Communication Studies

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Welcome from Golden West College President Wes Bryan

Most college catalogs have a spot for the President to write a welcome to new students, usually at the front of the college catalog, like this one. The catalog is a great place to begin your college journey. It is, in many ways, your most important college book. You might ask why I would say that, after all there are many more colorful textbooks you’ll have during your college years, most of which will be more interesting than this catalog, even though we work hard to make it attractive, informative, and helpful.

The reason you want to start with the catalog, is because it is our agreement with every student. It is a kind of legal contract. It tells you what the college intends to provide you, in terms of course work and services. It describes the courses you may take, the units you may earn, and what you need to do to earn a degree or complete a certificate. It also informs you about college requirements, procedures and expectations, and if you’re unhappy what your rights are. It tells you where to find things and who to call.

I wonder if you’re anything like me? When I open a new package, I have a tendency to tear through the wrapping, pass up on reading directions, and plug the thing in just to see how it works. I’ve learned the hard way; this is not usually the best strategy. It’s like taking a trip, in unfamiliar territory, without looking at a map, while it may be more adventurous, it usually takes longer, often involving back tracking and sometimes danger, just like plugging in that machine too soon. Nowadays, college is too expensive, too crowded, and too important to waste time muddling along. The maps or directions are essential to getting on with life, career, and transfer.  The catalog tells you how to do college.

So while this catalog may not be the most interesting book you read in college, it will get you to the books, teachers, courses, and services that will make your college career adventuresome while getting you to your destination in a timely manner. It can even help you out, when you change your mind and chose a different destination. The nice thing about college is that there are people who can help you out if there is something you don’t quite understand.  You don’t have to do it on your own; there will be counseling, orientations, teachers, and staff that can help you along the way.

The catalog will be an important part of completing a Student Educational Plan – which is your trip guide to graduation – to a certificate, transfer and/or a degree. While I was working on these paragraphs, I noticed a headline in the Orange County Business Journal, “EQUIPPED TO SUCCEED.”  It was a story about two 22 year olds who quit their job to create a new company, and it made me think about how that headline applied to what I was writing, that many students are quitting one thing and starting something new – they have a dream and idea, a goal for a better life – I think the college catalog is an important part of your equipment and by using it well to make your plan you will be “EQUIPPED TO SUCCEED.”   I wish you well on your journey here at GWC, and Welcome.

Wes Bryan
President of Golden West College