Letters of Reference

Thomas J. Gaxiola, MS | View reference letter
Counseling Coordinator, Title V First Year Experience
Fresno City College – Fresno, CA
Phone: 559-442-4600   Email: thom.gaxiola@fresnocitycollege.edu
Linda Mendez | View reference letter
Instructor/Counselor, Probation Program Coordinator
Fresno City College – Fresno, CA
Phone: 559-442-4600   Email: linda.mendez@fresnocitycollege.edu
Julie Preston–Smith | View reference letter
Counseling Department Chair
Fresno City College – Fresno, CA
Phone: 559-442-4600   Email: julie.preston‐smith@fresnocitycollege.edu

Thomas Gaxiola | View actual letter

Fresno City College
Office of Counseling and Career Center

June 9, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

Mr. David Shoemaker has requested that I write a letter of recommendation in support of his application for a position with your institution. I will preface by stating that I do this with a great deal of enthusiasm for a professional who I believe holds a tremendous amount of potential, and who has also contributed significantly to the development of guidance studies curriculum and a supportive counseling environment for our student population.

I am the Counseling Coordinator for the First Year Experience Program at Fresno City College (FCC). David started to work for us as an Adjunct Instructor for Counseling 53 during the Spring semester of 2002. He was a member of a team of instructors who were carefully selected to instruct the First Year Experience courses, and to participate within an instructional cohort to teach a learning community. This was a newly developed program at Fresno City College that was supported by Title V federal funds. Counseling 53 was designed to improve the retention of our Hispanic student populations. The course has a strong psycho–social foundation thus David's approach to his curriculum, instructional methodology and interaction with his students has been solidly based in his background as a Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist. As an instructor he is organized, communicates course content clearly and with a definitive knowledge of his subject, is consistently aware of student's varying abilities and backgrounds, and utilizes a variety of teaching methods that encourage critical thinking and analysis. In his counseling responsibilities he provides realistic perspectivies to student's goals; respects individual differences; supports practical provisions for differences in abilities, experiences and values; and displays a genuine interest and concern for students. In addition, David enthusiastically accepted the role of creating and teaching the online version of Counseling 53. his expertise infusing technology into his curriculum and the classroom has added a significant dimension to student's learning experiences. David is quite comfortable with this pedagogical approach and very competent training other instructors.

David's skills and professional attitude have definitely earned him the respect of those FCC counselors and instructors with whom he has had the opportunity to work. He approaches his responsibilities with enthusiasm and is quick to create a vision that is both realistic and achievable. David displays a thorough and current knowledge of his discipline, is critical in his application of theory and methodology, and continuously assesses the effectiveness of his work through his students' success. He is progressive minded and always looks for opportunities to improve his own counseling approach and instructional methodology. David most definitely displays a heartfelt commitment to education, students, counseling support, and the learning process.

In summation, David is a very talented and skilled individual, and holds himself up to strict standards of performance and professionalism. He is very much of a self–starter, works well under minimal supervision, and always gets the job done to a level far exceeding expectations. If I had a full–time position I would actively recruit him. I most enthusiastically recommend David for the position with your institution.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (559) 442–4600, x8741, or email me at thom.gaxiola@fresnocitycollege.edu

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Gaxiola
Counseling Coordinator
Title V First Year Experience

Linda Mendez | View actual letter

Fresno City College
Office of Counseling and Career Center

April 7, 2008

Re: David Shoemaker

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a letter of recommendation on behalf of Mr. David M. Shoemaker. Mr. Shoemaker is a valued instructor who has been teaching Guidance Studies classes for our department for several years. They range from freshmen year experience classes to our three unit probation class. Mr. Shoemaker was one of my most valued instructors with a background experience as a therapist. I find them more insightful and proactive in helping students understand themselves within the parameters of the course curriculum. The probation course is geared for students on academic disqualification. The goal of the class is help students recognize and reframe barriers that hinder their academic, personal and career success. Instructors facilitate students to identify behaviors and core beliefs that sabotage their academic progress and personal success.

The course is hybrid which is taught face-to-face and in Blackboard. It includes instruction and activities through the Internet when in the computer lab. Mr. Shoemaker is computer literate and is comfortable using technology in the classroom. He used multi-teaching styles to accommodate the various learning styles and basic skill levels of our at-risk students and met with his students regularly as a follow-up to struggling students. As a master instructor, particularly in technology, he is readily available to assist new instructors develop technology into their classroom whether it be hybrid, online or enhance their face-to-face classroom. He has been teaching online classes for our department for several years. His courses are interactive, visual and user friendly and teaches his class with ease and patience whether in a regular face-to-face or online course. This is an accomplishment for a population of students who have diverse levels of computer literacy that ranged from none, to novice to experience users and diverse in their reading and writing skills.

Mr. Shoemaker uses multi-teaching styles to address various learning styles and basic skill levels of students. He integrates visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities to help students learn his concepts better. His group activities were quite animated and interesting and I attribute his skill to his training and experience in facilitating individual and therapeutic group sessions. He also used the Internet's world-wide-web, handouts and overheads to help the visual learners. His class was predominantly ethnically diverse, first-generation college students with many personal and academic challenges. Disable Student Services Program often placed many of their students with learning disabilities in the class as well. Mr. Shoemaker showed empathy to his students, yet held his standard to hold them accountable and responsible. Thus, it resulted in students moving toward interdependence and self-responsibility. Meeting with his students helped him identify their academic and personal needs to address as class topics.

Mr. Shoemaker is an excellent instructor and a good team player. If an adjunct faculty position was open in my area, he is my first choice to rehire. I highly recommend Mr. David Shoemaker for any position that requires multi-skills in working with people of diverse needs. For further evaluation of Mr. Shoemaker, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Linda Mendez, Instructor/Counselor
Probation Program Coordinator
Counseling Department
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Avenue
Fresno, CA 93741

(559) 442-4600 Ext 8626
linda.mendez@fresnocitycollege.edu

Julie Preston–Smith | View actual letter

Fresno City College
Office of Counseling and Career Center

June 16, 2008

Dear Selection Committee:

Mr. David Shoemaker has worked for Fresno City College (FCC) since June 2002. His primary assignment is teaching counseling classes for the Counseling Department. He also has worked as an adjunct counselor for the Registration to Go and New Student Orientation Program where he advised students on college opportunities, provided information on college procedures and policies, and even drove the cargo van to many area high schools. His assignments have required him to work extensively with high school seniors and adults attending college for their first tie as well as students on academic probation.

Mr. Shoemaker is an established FCC adjunct instructor teaching Transitions, a class for students on academic probation, and College and Life Management, a class for new students teaching college success strategies and life decisions. Mr. Shoemaker brings his knowledge of human development and learning strategies into his classes. He follows all requirements for curriculum alignment, textbook inclusion, grading, and records submission. Another exceptional quality in Mr. Shoemaker is his skills for online instruction and collaboration. He manages several online counseling courses which are as successful, if not even more successful, than the face to face classes.

Mr. Shoemaker works well with students of all ages. He has learned academic counseling and educational planning strategies so that he can help students as an instructor and counselor. Combining his knowledge of counseling techniques with his good communication skills make him a strong candidate for counselor and instructor positions at the college level.

Please feel freee to contact me if you have any further questions regarding this letter of support and recommendation.

Sincerely,

Julie Preston-Smith
Counseling Department Chair
(559) 442-4600 Ext 8669