Language Learning, Local Education, and 4 Inexpensive Ideas

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!

Action Items:

1.) Consider some ideas you may have on how having these ideas implemented could help your local community,

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please, and

3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at LEAST for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
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Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil

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(Day 1Day 5)

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Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

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38 thoughts on “Language Learning, Local Education, and 4 Inexpensive Ideas

  1. I don’t think we have a nurse on our campus, dear Shira, although our Medical campus is staffed with all kinds of physicians and nurses, but we do have a rotation of mental health professionals available to students at no cost. Great idea, though.
    Much love,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dolly.

      That would be a great help to our students here, who have no medical personnel at all, even during the day, let alone for the night school students. I recalled how helpful our RN was when I was at University, and in Bath, there was a fully staffed doctor’s office at the University!
      Much love,
      and hope for Health Care for All of us,

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I noticed that teen pregnancies have dropped considerably during the Quarantine: perhaps keeping the kids at home for a few days of distance learning is not such a bad idea after all!

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Yup, needs more educational attention, as women who are educated tend to have far fewer kids. We just need to start educating about pregnancy earlier (and making sure that they have all of the resources they need to prevent pregnancy, as well, but that is discussed on Wondering Wednesdays, I’m sure you’ve seen).

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Did any of these initiatives get implemented? I can see where #3 and #4 might have been more challenging if there were cost implications (not a CA resident and not familiar with medi-Cal), but #1 (aren’t libraries supposed to have quiet study areas?) and #2 (building and developing the alumni network for workshops seems like a great and relatively low cost idea) seem like low-cost low-hanging fruit

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sadly, no, none have yet even been seriously considered, to my limited knowledge. I had a phone call scheduled with the Dean to bring it to the attention of one of the Vice Chancelors, but everything got cancelled when the Quarantine tightened in June, and I’ve not heard back since. The inside contact friend has also gone silent, so I guess I’ll have to send it in a letter to the next Chancelor, as the then-current Chancelor is apparently retiring.

      The problem with this campus is that it is one building, and has no library. I’d hoped that Medi-Cal, which is CA medicaid, might be able to furnish a nurse or two, but now it seems less likely, unless we can get some nursing students to volunteer, which really doesn’t seem fair or possible, given their workloads.
      I’d hoped that that workshop idea would be most attractive, but again it depends on someone being able to contact and cajole recent (or even not so recent!) grads who are already pretty stressed out.
      But this may be an idea that is also applicable to other community college/adult education centers in other parts of the country, as well, so I hope that these ideas or something similar get taken up elsewhere, too!

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      Liked by 3 people

      1. I can see where the study area idea is more challenging if there is no library. My first reaction was, “what college wouldn’t be asking alumni to give workshops” (thinking of my private college and public state school experiences with rather active alumni offices) and then I thought to check the local community colleges and noticed they don’t have the same alumni development offices, although they do have continuing/professional education classes. It does feel like there ought be a resource to be tapped in to, you know?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It would be a good resource, if most grads weren’t struggling to climb out of debt and exhaustion after finishing the degree. I was exhausted when I finished college, and I didn’t even have kids or parents to take care of. So I can see why our recent alumni are not very active, but I suspect that more established alumni could be coaxed into helping.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Yup, sorry to say, but if our health care, libraries, and transpo were better funded, not to mention actually fully free college, as in tuition, books, fees and, dare I say it, even room & board, students could do a heck of a lot more for themselves and also for society.
              It wouldn’t even be that difficult: they already do most of this in many European Union countries.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Very relieved to see that these ideas are to be taken up by a Dean. Hopefully they will make their way to the Chancellor of more than one Community College and adult education system…

      Destinie A. Jones

      Liked by 2 people

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