The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Posts tagged ‘Palm Beach State College’

College Prep

As a professor at Palm Beach Community College (which became Palm Beach State College under the direction of Dr. Dennis P. Gallon), we found students coming to college who had no idea how to research and write. They came unprepared. That was great for me because now, with our English professors, we could team teach and work towards the Florida “Gordon Rule.” The “Gordon Rule” was about specifying the completion of college writing assignments. When the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), beginning with “privatizing” guru, Jeb Bush, began to decimate assessments of education such as the “Gordon Rule,” Dr. Gallon and his associates decided to keep it. In order to “bridge” students from pre-college preparation into full time students, we did team teaching (learning community?) with a team consisting of college professors in the following areas:  library research, speech, English writing, and Student Learning Center where students were tutored in order to complete college entrance requirements. At  the end of each semester, we invited parents and faculty to attend a presentation by students in the class, including refreshments for all. Students dressed in their best attire and each gave presentations, as well as each of the faculty giving a presentation tailored to each individual student. Dr. Gallon and several administrators would attend these “celebrations” of accomplishment, as we called them. They were very well received, including our administrator who eventually became a college president at Polk Community / State College in Winter Haven, FL, Dr. Eileen Holden. This program was an “experiment” for two years, in 1999-2000. We presented the results of our work at two professional conferences: (1) Florida Developmental Education Association (FDEA) in Tallahassee, and (2) National Association of Developmental Educators (NADE), in Biloxi, MS. The program was titled, “Bridge to College.” This was an excellent program.  We are sorry that we never kept accurate assessment statistics with a “before,” “after the program,” and “after completion of two years of college.”  Once those who endorsed the program departed, then there were few others who wished to sign aboard it.  That is a shame.  I am proud, however, NOT to be a Donald Trump and point fingers at others, rather than taking responsibility for the events.  Shame on us. However, several years after and with new administrators, I proposed that we set up procedures to collect assessment survey information from alumni after completing their degree and having a career in the workforce.  The reply was, “we are not interested in that information, only in the money the alumni can contribute to the college.”  The only way we are able to understand the success of the “Bridge to College” experiment is when students from this program remain in touch after all these years, whether on social media or otherwise. That is all the measurements we have available.

Rachael Ray Show & Interview of Tough as Nails Host (Mar. 10, 2021)

When I first saw commercials about the program titled, Tough as Nails, it did not appear to be appealing to me. Since watching Rachael Ray’s interview of the host of Tough as Nails, Phil Keoghan, I am now wondering whether I should watch one of the episodes of Tough as Nails?

The host, New Zealand personality, Phil Keoghan, spoke very eloquently about an issue which this retired professor has believed is a correct assessment of what is necessary to be done to solve our problems. He addressed the declining number of people who work with their hands and have an interest in the trades, but are precluded by a society which is pushing our young people to go, en masse, into academics. This movement is done at great cost to individuals (student loans) and to society. The movement to do this has been done over several decades and is reaching a pinnacle of failure for America.

As a professor, I have witnessed our college president, Dr. Dennis P. Gallon (1998-2015), develop a vocational program for training young people in the trades. My experience in growing up in Upstate New York saw something a bit different, but there are always two ways to make things better. Dr. Dennis P. Gallon needs to be given kudos, along with the wonderful faculty, both vocational and academic, which helped make it happen.

When growing up in New York eduational programs, I recall that we had dual paths and the regents exams and diplomas were designated for the college bound path. Those of us choosing college began to learn to research and write for college term papers, beginning in the sixth grade. It continued through high school, up to graduation.

Those wishing to pursue a career in the trades were not required to go through the college-bound process for regents exams and were directed to vocational skills training while in high school.

If the contemporary idea about regents exams in NY required EVERYONE in the schools to be assessed, then why is the answer to simply eliminate such exams all together? Why not pursue the dual path which once existed and has been applauded as a good example by some of my former teachers? Instead, work on issues for regents exams which parallel those about cultural differences, similar to issues with the SAT and ACT. Design the exams only for those who choose to head to college and consider the ramifications of cultural differences. Sounds difficult, for sure, but we are talking about the lives of human beings. Perhaps someone like Dr. Diane Ravitch, has endorsed similar ideas? (See Dr. Ravitch’s extensive bibliography of her writing).

On Rachael Ray’s show (Mar. 10), Phil Keoghan spoke about how, with this emphasis on college academics and dismissal of the need for the trades, we have ended up putting people in academics in a superior position to those in the trades. How true that is! I could not agree more. Keoghan’s hope is to teach and bring a change in attitude away from this thinking. Everyone plays a role in making this nation fantastic. Each one of us plays a role and nobody is superior over others. I made an attempt to try to help students understand that, but when one is alone in doing this while society is crying out for more academics and shutting down the trades, we as a nation can fail. It is time for a change.

At this college where the vocational program was built, the faculty worked to stay in touch with the needs of employers in the trades so as to meet demand for employees. I have heard about the same attempts in upstate New York, particularly in the Rochester area. But we need to do more than just this.

Thank you, Rachael Ray, for exposing this issue and bringing it to the forefront in this manner. You are wonderful and in ways beyond just cooking!

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