Suggestions include more class times, subject tutoring, community outreach
In a world of diverse views and ideas, it might seem odd to find agreement across cultures and professions regarding the value of anything. However, even the people who are not educated in America value education.
At Amarillo College, students agree that education is important, but they have a variety of reasons for seeking a college education.
Mark Esposito, a pharmacology major, sees education as a means to an end. For him, education means he will be able to hold a steady job and support a family.
Rocio Eastman said that by educating herself to become a registered nurse, she will show her children they also can do whatever they set their minds to.
Gwen Comans, in the pre-physician assistant program, said she wants to love what she does and also be able to support her family.
“Education is important because without it, people couldn’t become what they want to be,” said Nubia Ojeda, an education major.
Studying to become a bilingual elementary school major, Alejandra Garcia said she wants to be successful and to have the means to provide a better life for her family.
“Education is important because it changes the standard of one’s living and the way they view things in society,” said nursing major Bertin Kimfila.
Psychology major Kayli Reynolds said she wants to be educated and successful.
Caitlin Davis, a social work major, will be the first in her family to graduate from college.
To Martin Vela, education means a better future and a better understanding of the work he will perform as an instrument tech.
For Maria Mata, a business computer information systems major, driving factors include better opportunities, a more stable financial status and a better life for her family.
Students interviewed agreed that ethics are a vital part of education because they help maintain boundaries that otherwise would not exist.
Boundaries create a level playing field, which makes learning a more pleasant task.
“Ethics define who you are and where you come from,” Mata said.
People who want to live outside ethical boundaries miss the point of education.
“If you don’t care about school, what’s the point in going?” Vela said. “Without ethics, morals and boundaries, it would be chaos.”
Every society and culture has a set of socially acceptable values or mores.
Some are in agreement cross-culturally, and others are not. Because of that fact, it’s ever more apparent that clear ethical standards must be set and maintained to create a wholly constructive environment for learning.
Students interviewed agreed that AC has done a good job of setting clear ethical boundaries.
Although there always are people who will test or stretch the boundaries, the school has tried to maintain order and discipline in this area while allowing people to generously express themselves.
Author, educator and civil-rights activist Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Making better education more accessible to the masses puts that power into even more hands.
Meeting students’ needs forms an atmosphere in which students are free to learn without oppression, to think progressively, freely and innovatively and to test new ideas, which in turn produces change.
Among students questioned, most responded that they are happy with the education they’re getting at AC.
Some suggested improvements, however.
Students said if the suggestions they offered create even a small amount of change, it will improve the educational experience for students following them.
Mata suggested that AC increase class times and offer more tutoring in all subjects for those who struggle. She also suggested that AC do more community outreach and host more special events.
Garcia wants professors to be more accessible.
Esposito wants more online classes and a cafeteria with healthy food choices.
Kimfila suggested that AC encourage and reward accomplishment rather than distribute scholarships and financial aid to undeserving students. It would improve the morale of students who actually are trying hard to succeed.
He said it would be helpful if AC worked out a more flexible schedule for people with young children and for those who work.
It would allow access to education around the clock, Kimfila said.
Davis said increasing involvement, especially among freshmen, could happen using more interactive events for students with the same majors and interests.
Eastman’s suggestion is one often heard around campus.
“Have teachers that teach. We all know they are smart,” she said.
“We need them to break it down where we can understand it.”
Education is and always will be a valuable tool.
Whether it’s used properly is up to those fortunate enough to have access to it. If it’s used for nothing more than to educate others, it will have been well utilized.