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WELCOME TO SPRING SEMESTER, 2012
Hey, welcome (and/or welcome back) to SDCC and the Photo Program. For returning students I hope you had a productive winter break and for new students, welcome to City College's Photo program and the new building.
STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: Because of the shrunken course offering due to the budget cuts we have far more students wanting to take a class than we have seats available. Instructors are being told that if a student does not show up for the first day's class we are to automatically drop them to make way for those on the wait list and who managed to show up for class.
For those totally new to the program or to the new building it is located on the west side of 16th street between "C" street and Broadway. It is hard to miss, it is the only building on that side of the street. Come to think of it, it is the only building on that street period since on the east side it is being prepared for the next of City's new buildings. The picture on the right was taken during construction. Now the fencing, pylons, and porta-potties are all gone. The main entrance is in the "notch" behind the blue dumpster which is also gone.
Parking is, as always, a problem. But it is made even more of a problem because older parking lots are bring torn up for construction as well. However our new building has a tall parking garage on its east side. Entry is from "C" street or 17th Street. Students can park (with permit) starting on the 4th level. You will then have to take the stairs or elevators down to the ground, walk around to the front of the new CTC building and then come up to our floors.
All of my classes will be on the 4th floor and starting class will all be in V408. From the elevators take a left and another left and head down the long hallway heading south. (If you took the stairs then come into the lobby and turn right down the hallway.) V408 is the second classroom/computer lab on the right.
There is also a page on this site which has tracked the development of this new facilities from the original groundbreaking that you might find of interest.
My classes are all presented as "Web Enhanced" classes using the district's "Blackboard/Vista" application. Combined with the resources from my own web site (this site) there is a great storehouse of material and you will be able to submit work from anywhere you have a computer and web access as well as even take finals online.
Also read the next section on the latest issues regarding the budget crisis and get involved (though in a reasonable fashion). We can say we need more money all day long but there IS no more money. It has gone, spent, depending on your point of view, wisely or kindly or simply stupidly, or maybe even malevolently, but regardless, there is none left. So now what?
So welcome... and welcome back!
THE BUDGET CRISIS
The issue everyone is talking and worrying about is the State's current budget crisis and how it will effect students. The people of the state voted in a special election and said pretty clearly they did not want new taxes, even sneaky ones disguised as fees or other covers. That is understandable in the most taxed State around, but where does it leave us, the Community College family and specifically City College. I don't normally get on a soapbox about this kind of stuff but the entire educational infrastructure is now in jeopardy and it is time for everyone to speak out. And this also lets me tell you what might or might not be coming down the road at you students. (NOTE: This is my personal opinion and does not pretend or even desire to speak for the school or the district.)
The Chancellor has done an incredible job of handling things so far but with the State not contributing their share that means that the District has had to carry the entire load. Don't for a moment think that the ridiculously low course fees here even begin to pay for the education. It is the State's subsidies that make it work and that money comes from only one revenue stream: taxes. Bottom line, you pay for it one way or another. Except for now when only the district is paying for it. Until the State regains some sanity every student costs the district money until a breakeven point is reached -- something that does not come close to happening in our program because of the restrains of available work space such as darkrooms (with 17 enlargers) and computer rooms (with 20 computers).
The district had wisely started socking money away years ago but that money box has a bottom and it is beginning to be reached. And that means that for students at City College there are a number of things being considered (note, please, the word "CONSIDERED" and that I did not say "implemented") to allow the doors to remain open if not as widely as they normally are.
Already large cuts in course sections have taken place. In the Photo Program we have had to cut several sections each semester for the past year. For 2010, we cut more and more as the school-wide cuts added up to about 200 classes. Then we cut more in 2011 and the 2011 Summer Semester was cut entirely as will the 2012 summer classes.
This comes at a time when people are out of work and needing the Community Colleges, especially the vocational programs such as ours, for retraining. And that means that the stresses on our program's facilities has already reached a critical mass. We had more applicants than we had room to handle in the old building. That situation will be seriously relieved with the new building now open but the frustrating thing is we now have buckets of room but are not being allowed to fill it.
City has, over the years, developed a culture of "crashers" in which would-be students shop around different classes on the first day to find what they like and then use add codes to actually register. This past year some that tried that found themselves out in the cold because the class caps (based on facilities capacity) were ALREADY exceeded and there was no room for them. There was often a large attrition as students discovered we expected work from them or they had to have certain types of equipment. For the last several semesters the attrition rates have plummeted meaning seats were not opening up for the class's crashers. Then we were stuck with more students than the facilities could properly serve and everyone suffered. Now even with our newly expanded room, that has got to stop since the budget issues simply cannot allow it to continue.
This and following semesters will be worse. So if you want a class, register at the EARLIEST opportunity or you now seriously risk not being able to get in. With accreditation staring the school in the face we are under VERY close scrutiny at the worst possible time and we cannot afford to be caught running over caps or might lose our accreditation. We will have no option but to say "No" when you try to beg your way into a class. Like the Godfather said, "It's nothing personal..."
Another measure implemented is a fee hike. Years ago it was triple what it is now and even that figure was significantly below the class fees for Community Colleges in other States. (In Virginnia it is $107 per credit, in Colorado it was over $50 when I left in 2000.) Too often students here have no clue how good they really have had it as the other citizens in the State have carried the cost of their education for them. But the good times feeding at that trough may becoming to an end. Since I have been here (Jan of 2000) and as the State was spending itself into bankruptcy promising money it could not possibly expect to receive in revenues, our fees have dropped from in the $30 range to $26 and then to $20 and then back to $26 and next year $36 per credit. That plan's reality check has just bounced. So now the State's entire University System is having to think about getting real as other States have had to do. How much of an increase and when it might be activated are still being discussed. There is opposition to it from some who want it to be free entirely.
Because few things have been decided by the State relative to the future, all options are on the table but none have yet been implemented other than class section cuts, caps being taken seriously, and fee increases. But time is slipping through the fingers of the District. They really do not want to cut classes or raise fees but their own costs are continuing to rise and their contribution from the State has dried up so unless some major event happens very quickly, they will have no choice.
You, however, do have a choice. And that is whether or not to get involved to assure your own education. The world has changed dramatically due largely to computers and the information age. Jobs for unskilled and uneducated workers are evaporating as we watch and the competition for the remaining ones is fierce. Your future, if you want something better for you and maybe for your kids, lies in education and training; gaining the skills and education needed to compete in this new world.
If that is important to you there are only two things standing in your way. The first and foremost is YOU. You have to see the need and both want the solution and be willing to put in the required effort to work for it or the rest really doesn't matter.
The second thing is the State and the utter fiasco its legislators have made of this budget mess. Neither side is giving an inch from their partisan rhetoric and positions. They are the modern Neros, fiddling while our Rome burns. But YOU have the vote. This is far less a Republican vs. Democrat issue than it is a California issue. THe R vs D gridlock can only be broken by YOU, the citizens and VOTERS who will tell ALL of them clearly to shape up or ship out and then you need to stand behind that threat at the next election, showing your support for the State more than some blind partisan or party affiliation.
And you can let the District know that you appreciate what they have done but understand the day of the free lunch is over, at least for a while, and that your education is so important you will be willing to pay more of a fair share for it rather than lose it entirely.
Only if YOU, ALL of you, the 10,000+ voices of students at City, join in can this get resolved. It will not be pretty whatever the outcome. It has gone too far for a clean solution and that is what is holding things up. Everyone wants a solution in which their own ox is not getting gored. But it is too late for that. Such a time came and went years ago before the State went on an unrestrained spending spree with money we did not have and could not reasonably expect to get. Now it is going to be at least a little painful for everyone. But what do you prefer? Seeing City College and the District go completely under and no longer be available to serve you and the community? Or spending some time, effort, and maybe a few bucks to help solve the problem?
In the end the solution will not be from the legislators, they have already failed us miserably. You cannot possibly believe the government is the answer anymore. It will be up to you and your neighbors. We have gone from being a government of, by, and for the people to being a people of, by, and for the government. My personal opinion is that it is time to turn it around.
But in the end, it is entirely up to you.
|This page contains news and announcements about students, faculty, and current or upcoming events happening in the SDCC Photo program or Photo club. Please be aware this is a personal page on David King's personal web site and is not an official page of either the photo program, the department, City College or the SDCC District. Material here does not represent the views and positions of any entity associated with City College or the District.|
|Posted Policy on Plagiarism||Due to an unfortunate situation we
have found it necessary to actually work with the Dean and school to
formulate our rules on the submission of other people's work as your own.
Here is the wording we will be inserting and acting upon:
In the Photography program we take this topic very, very seriously and so does the school.
THE PENALTY FOR CHEATING IS SEVERE: ANY form of misrepresentation, lying, plagiarism, copying others‘ work, claiming work that is not entirely your own as your own without crediting others, use of any unauthorized aids during an examination- including other students’ work, dishonesty on ANY assignment will result at minimum in an ”F” on that project and can lead to a hearing before the College's Dean of Students. Additionally, repeated offenses can lead to disciplinary probation, which remains on your record for five years, or suspension from the class, the program or even the College may result. Cheating or using the work of others is a conscious choice on your part. But there are NO acceptable excuses for choosing to compromise your integrity by cheating. None.
Drop this class if you feel you may not be able to resist the temptation
to cheat. In our photo program, using the work of someone else is
viewed exactly the same way. Your instructor will have no choice but to
follow the school and program policy mandated for such activities.
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