4CSD's Mission

The mission of the California Community College Council for Staff Development (4CSD):

4CSD creates collaborative learning opportunities for professional development practitioners in the California Community College system in order to foster innovation and equity at each college. In partnership with the California Community College Chancellor's Office, 4CSD advocates for funding, resources, and policy change to enable effective professional learning statewide.

Read the 4CSD Bylaws

Team meeting
DSCN5848.jpg

History of 4CSD

A Distinct Identity

4CSD began with an informal consortium of staff development specialists from Northern and Southern California. The consortium was first discussed at a CACC conference in Anaheim in 1987. Until its formal organization after 1989, ad hoc leaders of both groups kept in contact to support each other’s activities.



Staff development coordinators from Southern California had been meeting in a loosely federated organization since about 1980. The group met monthly at different colleges to discuss staff development ideas and projects. They presented two full-day conferences over the early years and were authors of a position paper published by NCSPOD.



The Northern California staff development group had been meeting since February 1985, also as a loosely structured organization. This group chose to meet as a large group at least once a year with a steering committee meeting more often to plan programs. The North group presented two full-day conferences and one two and half day retreat/conference at Asilomar in its early years.



Both groups attempted to publish a newsletter at one time but discontinued due to lack of time and money. The steering committees of both groups decided to present a state-wide workshop at each CACC conference with the location determining the host group.

It was decided that an interim Executive Council of six people, three from the South and three from the North, would be appointed to serve as liaison to the Chancellor’s Office and to prepare proposals for a formal structuring to be adopted at the March 9, 1989 conference in Costa Mesa.



At the meeting in Costa Mesa, participants voted on organizational models presented by the interim Executive Council. The result of that process was the forerunner of the present 4CSD structure. Lorraine Barry of College of Marin acted as moderator for the conference and became the first chair of the Executive Board. During the meeting, she asked for a volunteer to serve on the Executive Board to replace one person who was leaving. Two people volunteered and the participants could not choose between them so it was decided to simply increase the Board to accommodate both. Later the Board was increased to eight members.



During the first year of operation, the organization conducted fall and spring regional workshops, a statewide conference in conjunction with CACC in the fall, and assisted in presenting the Western Regional NCSPOD conference in the spring. Mike McHargue of Foothill College published a newsletter in conjunction with an FII grant. During that year, AB1725 instituted the categorical fund for faculty and staff development, increasing the need for staff developers to network with each other.

As the structure of the organization began to evolve, consensus decision making was built into the culture of the organization and into its documentation. While first operating under the auspices of CACC (CCLC), the organization began to establish a working structure that included an annual conference in the spring that now alternates from north to south and regional meetings to plan each region’s activities for the year.



The structure was codified in the form of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws that were adopted by the membership in December 1992. The process of official incorporation and nonprofit tax-exempt status was completed in May and June of 1994. At that time, 4CSD became an organization in its own standing with its own accountant and its own bank account. Donna Manno of El Camino College successfully guided the organization through this process.



During 1995-96, the organization completed a three-year project for writing a Staff Development Handbook that was unveiled at the annual spring conference at Lake Arrowhead.



During 1999-2000, 4CSD officially expanded the scope of its responsibilities, both statewide and at a growing number of campuses, to include organizational development. It changed its name to California Community College Council for Staff Development but retained the acronym of 4CSD. It also added two more members to the Executive Board, making a total of 10. The Board now meets eight times a year, twice at the Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento.

Under the leadership of Michelle DeVol of Sierra College, 4C/SD, working with Sierra College, applied for and received significant grant funding from the Chancellor’s Office to develop a Summer Institute for training staff development officers. The grant also included funds for several other improvement projects. It also instituted, in partnership with Company of Experts (COE), statewide Leadership Development Institutes and statewide Department Chair Institutes.


During Bea Griffiths’ (Santa Rosa Junior College) tenure as chair, the function, value, and level of support that 4CSD provides for staff developers throughout the community college system has been brought to the attention of the CCC Chancellor’s Office, the Board of Governors, and the state legislature.



Dick Ryerson (Mt. San Antonio College) served as chair from June 2003 thru December 2003. During this time all community colleges throughout the State were offered the free use of Skillsoft Software as part of a service from the Foundation for California Community Colleges.



Upon Dick’s retirement Jan Schardt (Napa Valley College) and Marilynn Spaventa (Santa Barbara City College) served as co-chairs from January 2004-June 2004. During this time the Board worked with FACCC to write a proposal to restore staff development funds. Marilynn Spaventa was chair through 2006. Under Marilynn’s leadership the Board focused on what is needed throughout the State to try to serve the needs of staff developers. Kathleen Kirkpatrick from College of Marin was chair in 2006/07. Dianne Hollems from Santa Barbara City College was chair in 2007/08. Leslie Carr has served as chair from 2008 to 2018.