A Record of Accomplishments
Since he was first elected as a Long Beach City College Trustee in 2004, Doug Otto has led on key initiatives to benefit our students.
The Long Beach College Promise
Doug helped develop and implement the Long Beach College Promise for LBCC. Under this nationally-recognized program, qualified students from the Long Beach Unified School District, and now other local school districts, receive one free semester at LBCC. In September 2015, this program was expanded to an entire year at LBCC with free tuition. Nearly 12,000 LBCC students have benefited from the program so far. Also, Doug helped implement the Promise Pathways Program – which helps participating students develop an education plan, take key courses early in their college career at LBCC, and therefore graduate and transfer to four-year colleges and universities in record numbers and in record time. In the first year of the Promise Pathways Program, there was a 300% increase in college math course completion and a 340% increase in English course completion among LBUSD students who participated.
Thanks to the Long Beach College Promise, 80% of LBUSD students attend college within two years of graduating from high school. The program has created an expectation that all LBUSD students will go to college. It has literally changed the culture of education in Long Beach. The Promise has been recognized by the White House, the State of California, the James Irvine Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its successes.
LBCC Campus Modernization and Creation of High-Tech Learning Opportunities
Under Doug’s leadership with Mayor Robert Garcia, the Measure E bond was passed in 2008 with a record 72% of voter approval. As a result, $440 million was made available for construction and reconstruction of the two LBCC campuses. LBCC has seen a dramatic transformation in its facilities and classroom technology. At the Alternative Transportation and Technology Workstation, students will now be able to work on the next generation of alternative fuel cars.
In addition, the funds will help modernize the Nursing Building with a state-of-the-art hospital simulation training facility. This will be the first major overhaul for the 45-year-old Building C, and will allow LBCC’s nursing students to be among the best-prepared hospital nurses in the country.
Prioritizing Student Success
When Doug joined the Board of Trustees in 2004, he organized a meeting of education and community leaders to develop strategic goals for the Board of Trustees for the first time. These goals included student success and, over time, building a better sense of community on the campuses.
Through this and Doug’s conservative fiscal leadership, LBCC has come out of the Great Recession as one of California’s best community colleges. There were 42 new faculty members hired in 2014 and 2,586 classes were scheduled in the Spring 2015 semester – the highest in five years. Recently, Doug helped implement the new Transfer Degree Program, which will allow LBCC grads to enter the Cal State University system with two full years of credit without having to complete some LBCC general education requirements, thereby creating a path to early completion of their Bachelor Degrees.