *Your mobile phone carrier may assess charges for receiving text messages, and you are responsible for paying them. Contact your carrier for more information. 

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