112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

The Forgotten

Pegah Motaleb, San Diego Mesa College

Common barriers such as poverty, domestic violence, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy prevent students from low socio-economic backgrounds, in our developmental courses, from succeeding. Institutions must implement services beyond EOP, EOPS, PASS, and PUENTE, and replace traditional below-transfer-level sequence of courses with accelerated ones to retain “The Forgotten” students.


The Forgotten

While most educators and administrators in our California community colleges acknowledge that the majority of our developmental reading/writing students come from low socio-economic backgrounds, there does not exist a solid plan to address the socio-economic factors such as poverty, domestic violence, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy- barriers that many of our students face in our higher education institutions. Programs similar to EOP, EOPS, PASS, PUENTE, etc. exist, yet still, too many students drop out of their first semester of college due to various reasons relating to factors listed above. Additionally, through the traditional sequence of remedial courses, (the results of flawed entrance exams,) we fail to retain our most vulnerable students (students of color, first-generation college attendees, poor, and immigrant,) the ones I call “The Forgotten.”

This presentation questions such programs and their missions, and asks why, despite such services, students still lack financial means to purchase textbooks, fail to maintain consistent attendance to class, cannot develop strong reading/writing/and math skills, and are less likely to move on to transfer level courses to finish their four-year degrees in a timely manner. (Looking at John Marsh’s “Why Education is Not an Economic Panacea,” Reginald Stuart’s “Will They Come?,” and Barack Obama’s “To End The Dropout Crisis” speech, some possible and probable answers are offered.)

But the real purpose of this presentation is to suggest that services similar to Family Reward 2.0 must be in parallel to the programs mentioned above, and educational reform policies must require accelerated courses to replace traditional below-transfer-level sequence of courses in order for us, educators and administrators, to break the vicious cycle of college drop outs.