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Changing the City Colleges

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To the editors:

The President's Advisory Council of Harold Washington College ["Comment: How to Save the City Colleges," January 24], is comprised of people from business and the community, as well as representatives from the college's student body, faculty, staff and administration. Our task is to provide the president with recommendations, when implemented, that will best serve the students, college and the community it serves.

Historically, Harold Washington College, previously Loop Junior College, has always maintained a high standard of academic excellence and is proud of the relationship it has with its students and Chicago. The need for excellence in any endeavor is a must if that concern is to thrive and perpetuate. This is no different in education.

Academic achievement becomes the standard by which educators gauge the success or failure of their product: education. How these standards are applied has become the focal point and concern for many. Educators then must be sensitive to the standards they set and realize that all people do not learn and achieve at the same rate or in the same way.

We are aware that change can be painful. And that in any institution, organization or business, change is needed to keep relevant and viable. In our rapid paced, technological society, educational institutions have a responsibility to maintain pace with the changing demands of business and society. However, it is also the education institutions' role to educate the public about changes they undergo.

The City College, as a community based institution cannot and should not make change without input from its students, faculty, administration and community.

We support academic standards whose goals are academic excellence. We also support changes in the structure of the City Colleges of Chicago. But these standards and goals cannot and must not be made in absentia. They must be reached with input from all concerned.

President's Advisory Council

Harold Washington College

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