Cabrillo College, you're an institution that serves a community that loves and respects you. You've established programs and services that help students find meaning in life through in higher education. This morning I read essays and poems from Cabrillo's English 1B social justice journal, Journal-X, brilliantly curated by Victoria Bañales. It's a powerful body of work. I hope it helps Cabrillo find meaning in what must be done to better serve students. I hope it affirms that in the classroom, thoughtfulness, empathy, and a willingness to care go hand in hand with students' sense of belonging. Students must feel they are trusted, and when life becomes impossible to perform at their best, it is not a sign of failure. Teaching is formed by a variety of experiences, mostly unpredictable, and courses are theoretically supposed to develop over time.
Cabrillo, you can change your name, but can you also change your learning environment to be more inclusive and equitable? Be bold. Give faculty opportunities to design across a plethora of instructional modalities. Some instructional models are "needlessly complex in order to create a mystique of intellectual rigor." (Stommel and Burtis, April 2021) Cultivate pedagogical expertise, and support faculty development efforts. Instructors should be seen as partners in the research and redesign of teaching so when life becomes impossible for a student, the rug doesn't get pulled out from under them.