2UrbanGirls had the pleasure of interviewing Compton Community College Trustee Nicole Jones, who is seeking re-election Tuesday, November 6th. 2 Urban Girls wanted to give Ms. Jones the opportunity to share her insight into the issues within the college as well as dispel rumors that are circulating about the boards competence.
1. What are your thoughts on the process to returning independence to the Compton College Board of
The return of independence is the final hurdle to Compton College being a locally controlled, accredited and
independent campus. This milestone has been reached because of the hard work and efforts of so many
individuals – students, community leaders, faculty, staff and administrators under the direction of Dr. Keith
Curry, which is a testament to the strong sense of community and partnership at Compton College. It is very
exciting and extremely significant that the college has cleared this final hurdle, and the Compton Community
College District Board of Trustees is well-prepared and ready to lead the college through this transition. On
June 7, 2019, I look forward to joining students, community leaders, faculty, staff and administrators to
celebrate this important milestone.
2. Please provide an assessment as to why you believe the campus unions have chosen to not support the
While it is unclear to me why campus unions have chosen to not support the incumbents, I remain interested in
gaining a better understanding of these issues from the union leaders. On several occasions, I have reached
out to the faculty union and have not yet received a response to my meeting requests. In fact, I am unaware of
any formal interview process of all candidates. If I had participated in that type of process perhaps I would have
more information about the union’s concerns. However, it is important to highlight that faculty and staff have
been integral in the recent successes on campus.
Faculty union representatives have publicly shared concerns about the following issues: new community
college funding formula/student enrollment; approved curriculum; and several personnel matters. Given the
statements about these issues, I think a thorough review of each of these issues is necessary.
The new student-centered funding formula adopted by the Governor will require administrators and trustees
across the state to work even harder to increase enrollment and retention. Most importantly, students will
benefit the most as colleges focus on increasing retention and completion rates. Compton College’s
expansion of dual enrollment programs with local high schools, and the Compton Promise, a free college
program for graduating high school seniors (Lynwood Promise will start in 2019) are some strategies. Yet, it is
important to note, Compton College received special protection to stabilize its enrollment funding for an
additional five years to support successful transition to an independent college.
The Board recently approved curriculum that will become effective after June 2019 – a process that included
faculty. Curriculum development is a continual process with a goal is to ensure coursework matches student
needs, providing a pathway to associate degrees, certificates and transfers to four-year colleges/universities.
In response to public comments related to personnel matters, it is not appropriate to discuss or debate these
items in public settings to protect confidentiality and due process. However, I must stress that Compton
College adheres to labor negotiations and agreements. As a result, there is a grievance process for campus
employment concerns and challenges.
Finally, we are at a critical juncture, and it is my hope that Compton College will continue to foster a cohesive
culture that promotes a strong sense of community, partnership and success to support our students.
3. Please clarify, to the community, any misunderstandings about the manner in which the current Board has
The community should know that all Compton Community College District Trustees – Lowanda Green,
Deborah LeBlanc, Andres Ramos, Sonia Lopez and me – have worked hard for our students and our
communities. Trustees recognize that our students need state of the art services and that Compton College is
a treasured community asset – and this guides our policies and actions. Trustees have been instrumental in
the accreditation process, fighting for the return of a strong college to support the academic and support
services needs of our students. Each trustee has been laser-focused on the return of Compton College, and
has actively engaged in advocating for funding and improved resources.
Furthermore, the current board promotes a cohesive culture that has successfully implemented policies for the following achievements
over the past two years: return of local governance control, accreditation, and now moving toward termination of the
agreement with El Camino Community College District. Likewise, it is important to note that Compton College
is a fiscally strong institution, and there have been no audit findings over the past four years and our financial rating has significantly improved.
4. Why should voters vote you back to the Compton College Board of Trustees?
In November 2016, I was unanimously appointed to the Compton Community College District Board after a
review of my qualifications and discussion of my understanding of community college policies and issues. I am
seeking election to continue my service at this critical time. There have been many successes during my two
years of board service, including return of local governance control and achievement of full accreditation
status. Given my familiarity with the Compton College transition plan, I am well-prepared and qualified to
oversee the final phases needed for termination of the agreement with El Camino Community College District
in June 2019. Also, I currently and proudly serve as Board President, and I am committed to working to ensure
the long-term viability and success of Compton College. For these reasons, I wholeheartedly believe that I am
the best candidate for Trustee Area 2.
5. Please provide any background information on yourself, that you feel will be helping voters make their decision.
While I may be a new face at Compton College, I have deep roots within this community as evidenced by my
track record of professional and civic involvement. For more than 20 years, I advocated, served and worked to
improve communities, including my service as External Affairs Director at Crystal Stairs, Associate Director –
Corporate and Foundation Relations at Loyola Marymount University, and Program Director for The California
Wellness Foundation. Currently, I serve on the staff of State Controller Betty Yee, and I have extensive
expertise in government, higher education, nonprofits and foundations, as well as numerous board and
commission experiences – all of which have helped my service as a Compton College trustee. Additionally, I
earned an undergraduate degree (urban education) from UC Berkeley and a graduate degree (public
administration) from City University of New York – Baruch College