Selective Education at Delta College

Delta Winds cover 2010Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Selective Education at Delta College

Gabriel Haro-Acosta

Should higher learning be available only to certain sectors of our society? Or should college be available to all who require its services. In these harsh economic times, it is with a quick scribble of a pen that politicians make or break people's futures. Not only are our health services being stripped from the very citizens it is intended for, but our education centers are being systematically obliterated brick by brick. While it is true that we have to balance our budgets for the "greater good," we first have to start by cleaning up certain bad spending habits. I can confidently say that Education is "not" a bad spending habit and thus should be preserved by any means necessary.

Education is one of our most beloved freedoms in this country. The foundations of this country are based on freedoms of education, in accordance with free speech. I believe that education is the single most important tool to succeed in life, and should not be available to a select few people in our society. San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC) had a decision to make, whether to cut or to keep services to low-level students. The administrators chose to cut the services. Cutting back education not only affects our citizens individually, but damages our society as a whole. As low-level education services are cut out of the Delta College curriculum, so are low-level students' futures.

At Delta, low-level students' services used to include programs ranging from English to math and everything in between. What these decision-makers need to realize is what these basic services are. A great majority of these services catered to our foreign-born residents who needed these basic skills to assimilate and integrate themselves into American society. An example of who has been most affected by these cuts can be found in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. These basic classes can be the deciding factor as to whether an ESL student can land smoothly and make a successful transition into American society. Strengthening and solidifying the foundations of these individuals should not be de-prioritized. While in the short scheme of things, cutting the lowest levels of basic skills might seem like a good fallback option, there is a human factor that these administrators are passively ignoring. As many of these low-level students are turned away from education, their chance for advancement in education and for a higher quality of life dissolves. This will ultimately impact these students in a very negative way.

While I agree that we should concentrate on our transfer and career classes, no one who is willing to learn should be denied that privilege. I personally can account for my reasoning because I've gone through a path that most low-level students know well. My native language is Spanish. I was born in Mexico. I grew up in the American educational system. And while establishing a solid foundation for my education, I felt that my language skills pertaining to English were not up to par with students who were from this country. I can honestly say that with the skills from these "low-level" services Delta College has been offering me, I have become more confident, more willing to reach further into what I can become as a person in this country. It has made me realize that these classes are vital to the many people similar to my situation.

The recession era we are currently living through has been a very destructive one. Our vital services are slowly being phased out, and with it so are our low-level educational services. But what are politicians and administrators really cutting back? Numbers in a budget sheet? Or the futures of the people these programs are designed for? Education leads to the path of enlightenment, tolerance and understanding. As the recession continues, SJDC will have more very important decisions to make: to enhance those principles to which great societies are built upon or to limit future generations from achieving their potential. Delta College administrators and Board Members single-handedly control the future of the many people who attend this campus. I hope that in the future they come to some mutual agreement that can benefit all.Â