Communication and advising top complaints at open forum

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The next student dialogue forum is Nov. 11 at Northwest Vista College

By Melissa Luna

mluna132@student.alamo.edu

Problems with academic advising and lack of communication with students were the main complaints brought up at a student dialogue and open forum’ Oct. 21 at St. Philip’s College.

The open forum was led by Chancellor Bruce Leslie, college President Adena Loston, and St. Philp’s student government President LaTonya Jones.

About 75 students sat at round tables with designated facilitators and answered questions provided by the chancellor’s office regarding students’ issues and communication with the district.

Derrick Thomas, St. Philip’s Early College High School Principal, Robert Forti, early high school counselor, and about 25 early college high school students participated in the open forum.

Early college high school students raised concerns about communication between their school and the college campus.

Students said they wanted to be more involved in college campus activities and “have more freedom as a college student”.

“You will get more freedom as you move up in your classification,” Thomas told his students. “You cannot get a college degree if you don’t have a high school diploma.”

The students also wanted to know if they were able to join the various students’ clubs and organizations on campus.

Scheduling a free hour so the early college students have an opportunity to be more involved with clubs and student resources does need to discussed more in depth, Loston said.

“We want our (early college) high school students to be more involved with the college,” she said. “We are here for you guys and want you to be able to use everything we have to offer.”

One of the biggest complaints college students had was advisers not being able to keep students informed about campus activities, and student organizations.

Students also shared their experiences of being on academic probation and not being notified by an adviser.

Between long waiting times and not having anyone specific to call or email, trying to solve the issues was not easy.

Leslie addressed these concerns by explaining the new advising system that is transitioning into Alamo Colleges this semester.

“Every student will have an assigned adviser that will carry all your paperwork and know your academic history,” Leslie said. “So when you need something, you’ll always talk to the same person.”

Another concern raised was the high food prices in the cafeteria and students not having a lot of options near campus.

The issue was not addressed by Leslie.

Students can submit any other questions and concerns to Jones at ljones137@alamo.edu.

The next open forums are scheduled for Nov. 11 at Northwest Vista College; Nov. 12 at Northeast Lakeview College; and Dec. 3 at St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus.

All Alamo College students, faculty and administration are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Michelle C. Perales, deputy to the chancellor, at mperales4@alamo.edu or 210-485-0031.

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