Los Angeles Valley College - Crown Yearbook (Valley Glen, CA)

 - Class of 1974

Page 10 of 120


Los Angeles Valley College - Crown Yearbook (Valley Glen, CA) online yearbook collection, 1974 Edition, Page 10 of 120
Page 10 of 120

Los Angeles Valley College - Crown Yearbook (Valley Glen, CA) online yearbook collection, 1974 Edition, Page 9
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Los Angeles Valley College - Crown Yearbook (Valley Glen, CA) online yearbook collection, 1974 Edition, Page 11
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Page 10 text:

V . . . .-- - li . ' This farmland is where Valley College was built. No one knew at the tlme that someday these grounds would become an educational center. Dr. Robert Horton, fourth president in the history of Valley College, will be leading the college in a salute to Valley's 25th anniversary. ufiiaui Q something. You're expected to ask questions. If they don't have the feed back, how else can they know if you're learning?" Located in the suburban midst of L.A. County, Valley is large by any standard of measurement, and after 25 years the college remains a standing butress of relaxed sophistication in a maze of technological rush. As statistics supplied by the office of educational develop- ment reveal, the Valley College transfer student is inclined to do better than the high school student who went directly to the university. This is of special benefit to the high-caliber student who cannot afford the ever-rising cost of the four-year schools. By attending the community college he may obtain the equiva- lent or superior education while at the same time cutting costs in half. Also running in favor of the community college is the fact that it provides a better chance for psychological adjustment during a time of emotional uncertainty reflected in national figures that show suicide to be the number one killer of college students. While the community college and university students face identical pressures for achieving success, one underlining differ- ence separates the two groups-that of attitude. Shortly after making the adjustment from one system to another, the transfer student is thrown into a state of limbo. ln opposition to the larger institutions in which a student suffers from a gnawing sense of alienation, the Valley student is accustomed to making and maintaining ties preserved long after leaving. At Valley, professors, rather than teaching assistants, con- tinue to instruct classes in which students are known and addressed by name. Student-teacher contact is a serious formality that escapes sacrifice in even the largest of classes. The Valley student does not lead a campus oriented life style. As available statistics reveal, the average Valley student is

Page 9 text:

gang fb brewery, 004' By Carolyn Ristuccia Illustrated by Steve Fischer and Iohn Rosenfield , - Valley College in its prime in 1974, and then Valley in 1949. A microfilm machine reels over 25 years of faded photos and print-vestiges of a rural Van Nuys. A rain-swollen dirt road known as Burbank Boulevard lined with cow pastures, barns, an old silo . . , baby pictures of an infant city, a spacious excuse for 'the building of what was to become one of the most prestigious, if not the largest, of the community colleges in the United States, In 1951, when saddle shoes, bobby sox, and prom queens were the rage, Valley College president Dr. Vierling Kersey cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the college's official opening on its present campus. A barnyard collection of bungalows neigh- boring Van Nuys High School, its purpose, announceda local newspaper, "would be to serve the surrounding community at large." And so, with a faculty of 22 and a student body slightly shadowing the minimum enrollment requirement, Valley grew' to colossal proportions. From an enrollment of 540 students in 1951 to a towering registration of nearly 20 thousand in 1974, the years came and went, transforming a temporary collection of 32 bungalows, a cafeteria and a theatre arts building into a 105-acre educational complex. Innovative legislation passed in 1907 authorized in 1949 the S32 million funding for Valley College's creation. The brainchild of educational maverics Dr. David jordan, president of Leland Stanford University, and Dr, Alexis Lange, dean of the Univer- sity of California, the 1907 measure encouraged local high school districts to offer interested alumni post-graduate courses in lower division university work. As the community college steadily grew to precocious matur- ity, the system established itself as the newest and most permanent of educational experiments. Setting a national prece- dent, between 1916 and 1973, billions of California tax dollars had subsidized the building of some 94 community colleges throughout the state. Dazzling the progressive notions of both the "starry-eyed" sociologist and the "tail-wagging politician," the community college with its "education for everybody who wants it" appeal carried the concept of education as a right and not a privilege closer to reality. ' One of the first schools to provide a springboard curricula of two-year course programs in academic transfer work and occupational training, Valley was soon to recruit a pied piper following of unwavering community support. A To the utter amazement of city tax assessors, an otherwise persnickity voting public was suddenly saying "yes" to a most unpopular issue-increased funding for institutions of higher learning during a time when student activism on college campuses throughout the nation was at an all-time high. In 1968, when the California electorate was particularly adamant in assigning "no" vote after "no" vote to bond issues calling for allocations designed to enlarge the state university system, the community college continued to lasso ballot box approval. V Following an improvement campaign that gave the college modern chemistry, engineering, physics, and foreign language facilities, a 100,000 volume library, and an Administration Building, funding was also allotted for the construction of the new Music and Theatre Arts Buildings, the Campus Center, a cafeteria, and two gymnasiums. With these developments at hand, Valley was able to accommodate the ever-rising onslaught of enrollees. Who came, and why they came, is the professional educator's "once upon a time" storyrthat leaves everyone living "happily ever after." Drawing individuals from every social and economic station, schools like Valley attracted people with serious and, for the most part, sincere academic intentions, serious teachers and serious students. Rather than a "Big U" catch-all for research- minded Ph.D.'s and self-styled intellectual elitists, Valley offers a modest but highly efficient example of what education can be: education for learning's sake . . . minus the pomp and the pedantics. Cutting across the class lines that have traditionally reserved higher education for a privileged few, a no- or low-tuition policy coupled with lenient admission requirements have provided many with the opportunity to pursue avenues of personal expression formerly closed to them. To attend it is not necessary for one to be wealthy or in the top 4 percent of his high school graduating class, or even a high school graduate. Said to give even the so-called "academic loser" another shot at succeeding by lending a supportive hand to the treadmill products of what educational psychologist A. R. Ekerman caustically termed "the system that teaches everybody to memorize and nobody to think," Valley College has provided a refreshing change for students who left public school believing they would never return to any school. "After I got out of high school," says Barbara Edelman, second-year chemistry student, "the last thing I wanted to do was get into another structured learning situation. I was thoroughly sick of the whole thing." Between the mickey mouse teacher-student power politics and the "busy work" assign- ments, Barbara said she didn't know school had anything to offer until she came to Valley on the advice of a friend. "Besides liking the fact that I'm here because I want to be," she says, "I appreciate the luck l've had with instructors . . . they don't make you feel like a mental peon for not understanding 5 A .f

Page 11 text:

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