– Robert F. Kennedy, Capetown South Africa, 1966
No doubt about it. We are living in interesting times. Our fall term started with greater than usual level of interest in the outcome of our political elections. It is ending in surprise and, let’s face it, a bit of anxiety about the future of our programs, our funded initiatives, and especially for our students. But have you also detected, as I have, the sense of solidarity and affirmation? The sense that we are resilient and ready to tackle any obstacles . . . dare I say “walls” that try to get in our way?
Press releases and listserv statements are all affirming the fact that we will not let our students down. We are in the business of serving and providing opportunities for our diverse populations, many of whom are turning to us for a new chance at college pathways, career advancements, and civic engagement. Whether it’s noncredit or community education they seek, we are ready, willing, and able to support them through the mission of ACCE - advocacy, networking, and sharing of our best practices.
Our ACCE Northern and Southern Workshops delivered this promise. I attended both and received feedback from colleagues who are interested in establishing or growing their programs, also from colleagues who are well established and willing to share their model practices. Rosie has written a wonderfully extensive description on the Community Education workshops in this newsletter. As for noncredit sessions, they were focused on starting noncredit programs and support services, as well as initiative and legislative updates. Some of the slides are posted on our ACCE website. I hope you were able to join us.
The ACCE Annual Conference also promises to be an interesting session. It will be held at The Dana on Mission Bay, in San Diego, scheduled February 1 – 3. Our theme is Treasure Hunting: Finding the right Xs for your students’ success! We are fortunate to have more funding initiatives these days than in years past. This comes at a price! We must be diligent in reporting our successes through outcomes, data, and other accountability measures. I encourage you to present your best practices with others by answering to the call for presentation we have posted on our website and emailed through the listservs.
As I write this just before Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be part of the ACCE organization. ACCE has always been there for me over the years in terms of providing information and resources as well as support and camaraderie. Through ACCE, I have connected with key players across the state who listen to us and help us to set policy and guidelines that meet the needs of our students. ACCE is an organization that is comprised of hard working professionals who demonstrate creativity, innovation, and energy on a daily basis – necessary characteristics in these “interesting times.” I am thankful to be part of this professional organization and hope you are too!
Wishing you a Happy Holidays!