My Year of Thankfulness

11/26/14

My Year of Thankfulness…

I’m celebrating my first year as Dean for Adult Education at PCC. It has gone so quickly; I may have entirely forgotten about it had it not been for several prompts from my family, friends, colleagues, and Linkedin!

I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to lead an already quality program that truly serves our community.

I’m grateful that I work with people who I truly respect, value and who I enjoy being around. I’m continuously challenged by them with great ideas, innovative thinking, and well placed criticism of the status quo.

I’m grateful that I had one year off of fighting to keep the program funded. Instead, I had a year to refresh, rebuild, and reenergize.  While I’m not happy that education in Arizona may once again be in jeopardy, I’ve learned so much  over the years. I know there is always hope.   And even more than just hope, there are effective strategies that can help raise the awareness needed to keep adult education funding safe.

But this post is about being thankful. Here are just a few highlights from my first year:

  • We continue to serve students – approximately the same number of students despite new rules, new tests, and new funding challenges. Our enrollment is steady.
  • We received ~ $480,000 from the ADE for College & Career Readiness implementation. While this was only a one time allotment, it allowed us to invest in a Bridge to College & Career Advanced Program Coordinator and begin to build that department. We were also able to buy the needed texts, materials, and PD resources to support necessary CCR curricular changes.
  • We hired three full time Instructors – the first time in seven years! We are now at 40% full time and 60% part time.   We will never be in a position to eliminate all part timers, but this ratio is actually pretty good in comparison to both state and national percentages.
  • We are developing more and more into College and Career readiness program that can contextualize lessons better, offer more onramps to both employment and occupational programs and help our students achieve their goals. A High School Equivilency is no longer our end game.
  • We are looking at ways to improve student services and connect with the college in meaningful ways. As our President has routinely said, “a student is a student”.
  • We wrote and received a grant from the City of Tucson and received ~ $64,000 to help transition more of our students into college and to career pathways.
  • We wrote and received a grant from the ADE for an IBEST program and received ~$50,000 for the first year that makes us eligible for double that next year for a total of nearly $150,000.
  • We are the sub recipients of a Refugee Refocus grant to provide more citizenship classes for $100,000 over two year.
  • We are working on both internalizing positions and leveraging resources from the Developmental Education redesign to pay for both Bridge and IBEST classes and Instructors.
  • We have helped the college in response to the HLC probation by serving on committees and devoting our time and brainpower to some of the issues.
  • We continue to help our community by sharing what we do and listening to what their needs are.
  • We have countless partnerships, contracts, IGA’s and agreements and continue to serve on committees and task forces that help improve the quality of life in Tucson.
  • We have a Chancellor and Administration that values us – they really care about adult education students, staff and our program.   It’s personal….
  • We finished a strategic plan that will help us move into the future – stronger and smarter.

I’m grateful for my family who allows me to work in a career that gives me deep fulfilment;

I’m grateful for colleagues that I can laugh and cry with;

I’m grateful for thoughful, professional, compassionate and super smart teachers – our teachers are awesome – not afraid to try new things – not afraid to change.

I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve built with students – who continue to teach me and inspire me;

I’m grateful to the college leadership for the support that they have provided and will continue to provide for adult education in our community;

And I’m so very grateful that I was able to help or participate in some small way or just watch the amazing things that happen – things that PCAE staff make happen every day.

Have a restful, safe and peaceful Thanksgiving Holiday!

2 thoughts on “My Year of Thankfulness

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