Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter of Concern: Justin Bartl

My name is Justin Bartl and I am a graphic design student from KVCC who takes classes at the Center for New Media. Lately I have been hearing a great deal about changes that are taking place for the part-time teachers here.
From what I hear and what I understand, the part time teachers will be cut back hours so the school does not have to pay for their health care benefits, and many new instructors will be hired. From what I hear around 19 new instructors will be hired just at the CNM.
Whether this change will be good or bad may be up for debate. But for my colleagues and peers that I've discussed with, we agree that the results of this would be substantially negative.
But before I get into all that messy business let me tell you about the CNM and the part-time instructors as they are now.
The CNM is not just a school, it's a community of designers, artists, and creatives. The teachers here are part of this community, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say they're the foundation of it as well. The majority of these teaches are part-time. They work outside of school, have well established careers, and they come here to share their knowledge and experience and to be a part of this creative community. Many of them could manage without the pay from teaching. But they come here because they want to be here.
I've been to two other colleges, gone through high school, and elementary school, and I can think of one or two individuals that have made a difference in my education and had a passionate interest in what they were teaching. Neither of which were at another college. Here at the Center for New Media I can think if at least 8 teachers like that, and those are just the ones I've met. Only one I know to be full-time. Most of the teachers I interact with are part-time.
They all have such enthusiasm, excitement, interest, and a true passion for what they do. They are highly skilled, excellent orators, inspirational, and just amazing teachers. The ability to explain concepts, ideas, and the thought processes required for design, is no easy task. Yet the instructors here have mastered how to pass that knowledge along.
The instructors here are the best instructors, and some of the best people in general, that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
And these are the people that are being pushed aside. The people that are getting hours cut. The people that are apparently less important than a little bit of money.
I've been to schools where a students education is far less important than the schools finances. I didn't think KVCC was like that. I believed in this school, and I feel extremely let down by the choices they have made regarding this situation.
If KVCC decides to cut back their hours and hire 19 new instructors, students will be losing out. The current instructors will only teach one, maybe two classes. A student could go through their whole program and possibly miss some of these instructors and their classes. Why would anyone want to rob students of quality education from enthusiastic and passionate instructors?
Many instructors may find that it's no longer worth working here as well. With only one class to teach and a school that doesn't respect the amount of effort you put forth? It could drive away our best and brightest. The school might save money, in the beginning from not having to pay the health insurance, but in the long run, the school will degrade and fade away.
I have only a year left here at the Center for New Media and the changes may not affect me much. However, after I leave I want to tell people that the Center for New Media is a great place to get an education. I'd hate to have to say it used to be.

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