To the Editor, 

This past week Kodiak College hosted a series of on-campus events in preparation for fall semester.  My wife and I marked our calendars for Wednesday’s event, which was a new student orientation.  So that afternoon I showered, shaved, and dressed for what I anticipated to be an enjoyable evening to kick off the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Arriving about 15 minutes prior to the event, my wife and I walked into the room where the orientation was to be held but were told that we needed to wait outside in the hallway, where maybe two dozen or so folks already were waiting. This was different from other, past, welcoming events, where students, parents, instructors, staff, etc. would congregate for an informal meet and greet before the formal program commenced. But, I guess, times change; so we joined the others waiting in the hallway.

However, before being admitted, I was informed that I needed to “sign in” on one of a bank of laptop computers that were located in the hallway for this event. Which seemed “different”, as first, why should one be required (“required” being the salient word) to sign-in to attend a public event (as all of us pay for this college through our taxes); and secondly, why was there such an incommodious sign-in process where typically one’s signature on a piece of paper would suffice?

Regardless, I approached one of these sign-in computers, which had a blank screen and appeared to be off, and having no idea how to wake-up the computer.  However, there were KoC staff on hand to assist; and one of the gals got me to the screen to begin the sign-in process.  And surprise, surprise, the innocently-dubbed sign-in process in reality turned out to be a data-mining process with lines of boxes where a person was required to provide Personally Identifiable Information in order to complete the sign-in process — which in turn was required to attend this orientation.  As I was disinclined to provide this information, with disappointment my wife and I terminated our applications and departed the campus.

As the former principal of Kodiak High School regularly observed, education is the last, great, social escalator. And today there is an educational need to provide post-secondary educational opportunities to Kodiak’s non-college-bound high school graduates, for they are going to join a workforce that ever-increasingly requires technical expertise. And today KoC and the high school are working together towards providing a “middle college” curriculum here on Kodiak, where high school seniors will graduate with both a high school diploma and associate degree. And obviously KoC will be a key player in this program.

But whereas most instructors, staff, and programs at KoC are of top quality, apparently this is not true across the board. And hopefully in the future, the needs of the community rather than convenience to KoC, will be the focus for all of KoC.

All of which, of course, is just my opinion.

Jeff Stewart







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