Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially after moving to the bilingual South West. Technically, I was hired for my experience in Unix which led to my MAT in mathematics, but on the ground, my love of learning languages proved to be more important in the classroom. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, my fluency proved helpful for many of my students, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.
Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions recently about ideas for implementing low-cost projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving
1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates,
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by medi-Cal, and
4.) access to public transportation:
1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study. While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?
2.) I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations? Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including, California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc? One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring, that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring. Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference. Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together? Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?
3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?
4.) One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the Continuing Education division, nor the CE faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of CE student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount. In planning for post-#Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?
I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.
Please share your ideas for improving local education, or for supporting any other parts of our critical Public Domain Social Infrastructure!
Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
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May, 12020 HE