Abel J. Guillén, Trustee, Peralta CCD
Newsletter Update 2008
As we prepare for another semester at Peralta, I invite you to take a look at the classes we offer at our four colleges. Whether you want to take a swimming class to get back in shape, learn how to run a small business, or get into the bio-tech industry, Peralta has something to offer everyone. I’m always impressed at the alumni that I meet who got their start at one of our four colleges. I’ve met alumni who are now doctors, lawyers, rock stars, teachers, hair dressers and successful business owners.
In this newsletter, I highlight the progress of a Peralta/AC Transit Universal Bus Pass, Yes on Propostion 92, as well as childcare for our community college students. Please forward this newsletter to your friends, family and neighbors.
Abel J. Guillén
Overwhelming Support for Peralta/AC Transit Bus Pass
Student Survey Results Released
Listening to students this past year, it became clear that while students were working hard in the classrooms, ancillary costs to education such as health care, books and transportation have an impact on student’s education. For example, students often take classes at more than one college and transportation costs can add up quickly. As a result, the Board has been working hard to address the transportation issue in conjunction with AC Transit. It is my hope that a pilot program will go into effect by Fall of 2008.
Student Survey The results of a student transit survey are in. And the students have spoken! Four hundred and ten students responded to a survey in which 84% of respondents said they would be interested in a Peralta/AC Transit supported Bus Pass. According to the survey presented to the Board of Trustees, 70% of those responding use public transportation to get to a Peralta College. Some of the benefits of the Bus Pass Program include: · An increase in public transportation ridership thereby reducing traffic congestion and pollution · Alignment with Peralta’s Environmental Sustainability Initiative · An estimated $ 900-$1200 a year in savings for students on transportation costs · Increasing student enrollment and student access to the Peralta Colleges. Pilot Program Aimed to Launch for Fall 2008 – While this policy initiative seems to have the support of students there are several details that must be worked out including seeking a student referendum, assisting low-income students, and funding formulas to make the Bus Pass Program launch for Fall 2008.
Proposition 92 – California Community College Initiative
Lowers Student Fees to $15 Per Unit and Stabilizes Funding
The most important thing you can do to support community colleges is to Vote Yes on Proposition 92 on February 5th. If successful, Peralta Colleges would stand to gain approximately $8 million a year to help us provide child care services, more counselors, additional classes and support services. Student fees have been continually rising since 2000 when the price per unit was $11. At its peak, student fees reached $25 per unit in 2005. The rising cost tends to be associated with a negative impact on enrollment. It’s estimated that in 2005 more than 300,000 students in California opted not to continue their education because of increased fees.
Proposition 92 offers us the opportunity to turn these trends around! Proposition 92 will open doors for more Californians by lowering community colleges fees to $15 per unit. It also limits the rise in future fees. Prop. 92 provides stable funding for California community colleges and it guarantees that the community college system is independent and have local oversight. That’s why I hope you will join with County Supervisor Keith Carson, Oakland City Council Member Nancy Nadel, School Board President David Kakishiba and a broad coalition of labor and business organizations, students, the Peralta Board of Trustees, and the California Labor Federation, United Farm Workers, the California Federation of Teachers, and the California School Employees Association in voting Yes on Prop 92!. Please Vote Yes On Prop 92!
Childcare at the Peralta Colleges
Peralta Seeks to Find Best Practices for Child Care
This past summer, the Board of Trustee’s approved a resolution to address the pressing issue of scarcity of child care within our colleges. As you might know, last year the District closed the infant & toddler programs at Laney College and the College of Alameda along with the infant program at Merritt due to budget constraints.
The resolution directs the District to look at best practices at other community colleges and to find solutions to Peralta’s child care needs. I will continue to be an advocate for our parent students and work with the Chancellor to ensure the District actively involves all stakeholders in this process. Only by working together will we determine the best practices in child care programs and identify funding for these programs. If you are interested in working with me on this issue, please let me know.
Spring Semester Classes Filling Up – Enroll Now!
At the Peralta Colleges, the worlds of biotechnology, information sciences, multimedia, business and management – and others – are open to you. Join the millions of students who have attended College of Alameda, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland and Berkeley City College. At our campuses you have the opportunity to build upon your strengths, learn new skills, develop your potential for the job market, or continue towards your academic goals.
Financial Aid Available Admissions Office: (510) 466-7368