President discusses access, 2 bachelor’s degree programs

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Cyber security sophomore Pedro Macias asks President Robert Vela about handicap accessibility at Pizza With the President April 3 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. Macias questioned if there will be repairs and additional locations that will be handicap accessible. Vela said administrators will look into it. Amaru Ruiz

Construction on the new parking garage will begin within a few weeks, the president said.

By James Russell

About 35 students asked college administrators questions about the American Sign Language’s bachelor’s program, the nursing education department’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, handicap push-to-open controls not working and some instructors not meeting disability
student service requirements April 3 during Pizza with the President in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

ASL interpreting freshman Julia Montemayor asked administrators if ASL is still becoming a four-year program here.

“The ASL program has become strong enough to be able to become a bachelor program here on this campus so students can stay here and get their bachelor’s,” President Robert Vela said.

ASL interpreting sophomore Candace Ellison asked Vela when the nursing department’s new bachelor program is coming to this college.

In response, Vela said, “We are currently
writing up a cooperative Title V grant with Texas State.”

President Robert Vela answers questions regarding additional foreign language classes, child care programs and handicap accessibility around this campus from students at Pizza With the President April 3 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. Amaru Ruiz

A Title V grant is a federally funded grant program to help assist higher education.

“The goal is to get Texas State physically on this campus to offer students the same programs that would be at the university level,” he said.

Nursing sophomore James Laform asked how long it will take to implement the program here at this college, to which Vela replied “We are waiting for one more set of scores from the NCLEX exam. Once we make 80 percentile or better, that makes us eligible to apply.”

The National Council Licensure Examination is a standardized test that determines if a
candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice.

The current pass rate is 78 percent.

Students only have one chance to pass the test.

Laform said he wants to be one of the first to enter the program.

Laform asked another question on the parking garage construction and its delay.

“It’s already three months into the semester and there is all this parking space still, but no work is going on. It’s just being blocked off,” Laform said.

“The construction on the parking garage should start within a few weeks and will be
finished within a year, about 12-18 months,” Vela said.

There are handicap push-to-open door controls at Gonzales Hall, Moody Learning Center and the visual arts center that are not working, cyber security sophomore Pedro Macias told to administrators.

“What’s the point of a button, if it doesn’t work?” Macias asked. “Is it a button to release stress?”

Sometimes people with disabilities go all the way around the building just to find a button that doesn’t work, Macias said in an interview.

Vela said officials would look into the issue.

International studies sophomore Julian Reyes said instructors are not meeting disability support services requirements.

“This past year, I have had eight professors and two of them have given me issues with my accommodations in allowing me to turn in assignments,” Reyes said. “From a student’s prospective, even though we are encouraged to go to disability services, it’s hard to connect to the teachers who are apprehensive or don’t want to work with the accommodations.”

Jennifer Alvizo, disability support services director, proposed a possible solution.

“We can look into doing some professional development training for faculty that our office helps support,” Alvizo said.  We can look into developing something to help individuals or faculty members understand what those accommodations are.”

Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president of academic success, responded to Reyes’ statement.

”Any student that has accommodations we are going to honor that,” she said. “No student should tolerate that. Let DSS offices know immediately, and they will reach out to me and we will advocate for that to be honored.”


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