Lifting up young people through community college education.
Notes from the July 14 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
Recorded by David Cotant, edited by Tom McClellan*
*operating from a secure undisclosed location, reportedly near a Southern California beach.
12:30 Call to Order: Pres. Teresa Nye
Greeter: Becky Newton
Inspirational Moment: Jeannie Hill
Salute to the Flag: Tho Kraus
4-Way Test and Rotary Vision: Paul Webb
*Visiting Rotarian: Ralph Lockhart
*Guests: Speaker Thomas Broxson
Upcoming Speakers
July 21: Megan Sala – YMCA
July 28: Sue Scott – Lakewood Historical Society
Aug 4:  Gretchen Allen – Classification Talk on Real Estate
- Alan Billingsley - Rotary Work Week: Currently going on with Northwest Youth Corps.  We have a grant from REI to eliminate non-native vegetation.
-Thursday, July 15th Clover Park Rotary Club will be recognized by the State as #1 Wildlife Volunteer Org.
-Joyce Oubre- Golf Tournament – We have about $3,000 in golfer registration and $2,500 in sponsorships.  Continue to invite golfers and to look for Sponsors and Raffle Prizes.
President’s Minute
Last Wednesday, President Teresa Nye was out on the Seattle International Raceway track trying to show up the women drivers who have been race driving for 20 years.  Good effort in going into the corners at
112 mph.  120 mph is coming.
Ed. Note: This may or may not be an actual photograph of Teresa at the track.
Fun and Fines:  Gen. Ed Trobaugh, assisted by Sheri Hodson
 *Tom Faubion: Out each weekend working on the trails of the Cascades.  No fine, as he has a “Fraley”.
 *Georgene Mellom: noted for her own purchase of a “Fraley” last week also.
 *Tho Kraus: travel and excitement – Wachter for $40
 *Becky Newton: Travel to Irvine CA. and a new Grandbaby.- $100
 *Sue Potter: Vacation cut short to only 2 days due to work needs.
 *Ellie Carr: Birthday and others stuff.-$100
General Ed then explained more information regarding the upcoming Golf Tournament.  Jim Hairston can get information to anyone who needs to know if their efforts have produced response directly to the club.
This Week's Program
Dr. Thomas Broxson, VP for Instruction as Clover Park Technical College (CPTC).  He grew up south of Portland, OR.  His father had the chance to attend a new community college and learned to be an electrician.  Later his mother also was able to attend the same community college.  Tagging along with his mother to classes, and having instructors give him projects to keep him occupied stimulated a desire for education at an early age.  After his own college education, he became an instructor at the same community college.  From there he was a professor at Oregon State University, Willamette University, Linn-Benton Community College and Pierce College teaching in Geography and Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Broxson came to CPTC about 6 months ago as the VP for Instruction after the college completed a nation-wide search for the position.
The American Dream:  What does that mean to the CPTC members? Basic needs met, education, work hard and achieve, housing and food security, etc. 
Does everyone have access to the dream?  The college is trying to access how they can be more supportive the students and the community.
Community colleges began to develop significantly about 1967.  There are currently about a thousand community and technical colleges in the nation, and CPTC is one of 5 Technical Colleges in the state.  It used to be a small % of the people that could attend college, both due to cost and to travel some distance.  After WWII, the demand for education greatly increased and the education system needed to expand to meet the need.  Community Colleges in the local community became a significant part of that expansion.  There are now over 11 million people currently in community colleges nationwide
Education is the lynch pin to the American Dream.  There is still a big gap in both availability and results between the various ethnic groups in the US. 
Community colleges admit most anyone who applies, but the graduation rate is relatively low due to a variety of reasons, including the lack of funds and the lack of motivation to complete the requirements.  Education Institutions (colleges and trade schools) need to help students get enrolled, and to help them stay in the program until the desired certificate or degree has been achieved.
There is a great difference between the annual wage or earning power of someone without a high school diploma ($30,000/year) and someone with an advance degree from a college ($100,000 and up).  Likewise, their likelihood of being unemployed is similarly, but inversely related; from 20% for someone without a high school diploma to 2% for someone with a doctorate.  In Pierce County, only 50% of young people continue to some type of higher education.
Achieving The Dream is a national program to address greater achievement in the educational system, to be more diverse in opportunity and to be more Inclusive of everyone.  Dr. Broxson is an advisor in this national organization and effort.  Using data to help institutions determine where problems of opportunity lie is part of his input.  Where is the evidence of how are students doing?  Where is more support needed? How do we make available to everyone the opportunities of higher education in a form useful to the student. 
Housing and food insecurity have proven to be the cause of failure for many students.  Financial support for seemingly small, short-term emergencies can make all the difference for keeping a student on track. 
Coordination with K-12 institutions for a seamless transition to post high school institutions is particularly important, and is an effort of Dr. Broxson.  Streamlining the pathway through college to take out non-useful programs is necessary.  Embedding support services, such as tutoring, into the class or lab time can make these services more accessible.  Working with industrial partners to make classroom learning relevant to the needs of employers is again particularly important.  Making career connections for a student at the beginning of there education, or as early as possible, greatly increases the likelihood instruction being targeted, useful and successful.
And Finally…
Students today are criticized for spending too much time chatting with each other on social media.  To show that some things never change, here is a news clipping from The Capital Times (of Madison, Wisconsin) from June 17, 1928.