Essay outlines the feelings and views of student on Clarkdale campus about insufficient classes; creating a campus independent of Prescott
Yavapai Community College student Ms. Deb Wilson wrote an essay sharing some of her feelings and views about the Clarkdale campus and its deficiencies. The essay is entitled, “Where are the students?” It is set out in full below.
WHERE ARE TH E STUDENTS?
It is 9:00 a.m. on opening day of classes at the Clarkdale (Verde Valley) Campus of Yavapai “Community” College, aka, Yavapai College. Where is everybody, I ask myself? I glance at the many empty parking spots, as I walk the empty pathway toward a tent and table set up near the Administration Building.
Bags are being handed out to the few students in the area, including me. With my little bag came a printout of all the activities going on that week. The first was a free lunch that day. Each course was being served in different buildings. I asked the person behind the tent table if all these activities were in Prescott, or here in Clarkdale. “Oh, here,” she answered.
This is such an obvious distraction, I think to myself: offering free lunch and “fun” stuff, but not offering the courses students want and need. I take the same class every semester, probably because only jewelry, ceramics, and a few other art courses are available in Clarkdale. Just a few of Prescott’s art & trade offerings include: Painting, ceramics, photography, sculpture, graphic design, gunsmithing, woodworking, drawing, jewelry, and several other art forms and advanced art forms NOT offered in Clarkdale.
My friend, David (name has been changed), a non- traditional student, started working toward an Associate Degree a year ago. The first couple of classes he took were easy to find in Clarkdale’s class schedule. Like David, I avoided “have to take” classes my first semester in college, because I hadn’t been to school in a long time, and wanted to enjoy the classes I took, and to get my brain reactivated. As ALL VERDE VALLEY RESIDENTS SHOULD KNOW, and as David found out when it was time to get serious about his major interest, there were few classes he needed, or wanted, available in Clarkdale.
Course selections had dwindled down to a two page newspaper with a third inserted page. After perusing the 2014-2015 course schedules, David had a much harder time finding classes he was interested in at the Clarkdale campus. He’d find a class, get excited, and then realize that the class was either in Prescott, or was an “online course.”
Transportation is another issue for David…he has none! He depends on the bus system, which gets him to the Clarkdale campus. However, there are no buses traveling to the Prescott campus from the Clarkdale campus and vice versa ( interesting ). David had depended on Yavapai Community College to help move him along in his studies, and they let him down.
As a former Human Resources specialist, I was curious about Yavapai Community College’s promises to “be the best.” I looked up Yavapai College’s Mission Statement and listed it word for word from the Yavapai website.
“The mission of Yavapai College is to provide quality higher learning and cultural resources for the diverse populations of Yavapai County.”
Even in their Mission Statement Yavapai Community College administrators in Prescott might as well write “Prescott” in their statement. None of these promises apply to the Clarkdale campus, because administrators in Prescott and their Board of Directors focus on Prescott’s best interests. However, there is an active OLLI in Sedona, because they made their voices heard. Seriously, how is it possible to get a fair shake in Verde Valley if the narcissism in Prescott continues?
If concerned citizens in Verde Valley don’t speak out about the lack of services in Clarkdale, the chance that more classes in Verde Valley will be axed is certain. Prescott will continue justifying why it’s okay to take the majority of Verde Valley tax money to make Yavapai in Prescott bigger and better. If this continues to happen, there will be consequences: Students graduating from the high schools in Verde Valley would not be able to begin studies at a local two year college…NO COMMUNITY COLLEGE! Military folks coming home from war need to look at changing careers…NO COMMUNITY COLLEGE! Residents who lose their Jobs need to learn a new profession, or trade…NO COMMUNITY COLLEGE!
Another of Prescott’s tries at “silencing” citizens of Verde Valley was to survey the general public about Yavapai Community College. The ‘Preliminary” results were discussed in the Wednesday, August 20, 20 l 4 edition of the Verde News. The article stated that overall satisfaction with Yavapai College is 80% Not bad for “preliminary” results! Since when are “preliminary” results considered press worthy? Truth be told, who, besides politicians, announce “preliminary” study results before the final figures are in?
Come on, Prescott be real and fair. Surely, 80% of the survey results were from Prescott. How can an accurate evaluation be done if no one knows the part of the county it came from? Someone in Verde Valley would certainly fill out their survey differently than someone in Prescott. The “diverted” tax money certainly has enriched the Prescott campus, i e , new pool, tennis courts, and Performing Arts
Center to name a few. What “improvements” have been made at the Clarkdale campus? Other than a new wine program, there is no “enrichment” at the Clarkdale campus. ! It’s interesting that 80% of Verde Valley tax money dedicated to higher education continues to be directed toward Prescott.
Unless more voices are heard (loudly) in Verde Valley, and money issues with Prescott take a just and equal turn, the 20% we still hold onto will quickly fade away, and there will no longer be a Community College in Verde Valley. The closest Community College for Verde Valley students would then be in Flagstaff. The colleges in Flagstaff are quite a bit closer than Prescott. Personally, if the Clarkdale campus ever closes, or becomes about “wine education,” I would rather go over the Flagstaff Mountain than the other mountain.
What about separating the two campuses to make two colleges, each responsible for their own space, similar to what Maricopa County did with their 10 colleges. I’m hoping that the mayors, city councils, residents, and graduating students in Verde Valley, take this “Yavapai College situation” seriously, and open their eyes to what is happening in their small towns.
“Somebody else” is NOT going to fix this.