By Frank Rosa
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Equity at Camden County College is slowly diminishing at the same time the number of students is decreasing, panelists at a recent discussion stated.
According to literature distributed for the Campus Equity Week panel discussion at Camden County College, students feel professors are unavailable to contact for help. The adjuncts’ absence of inclusion at school makes them feel unappreciated, while staff employees are worried about budget cuts. Full-time faculty members are working harder with fewer resources, and the teaching administrators are not taken seriously by their colleagues.
The head count enrollment has declined from 15,670 in 2009 to 12,051 in 2014, according to the Institutional Research and Planning Department.
“There are national, state, county and corporate pressures on education,” explained Lis Bass, moderator of the panel discussion, which took place in the Large Lecture theatre Nov. 4 on the Blackwood campus. “The 2015 Survey of Faculty Workplace Engagement by Gallup says that more than half the faculty members are not engaged in their work and 14 percent were called disengaged faculty; physically present at work, but emotionally disconnected, vocal about their misery and spreading it to others.”
Elaine Bobrove, president of the adjunct union, said, “Students feel teachers are teaching materials and not teaching students. Every one of us has to be able to think that this is a person out there to whom we are talking. We are not just talking about what’s in my notes.”
Bass said students are not only suffering from the repercussions of the professor’s lack of passion to teach, but Pell Grants were cut in half, the Perkins loan program expired, and the price of textbooks are the greatest increase in the American economy.
“Students are looking at a future where they are going to earn less than the generation prior to them for the first time in our nation’s history. Statistically, most graduates of college spend more money on debt than on groceries. So I think the need to serve our students is greater than it’s ever been before,” said Don Borden, executive vice president of Camden County College.
Spanish professor at CCC, Nilda Beatty, said she feels the students are not taking initiative to get engaged with the faculty and staff.
“Speaking of communication and connection with students – one of the things is email, they are always coming to me saying we have no way to access our email, we make it so difficult for them. That is something very simple, with our students today technology is everything, it is how they connect with us. They don’t even know Web Study is online, something as simple as putting online access to your classes on our user-friendly website,” Beatty said.