Positive Road Ahead
SCC Future Seems Bright Well Down the Road
Despite funding woes of the past several years and the perennial anguish over faculty contract talks, Solano Community College's future has taken a turn for the better, as was evident in the annual "state of the college" address by its president last week.
Superintendent-President Paulette Perfumo took to the stage as a new semester kicked off and extolled a number of new projects that will bring formidable improvements to the Rockville campus and beyond - from the construction of a $13 million extension campus in Vallejo to the doubling of the college's main campus.
Noteworthy is a $6 million state grant that will enable SCC to double the size of its nursing program, which has a 260-student waiting list. A critical nursing shortage in California and across the nation has put great pressure on community colleges to educate as many new nurses as possible, as promptly as possible.
SCC's program is a solid one that will expand and fill the need for more health-care professionals.
It is also good that the college received a $1.3 million federal grant will help the business department create a new insurance certification program at SCC. Such certification programs help students with training for a good first job or the retraining for a new career.
The bond-funded construction projects are moving ahead. SCC, during the next two months, will solicit bids for two major projects - a $13 million extension campus in Vallejo and an $11 million new student services building on its main campus in Fairfield - funded by a $100 million bond.
Once these and other bond construction is completed, students, faculty and staff will have better services and facilities that are bound to improve the overall educational experience and continue to bolster SCC's overall image as an educational institution and a source for a well-trained work force.
In addition, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's initial budget provides a higher cost-of-living adjustment - 5.18 percent - than previous years, as well as sizable equalization money - $130 million statewide.
And along the way, SCC has earned some well-deserved accolades. Noteworthy among them are the garnering of several commendations for innovation, community involvement and internal collaboration from a regional evaluation team during the school's periodic accreditation process.
That's a lot of positives.
It's unfortunate that many of the teachers weren't there to hear it. They engaged in a 90-minute boycott and instead spent the time strategizing about deadlocked contract negotiations.
This has been an ongoing issue, this disconnect between administration and teachers at SCC. It is one that must be addressed by all sides so that it will never overshadow the truly positive aspects ahead for SCC.
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