The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) Board of Trustees has unanimously confirmed College of the Canyons assistant superintendent Dr. Mitjl Carvalho Capet as the new president of Reedley College, effective Aug. 1.
For nearly six years Capet served as the College of the Canyons assistant superintendent/vice president of instruction. He is the current assistant superintendent/executive assistant to College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook.
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“I am extremely proud of Dr. Capet and congratulate him on this outstanding accomplishment,” Dr. Van Hook said. “He is a committed and creative educational leader and a kind and compassionate colleague. We will miss him, but know he will find much success in this new opportunity and have a chance to fulfill his dream.”
Capet arrived at College of the Canyons in 2005. Prior to that he served as vice president of student learning at Cerro Coso College in the Kern Community College District and dean of business, arts and applied technologies at Rio Hondo College in Whittier.
Throughout his service at College of the Canyons, Capet was actively involved with the educational programming of the college’s many new educational facilities, and played an essential role in the college’s successful Measure M bond campaign in 2006 and the opening of the Canyon Country campus in 2007.
His insights about how to run additional educational centers in a college district gleaned from his years of experience in the Kern Community College District were pivotal to how the Canyon Country campus was structured from an educational perspective. He played a key role in developing the curriculum for the new campus and in positioning it to be successful from the first day that it opened.
While at COC, Capet also helped to expand the college’s commitment to high-quality instruction by hiring numerous full-time faculty members and overseeing the development of new degree and certificate programs at the college over a six-year period.
His responsibilities also included the oversight of all instructional operations involving the college’s approximately 200 full-time faculty, 450 adjunct faculty and 200 member educational support staff.
“Mitjl Capet is masterful at enrollment management,” said Dr. Van Hook, “and his skills, insights, experience and knowledge in that area have been instrumental in helping College of the Canyons excel in very difficult budget times.”
With state budget cuts a continual issue in recent years, Capet also sought new ways to help the college stretch its spending dollars. He developed a multi-year enrollment management plan for the college that enabled COC to serve a consistent number of students with less money.
That plan called for the strategic scheduling of essential classes to minimize the number of low-enrolled classes. By doing so, the college greatly increased the “fill rate” of its classes — the percentage of students in each class compared to the class’ capacity – from 60 percent to more than 90 percent.
“The higher the fill rate, the more efficient the college is,” said Capet, “and the farther those state budget dollars can go.”
Capet served as a COC Foundation board member and volunteered in a number of capacities with charities throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
He also is known for his passion for the arts. He established and maintained an art studio for more than 20 years and taught art at the high school and middle school level for several years. He has had personal art works shown in America and abroad. It is no wonder, then, that he has been a very strong supporter and advocate of the arts community in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“The blend of active community leadership, dedicated faculty and staff, and enthusiastic students we have at COC combined to create a very stimulating work environment, which has been an honor to be a part of,” said Capet.
Capet will take over for retiring Reedley College president Dr. Barbara Hioco. In his new position, Capet will be responsible for the planning and leadership of the main Reedley College campus, as well as the college’s off-campus locations.
Established in 1926, Reedley College is located in Reedley, California, approximately 30 miles southeast of Fresno. Included among the college’s facilities are an 800-acre forest center at nearby Lake Sequoia and 300-acres of farmland.
The college serves approximately 6,000 students in 100 areas of study, and is one of only 11 California community colleges to offer on-campus student housing. As the area’s main education and economic center, Reedley College covers a service area of approximately 6,000 square-miles, providing educational opportunities to students throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
“Although I am excited about becoming a college president, leaving the College of the Canyons family was a hard decision to make,” said Capet. “In the six years I was here, no two days were ever alike, but I cannot recall a day I didn’t want to come to work.”