Updated with Question Bolded: Anybody else hearing about students being invited to be on the task forces? One of mine said that she received an email over the weekend (and it seemed as if she were the only person in the class) inviting her to participate in the task forces (as a paid gig–$10 an hour). She didn’t know why she’d been picked or how, but she did apply.
(At which point, the questions started flying–questions about reinvention, about community college funding, about the layoffs, about the relationships among the seven colleges, about the role of District office, etc. It took up the rest of the class, actually–which was alright since it is a Social and Political Philosophy class and the topic gave us an opportunity to explore the different kinds of thinking about justice and morality that underlie the basic structures and assumptions of the various parties involved.
One thing is for sure (and I knew this before the discussion yesterday)–our students do not generally understand the structure and underpinnings (funding) of the institution they are in or the system that they are a part of. I wonder if it should be a part of the orientation to include something about the fact that our tuition is so affordable in part because 2/3rds of it is paid for by tax payers and that their tuition helps cover the costs for some free programs like GED and Basic English and Literacy courses that are important to the good of the broader community to spread the sense, at least among our students, that we are not just a cheap version of college (please forgive the consumer simile here (I do not think of students as customers) like a Dollar Store version of Target, but a different sort of institution altogether.
I mean, if our students don’t know these sorts of things, how can we expect the general public to know it?)