July 4, 2022

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It's Your Education

Education vs. incarceration for troubled teens

Some thing exceptional is about to take place at Gateway Community College in Camarillo, which serves students who have faced a rocky highway on their substantial faculty journey. Some have been expelled from their standard large educational institutions, and others have had run-ins with the legislation. All of them have confronted important hurdles as they do the job towards earning their higher university diplomas.

Commonly, several of the college students in Gateway’s senior course fail to satisfy the specifications for graduation. But this yr, just about all 21 of them will acquire their diplomas and have plans to enroll in higher education or enter the workforce. Matters could conveniently have turned out in another way for these pupils if they had been incarcerated for their offenses rather than provided the support they required to flip their life close to.

Having these pupils throughout the finish line took the involvement of caring professionals from the Ventura County Office environment of Schooling, which operates Gateway, and our companions at Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Ventura County Probation Agency. They developed the associations and designed the connections with students and people needed to get over the obstacles that can effortlessly derail the goal of graduating.

Lots of of the learners have to hold down work opportunities to aid their families and must juggle the needs of equally faculty and perform. Some of them are dad and mom who wrestle to obtain childcare so they can attend course. When universities were being shut to in-person discovering thanks to the pandemic, they missed out on important aid and steerage that couldn’t be duplicated on-line.

When pupils returned to Gateway in particular person, the personnel redoubled their endeavours to make up for lost time. They enhanced the alternatives for pupils to recover missed credits. They have been in continual interaction with college students and mothers and fathers to boost attendance and track development. And they partnered with Oxnard Higher education to tour the campus and aid college students with the admissions procedure. The college students also stepped up to the plate by coming to course, trying to keep appointments with counselors, and catching up with schoolwork on evenings and weekends.

When we’re celebrating the increase in Gateway’s graduation rate, we’re excited to see a different statistic on the decline. The Ventura County Business office of Training also operates Providence University, which is located inside the Ventura County Juvenile Justice Facility in El Rio. For many years, the amount of students at Providence has been dropping as teens are ever more diverted to areas like Gateway instead of putting them powering bars. It’s a change in priorities that is spending serious dividends, as we can see with this year’s Gateway graduating course.

In a several months, they will proudly stroll throughout the phase in caps and robes to get their challenging-gained diplomas. Although significant college graduation is a supplied for several children, it’s quite a little bit additional for these students. It is evidence that the problems they’ve produced in the previous really do not have to outline their potential. It’s a testament to the excellent that can occur when community companies collaborate in the ideal curiosity of students who require further assist. And it’s a reminder that the will to strengthen, improve, and succeed is alive and perfectly in all of us.

Dr. Cesar Morales

Dr. César Morales is the Ventura County Superintendent of Colleges.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Guest column: Instruction vs. incarceration for troubled teens