Board of Education discontinues funds for faculty training

After a five-year run, Title V,  a government grant that designates a certain amount of money in each fiscal year for employees to conduct staff, student and instructional improvement activities at community colleges, has been discontinued by the Board of Education.

Title V was implemented in 2012 and faced elimination before the end of the academic year.  The additional funding will not impact students who cannot attend campus. Quality education will be provided for those who wish to enroll for online courses, according to Distance Coordinator Wendy Bass.

“Although we didn’t get approved for continuing certain things, we are here and will continue to work around it,” Bass said. “Title V helped faculty members provide students who cannot attend class the opportunity to enroll for online. We will provide them with superior training and support.”

The grant provided financial support for trainings, attending conferences and seminars. Although there is a lack of funds for certain things, students will be in a position to continue their distance education.

“Title V mostly supports the faculty. It was for extra things, for example, additional training on Canvas or offering more training for teachers in other areas,” said representative for Distance Education and IT Clayton Gediman.  “Although the grant was not approved, nothing will change.”

“We were able to buy a lot of laptops for the students to checkout from the library to use for online classes, so the closure did not have an immediate impact on our students,” Bass said. “As a way to deal with the current circumstances, teachers are encouraged to offer robust online classes and continue to proceed as normal.”

Bass said the long-term effect will occur four years from now when the laptops become outdated and cannot be replaced.  Despite the unexpected departure of Title V, everything will remain intact.

The termination of Title V will not have an effect on faculty and the workflow. Students will continue to be in a position to benefit and learn from distance education classes.

“We are assured that students will have top-notch education,” said Online Technical Support Assistant Azita Khami. “I will continue to be here, and my duties will not change.”

Bass indicated that even without the grant, distance learning will still exist, and there will always be an opportunity to develop skills through professional growth.

Bass’s team will be able to provide quality services to students. Her staff, which includes tech assistants and multimedia specialists, were hired because of Title V.

“I am adamant about distant education, because whether we have Title V or not, we still exist and will provide online classes,” Bass said.

She said they can can provide high quality courses for students that can’t get to campus, or can’t be full-time students face-to/face.   

“Distance Education will offer them the chance to work on their degrees and still be able to work and take care of their families,” Bass said. “I am passionate about online classes because I want those students to have these opportunities.”