Dr. Serban and staff:
I would like to express my appreciation for meeting with the SBCC Continuing Education [Adult Ed] students. I think everyone if they are honest learned something even if it was information they did not want to hear. Every student is passionate about the classes they hold dear as you witnessed and seem to have a blind eye when it comes to the big picture. I felt that you all did your best to explain the situation and provided statistics and particulars that supported the decisions you were forced to make.
I was glad to see that an inflammatory opinion piecein one of our well-read local newspapers was corrected-it is too bad the paper itself did not do the research themselves. The situation is bad enough without misinformation being promulgated. It so happened the man in front of me in the question line had a copy and specifically wanted a reply about the hiring of two new staff people at $100,000-a very reasonable question. Dr. Serban explained that the author of the letter had not bothered to check that these two hirees were to replace two who had retired in the past year: One position oversees all the classes for the elderly and frail, and the other handles the classes for job skills [computer training, bookkeeping, etc.]. So there was no extra hiring or added expenditure and these were the salaries of the two who retired.
The loss any of the enrichment classes is a tragedy since the arts feed the souls of students at any level-it is equally tragic that these classes take second or third place in elementary or high schools as well. But for Adult Ed students whose lives are enriched and sustained by the art, craft, poetry, physical activity, lecture, language, literature and music classes the value is immeasurable. I don’t think that was a topic of disagreement by anyone who attended the meeting. The funding for these programs is a challenge that I hope can be met-even if it means fee-based classes, I think most of us would rather see that than complete disruption.
My last comment is about-yet again-registration. We appreciate that winter semester registration will be planned over a three-day period instead of one-might I suggest adding another day? Right now the third day is for “arts and all other classes”-this is till going to be a nightmare since all the art classes are limited enrollment and have following. So many of the category “all other classes” do not have limited enrollment-why not let them be registered on the fourth day-that way those students are not competing with the “enthusiastic” art students that will flood the computer at 8:00 am on the 10th. The third day could then include music, art, food and the physical activity classes-or anything that has a class limit. The last day for “all other classes” would include the rest. I think we all look forward to the day when the present registration system so woefully inadequate will be replaced-until then I hope the staggered registration will help.-Maureen Guerrero Null