We are facing a multitude of problems in our society. It is our moral obligation to work together to end the achievement gap, demand student equity, obtain fiscal stability, and create programs and pathways that lead to student success.
Student equity is oncde again in the forefront given the COVID-19 situation which has forced schools to offer the majority of classes online. There is a severe digital divide and it is predominantly affecting students of color and low income families. This is a national issue, not unique to Solano Community College. I will find and help secure funding to ensure that all students have access to computers and the internet. I will also advocate for suport services for students who are not comfortable, or familiar with, online instruction. Student success is essential, and not everyone can do it alone.
Quality Online Instruction
So many families have been affected by the move to online instruction. Many students are not familiar with online instructional methods and fall behind in their assignments. I will make sure that all students have the support they need if they choose to enroll in online classes at Solano Community College. I will also see that instructors receive essential training to ensure that their courses are engaging students and keeping them actively involved just as if they were in a face to face class. Student engagement is one of the primary keys to student success. It is critical that we retain our students and provide the support they need during these difficult times.
The state is facing one of the greatest revenue shortages in history. There will most likely be a reduction in state funding for community colleges. The unexpected pandemic and added expenses for schools to implement a safe environment for students and staff has only exacerbated the stress from the looming change in the funding formula
that determines the level of state funding community colleges will receive. While there has been another delay in implementing the new student funding formula, we cannot hope and pray that it will go away. Fiscal stability is in jeopardy.
I will make sure that the College continues to plan and prepare for a reduced funding model. Projections show that Solano will lose approximately $1 million dollars in funding each year unless student success metrics improve. The time is now to improve our services and outreach efforts to increase student success and student financial aid.
Student success was the impetus for the Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success Plan for Community Colleges. Low graduation rates, low levels of financial aid applications and awards, widening achievement gaps, and extended time to transfer and/or graduation are the issues we need to address. Improvements in these areas are not only an equity issue, but they are also a fiscal issue. Students deserve our time and attention to address these matters and I intend to participate in the movement towards greater student success and equity.
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