Dear Mr. President.

Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King announced April 22 that he will be recommending Thomas Greene, vice president of Lake Tahoe Community College, to replace American River College interim President Pam Walker.

The editorial board of the Current suggests some issues for the new president to consider when he joins the ranks of the ARC administration.

The safety of students on campus was questionable this semester. Two women were attacked on the Arcade Creek Trail, part of which is an official part of campus which several P.E. classes use for walking or running. A student was slapped by an aggressive petitioner on campus. There was a fight in the parking garage that led to a student being carried away on a stretcher. An increase in security is called for, be it through increased campus police or a more alert student population.

One way to help is to make available more women’s self-defense class such as the R.A.D. class that was offered last month. The class cost only $20 for students and was filled to capacity. That’s a good sign that the students would use such resources.

Many of our students spend time bouncing around classes, filling their schedules to 12 units to qualify for financial aid, and not having much of an educational plan and not graduating.

In fact, according to The Sacramento Bee, the completion rate of ARC students dropped 6.6 percent from the 2005-2006 academic year to the 2012-2013 academic year, with completion defined as “earned a degree, credit certificate, or 60 units to transfer.”

While there are a number of students who know what classes they need and take them in a progressive manner, there are enough who don’t know what they are doing to warrant a more hands-on approach from the administration and the counselors.

More availability to and accountability from the counselors would be a positive first step. Many students go long stretches without meeting with a counselor, often wasting time and money, be it their own or the taxpayer’s. ARC has been working to meet the mandates of the Student Success Initiative; keep the work rolling forward.

Finally, ARC is a well-funded, well-maintained and functional community college that does a lot of good for it’s students and faculty, a fact that is largely forgotten on campus and in the community. Reinforcing that with some marketing and outreach to future students would be wise.

ARC is a great resource for our community. Let’s make it even better.

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