FAIRFIELD — Solano Community College wants to improve the continuity between what it offers and what local K-12 school systems offer.
College President Jowel Laguerre on Friday held the first Principal’s Breakfast to bring college officials together with officials from the county’s various school districts. About 40 people attended.
“Together, we’ll do some great things,” Laguerre told the group. “We are your community college. Please, call upon us when you need us.”
Participants broke into small groups to discuss ideas, then presented their thoughts to the bigger group.
A recurring topic was finding ways to get high school students thinking of college sooner and making them more familiar with Solano Community College. Methods included having high school students go to the college for events and competitions and having college students visit the high schools.
“Even having some kind of ambassador program where former high school students now attending Solano can come back and talk about what their experience is,” Golden West Middle School Principal Jackie Tretten said.
High school students need to view the college as more than that place they see as they pass on their way to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or the mall, said Maire Morinec, college dean of health occupations, public safety and family studies.
“Don’t just go to the high schools,” Crystal Middle School Principal Kristen Witt said. “Go to the middle schools.”
Other ideas included using Skype and podcasts to reach students in local school districts.
Winters School District Superintendent Brent Cushenbery said sixth-graders need to learn what type of career opportunities are available. Ask most what they want to be when they grow up and they’ll have only four or five answers. They don’t know that some career paths even exist.
“It’s explaining to them all the possibilities so they can begin to make choices as they develop their educational plan,” Cushenbery said.
College officials talked about a plan that would allow 60 Will C. Wood High School students to take both high school and college classes at the Solano Community College Vacaville Center. They would complete the program with both a high school diploma and a year or two years worth of college credits.
A similar program could be offered for Rodriguez High School students in Fairfield, with these students going to the Solano Community College Suisun Valley campus.
The group also talked about how to follow up on the ideas to make certain things get done. Laguerre said he plans to hold another Principal’s Breakfast next year.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.