Saturday, July 18, 2009

California's Budget Crisis and DVC

By now, I'm sure everyone has heard about the very serious budget crisis that the state of California is experiencing. This crisis severely impacts the public education system, including Diablo Valley College. For students, this means that fewer classes may be offered, and student services may be drastically cut. It might be harder for students to get into classes that they need, and it might be more difficult to access individualized help. So, what's a student to do?

First of all, students can be self-guided and self-motivated and take advantage of the numerous online resources available to find out valuable information for academic planning. For transfering to CSU and UC campuses, is the best resource. Not only does it show students how their DVC courses will transfer to the CSU and UC systems, but it also shows which DVC courses fulfill admissions requirements for both systems, as well as IGETC and CSU-GE requirements. The DVC website itself contains much valuable information, along with digital copies of the DVC catalog, in case students misplaced the one they received at New Student Orientation. Other useful websites include and The Student Planning Guide that students receive at orientation contains a list of other helpful websites. Students can also look in my blog archives to find other useful internet resources. Of course, looking at the websites of the universities is very informative.

Second, students should plan well in advance to see a counselor and not expect to get counseling on demand. There are a limited number of counseling appointments available, and those fill up fast. So, students should make an appointment, make a list of their questions, and while waiting for their appointment date, they should research the answers to their questions on their own and get confirmation from the counselor at the appointment. This will save both the student and the counselor valuable time.

Finally, the best pieces of advice are: Remain calm. Be flexible. Stay open-minded. Adapt. Be independent. Successful students are the ones who are most resilient when faced with challenges, and these are challenging times.

In conclusion, I am reminded of an old Asian proverb: The reed that fails to bend in the wind, breaks. Will you be the reed that bends with the wind and remains standing once the storm has passed, or will you be the reed that breaks because you were too inflexible and rigid?