Cañada College Named 2017 Cornerstone Award Recipient

The Executive Committee for the Redwood City – San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has named Cañada College, as the 2017 Cornerstone Award recipient. Cañada College will be celebrated and honored at The Chamber’s 120th Annual Awards Dinner to be held on Friday evening, January 26th at Pullman SF Bay Hotel.

The Cornerstone Award was created in 2016 to honor individuals and/or organizations for their ability in making a meaningful and lasting impact in their communities, devoting time, talent and resources to community development and philanthropic initiatives. They can be economic drivers — providing jobs and fueling growth; they are always exemplary stewards. Honorees include individuals or companies of all sizes and industry segments that have made a commitment to strengthening the foundation of the communities they call home.

Since opening its doors in 1968, Cañada has provided it’s student community with a positive and encouraging environment. Cañada has been a long time Chamber member and community partner, always striving to be a part of the solution to improve the educational foundation for the future workforce in San Mateo County. Their exceptional administration and staff, many of whom provide Leadership on the Chamber Board of Directors, have a history of working together to develop educational offerings and support programs with the goal to increase student access and success.

“Our Chamber is very proud of Cañada’s influence over the formation of our Leadership Program. In the late 80’s, former Cañada College Professor and former Mayor of Redwood City Jack Greenalch, was a driving force in supporting the Chamber’s creation of our Leadership Program. Without the initial support of Cañada, our Past Chamber CEO, Larry Buckmaster, may not have been able to establish what has become one of our key programs, Leadership•Redwood City•Belmont•Menlo Park•San Carlos, now in it’s 30th year, and with over 1,000 alumni.”

-Amy Buckmaster, President and CEO, Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce

Many local, trusted business and community leaders, as well as other notable individuals, can claim Cañada College as part of their college experience. Included in the list of Cañada College alumni are United States Congresswoman Anna Eshoo; American Singer-Songwriter Stevie Nicks; President and CEO of SamTrans, Jim Hartnett; Former Major League Baseball Player & All-Star, Moises Alou; Former Major League Baseball Player & award winning Sports Broadcaster, Harold Reynolds; Public Affairs Manager for Recology San Mateo County, Gino Gasparini; Bestselling American mystery writer, Cara Black; Amy Buckmaster, President and CEO of the Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce; and many others, from the Chamber community.

Over Cañada’s 50-year history in our county, their collaborative approach includes establishing partnerships with school districts, 4-year college partners, and community-based organizations to increase higher education attainment in the County.

In 2001, the college became one of the first community colleges in California to partner with four-year universities to offer bachelor degrees in nursing, business administration, liberal studies and child and adolescent development, in addition to teaching credentials for elementary and secondary schools. The college also offers an accelerated master’s degree in business administration.

Cañada College provides the community with a learning-centered environment, ensuring that students from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals by providing transfer, career/technical, and basic skills programs, and lifelong learning.

  • They offer over 100 different academic programsincluding Business, Engineering, Interior Design, Fashion, English as a Second Language, and Radiology.
  • For full time working adults, they offer a College Working Adults Program. This the only program in the Bay Area that makes it possible for adults to complete multiple Associate degrees in just three years while working full time.
  • For current high school students, Cañada offers the Middle College High School Program in partnership with the Sequoia Union High School District, designed to offer current high school students the opportunity to get an early start on their college degree by taking college level classes at Cañada, while concurrently enrolled in high school.

Other key Cañada College program offerings include the following:

  • For Latino, and high need, high potential, low resource students, Cañada offers the ESO Adelante Program. This program partners with San Francisco State University and guarantees a supportive transfer experience for these students.
  • Cañada’s English as a Second Language Program prepares students from around the world to reach their academic, vocational, and personal goals.
  • Cañada College offers a variety of financial assistance programs, all geared towards building up our community who desire a quality education. Two examples are The Promise Scholarship and SparkPoint Center. The Promise Scholarship covers all student fees and textbook assistance for the first year that a student is enrolled full-time. Cañada College is the second college in California to host a SparkPoint Center. Students and other San Mateo County Residents use SparkPoint services to gain financial literacy and achieve financial stability.

As if all of this was not enough, Cañada continues to build upon their strength of providing top-notch facilities and programs to the student body and community. In early December 2017, Cañada College celebrated the groundbreaking of their new Kinesiology & Wellness Building. This structure will include modern classrooms for instructional and wellness courses, an extensive area for fitness equipment, a gymnasium, locker and shower facilities and public spaces. The instructional and competition swimming pools are aimed to host swim classes and meets. The classrooms will provide state-of-the-art settings for dance, Pilates, indoor cycling and other fitness and wellness activities.

As you can see, Cañada has been a large part of the community fabric in creating programs to address the needs of students coming from all backgrounds and economic levels, on and off their campus. However, one of Cañada’s achievements that ranks extremely high on our list, is what Cañada and the San Mateo County Community College District did to provide affordable housing to their employees. In response to high regional housing costs and the challenge to recruit qualified faculty and staff members who could afford to live here, Cañada College and the SMCCCD, worked tirelessly to gain approval and then build beautiful homes on the Cañada campus for their staff and faculty, making themselves trailblazers in the movement to address “housing for all”. The end result culminated in building the Cañada Vista which includes residential buildings that are rented at below-marketed rates, offering very affordable second home loans to first time buyers.

Congratulations Cañada College for the well deserved Cornerstone Award. We commend your commitment to strengthening the foundation of this community we all call home.

“From here, you can go anywhere!”

-Jamillah Moore, Ed.D.

President, Cañada College