As this New Year came I found myself needing to make changes and one of those changes was to get out of my chair during the day and walk the campus. I have found that not only are the walks a good form of physical exercise, but it also has been personally and intellectually stimulating. If you have ever have the opportunity to explore our campus you will find many lovely little spots. One of my current favorite spots is a mixed bed of flowers that grow in a riot of stunning shades and sizes.
Like the flowers there’s another wonderful spot I enjoy, which is on the main mall. The other day I took a moment to sit out under the umbrellas and listen for a while. I soon noticed that as people passed by I could hear several exquisite languages. I then began to look up and down the mall and I saw all types of beautiful people, from all over the world. I was filled with an understanding that although our world is in turmoil we of all ages, origins, religions, socioeconomic stratum, etc., can come together and enjoy the “flowers” of this educational institution.
I began my career here at Glendale Community College as a student, then six months later I applied and began to work as a student worker for the Business Department. I then applied for a part time job as a clerk typist with the Business Department, and then applied and landed a full time job for the Chemistry Department. After working there for three year I decided, and was encouraged to apply for the Executive Secretary 1 position for the Dean’s office. I have been on all levels of assisting students, and even being one. I have, and will go above and beyond for all students.
I know how at time it is really hard to figure out what to do as a student. I was one of them that got the run around for the first few months. Maybe some forget that we know how to do most everything and even where to look for what we want and at time we even have the in on who to speak to. However, has anyone taken a moment to think if the student knows where to go or who to ask? At times our students have been given the run around. I personally have witnessed a few occasions and I feel sorry for them when this happens. I know that we are all busy. Sometimes when I take that extra step to help the student, it does not only help that student it also helps the staff member that might be swamped. It is that trickle-down effect.
It only takes a few minutes to pull up the students schedule instead of sending him to the Enrollment Center, especially if it is the beginning of semester. This allows the staff member to assist someone else and the student is able to get to class in time. I think if we all step back and take a moment to reflect if we would want to be treated like that then most of us would probably select a different avenue.
For student success on our campus one of the avenues we need to address is how we assist our students. The littlest thing can change the mind of a student. We need to engage with our students and listen to them.
This past fall, I had the pleasure of teaching an English 091 course for GCC. I had a wonderful experience, and I am pretty confident that my students did too (at least, many indicated that on their end-of-semester classroom evals).
I learned a lot by teaching the course, but one interaction with a student stood out for me the most. One Friday morning, I was more tired than usual as I was up late the previous night due to my own schoolwork as I am also in a doctoral program. As students walked into class, they could tell I was not my normal self, so I explained I am taking my own classes, had to stay up late to finish some work, and was still waking up this morning.
After class, I walked with one of my students back to my office since he had a brief assignment to complete. This student had missed a few classes already in the semester, so I asked him how things were going and if he’s able to keep up with our early start time for class. He proceeded to explain to me that he works the night shift from 7 pm to 3 am, and he tries to just stay up after his shift ends to do homework and come straight to class. So, he missed a few classes as he fell asleep at 4 am, and was just not able to get up in time.
Well – that put things in total perspective for me. I was a bit cranky that morning because I had only five hours of sleep, yet here was a student who had not complained once to me in the first few weeks and was coming to class with no sleep. I was so impressed with his dedication and persistence. More importantly, I was impressed with his grit; his ability to make the best of a very difficult situation and make his education a priority.
I am pleased to write that this student did very well in the course and enrolled in Eng 101 this spring semester. Honestly, I think this student taught me more about keeping it all in perspective than I taught him about subject and verbs.
By: Eddie Lamperez, Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness
Glendale Community College has a diverse student body. The zip code in which a student resides can tell us a lot about them. The top five zip codes for GCC students include four that surround GCC Main and one that is adjacent to GCC North.
- 85302 (1,438 students). Location: Glendale. Median Household Income: $47,884. Most common educational intent: university/college transfer. Most common ethnicity: White. Percent that are first generation students: 58%.
- 85345 (1,329 students). Location: Peoria. Median Household Income: $49,014. Most common educational intent: university/college transfer. Most common ethnicity: White. Percent that are first generation students: 64%.
- 85308 (1,245 students). Location: Glendale and Phoenix. Median Household Income: $70,701. Most common educational intent: university/college transfer. Most common ethnicity: White. Percent that are first generation students: 40%.
- 85301 (1,103 students). Location: Glendale. Median Household Income: $31,254. Most common educational intent: university/college transfer. Most common ethnicity: Hispanic. Percent that are first generation students: 72%.
- 85303 (789 students). Location: Glendale. Median Household Income: $52,301. Most common educational intent: university/college transfer. Most common ethnicity: Hispanic. Percent that are first generation students: 67%.
If you are from the zip codes that surround GCC Main then you are more likely to be Hispanic or White, working class or middle class, and a first generation college student. If you are from a zip code adjacent to GCC North, then you are more likely to be middle class or upper middle class, White, and have parents who graduated from college. Regardless of zip code, your intent is likely to be transfer to a college or university and earn a bachelor’s degree. We embrace the diversity of our students at GCC; helping all of our students achieve their goals is our mission.
Learn more about GCC students by visiting: http://www2.gccaz.edu/departments/administrative/spa/research