GCC Selects New Dean of Community Education

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Holden-Ferkich, new Dean of Instruction, Continuing and Community Education at Glendale Community College, said that good timing, not just hard work has gotten her to where she is.

“Sometimes it’s being in a right place at the right time,” said Holden-Ferkich. She began working at GCC as an instructor and then, “just happened to be there when something else opened up.”

Since 1978 Holden-Ferkich has held several positions at the college. She has been an instructor, a counselor, the Title III coordinator, the associate dean of the Job Training Partnership Act and the program director of workforce training.

“It’s been 22 years of full-time work, but I finally made it, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” she said.

Holden-Ferkich, a Glendale resident originally from Pennsylvania, received her bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, master’s degree in guidance and counseling from California Lutheran University and doctorate in institutional management from Pepperdine University.

Holden-Ferkich has served as the acting dean since last March and said that the acting phase gave her a chance to do a lot of learning. “Now I feel like I have more responsibility,” she said. “I have a real responsibility to make this off-site campus work.”

She was particularly fond of the Parent Education and Lifelong Learning seminars offered at the Adult Community Training Center located at Garfield Avenue in Glendale.

The Parent Education program is designed to discuss child health and safety issues, as well as to help parents with whatever area they are having difficulties in.

The Lifelong Learning Seminars are designed for mature adults seeking educational opportunities. The seminars include workshops on financial planning, discussions on current affairs, line dancing for retirees, health and fitness, art and humanities. “It’s a wonderful thing for the community,” said Holden-Ferkich.

She is the co-founder of the Los Angeles County Community College California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids association. “Our real key that we work most for in CalWORKs is to get the students the skills so that they can make a family sustaining wage.”
The impact of budget cuts has not missed the Adult Education Center. “The budget cuts have been dramatic,” said Holden-Ferkich. They have resulted in a reduced number of classes and program offerings, and there will be only one summer session.

“The center is impacted for space and we have waiting lists for our ESL programs and computer classes,” said Holden-Ferkich. “We are working to get as many students in classes as we can.

Steve White, executive vice president of Instructional Services, said that the budget cuts have resulted in reduced management. Holden-Ferkich’s former position as the associate dean of Non-Credit “is vacant because of the budget cuts,” said White.

Superintendent John A. Davitt said he welcomed someone with a great deal of experience as Holden-Ferkich in the Non-Credit area during these difficult budget times.”

Holden-Ferkich said that the majority of students attending Adult Community Training Center have either come from another country, so English is their second language, or family circumstances have prevented them from completing high school.

“Our goal down here is to get as many students to matriculate from non-credit to credit as we can,” she said, “and to help them get through whatever [else] they need.”