Tag Archives: Chaffey College

Two Ideas for Chaffey Joint Unified School District

Two different magnet school proposals I would like to propose and expand on if given the opportunity to be a representative of the governing board of the district of the Chaffey Joint Unified School District.

First proposal: Chaffey Middle College High School – This would be a school organized with a partnership with Chaffey College. Students would earn earn credits towards an AA degree in addition to their high school diploma. We would likely need to do this in collaboration with the other feeder districts of Chaffey College. If there are students who want to collaborate and enrich themselves with expanded learning this would be a perfect opportunity. This also is an opportunity for students also to get a second chance with their education as well.

Santa Ana and San Bernardino both have this program and it would be worth the consideration for us to implement this for the students in our communities.

Second proposal: Vocational Magnet School – This school would be designed to get students interested and involved with various career fields such as auto repair, carpentry, computer repair/networking, cooking and fashion design. This would mix standard high school classes with an emphasis in the skills needed to do various trades and vocations the students want to explore and get involved in.

I am thinking ahead for the people of our community.

What Would I Do For Chaffey College

If I ran for Chaffey College this would be my platform I would of talked about during the November 2015 election. However the filing period ended and I will likely cover that election in a future posting.

As Governing Board Member I want to think for the future of our college and work towards novel solutions to make the campus better for the stakeholders involved. Students, Staff/Faculty, Taxpayers and the Business community work together to make Chaffey College what it is.

Quality of Life
I support having food trucks to visit the Chino and Fontana campuses to provide food service at regular times Monday thru Friday with arrangement from the college bookstore to coordinate the service.
I support working with mobile phone providers to add any needed towers on our campuses to make sure our campus community has needed and reliable mobile phone coverage.
I would like to see the campus library be opened further during Finals week. Study rooms should have white boards so study groups could work out problems and organize their sessions.
General Public
I support investigating the idea of having our governing board divided into trustee districts as done in Riverside and Mont San Antonio Colleges which would prevent costly litigation and be forward thinking in response to future legislation that will likely force us to make the change such as the recent bill  AB 277 that is happening and we need to move ahead.
I support the idea of moving our elections to even years so it would be cheaper for us to run the elections which would provide the college more money in the bank to provide services.
I support initiatives to bring forth more educational opportunities to our students. With Common Core it has reduced access to advanced mathematics courses. We should be able to host classes at the member high schools in our community college district where students of the high school districts and the campus community could both partake in added mathematics sections. We should be able to expand access to mathematics and provide improved chances for our youth to get into the best colleges they can attend.
Integrated Math may be a good idea for most of the students, but we should still keep the pathways open for those who want to accelerate their mathematics studies.
Business Community
We need to work with the workforce investment board to figure out what industries need in their workforces and work towards helping businesses in our district to have an educated workforce.

If new programs need to be developed we can work each five years to re-evaluate our course catalog to offer classes and certificates in new subjects.

No Dialogue Received Yet

I tried to start a dialogue with Chaffey College in an effort to save money by emailing one of the governing board members and recently sending a form email to the Chaffey College Superintendent/President, but it seems like nothing will happen until an insurgent reformer gets elected. Our incumbent governing board members may like it that low turnout elections make it easy for them to be re-elected, but we are wasting big money that could be used in keeping class sections open so we can get more people graduating and make more room for new students.

I know it might take a few days for the college president to reply back, but it seems it would take the governing board to get the fortitude to get some action happening. I may need to attend the meeting on June 28th if possible to air my comments.

If we can make it less likely for a dream to be deferred then that is what we need to do.

Also I would like to see the drop rate for particular instructors, if students are dropping from a particular instructor where students end up having to give up on the class or repeating it with a different instructor we should find out why and how so we can get students to successfully pass their classes and save the college money by teaming up with the success center or utilize supplemental instruction in particular classes of note. Even though some instructors are tenured and they could do whatever they please, they are costing the college money when students drop out. With a lack of funding we need to make sure we are spending our money efficiently.

Our current board members are doing fairly well, but it seems they may need to be led to do what is right for the students and the taxpayers of our communities.

Exploring 2013

I am pondering running for the Chaffey Community College District and here are some of the issues I want to address.

I want to explore the cost and potential savings of moving the elections to even years instead of having them on odd years. Severe low turnout elections where only a handful of voters visit the polling places in our six plus city community college district from Chino Hills to Fontana is not a good use of money.

I also want to explore the legality of maybe making the elections an ALL vote by mail election and see if that provides monetary savings. I tried asking one of our governing board members this question and I never got a honest answer. I will try a freedom of information act question to get this taken care of.

I also find it bewildering that we do not run online classes in the summer time. I do not know if it is the faculty senate’s position that online education cheapens the education, but if we want to get students moving thru the system and offer new students a chance to enter our campus we need more sections. Online sections are a good way to squeeze 5-10 more students compared to conventional learning.

Also before online education we had telecourses, telecourses are a good way we could get more students to learn in a self directed format. As long as exams and cousework are done at the end of the semester, the student earns their grade for the class.

We need to be innovative in order to be a successful institution in the era of austerity.

There are other ideas on the table. I am looking into attending board meetings and see if serving the community for a term would be a good idea if the concerns are not able to be addressed.

Chaffey College Needs More Distance Learning

One thing I noticed for the last two years is that we have no online classes during the Summer sessions. With the state budget crisis impacting the public schools from K-12 to the UC System we have to make do with the money we have and use it well.

With online classes we can pack a dozen more students in most sections compared to the sections that are held in traditional methods. I understand the faculty senate wants quality not quantity, but the more students we can get to graduate and leave Chaffey this would give more opportunities for the students looking to get in due to impacted classes.

I wanted to take History 18 online because it is a subject that I could do very well even without lectures and due to being a reentry student I have been doing very well in the last four classes I have taken. I wanted to take my classes either early in the morning or late at night so I could allow for my work schedule to have priority and I could have more hours at my part time job. However they had only History 17, so I had to make do this semester.

I have a co-worker who also attends Chaffey College, but due to not having a drivers license and having a full time job she can not take a summer session class easily. CIS 1 would have been doable online to help her get the credits to complete her degree program. Many students today have computers functional  to do CIS 1 at home. At worse it might cost a hundred bucks extra to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2010, but at least you can save time.

If we want to save taxpayer money and get more students educated we need to reformulate how we offer classes at Chaffey. If Mt.San Antonio College and Riverside College can offer online classes in the summer, then Chaffey should consider it in the future.

Chaffey College Needs Food Trucks

Note: This was my second essay I submitted for the student scholarship contest. This was for the topic about how to improve Chaffey College. I think this idea is sorely needed.  The first essay I wrote is here.

I am proposing an idea to help make the Chino Campus a better place. The Chino campus is one of our new campuses for the Chaffey College District and it seems half complete due to the downward turn of our economy. I would like to utilize the enclosed space near the main building to put an outdoor eating area where food trucks could visit our campus so we can have more of a community for the students who call the Chino campus home.

First, the Chino campus is part of a neighborhood that has not been established yet. College Park is not yet built, but there is no option for dining aside from the bookstore which leaves students to either drive to an establishment or bring a lunch from home. Rancho Cucamonga may have the new dinning commons, Fontana has nearby businesses within walking distances and Chino is isolated. Until the neighborhood gets developed I suggest that the Chino campus invites certified food truck businesses to apply for the right to serve students in a food truck park where students can order food and dine in a covered bench patio.

I know that it will cost money to landscape the area where students would be able to order food and sit down to eat. This is why I would charge the establishments a nominal fee such as 1000-1500 dollars for the right to serve students for the whole semester Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday blocks. This fee would be used to help pay for the improvement for the area near the main building. So we could have choice and selection the vendors could alternate the weeks so they would be an equal number of serving days for the students to purchase food. Vendors can propose their food truck operation to the student government and we could have a special event on a weekend on the main campus where the campus community can vote on the finalists that could serve the food on campus.

Continue reading Chaffey College Needs Food Trucks

Reflecting on being an re-entry student

UPDATE: It seems neither one of my essays qualified for a prize from the Chaffey College Student government scholarship contest.

In this economy, having any job is something to be proud of,  however the company I work for does not have any chances for advancement and it does seem like a dead end job when many of the full-time positions got consolidated and the redundant employees got demoted. Working part-time and living with family cannot go on forever due to my father retiring from his job in the next few years. For the last two years I have become motivated to work on my goal to become an educator for the Social Sciences for the 7th through 12th grades.

I did not expect to return to Chaffey College. I graduated in 2001, transferred to UC Riverside and earned a BA in Political Science in 2003. I have flirted with the idea of becoming an educator for a few years, but never did anything about my goal until now because I was confused about the steps required to start the process. I took most of the tests needed to be eligible to enter a teacher preparation program, but each school I wanted to attend had its own criteria for admission. Cal Poly Pomona wanted me to have experience working with children, but if I wanted that experience most of the organizations already want people already experienced so there was no way I was going to get my foot in the door to meet the prerequisites they wanted, however the school I eventually considered, Western Governor’s University said what I have done is great, but I still needed more classes to complete to be eligible for admission.

I was anxious to start as soon as possible so I could start my credential program. However with five classes needed to finish I was in a state of panic. I realized that the place I began my higher education would be the place where I could complete my goals and transfer so I could finally make good use from my education from Chaffey College and UC Riverside.  It was way past the registration date to get several classes to sign up for, but something did catch my eye when I saw an advertisement for Fast Track classes were added that semester and I raced to get admitted into one of them so I could get ready for completing my goal. Sociology was my first class and I did have some minor issues in juggling work and school at the same time. Sadly there was no online classes to take advantage of where I could work my assignments at my own time, but my employer ignored my schedule change  the first week and I was worried that I was going to be dropped from class. With this unfortunate economy we are all suffering its effects and I was worried that I was going to lose my seat due to not showing up; however I was one lucky individual because my instructor had to go to the hospital on the first day and there was no worry about being dropped from the roll sheet. Later, after talking to the corporate office of my company they fixed my schedule for the week ahead and things did go smoothly where I ended up passing the class with flying colors.

I thought taking these five classes was going to be redundant, but I learned more from these classes that would help me do better in my future studies academically and professionally. Right now I am working on my final class to transfer to Western Governor’s University, and I am using my experience and wisdom to help me through the finish line. I was a C student when I was at Chaffey a decade ago, but my grades have turned for the better in the last year where I have earned A and A minus grades mainly. Education is indeed a terrible thing to waste, when I was a student a decade ago I did not take school as seriously as I have done today. With higher tuition and lack of available classes, I have been driven to succeed at the first moment so I do not prolong my journey any longer.

A Costly Election Day

Election Day happened, and it felt rather pointless since the other local school boards decided to realign their terms with the elections for state and federal offices during the even years where Chaffey College is the only governing board having their elections during the odd years.

Polling places were hosted in cities of the district from Chino Hills all the way to Fontana which makes it a great expense for the district which has to pay the county to host this election. Unfortunately the clerk at the registrar of voters was unwilling to disclose how much the governing board paid for the election. It seems likely I will have to file a freedom of information request to get this answer.

Upland, California recently did a mail only election which saved the city money when they had to fill a vacant city council race.  However by talking to the registrar of voters official she said that the elections code mandates Chaffey College to hold elections with polling places. So we might have to lobby our state legislators such as Mike Morrell, Norma Torres and Wilma Amina Carter to implement reforms so districts such as Chaffey College could have mail only elections when they are the only election on the ballot.

If districts such as Chaffey College have to pay for their elections to the county each election year, then mail only elections would be a very smart and prudent idea when we are facing deep budget cuts for the public services we value the most.

Due to my study of Political Science at Chaffey College and UC Riverside, I understand this may be an idea that the governing board might not easily cling to since low information and turnout elections mean its an easier chance to be re-elected and not spend much money on a ballot statement or signs across the district.

Even though there was still one race on the ballot, I still voted. People died for the right for people to vote for their own representatives and I made my choices for who will be re-elected for another term.

Matt Munson ‘01

With Declining Resources, We Need to Lead a Hand

This was sent to the Chaffey College student newspaper, but my letter was never printed.

Recently I took a class this semester and found out that the class was bigger of an obstacle than I can humanly accomplish. Our declining economy means we have less money to educate students in our schools. Our governing board has worked on an initiative of “Completion Counts”, how we can complete the courses we need to transfer to the schools we would like to move on or finish our degrees and certificates if we end up flunking out despite our best efforts. Sadly I had to drop the course and will likely have to take it via the College Board’s CLEP program.

I do admire the initiative of the Supplemental Instruction department to help lead students towards completion of their course with the magical C or above grade. I would like to see the supplemental instruction department work with instructors who have a higher than usual rate of students not passing their courses. I know some of our instructors may be tenured and could care less, but if we do not want more lifers at Chaffey College, effort needs to happen from all sides.

Even if students are staying in a course that may seem impossible, it might be a good idea for students to work together in study groups and be survivors so they can win the good fight.

My Lament of an Instructor

There is a reason why I believe educators should not have permanent tenure, Robert Carlton at Chaffey College is one fine example why. Its ironic that I could do very well compared to how I performed in his US History Class at Chaffey, at UC Riverside in courses that dealt with European History and Argentine History I may of struggled, but the courses were not exactly hopeless. Sadly I need three more classes to finish so I can meet the prerequisites for a Social Science 6-12th grade credentialing program even though I have a BA in Political Science.

It is great that the instructor took initiative against the high cost of textbooks, but reading public domain fiction about historical periods is not the way I want to learn. I took a gamble and I roll my die wrong. I would be eager to remain in his class if it was based on the lectures only and not based on the historical fiction. I would of rather had Professor Carlton teach a class in the English department instead.

If you have a real good memory to remember the esoteric facts in the historical fiction, then Professor Carlton’s class is for you. If you are an English major this class is for you. Heck, I would of rather had the professor use Howard Zinn’s a People’s History instead. At least we would learn more useful facts with Howard Zinn than Sinclair Lewis and Edith Wharton could ever do.

As someone who is gradually turning liberal after being a teenaged Rush Limbaugh fan, I do like the instructor’s lectures. However a study guide would have been appreciated for the historical novel tests. I did read the book Age of Innocence, but not everyone has a memory of a rolodex to know that Silerton Jackson was the society gossip master. Its going to cost me 110 dollars for me to CLEP History 1865-present, a very costly mistake.

Even though I will likely drop his course, I have one suggestion for anyone who intends to stay. Form a book club and go through the books together each week so you can understand the novels better.