Board meeting barn burner: degree plan debacle

Last night’s Board meeting was a real barn burner! See the video here. Citizens to be Heard starts at minute 30 and lasts for a little over an hour. 20 people signed up to speak. It was a mix of student groups, single students, graduates, concerned parents, grandparents, community members and faculty. The Board discussion regarding transfer degrees begins at the 2hr 52 minute mark.

We’ll post highlights later tonight. We’re also hoping to get a copy of some of the speeches, so if you have copies or know someone who has copies please send them our way: sacaaup@gmail.com

StudentProtest

 

Highlights

  • PAC Student Leadership Coalition. Putting “community” back into our community colleges.
  • Enedina Kikuyu. What an awesome advocate for the students, the colleges and the community.
  • Trustee Gene Sprague interrupts a student speaker to deny he said what he said (see post below from The Ranger)
  • Student speaker: “PAC President Mike Flores. You let us down.”
  • Trustee Yvonne Katz gets called on her “old farts” comment from that Insider Higher Ed article.
  • Real stats on student transfer rates are nowhere near 80% quoted by administrators.
  • Student speaker: “TWO DOLLARS AND 13 CENTS AN HOUR AS A WAITRESS AND YOU WANT TO TELL ME MY COLLEGE DEGREE DOESN’T MATTER?!?”
  • Someone in the audience told Trustee Zarate to quit surfing on his computer during the presentations. “You’re being very disrespectful to the students, sir.”
  • Student speaker: “I feel like this is heading towards a standardized diploma and degree….like a high school degree. Is this change for the market? Or will this really be beneficial to us?”
  • Community leader and mother of SAC student reminds Trustee Alderete how good she is at getting people elected. “I’m really good at getting people out to vote, right, Mr. Alderete?”
  • 69 year old SAC graduate and mother: “We’ve always had a transfer degree plan! This is not new! When you tell us “that’s the real world” I agree. THIS is the real world. THIS is OUR community college.”
  • Recent nursing graduate: “I’ve already graduated, this doesn’t affect me, but I’m here because this is VERY upsetting to me. What value does it have to y’all in taking away our degrees?”
  • Student presenter: “I don’t want my kids coming here because y’all are doing underhanded stuff!”
  • Student presenter: “”The administrators don’t know what’s going on. How will removing my degree help me transfer? HOW? As a student, I know what I want. I know what I need. I don’t need you, the administrators, telling me what’s best for me. I can talk to the advisors myself about substituting classes so they’ll transfer. You don’t have to take away majors to do that.”
  • Student and service member quotes Covey 7 Habits back at the Chancellor.
  • Local college administrator:  “Am I confident that the process of this decision has been respectful and inclusive of the 60,000 students I’ve been elected to serve? Inclusive of faculty members and advisors of those who work with students closely on a daily basis? Have I asked what matters to students? Have I considered putting myself in their shoes? If you answered NO to any questions, can you honestly support removing degrees from our programs?”
  • Craig Coroneos, NVC faculty member: “THECB and SACS have nothing to do with this decision. Let’s talk about being “data-informed.” This is an idea, an experiment, and our students are guinea pigs. Declaring a major and having a specific goal — research studies show that THIS MATTERS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS. According to the SA Police Academy web site: applicants who have an AA in criminal justice have a better shot at being accepted.
  • Student presenter:  “I will get a career with my AA. I won’t transfer to a 4 year institution. So…..that degree doesn’t matter?!? I want that specified concentration on my degree. It matters to ME.”

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