Journal Entry: Andrew Gerald Millas-11/07/2023

Journal Entry

11/7/2023 (Day #4332)

Service to others

Today I submitted a proposal/request to the Supervisor of Education for creation of a Postsecondary Education Tutoring -Peer Review class, and I requested to be the primary instructor/tutor for the class. My proposal is modelled on the existing GED program that meets 5 days per week to provide instruction and tutoring for people who haven’t earned a high school diploma. What I’m proposing for Postsecondary Education students is 1 day per week, a regular classroom period to provide assistance to college and certification program students. I came up with this idea a couple years ago when I was taking an English class for college that had a lot of writing assignments. In a “traditional” campus/classroom setting, students bring drafts of their writing assignments and to class to have their classmates read and provide feedback – peer review. Here, in this setting, the only peer review is informal, what each student can scrounge up among their social circle. So I identified a need for something that could help college students with their homework based on my own experience. Then last year, when I took College Algebra, Math 106, I realized right away that I needed tutoring help, but there’s no tutoring help available that I could find. Again, another need identified – a regularly-scheduled peer review/tutoring program would be a huge benefit for college students here.
When I proposed this idea before, right after the pandemic, the Supervisor of Education at that time turned it down because she said there weren’t enough college students here to justify the resources, and then she suggested that I create an ACE class for college correspondence courses to generate interest in college education and boost the college student numbers. At that time, the Pell Grant restoration was in progress and a jump in enrollments was expected. So that was the genesis of my creating the ACE class that I teach, College Correspondence Courses 101, essentially the who, what, when, where, why, and how of taking college classes here. Unfortunately, when the Pell Grants were restored for incarcerated persons, the “big 4” colleges took the stance of disallowing Pell Grants for incarcerated students because of not having an instructor-representative on-site at the facility to teach/instruct the classwork. The oddity of this reasoning is that classes can be completed if paid for out of pocket (or with scholarships or other assistance), even though there isn’t an on-site college instructor. So if you pay for it essentially out of pocket, no problem, happy degree-seeking. But if you need financial assistance and the Pell Grant is the only option, no dice. It’s just weird logic.
So, my proposal is now in front of the Supervisor of Education for her approval or denial. I proposed using the classrooms that the GED students use, on the afternoon that they don’t have classes, so there’s little to no resource allocation necessary. I’m already an Education Employee, I teach ACE classes, so there’s no necessity to create a new job position. And there was recently a “Legal/Law Library Orderly” position created that did require allocating space and a new job position. I have my fingers crossed that the no-expense aspect will be what helps it get over the hump for approval. And for me, personally, it would be another step along the path of my long-term objective of service to others and peer support.

Knowledge is power.