The Diversity of City College’s Campuses
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Downtown campus featured their first event of the school year when they invited the public to taste variously prepared tomatoes at their restaurant The Educated Palate.
The catering and events course oversees the dining room, known in culinary terms as ‘the front of the house.’ Students rotate responsibilities including bartending, serving, and management.
“We try to work towards the same style as other restaurants,” Barbara Haimes said. Haimes has taught the catering and events course for the past 8 years. She emphasized their use of fresh and local ingredients.
The bartender that night was Jennie Neiman, who moved to San Francisco from the central coast of California for this program.
“It’s good to know more,” Neiman said, referring to the responsibilities she assumes in her training.
Neiman is currently training at Quince, a Zagat rated restaurant that serves modern French and Italian cuisine.
While the front of the house was hustling to set up a perfect presentation for their first event, the kitchen, known as ‘the back of the house’ was busy downstairs, readying each dish.
Chef Rhea Dellimore, instructor of the advanced a la minute cooking class, was guiding students as they prepared each recipe.
“Gary, it tastes good. I think it needs a little more salt,” Dellimore said to a student from the opposite end of the kitchen as she tasted the tomato soup.
Dellimore has taught at City College for the past three years and is also an alumna.
“It’s our jobs, it’s our careers,” Dellimore said, in reference to the College’s accreditation crisis, “but these guys get quite a bit from the program and I would hate to see them without this.”
The Educated Palate restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Fridays from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The restaurant is also open for dinner on Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant seats around 50 people and is open to the public.
Evans Campus offers an 18 week program called CityBuild, which is a pre-apprenticeship construction program.
“There are a wide variety of unions that they expose you to, to get you into one you like,” student Keith Lucero said.
The class started out with about 45 students and is now down to 30. Lucero said that, as people apply to jobs and unions, they move on.
Antoine Coleman is in his third semester at City College as an English major. He said that gaining tangible skills through the program would give him something to fall back on.
“I’m hoping that the people they put in place will counteract the negative aspects of what happened,” Coleman said, referring to the November elections for the Board of Trustees. He said the college’s current financial and accreditation crisis is “disheartening.”
Melissa McPeters, is one of the instructors for the City Build program and has been a professor at City College since 2008. She said that 90 percent of the students in the program usually get a job.
“We don’t recruit students unless we know we can place them in jobs,” McPeters said.
The students in the program will be graduating on Oct. 15 at City Hall.
Out of 90,000 students attending City College, few may know that there is a course entirely geared towards fixing computers—including yours.
“We are the school geek squad—basically,” Bill Hong said.
Hong is currently professor of the computer networking information technology lab and is also a student every semester. This semester he is learning how to read and write Chinese.
Hong passionately explained everything he loves about his job and what the class entails.
“They (the students) work in teams, so the pressure isn’t on any one individual,” Hong said.
The course was started 8-9 years ago and was originally created by Hong. It currently has 15-16 students and services around 90 computers in a semester.
“To be fair, I charge everyone the same—free,” Hong said with a very serious demeanor.
Ghais Alqadar is a student of Hong’s who plans on working for a phone provider such as Sprint or Verizon. Alqadar intends on graduating in 2013, but with the issues City College faces, that possibility is uncertain.
“I don’t have financial aid, so if the school closed, I wouldn’t have any access to higher education,” Alqadar said.
Like many of City College’s campuses, classrooms are offered to other institutions that need a place to teach.
Mission campus provides space for the visual art class, which is a required class for obtaining a high school diploma.
Sandra Vaughn is the instructor for the class and translated my questions for the students as she kneaded and molded clay.
When asked how many students plan on transferring to City College, 15 out of 20 students raised their hands.
“It’s supposed to be cheap,” student Hector Henriquez said. Henriquez said he plans on transferring to City College.
City College’s Aeronautics program located at the San Francisco International Airport, offers programs certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Three majors and three certificates are offered in the aeronautics department. The department grants graduates the 1900 hours of mandatory maintenance experience required prior to taking the FAA’s official Airframe and Powerplant Certification test.
“On the whole Peninsula, this is it,” said Department Chair Tanya Lyles, regarding the accessibility of local public programs that offer training for the FAA’s Certification.
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