The program offers off-campus classes to city and county employees.
By Geoffrey Hovatter
Three public administration courses will be offered in the Flex 2 semester, and for the first time the program will offer a Flex 2 course on Saturday.
“We are experimenting to see if Saturday classes will make,” public administration Coordinator Sylvia De Leon said Feb. 21.
The courses are PBAD 2311, Public Sector Supervision, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; PBAD 1392, Special Topics in Leadership, 9:25 a.m.-noon Monday and Wednesday; PBAD 2331, Budgeting, 6:45 p.m.-9:45 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
These classes are part of the public administration’s lunch and learn program for city and county employees. However, Other students can take these courses.
Flex 2 classes start in the middle of the 16-week semester and meet for six hours per week over eight weeks.
Flex 2 classes meet March 25-May 18.
Registration continues through March 19, and students must pay online the same day they register.
“These are part of Level 1 certificate programs and are targeted to city and county employees who usually take public administration courses at Café College,” De Leon said Feb. 9.
Since 2007, the public administration program has offered the lunch and learn program to city and county employees who work in the downtown area.
This started when De Leon noticed many city and county employees failed to finish college courses or never applied to college.
“It made me realize the only way you’re going to get students to finish their degree or start their degree is to make it more accessible to them,” De Leon said.
“Let’s do something a little bit different to help them because we know they are already working,” De Leon said.“Let’s talk to the city and see if we can create a lunch and learn program.”
She contacted the city’s then head of human resources department Ed Belmares, who saw the potential of what she was envisioning.
The majority of city and county employees who take these classes are administrative assistants, parks and recreation, police and firefighters, she said.
“A lot of them are trying to either move up or get a job in another department,” De Leon said. “Their employer has told them if you do not have an associate or the minimum of a certificate, you’re going to stay stuck in that job.”
Students can earn Level 1 certificates in leadership in public service, budgeting in the public sector, and labor studies.
Labor studies requires seven college courses, while budgeting in the public sector and leadership and public service require six courses.
All three of these certificate programs lead to an associate of applied science degree in public administration.
De Leon said the public administration faculty teach students about team-building, writing and presenting.
Many students who sign up for the program take one class at Café College, one online and another on campus.
“Since 2007 when it started, it’s had about 175 graduates,” De Leon said Feb. 21.
Café College, 131 El Paso St., offers admissions and financial aid to anyone working for the city and the county interested in taking the certificate course.
Each certificate program includes a practicum course that requires an internship.
For city and county employees who are already working, their jobs are counted as their internship credit, she said.
“The certificates do not require prerequisites,” De Leon said.
For more information, contact De Leon at 210-486-0192 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the main office of the business and entrepreneurship department at 210-486-1414.