Candidate urges faculty awareness
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2007
Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 14:09
Some believe that community college provides an experience one cannot find anywhere else.
Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Andrew is one such individual.
As a candidate to replace Bill Richardson, interim dean of arts and sciences at this college, Andrew said she firmly believes education is the great equalizer.
With 20 years of experience in public, private and community college settings, Andrew also believes community college provides every single citizen - young and old - a ticket for the train.
"Some people get off, and some just keep on going," Andrew said. "You just get a richness you don't see in a four-year college."
Because her background is primarily in social work, Andrew is confident she has a grasp on the economic, social and political factors involved in keeping students, faculty and staff content, and stresses the importance of fairness and equity.
Another part of what Andrew brings from her social work experience is that everyone's opinion is important in shaping an educational system.
"You have to have input from everyone. It's an enterprise," she said.
Although Andrew knows some perceive her view of students as being consumers as being wrong, she said students, just like any other consumer, are paying top dollar for the best product they can receive - their education.
To her, a faculty that is kept current on topics pertaining to their field will make them more competent than they already are, and opening discussions to the student body can bring the faculty a perspective which is often overlooked.
Andrew received two doctorates, in social work from the University of Texas-Austin and in law from the Lincoln Law School-San Jose, Calif.
She also received a certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University.
Most recently she held the position of dean and professor at the San Jose State University College of Social Work in San Jose, Calif.
Much of Andrew's research and outreach work has been directed to the Hispanic community, and she is a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Advisory Council.