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What’s Happening in Instruction?

by Lois Miller, Ed.D.,
Vice President, Instruction

Many good things are happening in the Instructional Wing of the college, even though we are experiencing deep budget cuts. For this semester, Fall 2009, we were forced to cut sections, yet we are experiencing an enrollment growth that may surpass last spring and last fall semesters. For the first time in a while, our student head count is over 14,000. This growth is due, in part, to the faculty at our college stepping up to the plate and taking extra students into their classes. The demand was overwhelming this fall with many students seeking classes – those that have been displaced from CSU and UC restricting enrollments this fall, those who are seeking retraining opportunities after having lost jobs, and those who are looking to start their higher education experience at a community college. We need to give kudos to the faculty who were able to take a few extra students (some more than a few), so we did not have to turn away as many students as would have been turned away otherwise. Our faculty members are caring individuals, and we are proud of them for their willingness to help out in these times of reduced budgets.

To help survive funding losses during these down budget times, we are pleased to have secured several grants. To name only a few, I’d like to mention the ongoing Nursing Expansion Grant that allows us to add 14 extra Nursing students each semester with state grant funding. More recently, we were awarded a grant to expand our Automotive Technology Program this fall. This is an opportune grant, as part of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), since it follows our automotive technology program receiving NATEF certification last year. And, lastly, I’d like to mention a grant we will receive this month that will allow the Criminal Justice program to install a peace officer training simulation center on our campus as part of a federal grant, which was awarded with support from our Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher.

We at Golden West College are dedicated to student success and serving our students at the level they deserve is our highest priority. We find it hard to continue to provide the classes and the services needed in these times with our dwindling state budget resources, and encourage everyone to contact their legislators to let them know that funding for community colleges is necessary now more than ever before! You can help by being proactive and writing your senators and congress representatives and asking them to adequately fund California Community Colleges.