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Folsom Lake College offers elementary and intermediate courses in French providing students with the ability to understand basic...
Folsom Lake College's art curriculum offers introductory and intermediate level courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics...
Folsom Lake College's humanities curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop interdisciplinary knowledge, enhance their...
Folsom Lake College (FLC) alumna Zainub Tayeb knew from an early age that she wanted to make the world a better place.
“While I knew that I wanted to study political science, my time and experiences outside the classroom at FLC really helped me solidify a career path,” said Zainub. “I fell in love with the work I did with the Student Senate and realized that higher education and social justice policy was something that I was really passionate about.”
This was further cemented when Zainub was invited to attend the Social Justice Training Institute held at the University of Kansas in summer 2017. With 49 other students from across the country, facilitators led participants through activities to further their knowledge of social justice issues and how they could be better leaders and educators on their respective campuses.
In fall 2018, Zainub transferred to UC Berkeley, an institution of higher education well-known for its cultivation of activists and advocates. Zainub said, “I am constantly being inspired by my peers in a time where people are using as many platforms as they can to organize social revolutions or start global conversations. So many voices are demanding long-overdue diverse representation in the media and politics and it is finally being realized. All these combined voices and instances fuel my passion and commitment to my education.”
Jason Ward, an amateur psychologist who always wondered why people do what they do, wanted to broaden his small-town view of things. So, he became a student at Folsom Lake College. And through his participation in several on-campus clubs and social events, Jason was offered an opportunity to study abroad via the Los Rios Study Abroad program.
As he toured the sights and observed the people in Rome and Florence, Italy, his worldview changed. " The most important lesson I learned from studying abroad, is that life is full of opportunities. Opportunities can be easily overlooked and then they pass. It would have been easier to stay in the comfort of my home in Placerville. But then I would not have walked the streets of the Renaissance, not seen The David, not made new friends and not experienced life in a foreign country," Jason shares.
Back home with world travel tucked under his belt, Jason was excited by opportunities that stretched ahead and where his college education could take him. He had a plan.
Jason believes that his degree from FLC in psychology will give him an edge when it comes to getting into UCLA, law school, and his desire to practice criminal law. He says the supportive staff, faculty, and student-led clubs he discovered at FLC, “a community hidden gem,” has given him the tools he needs to make big leaps in his education and career.
Jason advises that community college is a great place for someone who wants to explore everything the world has to offer. Community college is the perfect place to start, Jason says, it’s easy to get the classes you need, has a relaxing atmosphere, and is just a stop along the way to your bigger career ambitions.
I have worked as a community college counselor for over 20 years. As a counselor, I provide academic, career, and personal counseling to students in addition to teaching classes in the area of Human/Career Development. Additionally, I serve as the campus transfer services coordinator.
I love what I do. My interest within the counseling field began after having been inspired by a mentor/college counselor while I was a student at West Valley College. Counseling students at the community college provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with individuals of incredibly diverse backgrounds, life experiences and with a broad range of goals. This makes for a very exciting work place!
Give yourself time when deciding on a major! Often, students limit themselves (and their natural interests) by choosing common majors because they believe they can get a good job with that degree. Often, these students don’t care for the coursework and end up doing poorly in their studies as a result. Students should find their passion (and this takes time) and study what they enjoy! It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of undergraduate college degrees will not lead you to a job in a specific field. Students who study what they enjoy can pursue work experience opportunities (such as internships or cooperatives) at the university level to gain experience in areas that pique their interests. The college degree coupled with work experience makes for a powerful combination when interviewing for jobs.
Students who are undecided may consider taking some of our career exploration classes such as HCD 310, 318, 330, or 335. Additionally, taking introductory courses in various disciplines is a great way to get exposure. Classes such as PSYC 300, BUS 300, SWHS 300, ADMJ 300, and ECE 300 provide nice introductions to certain fields.
When I receive letters or e-mails from students who have transferred on to a four year college and share what is going on in their lives.
That’s a tough one, as I have many. I have a favorite scenario that occurs with many students which makes me so thankful and proud. That is seeing students move forward with their educational and personal goals who didn’t have the grades or confidence in themselves while attending high school. Coming to the community college gives students an opportunity to begin with a “clean slate” and start over. It is incredibly powerful to watch these students transform and empower themselves through their community college experiences and education.
Chris Clark has his A.A. from West Valley College and B.A. and M.S. from San Francisco State University.
The best advice I could give is to learn how to be a college student. The key here is engagement. If you push yourself to become engaged in the material you will learn several skills critical to being a college student. It may take a semester or two, but engagement will teach you how to study and keep yourself focused on your greater goal.
Engagement doesn't stop at the classroom though. Get involved with on-campus activities and use as many of the provided resources as you can. College is an experience that you will gain more than book smarts from. You will learn life, job, and communication skills; and so much more, but you have to be engaged in order to truly benefit from it.
I call this the epiphany moment. It's the moment when you realize that what you thought was the best you could do, really wasn't. I went through this myself in college and found that engaging myself in the college experience was key to my academic success. Go to office hours – even if you do not need help. Utilize the tutoring center, or better yet become a tutor. The college experience does not stop once you leave the classroom.
My final piece of advice is to never pursue money. It's understandably easy to get caught up in the pursuit of a six figure job; however you should never sacrifice your quality of life for it. Do what you love and the money will come. If you don't know what you love, get out there. Do internships, contact companies, ask for informational interviews. Of course this all ties back to engagement; if you love what you do then you'll be great at what you do.
The variation. There is always something new happening, some new problem that needs solving. It keeps me on my toes and I love it. Best of all, it brings me back to the college experience that I loved so much.
The proudest moment is seeing my students transform from individuals first learning how to hold a needle, to professional Medical Laboratory Technologists. It's amazing what our program manages to accomplish in such a short period of time. Our program has a steep learning curve and engagement is pretty much a requirement for success. Seeing our students enter into the medical field with professional licensure and a passion for what they do has to be one of the best feelings in the world.
Well it's one of the first Medical Laboratory Technician programs in California. Also interesting is all MLT programs are governed by California law, which mean a few unique criteria are put upon us here at the college. For instance all MLT instructors, at minimum, must be current California-licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientists. As you can imagine, keeping up with these unique criteria brings some interesting, but solvable, challenges to our campus.
Furthermore, we set our standards very high for our program and its students. Laboratory professionals play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. We set our standards so high because as a patient you expect your medical team to be the best and the brightest, and that is what we aim to provide with this program.
Jason received his B.S. in Microbiology from UC Davis and is a State and Nationally Licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist.
Biology is the study of life. I am interested in all living organisms but since I started teaching I have been fascinated by how people learn. This interest in education is coupled with my training as a bench scientist and the study of the unseen microbial world. Microbes play a critical role in our ecosystem and impact all aspects of the earth and its residents. Yet they are often labeled as “dangerous germs”. The more we understand about the microbial world the better we are able to evaluate the role they play in our quality of life. The vast majority of microbes are beneficial and just a small percentage, known as pathogens, cause disease. If we consider the impact of just three diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, we can appreciate how devastating infectious disease is on a global level. I am interested in helping students understand this dichotomy as they learn about microbes.
Firstly, be open to learning and the process of discovery. Let it excite you the way it did when you were a toddler. Get involved, don’t be passive, engage your mind. Find what interests you, pursue it passionately and learn at a deep level. In the field of infectious disease there is so much we talk about in the classroom that then is heard in the current news. Everything from drug resistance, MRSA, nosocomial infections, mad cow disease to H1N1. These topics come alive when you relate them to your own life and their impact on society. Patricia Cross states that “passive learning is an oxymoron; there is no such thing”.
Secondly, pace yourself. Science classes are rich in content. Do NOT cram for an exam the night before. Disaster will follow. Keep up with the material, whether you are reading or writing or thinking. Consider running a long distance marathon, you have to put in regular training to achieve ultimate success. There is an anonymous quote that captures both of these suggestions: “If you study to remember you will forget, but, if you study to understand, you will remember."
I care about my students and my subject area. I am inspired by Parker Palmer, a highly respected writer and teacher: “[teachers] are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students, so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.” I get excited when students see the relevance of the material in my classroom. I love it when students ask to borrow books to read and when they bring in articles they found in the library or in the newspaper. If I can play a small role in the lifelong learning process then my job has meaning.
Plus, I get summers off to travel with my family. This past weekend I was in Monterey with two days in the world famous aquarium, a few weeks ago I was in Yellowstone National Park. Last summer I explored the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. A teaching job has its perks if you like to travel and maintain a love of learning!
There are many rewards each semester. I would find it difficult to choose a “moment”. I love to hear that students who have previously been intimidated by science find it fascinating and fun. Recently a student completed the class and then wrote a rap song inspired by gas gangrene. She sent me the YouTube link. Another student was accepted to vet school in Scotland. Many microbiology students go on to careers in allied health, particularly nursing. Some plan to work in health clinics in Africa or Mexico. I am humbled that I get to be a part of their career plans. I often joke with my students that if I am their patient one day I want to know that they really understand key elements of infection and disease.
Linda Abraham has her M.Sc. from University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and her Ph.D. from University of British Columbia, Canada.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you feel lost, either physically, emotionally, or intellectually, there are plenty of people around who want to help you.
I love working with the students and sharing my love of theater with them.
I feel the most proud when a show opens and the set is finished, the lights are hung, and the costumes are made. I am always impressed by how much the students are able to accomplish.
As a high school student, I was drawn to design, because I got to be able to create new and different environments. I had a great many mentors and teachers along the way and now I am excited to be able to mentor others in the field of theater design and technology.
Yes, it is so exciting to see young people getting excited about theater. I have designed and built hundreds of platforms over my career and it makes me happy to see someone want to stay after class to finish building their first platform.
When I was in the fourth grade, my parents took me to see The Wind in the Willows at the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis. I remember sitting in the darkness as the house lights went down and the stage came to life. I remember some of the stage magic, where an actor jumped down into a trap in the stage and came back up and spit water out as if he had jumped into a pool of water. That was really exciting to me.
Ian received his BFA in Drama from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and his MFA in Theater Design from UC San Diego.
For the first assignment in his public speaking class in fall 2016, 30-year-old Jeff Landay was instructed to introduce himself to his Folsom Lake College (FLC) classmates via a three-minute presentation. He began by showing a startling photo of himself taken in 2006 as a patient at Bethesda Naval Hospital. To him, this one snapshot encapsulated what he had endured and would also serve to motivate him for what was to come.
Following a tumultuous childhood, Jeff enlisted in the United States Marine Corps immediately upon graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 2004. In January 2006, his Camp Pendleton-based 3/5 unit (3rd Battalion, 5th Marines) was deployed half a world away to Fallujah, Iraq. During a routine patrol on May 21, 2006, the humvee he was traveling in struck a roadside bomb that left one member of his platoon dead and seriously wounded three others. Jeff was barely alive, but somehow summoned the strength to drive the battered vehicle out of harm’s way. "They all thought that was Jeff's last act, to get that truck back to safety to get his comrades out," his mother, Michelle Landay, said.
Marine Cpl. Jeff Landay was transported to a hospital in Baghdad, then to Germany, and eventually back to the States. Jeff was in a coma for nearly a month having suffered a traumatic brain injury in which they had to remove the left side of his skull to alleviate the swelling. “By every account, I should have died. Technically, I was clinically dead three times,” Jeff recalls.
Upon his hospital release and at the age of 19, Jeff returned to Citrus Heights and faced a long recovery that included relearning to speak, struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the physical and emotional toll of a cumulative 52 surgeries to repair his injuries. Jeff’s harrowing life-and-death story was featured in the 2007 documentary, To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports, and in a segment on ABC World News. The battle scars on his body became his badges of pride alongside the three Purple Hearts he had been awarded for his service to his country.
It was also during this time that Jeff began taking classes at Folsom Lake College using education benefits provided by the G.I. Bill and with additional support from the college’s Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) department. He appreciated that the structure and self-discipline that had originally been ingrained in him as a Marine also fit well with that of academia. Jeff quickly endeared himself to students and staff with his combination of brutal honesty and unbeatable optimism.
The natural class clown also found comradery and compassion from other student veterans that frequented FLC’s Veterans Success Center. He enjoyed helping the “kids,” as he refers to them, most only several years his junior, with their coursework. “Jeff has inspired many veterans and non-veterans here at FLC. His ability to look beyond his injuries and stay focused on the future inspires everyone he comes into contact with…including myself!” shared Veterans Success Center staff member and fellow veteran Ken Walker. “When students get overwhelmed, they can always think about how Jeff has the same commitments and does not give up or even skip a beat. He inspires others to stay in the fight and press on!”
It was also at FLC in that same communications course where he was tasked to tell his story that he discovered he had a knack for public speaking. After receiving an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Social & Behavioral Sciences in December 2015, he returned to FLC to earn a second degree in Communication Studies. He plans to transfer to Sacramento State and pursue a career as a motivational speaker to hopefully inspire veterans and civilians alike. “We all have struggles,” notes Jeff.
It was that first public speaking engagement that gave him the confidence to share his inspiring story with others. When asked who would play him if his story one day gets the Hollywood treatment, Jeff said with a laugh, “Ryan Reynolds, because it would have to be someone pretty.”
As a first generation college graduate, Iveth Lopez Obeso’s graduation from Folsom Lake College (FLC) in May 2018 was a proud moment not only for her, but for her entire family.
When Iveth immigrated to the U.S. from Sinaloa, Mexico in 2000, she encountered linguistic barriers, radical cultural differences, and a blend of both economic obstacles and educational opportunities.
Iveth used her bilingual communication skills as a Student Ambassador at FLC to provide information to other students beginning their educational journey. “It was an honor and a learning experience to interact with the families of other first-generation students, helping to destigmatize higher education for underrepresented minorities.”
As a Student Equity Advocate and the founding president of the college’s LatinX Club which provides a support network for Latino and Latina students on campus, Iveth was also on the planning team for a regional event that brought nationally-recognized DACA scholars to FLC to discuss the current issues facing the fluctuating U.S. immigration policy and its effect on the “Dreamer” population, particularly students of higher education.
“My goal is to pursue a career in law to advocate for social justice, immigration reform, and human rights,” Iveth shared. With a strong work ethic and the passion and grit to make her dream a reality, she is currently attending UCLA.
From the first day and throughout the semester, I take the position of “anyone can do it.” One of my first lectures, especially in ENGWR 101 and below, is about how writing is not simply a natural born talent, that it is a skill anybody can develop through practice and hard work. This gives many students who have for such a long time believed they cannot write and therefore hate writing a slight hope that maybe the class won’t be so painful. What they find out is that it is a difficult challenge if taken seriously, but most of my students tell me at the end of semesters after they took my classes that they learned more in my class than in most others. These testimonies are passed on from student to student, which gives many students the confidence they need to succeed.
Throughout the semester, many students have panic moments; this usually hits around mid-term time. Many students come to my office, which I encourage them to do. This is part of them developing the confidence they’ll need throughout college. They need to connect with their professors, and when they do, they often grow in new ways. They are taking initiative to help themselves, and this is them taking responsibility for the outcome of their goals. Many students go through their trials on their own, and while many find their way, there are also many who sink in isolation. As a result, I encourage students to talk to me during office hour. In my developmental writing classes, I actually schedule one-on-one conferences with each student for a chance to connect with each student individually and give them feedback based on their individual performance. These meetings also allow me to help guide the students so they can move in the direction of progress for the remainder of the semester.
One option I give my students in all of my classes is the opportunity to revise any one essay for a better grade. This also gives students confidence that they didn’t have to get it right the first time, and just in case it didn’t all sink in on that first try, they have some recourse. This often makes some difference in their grade, and ultimately makes them feel like they made these choices for themselves, which in turn gives them a greater sense of self.
A new college student has a daunting transition to make, and there are several things a new college student can do to ease that transition. First, at the college level, it would be wise for the new student to attend college orientation to find out about college resources and programs that he or she might qualify for. Most students are fairly unaware of all of the things they can do to improve their experience and outcome. Hence, in my class, I am informative in my syllabus by listing contact information for the Reading and Writing Center, DSPS, EOPS, etc., just in case the students didn’t learn about these outlets in another context. Fortunately, because I teach mostly basic skills classes, I have been working closely with the counselors, who have visited the class to further guide and direct students, talking about survival skills and whatnot.
On a personal level, I encourage new students to see college as life-changing and allow the experience to give them new insights and perspectives about their lives and those of others. This requires some commitment to independence and being an individual, as this is their lives, not their parents. They are no longer children, and since most incoming freshmen are around the age of 18, this advice is significant because they are claiming their lives as their own. For re-entry students who are new to the campus, the personal transition is much different, as these students are torn in many directions. A good schedule is necessary for all students, but especially for re-entry students who have families, work full-time, and are trying to get a college education. Set aside time for your studies everyday, but don’t forget to sometimes have time alone for just yourself. Balance is key for all.
There are two things that make teaching a career I could not replace with anything else. First, I love being in the classroom, facilitating students’ ideas in group discussion, answering questions and clarifying ideas, and generating connections between students from different backgrounds. I see the classroom as a mini-version of society: people from different backgrounds with diverse experiences sitting together and having to co-exist and find a way. Even though it is not always a happy ending, something positive can come from this situation, as it forces each individual to pause and listen.
The second thing I love about teaching goes hand-in-hand with the first: seeing students’ growth. Even though most students learn something and change in some way by the end of a semester, it is rare that there is a significant transformation. But, every now and then, I get to work with a student whose transformation is profound, and this is one of the most rewarding experiences as a teacher.
I have had many proud moments as a professor, and what they all have in common is a cohesion in the classroom between the students and me. We are all bouncing ideas off of each other, expanding our ideas as individuals and as a group, learning from each other, being challenged in new ways, considering new ideas genuinely, sincerely, and in the end, walking out with a feeling of fulfillment and energy. This is what many teachers call the “aha-moment.” But, I’d like to extend that to the entire group because when our students have that experience, somehow we do too. That is what makes me proud to be a teacher. There aren’t too many professions that instill that kind of growth and understanding, and I’m proud to be in a profession that does make a difference sometimes.
Lisa Sapra has her AA from Orange Coast College and B.A. and M.A. from CSU, Long Beach.