Residents Value Affordability, Preparation for Transfer, Jobs
An independent community survey commissioned by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in late 2017 shows that local residents strongly support the programs and educational facilities that Foothill and De Anza colleges provide. Top priorities include preparing students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities, better preparing students for good-paying jobs, and upgrading classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering, and math-related fields.
Results of the survey, conducted by FM3 Research in October, provide insight into the perspectives of community members on current academic needs, with concerns about educational access and affordability topping the list. Some 91 percent of respondents to the survey said they are concerned that the University of California and California State University systems have become, in their perception, too expensive.
“The cost to attend California’s public universities has risen to at least four times that of attending a California community college,” said Chancellor Judy Miner. “More students and their families are relying on Foothill and De Anza colleges to save tens of thousands of dollars. Our district not only provides college credits and transfer to four-year universities at an affordable price but job training and workforce preparation for students of all ages.
“Community perspectives are essential to our ongoing planning,” she added. “We must continue upgrading classrooms, facilities, and technology to expand access to training and job preparation programs for high-demand jobs and careers.”
The survey also evaluated interest in a potential education bond that would require support from at least 55 percent of voters. Up to 77 percent of survey respondents indicated they would support a bond allowing local students continued access to a well-rounded education, whether they choose to enter four-year universities, pursue careers, or seek other vocational opportunities.
Additional information about the survey is available here. At its Jan. 16 meeting, the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees directed district leaders to solicit additional input from the community.
Posted Jan. 17, 2018