Three Pillars

Shaken Up Shaken Down, Brandon Fastman’s excellent article summarizing the changes to SBCC Continuing Education, requires two clarifications.

I was a member not of “a citizen-led advisory committee” but of the “Achieving the Vision” Task Force Steering Committee created by Dr. Jack Friedlander, then SBCC’s interim president/superintendent. The committee organized community workgroups to focus on each of three areas: Pillars One (Adult Education, GED, and ESL) and Two (Short-term Vocational and Encore 50+ programs), both of which continue to receive priority state funding; and Pillar Three, comprising the courses currently transitioning to the fee-based Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL).

My concern that the loss of 15 Continuing Ed administrators and staff would precipitate a loss of expertise in communicating with the Latino community refers to the older adult student population served by “Pillars One and Two” who most often are academically underprepared students still learning English, with limited experience in the American educational system. Continuing Ed has been their first contact with higher education, hence my concern.

In no way did my comments refer to the excellent outreach programs that have resulted in great success for many traditional college-aged Latino students. To their credit, Drs. Gaskin and Friedlander have added the position of Bilingual Programs and Outreach Coordinator to the new Continuing Education reorganizational chart for “Pillars One and Two” to address these concerns.

Barbara Lotito is an SBCC Continuing Education instructor

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