Document 12372350

I am a member of the Community College Advocacy Group. You are receiving an official response from the group on the Education
Master Plan (EMP) so I have decided to write about my concerns about our local CRMC campus. I am also a graduate of the Marine
Science Program and a current CRMC Community Ceramics Lab participant.
After the October 8 meeting at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg I was happy to see the local K - 12 rankings in the Advocate News
editorial. This editorial paints a completely different picture than the one offered by Dr. Marsee on that evening. The feeling in the
auditorium was so dismal as Dr. Marsee, standing up on the stage, told us how terribly our local students perform and how
hopeless the situation is. It was repressive and insulting.
My specific concerns are around the proposed changes in the 1)Marine Science Program, 2)Art Classes and 3)Community
Education Courses.
1 )As far as redesigning the Marine Science Program, I feel that the EMP committee doesn't see the value of having a one of a kind
program. Staff did not find any other program like it because it is unique. The CRMC MST program was not designed to be a fresh
water rescue program, or for ship building. The program was designed to teach technicians to monitor baby salmonids, sediment
sampling in streams, monitoring fishing practices on huge trawlers, organism counts in a grid and bird banding and counting, just to
name a few. Fish and Game, lumber companies and other private companies that do environmental studies hire Marine Science
Technicians. Because of lack of funding for the study and care of our marine and fresh water resources/environment these jobs are
harder to find right now and people with higher degrees are taking them. This is happening all through our society, for example
classroom aids in the K- 2 school paying $9.97 / hour are attracting credentialed applicants. Ultimately the condition of our ocean
and streams are at risk and there will be an increased need to study them in the future. The real beauty of this program is the field
work and on the job internships.
As a way of attracting more students some online courses could be offered in conjunction with the current program. Then students
could come to Fort Bragg to do the field work portion of the training. As the Noyo Center develops on the old GP Mill site more
opportunities could open for internships with researchers working at the center. If Mushroom Remediation is chosen to clean up
areas on the mill site this also could be an internship target. But the paragraph II of the Plans and Projections portion of the CRMC
EMP (see below) sounds as if moving the program to Eureka or at least building a program that competes with it is in progress. I
think CR should think twice about defunding a program that has so much future potential.
II. Offer Career and Technical Education in Environmental and Natural Resources
Industries: A technology-oriented career training program that builds upon the
hands-on skills training of the current Marine Science Technology program and
provides skills applicable to a wider range of industries needs to be pursued. A
program in field studies and research technology, for example, may provide spatial
data collection and analysis training including GPS and GIS as well as training in
measurement, calculation, and environmental assessment and/or restoration. A 16unit Certificate of Recognition is currently available at the main Eureka campus. This
program will likely be expanded to a 30-unit Certificate of Achievement and will be
offered either in an online format or through a hybrid of traditional classroom and
online instruction for CRMC students.
2) Our Mendocino Coast Education Center is located in a thriving art community. Art classes seem to be overlooked in the EMP. In
the past CRMC has had a very strong art program that has been cut to a few classes. Art should not be looked at as a recreational
activity. There are still students that want to get degrees in Art or Art Therapy or Graphic Arts. The Graphic Communication
Certificate was a really good program, the classes in both computer and art were always full. Many students got jobs or became self
employed after completing this program. My husband who completed this program is now employed by the Arts Council of
Mendocino County after having to retrain because of a disability. The Graphic Communications Certificate ended because CR
failed to upgrade the computers. If CR wants full time students we need to be full time teachers. If CR wants technical education the
computers need to be updated.
3) The other thing I want to address is in the Myth and Reality section of the EMP. I can't believe CR would want to cut out our
community classes. I believe that the community classes are sustainable. For the community ceramics lab I pay nearly $300 a
semester and there are at least 12 of us in the day lab so $3600. There is also a night lab. We also raise money from sales and
purchase books, supplies and magazine subscriptions which we donate to the classroom. These community courses fund
themselves and can help supplement the regular classes. Plus it builds good will with the community. It would not be a smart move
to discontinue the Community Education Program.
The Mendocino Coast Education
Center can function as a strong
community program
Although CRMC has experienced significant
enrollment increases in the last two years, a
significant (several hundred thousand dollars)
budget deficit remains. Furthermore, nontransferable avocational, recreational, and personal
development (repeatable) courses are being
reconsidered in the community college system and
may not be funded in the future.
I know that FTEs seem to be all that matters but with the economic condition of the State, it seems short sighted not to take
advantage of all income sources.
Judith Edwards