Grading Higher Education in California

Grading Higher Education in California

As Californians, and more generally, as Americans, we should strive to ensure every opportunity is afforded the next generation to earn a high-quality (and we would argue affordable) education, so the next generation may effectively thrive and support us old people. This is not a zero-sum game (that phrase seems to be popular these days).

Academic Corner


Afarah Board, Dean of Academics

Afarah Board, Dean of Academics

Afarah Board transitioned into the Dean of Academics position effective May 1.

We would like to thank Dean Gayle Linn for her extraordinary service as Dean and wish her well as she and her husband enjoy their retirement life.

Dean Board brings with her a background of over thirty years of experience in the corporate world as a senior leader and multiple years of experience teaching as Adjunct Professor at California Baptist University in the School of Education and School of Business. She earned her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Redlands in Business, and business studies at Harvard Kennedy School and Pepperdine University. We welcome Dean Board to the Oak Valley family.


As the Summer Semester began in May, we welcomed two new professors:

  • Professor Cammie Donaghy, Government and Politics

  • Professor Nathanael Heyman, Scientific Principles and Practice


Congratulations to the students who made the Dean’s list for the Spring Semester. Students with a 3.5 GPA or higher are eligible for the Dean’s List. We are pleased to give a shout out to these students:

  • Chloe Beitel

  • Matthew Lesseg

  • Lucia McDonald

  • Miquella Castorena

  • Lelah Hetrick

  • Natalie Allison

  • Adela Meza

  • Hanna Morris (graduated in May)

  • Whitney Hetrick (graduated in May)


Good news, the Writing Center was launched and is now available under the direction of Professor Glessner.

Why Higher Education Costs So Much

Why Higher Education Costs So Much

Fifty years ago, Harvard (and many private colleges and universities) charged around $2,000 for tuition. Adjusted for inflation, Harvard tuition should be just over $15,000 per year today. Needless to say, Harvard charges nowhere near $15,000. This coming Fall, the sticker price for Harvard is $47,730, roughly triple the inflation-based price

Enrollment Milestone at Oak Valley College

Enrollment Milestone at Oak Valley College

As a distinctly different kind of college, Oak Valley has tapped into the angst and pressure students often feel to either chase expensive private education, meander through the maze of community college to the Cal State system (it typically takes 6+ years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the public system, or forgo college for the future.

Faith and Business Forum Covers Practical Ideas for Engaging Church and Community


Oak Valley’s first Faith and Business Forum, on May 31, was a great success with multiple pastors and community leaders coming together to discuss the intersection of business, church, and ministry aspirations. Through an engaging panel discussion, the group explored practical approaches to engage business and church leaders to better serve the local and regional community.

Hilda Kennedy, Founder and President of Ampac Business Capital, discussed how she formed a ministry for business leaders at her church. She described how business leaders face the same kinds of struggles as anyone else and need to join together to share their challenges and celebrate their successes like any other “affinity” group churches commonly form.

Business owner Joe Annunziato, President and CEO of Cerenzia Foods, discussed how he works ministry into his workplace and how he has helped lead several ministry connections with his congregation, Water of Life, in Rancho Cucamonga. He also described both personal and spiritual experiences he has explored over decades of church and business leadership.

Ray Blom from The Corporate Advocate, discussed the myriad ways he has grown in his faith through his business endeavors, and how he is building a nonprofit faith-based staffing company, economic development enterprise, and employment ministry to serve San Bernardino through The Way World Outreach. His pastor, Marco Garcia, is a long-time business leader, so the linkages and opportunities to align a business and ministry mindset is ingrained in their church culture.

Finally, President Eric Blum, Oak Valley College, talked about the challenges and opportunities Oak Valley has faced in partnering with local churches throughout the regions, with some churches understanding the intersection of education, business, and ministry, while other pastors are seem a little more reluctant to embrace the connection. Oak Valley’s host and partner, Centerpoint Church, through Pastor Dane Aaker, embrace these principles and has served as a model partner to advance Oak Valley’s mission.

Commencement Features Olympian

Commencement Features Olympian

Oak Valley’s Commencement features Willie Banks, Olympian, world-record triple jumper, and successful business leader. Mr. Banks will share the inspiration that helped him move from the Olympic stadium to serve in a variety of national and international leadership roles.

Mr. Banks’ path through Olympics and World Championships provides a fitting metaphor to students - spend years preparing yourself, then speed down a runway, timing your steps just right to hit your mark and stretch to reach your goal.

40% Default Rates Projected to Hit Student Loans...Soon!

40% Default Rates Projected to Hit Student Loans...Soon!

The Brookings Institute reports that default rates for students entering college in the early 2000’s could top 40% by 2023. As we reported earlier, student loans continue to weigh heavily on consumers.

You may have read that loans on cars and other consumer debts are rising steadily and, in some cases, are at record levels. This is troublesome in an economy that is at, or near, its peak.