By Sergio Medina
District 9 incumbent Joe Jesse Sanchez, 72, said Oct. 8 he wants to continue being a trustee for the Alamo Colleges to accomplish goals like reducing the number of credit hours students need to obtain an associate degree.
“There was a time when it was in the 80s, the average was in the 80s,” he said, referring to credit hours.
Now it sits around 60 credit hours, he said.
This would accomplish quicker graduations and transferring to four-year schools, while at the same time saving students money.
Another goal for Sanchez is to expand the Alamo Promise program to more high schools in Bexar County. This program covers tuition expenses for graduating seniors in select Bexar County high schools.
Student advocacy programs that help students in need are also important for Sanchez. He said he wants to institutionalize advocacy centers in all the Alamo Colleges.
Sanchez said the extension of dual credit and early college programs are essential to increase the engagement rate of students
This would “ensure that our students are better prepared to either transfer to a career, or to a four-year college,” he said.
Sanchez said another goal is to create veteran centers in all the district colleges that are up to par with the center found at this college.
“We would like to have that kind of support for all of our colleges so that we can have state-of-the-art like we do at SAC — state-of-the-art veteran center.”
Sanchez said he wants to continue working with business and workforce organizations to give students more avenues toward jobs.
“That’s really a paradigm shift in higher-ed. In higher-ed now, besides, of course, online learning, is experiential learning.”
This would mean shadowing, internships, especially in areas of demand such as health, technology and manufacturing, he said.
However, Sanchez added that the pandemic sidetracked district administration from exploring experiential learning.
“We’re still on a path to accomplishing that or to better do that,” he said.
Sanchez said his understanding of juvenile education, and budgeting make him a fit choice for District 9.
Because he is incumbent, his institutional knowledge and familiarity to the systems of the district give him an edge, he added.
“There’s no need for a transition period, if I am re-elected.”
Experience includes teaching at San Antonio Independent School District; adjunct at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and administrator at the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department.
He was also principal of Memorial High School 1983-91.
Sanchez obtained a Bachelor of Science from St. Mary’s University. He obtained a master’s degree in education administration from Our Lady of the Lake University.
He attended this college in 1967 after graduating from John F. Kennedy High School.
Early voting ends Oct. 30. The election is Nov. 3.
Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College and this college are acting as early voting locations.
More information is available at www.bexar.org/1568/Elections-Department.