Quick Launch

December 03
COS Student Returns, Triumphant from NASA Workshop

Article by Jessica Luton​

Visalia, Calif. — When friends at school suggested College of the Sequoias engineering major, Andrew Bardone, apply for the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) online program, he did, and got accepted. Just returned from a late October workshop related to the program, Bardone shares the experience of a lifetime.

As part of the program, Bardone and fellow COS student Christian Cagnino, spent six weeks this summer working online with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known the world over as NASA. They focused on the history, current, and future exploration of Mars, after which, a detailed proposal for a Mars rover launch, mission and landing was required.

The program wrapped up by asking for a paper on how to get the public involved. Andrew’s public relations ideas included using podcasts, webinars, an ongoing mini-series of sorts, and Netflix™, to make a live broadcast of a launch something the country could gather together to witness, “the way we used to watch moon landings,” said Bardone.

His ideas and hard work was so well received, Bardone was chosen to take part in a three-day program at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, located in Edwards, California, this October. The students met with Assistant Director for Strategic Implementation, Steven Schmidt, and were given a tour. Visiting students were put into teams and given more tasks to complete. Bardone says a personal highlight was getting to fly an F-16 simulator, followed closely by getting to be in the same room as the lunar module used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969.

“Getting to see what you could be doing is a huge motivator,” Andrew said, adding that, “meeting these people, and getting to network with them, was the best part.”

Originally from Visalia, Andrew had a well-paying job as a correctional deputy, and was buying a home in Exeter, when he began to wonder if he could do that for another 30, or more, years. Two years ago, he spoke to his parents about his plans to attend school full time, and asked if he could move back home. With their support, Andrew left his job, rented out his home in Exeter, and became a full-time COS student. He works part-time in the campus bookstore, but is careful to allow plenty of time for classes and studying.

It hasn’t been easy; Bardone started at the lowest algebra class and has worked his way up to calculus. He says the best way to resolve academic struggles is to remind himself of the big goal, a future in a career he enjoys. After the NASA program, he no longer sees a career there as something only for the academic elite.

Bardone credits his father as his inspiration to work hard. He also credits Duane Goodwin, Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Director & Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Chapter Advisor at COS, for excellent support, and opportunities such as internships and excursions to various universities. In three semesters, Bardone will graduate from COS; he plans to apply to various universities to achieve a degree in engineering.

For more information about MESA and the Engineering programs at COS, contact Duane Goodwin, duaneg@cos.edu or visit cos.edu/mesa


March 27
10 Ways to Guarantee a Memorable Break


Well Giants… What is here and only happens once a year?!?!

Figured it out yet? …of course you have; you’ve been looking forward to it all semester! Spring Break 2015!!

We are lucky that we are College of the Sequoias, community college students. We are already home instead of having to travel by air, land or sea to see our families. Some of us are going to enjoy the days off by sticking around and, “being lazy.” Some of us still have to work, so maybe it won’t feel like a full vacation.

Magen, a Biology Major attending College of the Sequoias, says, “My main goal is to escape to the ocean, even if it is for only one day. I have to work 35 hours at my job so I don’t know if that a reality.” Magen is similar to other college students; working and missing the opportunity to relax and recharge for college. “Last Spring Break was my first time at the beach in a very long time. I would like to go every year over my Spring Break, just to get away from the Valley.”

I sympathize with all of you in this position. During school, I, too, hold down an average of 20 hours on the job, coursework and an internship. Sometime don’t you just want a moment to relax?

For my Spring Break plans, I’ll be visiting California State University Northridge (CSUN). Then I’ll be hitting the beach and Magic Mountain with friends.

Haven’t planned for the week off? Looking for something to do? Here are a few suggestions gathered from your fellow students:

  1. ​Read a book... Sure, we're always reading something for school. Pick a book to read for fun, or maybe reread your favorite so you know you'll enjoy it! Or refer to the Top Spring Break lists to see what others will be picking up this year. "To Kill a Mockingbird," is a familiar list favorite.
  2. Spring cleaning... With all the things we are doing at school and work and everywhere, our place could use a little TLC. Get down and dirty and clean away!
  3. Catch up on some sleep... Just being able to sleep more sounds like every student's dream. Did you know, sleep deprived students tend to have lower GPA's?
  4. Homework... It's not ideal but it's the long-run winner.
  5. Spend time with friends and family... Odds are they'll appreciate that you want to spend your off-time with them.
  6. Watch TV... especially those shows you're addicted to and have fallen behind on. Or spend the day in your pajamas and binge on a series you haven't yet started.
  7. Lounge on the beach with everyone else... Get out of the Valley for the day; see the ocean and inhale all that fresh air. Being in the Central valley of California, any beach is just a couple hours away!
  8. Finish what you've been putting off... Whatever it may be, we all have that one or two or seventy-seven things we've been avoiding. Make it a goal to finish some major project before you come back to classes.
  9. Go to an adventure park... Do you have that one park you've been eager to go to? Or one you're being dragged to?
  10. Nothing... Wait! What was that last one? Yes, I said do nothing, nothing and more nothing. Type A's and busy bees, do nothing for a change!

Whatever you may be deciding to do, remember it’s Break. Enjoy it to the best of your ability. It would be no one’s fault but your own if you come back to COS wondering where that whole week went? Remember be safe, have fun and go wild! 

Here’s to Spring Break 2015!!
March 24
COS Celebrates April, Poetry Month

​COS and the COS Foundation are proud to sponsor activities in the spirit of Poetry Month and we are happy to share some other local, literary events!


April 7, 7 pm

The COS Foundation sponsored Arts & Lectures Series presents a FREE screening of Dead Poets Society (Rated PG) at the COS Theatre (Visalia), Tuesday, April 7, at 7 pm. Stick around for the COS faculty-moderated discussion afterward!

April 20, Noon

Join us for a combined poetry reading and jazz performance in the COS Library (Visalia), on Monday, April 20 at Noon! The COS Foundation sponsored Arts & Lectures Series present two featured poets: Laurie Ann Guerrero, Poet Laureate of San Antonio and David Campos, adjunct professor at COS and recently published with an award-winning book, "Furious Dusk." The COS Bookstore​ will be selling copies of the two authors' books and you will be able to get the books signed by the authors.

April 16-22

The Visalia-Sequoia chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is holding their Spring Book Sale Thursday, April 16 through Wednesday, April 22 at Visalia's Sequoia Mall. The sale is open during regular mall hours and there is a Special Preview night, Wednesday, April 15, from 6 pm to 8:30 pm (prices doubled). A variety of books are available, all donated; paperbacks for $1, hardbacks for $2. One-hundred percent of the funds raised are given to local COS students as scholarships to transfer to 4-year colleges or vocational programs.​

April 30

It's Poem in Your Pocket day! Stop by your COS Library in Hanford, Tulare or Visalia and pick up your poem!

March 23
COS Presents $1 Million to Corcoran Unified School District

(From Left)​ COS Trustee Ken Nunes, COS Board of Trustees President Lori Cardoza, COS Superintendent/President Stan Carrizosa, CUSD Superintendent Rich Merlo and CUSD supporters.

Last Tuesday, March 17, 2015, a ceremony was held at Corcoran’s Technology Learning Center with College of the Sequoias Superintendent/President Stan Carrizosa handing over a $1 million check to Corcoran Unified School District (CUSD) Superintendent Rich Merlo. The funds will go towards modernizing the High School’s instructional facilities.

Of the contribution and Memorandum of Understanding with COS, Mr. Merlo said, “Our district and community are grateful for the partnership with College of the Sequoias, and we are appreciative of the commitment and follow through by the COS Board of Trustees and their President Stan Carrizosa.”

Mr. Carrizosa added, “We are so excited to be able to make good on this important promise to Corcoran. Our new joint agreement and this funding will continue to ensure the strong partnership between CUSD and COS and most importantly, that we bring college education opportunities to our Corcoran students and community.”

During the November 2008 elections, Measure J was passed for a School Facilities Improvement District bond to build a permanent college center in Tulare. Voters of the City of Corcoran, along with those from Lindsay and Tulare, helped to pass the bond with the promise that $1 million would be given to CUSD for supporting the bond effort. Our Tulare College Center opened in January 2013, in part, by redirecting that ‘Million dollar promise’ to CUSD.

Mr. Carrizosa served as principal at Corcoran High School prior to becoming Assistant Superintendent of Business in the early 1990’s. As a resident of Corcoran during those years, he garnered many friends in the community. During his first meeting with CUSD Superintendent Merlo, he noted he would be working towards fulfilling that $1 million promise to the school district.

March 23
Spring Break, Only a Week Away!


Midterms, Papers, and 100 more assignments!

"What do I do?”

At least that is how it might feel with Spring Break being only two weeks away. For someone who can get distracted easily, it can be hard to try to focus in classes effectively. But remember the main reason you are attending College of the Sequoias is not to just be looking forward to vacations, but to get your General Education out of the way.

Students may be wondering what they can do to stay focused and on task in classes. Each individual is different; I can’t say do 'X' and you will get 'Y' result. Let’s face it, if I could I wouldn’t be studying in school; as my communications professor would say, “I would package it, and sell it on eBay.”

It is also extremely hard to focus when every 10 minutes someone is asking:

“Hey where you going over Spring Break?” or “What are you doing over Spring Break?”

That’s just two of the many questions you are going to be asked at least once before the 27th. Consider yourself the lucky one if that happens only once. But let's get back to what's really important here, our education.

If a professor is loading on the work, like some might be doing, my first tip is simple. Tip #1: don't freak out! 

I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much stress I could have saved if I only would have remained calm. When you’re calm you will be able to think clear, instead of trying to collect your thoughts when your mind is racing 100 mph.  

You might be saying well that’s an easy one. Okay, well if you are still freaking out because you ignored my first tip, how about Tip #2: you can meet with your professors, after class or during their office hours.

Showing the professor you care might go a long way when they are trying to decide between giving you that A- or B+. If they are taking the time to help you, remember to come prepared or at least have in mind what direction you want the conversation to go in.

Tip #3: the final tip I can give you is to set goals to manage your time more wisely. 

Pace out your big projects; set a time where you are going to have A, B and C done. Setting these goals will help you stay on task and will help manage your time instead of letting your time manage you. You will notice you are able to get more things done throughout the day if you are able to learn how to manage your time. If you can, try and manage your time well enough to get your school work done before Spring Break instead of waiting until the last minute over the break to scramble to get it done.

#3: set goals to manage your time; #2: communicate with your professors; #1: above all else, remain calm!  

Get excited, Spring Break is only a week away Giants!!

March 13
​Student Loans No Longer a Burden?

Obama Photo 1.PNG
​President Obama announces the student aid bill of rights. Photo courtesy of White House​ official site.

President Barack Obama spoke at Georgia Institute of Technology​ this past Tuesday, March 11, to discuss issues concerning students nationwide.

“We live in a 21st-century economy where your most valuable asset is your imagination, your knowledge, your ability to analyze tough problems,” President Obama said.​

In his speech​, Obama addressed the overwhelming pressures on students to finance their education and, in return, their future.

“The average undergrad who borrows money to pay for college graduates with about $28 thousand in student loan debt.”

As a student, this speech hit home. Students spend hours each day going to school and working just to obtain a job to pay off our degree. Most students would agree that the reason they are obtaining an education is to create a secure future, but the very act of earning our degree puts us in financial instability.

President Obama also proposed a Student Aid Bill of Rights that he believes should be administered to every student.

“Every student deserves access to quality, affordable education… Every student should be able to access the resources needed to pay for college. Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan. And every borrower has the right to quality customer service, reliable information and fair treatment…”

President Obama then continues to talk about how he would like to see the payoff rate be capped off at 10 percent. This would allow students to focus on their education rather than having to choose between eating that month or paying students loans. Students are now able to choose a major based on what they want to do as a career rather than what will pay off their debt. Most students, like myself, would agree that this gives us more security in choosing our path for college.

I am a double Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations and Deaf Studies. I chose this because I want to be able to have a career in PR and eventually go into teaching for a college. Thanks to President Obama’s proposal, I am now able to look forward to achieving my dreams, without dreading the consequences of my loans.

March 06
​College of the Sequoias goes to March in March

State Capitol 2015.jpg

“Students united, we’ll never be divided!”

That was what students were chanting together this past Monday, March 2, when College of the Sequoias, Student Activities and Affairs, took 20 students to rally in Sacramento at our state capital against state legislators, including myself. Student representatives were driven to attend the event by something that is on every college student’s mind: getting more money to pay for college.

During an open mic forum, different students at the event spoke on how we need more financial aid. Not including personal responsibilities you may have at home, today’s student often goes to school, gets involved in extracurricular activities, applies for financial aid or scholarships and in most cases, works a job as well. It isn’t enough to just collect financial aid and go to school to obtain your college degree.

Among the range of topics that students voiced at the microphone—where students could express concerns on behalf of themselves or their colleges—were the refusal of four-year universities to accept American Sign Language courses below ASL 4 for transfer and the issue that seems to be brought up every year: text books averaging around $200.Students at March in March 2015.jpg

Another hot topic was the course repeatability lawin place since the fall of 2013which forbids students who have finished a class with a C or better to reenroll in that class in which they are considered to have passed. Some of the students at the March expressed that the law is killing the Fine Arts, in the sense of any majors that fall under this category being unable to further their education by being prevented from taking the same arts course again.

“The turn out this year was smaller due to the fact that we were not able to do the full on March through Sacramento,” said Lance Love, an Art Education Major at COS and two times a March in March-er. Last year’s event involved an actual march through the city as opposed to this year’s, which hovered around the steps of the Capitol.

Love goes on to express similar concerns to the crowd, “Budget cuts have made it harder for me to continue my education in art… I can’t enroll in the art class I need for my major because of the repeatability rule.”

It is unfortunate that as college students, we remain challenged with these issues, but there was another popular chant that day, “Si Se Puede!”

It translates into, “Yes you can!”

Yes, you can go to school without financial aid. I am not saying it is going to be easy; I’m a working student, too. But there are options like jobs, scholarships or student loans. I will never forget what a teacher shared with me during a class a few semesters back, “You’ve got to want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”

January 25
Transcripts and Updates!

​Hello COS Giants!

It's been a while, but here we are again in a new semester full of new things to be blogged about! And I shall be here every step of the way updating all of us about important dates and events for us to mark our calendars for!

One thing I would like to remind us all about is to update our academic information and send official transcripts to colleges if you are transferring​ in the fall.

Colleges differ in due dates, but just to be safe try and send things before February the 3rd!

PS: Dough and Joe on the Go! is tomorrow from 9:00A.M. to 12:00P.M. on the Visalia quad! Get your coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts!

Provided by the AGS honors society. 

October 21
Don't get your board taken away!

​Hey there COS Giants! I apologize for this late blog post! I was doing homework and I lost track of the time! #TheStruggle

But putting that aside, I would like to remind us all that COS does have a skating on campus policy. That policy is that there are NO skateboards allowed on campus. This policy is in place in order to protect us Giants while we do our daily academia routines. All it takes is one second of someone turning a corner at the same time that someone is skating around the same corner to cause a serious injury.

And serious injuries aren't fun!

In addition to that, it is also policy that skateboards be taken away from the student who is riding it on campus. Don't get your board taken away, don't put our fellow Giants in danger, and help make COS a more wonderful institution than it already is!

Ciao for now Giants!

October 16
Cross Promotion!

​Hello COS Giants!

This is Nico reminding you all that if you haven't already, please follow my fellow partners in crime at their social media pages!

You can find Danielle on her Instagram account: danielle_cos.media

She takes awesome pictures of students, activities, and anything that interests us COS Giants! Look out for her while events are going on! If you see her, ask her for a picture and she will tag you on instagram for the whole college to see!

You can find David on his Instagram account: davidcosmedia, and his facebook account: David Rivera Cos

He posts helpful hints to help us COS Giants get through the week and he also posts and shares cool stories that are of interest to students!

Finally, follow the main COS facebook page at: College of the Sequoias!

Here you can find the weekly bulletins that Danielle, David, and I work on to share with all of us!

Join the Social Media fun!

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