Posted by eraser, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm
The bathrooms are constantly covered in graffiti. It was finally cleaned up this year --after a year--but showed up again in no time.
I'd rather have fewer classes and not go to school in what looks like the worlds filthiest gas station...
Not to mention all the dead weight. Aside from foreign students you'd have a hard time convincing me more than 20% of the kids enrolled there did so for any other reason than their parents told them they'd have to pay rent otherwise.
Get rid of the sports programs too. I'm tired of the slack jawed athletes stumbling around campus and *trying to* bully other students.
At least they're there to loudly and shamelessly rate womens' bodies as they walk by. I'm sure that's a skill that will be useful one day.
Congratulations to the coaches for raising such fine young men.
Posted by John, a resident of the Gemello neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm
I'm the biology lab technician at Foothill College. Why the biotech program was discontinued is more complicated and sensitive than one sentence in the Voice can convey. While money was certainly a huge consideration, the existing condition of the program and other variables greatly contributed to its discontinuation.
If you wish to know more, contact me through the staff directory on the FH website.
Posted by Foothill Mom, a resident of another community, on Jul 3, 2012 at 2:06 am
"Eraser", I have had two sons at Foothill, and one of them just finished his last Linear Algebra final last Friday and is on his way to UC Santa Cruz in Computer Science in the fall. (The other one is within a few courses of completing all the requirements for the AA in Computer Science.)
While I will not deny that many young people get the "college or work" ultimatum from their parents (and why should it be otherwise after finishing high school, pray tell??), my sons' experience has been that the students have been both more competent and more motivated than they expected. (They both went to Gunn, so they already knew what competent and motivated students look like.) Part of this could certainly be the course of study they both pursued — science and math courses are not the easiest way to waste time taking classes, if that is one's goal.
Oh, and we are not foreigners.
As for the bathrooms, well, I've only been in the ladies' rooms, but they've been clean enough, just sometimes lacking paper towels and such (like most public restrooms everywhere in these tight times). Nor have my sons ever complained about the state of the men's rooms. If there's a particularly messy one, let the folks at Foothill know about it.
Posted by Local Parent, a resident of another community, on Jul 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm
Re eraser's "dead weight" comment:
Not to pick on Foothill specifically, but why do community colleges offer classes that teach students to add, subtract, multiply and divide positive and negative whole numbers and fractions ? If a student didn't get this after completing grade school, should colleges really be teaching it to them ? Shouldn't it be the student's responsibility to learn it themselves, and until they do, they shouldn't be allowed to take any class which involves numbers ?
Posted by Foothill Mom, a resident of another community, on Jul 4, 2012 at 1:44 am
Local Parent: No, of course the community colleges should not be teaching basic math. That should have been taken care of in high school (along with basic English composition). Unfortunately, it often isn't. These are what are called "remedial" classes, to remedy the deficiencies that were never made up in K-12 education. If a kid is passed through at some inferior high school (maybe when they were too immature to realize what they were missing), and then gets out in the world or decides to go to college and finds that they need these basic courses to pursue any higher education, they are kind of stuck. In most cases, I suspect, they can't very easily learn this stuff on their own (or they would have passed the classes in the first place), and so need some help from instructors.
Too often, these students are even being admitted to schools like Cal States, but then they have to take the remedial classes there. This is true of a much higher percentage of college students than you might think. IMHO, these students should receive admits to four-year state schools contingent on their successful completion of the remedial coursework they need at a local community college. If they can't hack it there, a spot for another student is opened up at a CSU or UC, and that student has probably saved a lot of money (and/or the school has saved some scholarship money). The community college level makes the most sense for taking these "bonehead" courses, at least until another consistently successful model is developed (online courses, courses through high schools for returning students, etc.)
(Oh, and lest any of you think the "Linear Algebra" course I mentioned my son taking above was just a form of "algebra" — no, it's a math course that's usually taken by science and math majors in their sophomore year at college, after having completed a year of calculus.)
Kman: As an amusing aside, Foothill's sports program saved my son's butt. He was ill a lot during one semester in high school, and by state law, if a student misses more than 10 class sessions for any reason — excused or not — they have to make it up somehow. My son needed one lousy PE credit to graduate, and he didn't want to take an entire semester of PE to get it, which was the only option on offer. So I talked his counselor and the head of the PE dept. at Gunn to let him take a PE class at Foothill, and he took a 1-credit bowling course through Foothill at the late lamented Palo Alto Bowl. That single credit saved us a world of grief, and it was a lot more fun than spending one of his course slots his senior year on taking PE with the frosh and sophs. So one can get creative with the offerings at Foothill.
Posted by Local Parent, a resident of another community, on Jul 4, 2012 at 9:53 am
Foothill Mom: I understand that many 1st year college students may have problems with algebra, and so, those should be offered at CC's.
But, if someone is of college age, wants to take college classes, does not know how to do grade school arithmetic, and yet cannot learn it on their own, then it speaks to their potential (or self-motivation or determination) to do everything else necessary to succeed at the college level.
Sure, the CC's can give them qualifying tests to see if they're ready, and lists of textbooks, worksheets, tutors and online resources to help them out, but should the CC's really be offering quarter-long classes as well ? (And as I understand it, those classes have an over 50% failure rate anyway.)
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm
Now if the Foothill-De Anza Community College District could get it in gear and enact (Title 5) petitions for extenuating circumstances instead of failing students. For those of you that don't know, this community college district fails students (of all ages) who have serious documented medical emergencies (including academic honors students), fails students whose parents die, have serious car accidents, etc. This district's ineptitude (criticized by other districts throughout California because they had no idea the FH-DA was failing students and wasn't complying with Title 5 law) has made our students less competitive, cost them transfer opportunities and jobs where they have to show their F-filled transcripts. Emergencies happen in life and this isn't particle physics and complicated to resolve.
Posted by Local Parent, a resident of another community, on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm
Concerned: Those are some serious charges. Do you have documentation of them ?
The process for students in the situations you describe is to give them an incomplete. Missed work must then be completed within one calendar year. If not, then the incomplete will be converted to an F by default. I believe this is standard state education policy. Anything else would be flouting the law.
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm
The Biotech program was aimed at preparing students for entry level positions in local biotech companies. This type of applicant is welcomed in the biotech industry, as many types of lab jobs are well-suited for individuals who have good lab skills but perhaps not a four-year degree in biochemistry or molecular biology.
Cancelling this program is a huge loss for Foothill and for the community. If internal conflicts and issues were the cause, then shame on Foothill for not addressing the problems adequately.
I agree with SP Phil: This would be a good story to write; how and why we are witnessing and allowing the death of valued program at Foothill.
Posted by Nick V, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer, on Jul 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm Nick V is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
Hello Longtime Resident,
This is Nick Veronin, the education reporter for the Mountain View Voice. I'm very interested in writing a story that digs a bit deeper into the discontinuation of the biotech program. Please email me if you might be able to lend some insight or could point me in the direction of someone who could help.
Posted by Nick V, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer, on Jul 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm Nick V is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
To any and all upset by the fact that biotech has been cut: Please email me and explain why. I am considering writing a story about it, but I need community members who disagree with the move to contact me, in order to write a story.