Pierce College Council addresses student success and construction plans

Members of the Pierce College Council (PCC) recommended to the school president a thorough cleanup of the Village classrooms at their Thursday meeting April 24.

With a unanimous vote except for one abstention, the members responded to recent scrutiny from faculty and students after a homeless man got into one of the classrooms and left human excrement.

Chair of Political Science/ Criminal Justice/ Economics Department Kathy Oborn, who taught at the trailers when they first came to Pierce College five years ago, thinks that the “classrooms are messy” and that this cleanup is only a “band-aid for a short term solution for what has been a long term problem.”

“My department and the History Department have been there for five and a half years,” Oborn said. “We were the first ones to be cycled out there. We were only supposed to be here for one year. It has now been five and a half.”

In other PCC news, 524 students will be qualified to register early for classes at Pierce College under the Student Success Act, according to the vice president of Student Services, Earic Peters.

For students to qualify they must take an assessment and go through an orientation, Peters said.

“We have an online orientation, we have an assessment center to go and take the assessment test, and then we have a counselor for the student to work with,” Peters added.

Peters thinks the law, which was passed in 2012, will help students graduate at a quicker pace. He also thinks students need to have an educational plan to succeed and move on to a four-year school.

“The law is focused on making sure students are successful,” Peters said. “One of the issues that we have seen and that research shows is that students who do not have an educational plan, students who are not assessed properly and students who are not oriented to the college do not do well. Students who do all these things have been shown to do well and can continue their education.”

Even beyond the new law, Student Services wants to pull students into the campus experience by working with clubs, sports and activities on campus.

“My job is to develop a more comprehensive student program,” Peters said. “We have been reaching out to the clubs and ASO and we want to expand more and reach out. We want to see more integration and how athletics integrate to campus life. Do we have a tradition?  That is my job, to bring out more campus life into our program.”

During the council meeting, Director of Facilities Paul Nieman announced that construction on the Performing Arts building could be finished by July.

“There is going to be new seating and there will be ADA compliance,” Niemann said. “There will be new lighting and sound equipment, a new stage floor and there will be an under-stage storing area to use as a trap room. The lobby is bigger and different. There will be larger bathrooms. A whole lot has been done to it.”