Civil engineer, 44
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By Carlos Ferrand
Steve Gonzales, civil engineer and candidate for District 8, reads the newspaper on his iPad everyday and loves it, but he doesn’t think he can study that way.
Gonzales explained the reasons he doesn’t agree with the district’s stance on instructional materials, which may eventually replace textbooks with e-books and online material and standardize materials across the district’s five colleges.
Some students will be able to use e-readers to study, but not every student can study that way, Gonzales said.
“Some students could, but there is no way that you can say all could, and that is essential what is happening,” he said.
Another issue Gonzales addressed was purchasing and finding course materials.
“It’s a bad way to go about doing textbooks and providing course materials,” he said.
Gonzales sees a value in students finding course materials on their own.
Having options on instructional materials can affect price and accessibility.
To prevent paying too much for his expensive engineering books, Gonzales said he had to get creative.
“I was a student once, and I borrowed books from classmates that had taken it before me,” he said. “The choices are being taken out of a student’s hand.
“Requiring a fee that is associated with your tuition structure and not being able to go out and research how to get your course materials is limiting the student,” he said.
On the issue of EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, Gonzales said he understands the need for some type of learning framework, but he does not believe it should be part of the core curriculum.
“I like the idea of having some sort of learning framework where students get a real understanding of what they are up against for either two years of school, or four years of school or vocational school,” Gonzales said.
“I don’t think it needs to be a whole course,” he continued.
“I don’t like for people to waste time and effort,” he said.
Gonzales said a seminar or an orientation would be sufficient rather than requiring students to enroll in a three-hour course that lasts a semester.
The growing bureaucracy of this district’s is another area Gonzales believes needs attention.
He said there should be a stronger focus on student services rather than a larger administrative staff.
Gonzales questioned the impact on the budget of adding higher salaried administrators instead of tutors to work in student labs.
“We are here to serve the student,” he said.
If elected, Gonzales has no problem making his cell phone number available for any of his constituents to reach him.
“I would be available anytime, day or night,” he said.