Traditionally, summer is a time of reflection and new beginnings for institutions like Oak Valley College. Your support makes these celebrations meaningful. Thank you!
Closing the third academic year at Oak Valley brought about many things to be grateful for. First, and foremost, join in and praise God for all the gifts, talents, and resources He has provided over this foundational journey.
This year's major milestone was Oak Valley's first graduating class crossing the stage at Commencement in April. What a day that was for them and for the roughly 170 friends, family, and supporters who joined that small cohort of trailblazers. Those graduates demonstrated great courage and perseverance in coming to a school that, at the time, had no other students. There was a lot of trust in supporting an innovative approach to college that was attractive on paper but had as of yet not delivered a single course or graduate. We celebrate those graduates for creating a path for future students to follow in their wake.
Celebrating the mundane may seem like an odd thing to do, but for a start-up organization, mundane is a sign of stability, predictability, and reliability.
The past year featured three semesters starting and ending with students and professors being able to engage in their daily work without a single mission-critical crisis affecting the ebb and flow of the academic calendar.
From a leadership standpoint, the board continued directing and protecting Oak Valley’s mission, vision, and values. Administration worked hard to meet the day-to-day needs of students and faculty. Faculty carried out their role to teach and lead the academic standards and curriculum. And finally, students stepped up further as they continue learning and helping everyone understand their needs and desires to live, learn, and grow into future leaders.
For students, the continued emphasis is to effectively prepare to take over local businesses, churches, and nonprofit organizations. Oak Valley will achieve its mission over the coming years and decades as more of these young people take over as senior leaders. The seeds are planted, the skills are introduced, and the passions have been inspired. Please pray for these young people as they advance in their professional, personal,, and spiritual journeys. And if you know of opportunities to share with them (job openings or people they should meet), please step up and make an introduction.
Behind the scenes, a great deal of effort and planning has gone into Oak Valley's preparations for Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accreditation. This is a game-changing moment. The process is a marathon, not a sprint. Every part of the College has been touched in a profound way. From admissions, to faculty governance, to strategic planning, the accreditation process has informed and guided the faculty, staff, and administration to benchmark, review, and improve policies, procedures, and the people leading the college, While challenging, Oak Valley is a far more mature organization than it was just a year ago.
Looking ahead to the Fall Semester, Oak Valley is preparing to welcome its largest cohort to date, twice the number of students last year. Overnight, starting in September, Oak Valleys enrollment will more than double. This brings about exciting opportunities to develop new student organizations, clubs, and activities. With the help of an active Student Government, there are many initiatives in place and under development, which will be introduced during the year.
Of course, the ultimate prize is, again, graduation, and sending more graduates into the world to grow into the God-given leadership positions that lay in front of them. Faculty are working hard this year to review and improve the curriculum to meet students needs and align with the expectations of prospective employers.
Continue to pray and support the current and future students at Oak Valley College. If you know of young people who may benefit from an Oak Valley education, please encourage them to live, learn, and grow with a debt-free Christian education.
Eric Blum, MPA - President Eric Blum guides and manages the day-to-day operations of the College, including implementation of the mission, vision, and values throughout the College. President Blum earned his graduate degree from the University of Washington and his BA in Government, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College.