Reminiscing Years Past While Forging a Path Forward
As BCAE announced its plans to cease current programming and re-envision its approach to supporting adult education, our strategic planning partner, TDC provided a link for feedback from constituents. Many people expressed appreciation for the learning opportunities had at the BCAE over many decades.
Similarly, the BCAE asked students to share their memories of favorite instructors or classes, friendships forged, or experiences had over the years. Students shared warm memories of taking the same class every term for years, getting close to instructors and students who did the same. They shared memories of friendships growing outside the classroom and of instructors who care so much about their craft that personalized feedback was always offered.
One student began taking classes as a teenager in the 80’s and commented that they loved taking classes at each point in their life as their needs and interests changed. Another student noted that they got their GED at BCAE over 40 years ago and hoped that this kind of learning would still be possible at a “new” BCAE. Still another student wrote “BCAE has always been a place to learn, grow, stretch, engage with others and even engage with various sides of oneself.”
It was clear from responses that BCAE has made a difference in the lives of countless students, whether stimulating a new way of doing something, launching a new avocation or hobby and in some cases, a new career direction.
As the BCAE Board of Directors explores opportunities to make a greater impact, respondents suggested that it consider the following (in no particular order of frequency or priority):
Classes taught in a language other than English
Offer ESOL classes
Offer life-skills courses
Offer different classes for underserved populations
Offer adult education for Bostonians to take their “next best step”
Provide through a local partner, day-care for children of adult students
Offer multiple levels of language courses
Partner with organizations in Roxbury and Chinatown
Emphasize cooking classes
Offer classes that truly make a difference in the lives of those who have few other options for life-skill or work preparation education
Offer classes to support older and middle-aged residents make the transition to their next stage of learning, working and living.
Create multi-disciplinary courses
Establish day-time programming
Establish multiple locations
Expand partnerships with single focus adult ed programs (e.g. writing, entrepreneurial focus; seniors; literature and history)
Eliminate the reduced tuition sales
Only offer multi-session classes
Offer courses with a range of pricing
Offer day-time co-working space rental
Offer certification courses
The BCAE and TDC comments forms are still open. Please take a minute to give reflections on your experiences at the BCAE over the years and/or your thoughts on possible paths forward. As always, we value your feedback.