Community colleges play a vital role in achieving the “American Dream”. They are a place where you can acquire job skills or get retraining for those who need to stay competitive in a dynamic and forever changing work environment; and lastly provide a stepping stone for those who seek a higher education at one of the many four year institutions.
Yet, until the state legislator changed the standard, it was also a place for life long learning opportunities to enhance one’s own mind and not necessarily do something with the enlightenment they would received.
These, life long learning opportunities may disappear from junior colleges if legislators continue on a path of a by the numbers educational system. In short the idea of community should not be lost from the community college system. Yes, success rates should be examined. Students who want to move onto universities and don’t should be reached out to. There are around 1400 students in our district who have more than 100 units. This has left some at the district level asking “why?” These students should have transferred but they haven’t. So what is holding these students back?
Is the answer being unknown at this point? The district is implementing change and trying to do so with real concerns that funding will no longer foot the bill to provide all the opportunities it can. This will undoubtedly leave some out in the cold.
The decision, making process of which section or department will be cut if the tax initiative does not pass has already started to take place around the campus here. Students should be prevented from abusing financial aid.However, to the powers that be, we ask do not only look at the numbers there is a person behind every student ID code each with a different story.
The educational system should be robust enough for both those seeking college degree’s in order to land that higher paying job, but it should also be accessible to life long learners. There should also be room for those who may need to discover or recover a scholastic identity in a place where instructors learn your name, read your papers and notice when you are gone. In essence that is what it means to be part of a community — you look out for one another.