Correct, community colleges are not universities


I believe Jason Bausher left out many important facts in his April 12 reader opinion about universities and community colleges.

He combines a lot of different things into one big basket. GHC instructors, in general, have significant tenure teaching in their field and are excellent instructors. Many also have real world work experience. After looking in the general catalog for the college there are 44 tenured faculty. Twenty-six of them are non-vocational and every one of them have a master’s degree or higher.

That includes one with a doctorate and five who have obtained their PhD. For the vocational faculty, 72 percent of the 18 tenured faculty have above a bachelor’s degree. The luxury of teaching at GHC is that you only have 30 or 40 students in a class, compared to 100-plus. In addition, the instructors at GHC do all the instruction. They don’t have graduate students to do the work.

As far as credits from other colleges, they are evaluated based on the relationship they have with the student’s program major at Grays Harbor College. So if you are a nursing student and have credits in the arts, they would not transfer into the nursing program. Why should they? I also think he was pulling at straws as far as a retention rate. If you look at the number of students attending in a year and compare that to the number of graduates, then you have no idea how to figure out a retention rate.

We are a community college and not all students are attending to secure a degree. Some take classes simply because they are interested or just to upgrade their skills. Mr. Bausher made a stand at the open forum on campus some time ago. He distributed handouts with his opinion and included his email address for those who wanted to comment. Well, I tried and the emails were undeliverable. The larger question is, if you already have acquired all your education Mr. Bausher, why are you attending classes at GHC? You already know it all. GHC and all other community colleges are not trying to compete with the universities. We are a stepping stone to it. I for one feel like I received an excellent education at GHC.

Regarding your comment about GHC being in a “financial emergency,” we are a community college and not a university. We don’t have endowments. We rely on state funding and have to be accountable for how those funds are used. If you looked into that question, you would find that we, as a state institution, are audited regularly and often. We are in 100 percent compliance. No you can’t get any class you want any quarter you want and at any time you want. This isn’t Wendy’s. This is an educational institution and I’m proud to say I graduated from there and have had the pleasure of working there for 23 years since I graduated.

Nancy Estergard

Aberdeen