RESPONSES TO COMMUNITY QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE CONTINUING EDUCATION DIVISION?
In winter 2011, Jack Friedlander (Executive Vice President of Educational Programs and interim SBCC President at that time) formed a task force to develop a long-range sustainable plan for the three areas of continuing education: enrichment/lifelong learning program; courses for college preparation; and courses for career preparation. The task force completed their work at the end of June 2012 with the submission of their final reports. Based upon those reports, Dr. Friedlander and current SBCC President Dr. Lori Gaskin developed a reorganization plan that was approved by the SBCC Board of Trustees on September 27, 2012.
The essence of that reorganization plan was the bifurcation of the existing CE Division into two unique elements -- both of which will fall under the umbrella of Educational Programs -- as follows:
- The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL): The existing lifelong learning/enrichment courses (i.e., non-enhanced, noncredit) will be transitioned to fee-based. Offered in this modality, the constraints imposed by the noncredit regulations are removed and the program can become more expansive - serving all ages of adulthood and not having to restrict curricula to only older adults. The CLL is envisioned as a premier, first-class fee-based program - one with a rich, dynamic, and vibrant set of course offerings. Student fees are clearly an important issue. To take something that has been provided for free (i.e., subsidized by the state through FTES apportionment) and transition it to fee-based is a change of significant proportion. Everyone involved in this transition is committed to keeping the fees well below the average for fee-based programs and to provide support through scholarships, subsidies, and fundraising. Andrew G. Harper has been selected as the Executive Director to shape, operationalize, and launch the CLL in fall 2013. Click here or more information on the Center for Lifelong Learning.
- Noncredit: The remaining noncredit courses - those focused on college and career prep (i.e., ESL, GED, adult high school diploma, short-term vocational) - will not change. They will be integrated into the Educational Programs division and supported by the deans and the academic departments through which such programs will reside. Dr. Friedlander is engaged with the Academic Senate and the appropriate departments to work through the details of this integration. Support for this integration of noncredit with credit will be provided through a reorganization of some existing CE positions to provide the day-to-day oversight of these program areas.
2. IS THERE A LONG-TERM PLAN TO ELIMINATE NONCREDIT COURSES IN THE AREAS OF ESL, ADULT HIGH SCHOOL, AND SHORT-TERM VOCATIONAL?
No. We believe courses that prepare students for college and for careers form an important pathway into the institution for (1) the educationally disadvantaged, (2) those who may need to strengthen their language skills, and (3) those seeking to get a sense of a particular career field. Noncredit is a critical and important conduit into higher education and we remain committed to this important gateway.
3. IS THERE A LONG-TERM PLAN TO ELIMINATE ADULT EDUCATION?
No, we are not abandoning the longstanding tradition of adult education in this community. Although the need to charge tuition fees changes the context, the college remains committed to having a Center for Lifelong Learning that is both enriching in terms of the array of offerings as well as financially accessible. Indeed, the goal is to keep the fees as low as possible to the extent we possibly can. The staffing will be lean and streamlined to accommodate low fees, and the salary structure for instructors will also, by necessity, need to be revised in order to honor this low-fee commitment.
4. WHAT WILL THE IMPACT OF THE REORGANIZATION BE ON THE CURRENT EMPLOYEES OF THE CONTINUING EDUCATION DIVISION?
The most difficult part of the reorganization is its impact upon many CE employees. As part of the restructuring, eight administrative positions and nine staff positions are being discontinued as of June 30, 2013. Our goal is to proceed in a manner that respects the contributions and dignity of our employees impacted by the reorganization. To assist employees during this reorganization, access to transitional job search support will be provided to all impacted employees. Further, it is our hope that through attrition and upcoming vacancies the nine classified staff affected by the discontinuance of their positions will have a place within the organization. Our goal by June 30, 2013 is that 0 staff are separated from the college.