Ohlone College President's Office

The Emergence of Ohlone as a Learning College

The President’s Message to the Ohlone College Community - Spring 2006. Presented January 13, 2006.

[Download President’s Message to the Ohlone College Community - Spring 2006 (PDF, 79 KB).]

Douglas M. Treadway
Ohlone Community College District

The Emergence of Ohlone as a Learning College


[The following is the full text of Ohlone College President Doug Treadway’s Presentation to the faculty and staff during a convocation marking the beginning of the Spring Semester, 2006.]

This morning I am departing from the practice of providing you a general college update. That report will be emailed to everyone next week so that I can focus this presentation on a single topic: “The Emergence of Ohlone as a Learning College.”

My reasons for this are straightforward:

  1. there has been a lot going on the past two years, especially in facilities, enrollment and financial matters. Yet learning is the central purpose of our institution and that needs to be underscored by leadership;
  2. in order to effectively serve students, we must ourselves all be learners;
  3. we have gone through many changes as a college—but change is not necessarily progress and change does not always equate to improvement.

I want us to focus on learning that will improve student success and learning that will reduce student failure. Major segments of our population are less and less prepared to benefit from college as we know it today. We need a new learning system. One that will not only serve those who have been successful in school, but also the multitudes that were not served well by their primary and secondary schooling, whether in this country or elsewhere in the world. We need a learning agenda for universal access to community college success. It is an essential agenda if we are to maintain our democracy and a good standard of living for all citizens.

In carrying out this agenda, there is much we can learn from research on how individuals and organizations learn.

In 2002 the (WASC) accreditation commission for community colleges issued a new set of standards for good practice by which colleges are evaluated. In the overview statement the commission said institutional effectiveness today is primarily a matter of ongoing dialogue across the college community about what it means to fully engage in learning and improving student success.

This presentation is a contribution to that dialogue. It is based on my belief that everyone here has a role to play—faculty, staff, administration and the students themselves—in providing a learning environment dedicated to student success. When we speak of an agenda for improvement, we are not saying our current practices are failing. It is not about judging right or wrong ways. What we are envisioning is a college community that moves together on a continuous journey of discovery. We call this kind of institution a Learning College. It is about having the wisdom to examine objectively the effectiveness of our college and the courage to explore new ways of carrying out the art and science of learning. It is the daily exercise of each of us being learners our selves.

We envision at Ohlone creating new pathways that we and our students will be taking. As we travel together we will utilize a variety of skills of navigation to aid us in the direction of improving student learning success.

2004 Planning Event

The major impetus for Ohlone becoming a Learning College was a planning event held in the college gym on January of 2004. For those of you who were not here, over 300 faculty, staff and students got involved and the result was the vision, values and goals statement you see in our publications and posted around campus.

A work group took the findings of the planning event and a similar session that was held for 100 community leaders, and assisted me with the writing of the $1.75 million Title III strengthening institutions grant proposal.

Title III Grant and Strategic Plan

The Title III project officially got underway October 1, with Martha Brown serving as Project Director and Deb Parziale as Activity Coordinator.

In the grant application summary we stated the following:

The college will adapt a new Learning College model leading to widespread institutional reform. The principles that will guide the developmental strategies include: adapting active and collaborative learning methodologies, embedding and distributing technology throughout the curriculum, fostering a culture for continuous improvement, and providing multiple scheduling and delivery systems for student access to learning opportunities responsive to diverse backgrounds and learning styles.

With Title III as the center-piece, the 5 year District Strategic Plan, approved by the Board in December, takes our seven major goals and gives them specificity through measurable objectives and strategic activities. Copies of the strategic plan will be available when you leave this session. Completing the cycle this spring will be a new district-wide technology strategic plan and next year the self-study for accreditation.

Title III grant writing activities came at a time when faculty had already been active in transitioning their courses to Web-based offerings and exploring new methodologies such as learning communities. Also, the planning of the Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology has been going forward with dialog about optimizing learning environments. Faculty work groups on student learning outcomes, program reviews and new learning technologies, staff training in new ways to work and projects reaching out to underserved populations are all giving further impetus to the evolution of Ohlone’s Learning College. Alliant International University is offering a doctoral program on our campus and the faculty and staff who are participating in this program have been actively exploring how a Learning College might be further implemented at Ohlone College. In December I met with the class and they provided me with helpful feedback for developing this presentation.

New Socio-Economic Population

Last month the Campaign for College Opportunity, UC President’s Office, issued an important report. California community college enrollments are considerably less today than they were five years ago and yet the traditional college age population is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2000—2015, with the largest growth among Latinos. The Hispanic college –age population will grow 42 percent by 2014, yet Latinos and African Americans seriously lag white and Asian peers in college attendance and graduation rates.

Hispanic student meeting with an Ohlone counselor.

These disadvantaged students are difficult to recruit and retain, but we need to reach them if we are to truly serve our communities. The growth of the student population who drop out of high school (already 1/3 of California youth do not graduate) will increase due in part to high school exit exams implementation. Educational programs offered by community colleges represent this group’s best hope for overcoming obstacles and moving into living-wage jobs in knowledge-work fields, which require skills that are unfamiliar to many of these students. They need transformative education that helps them effectively engage in learning. While colleges and universities across the U.S. are loosing enrollments, the adult population continues to increase. In what has been termed the disappearance of the American middle-class, the new socio-economic profile of our country translates into large portions of under-represented groups now out of the higher education mainstream.

Schools and colleges must discover new pathways to engage all age groups in learning, or both our institutions and our society will suffer great losses in the years to come.

Higher Education Models: Looking Back

To fully appreciate the need to fashion a new Learning College model we look back at previous higher education models and see how their emphasis and philosophies were built on the societal needs of their times.

First let’s look at colleges in the colonial period. The colonists created schools and colleges for widespread literacy of the population and to educate ministers to perpetuate their new found religious and democratic freedoms. Harvard, Princeton and Yale were denominational colleges created for this purpose. The 19 th century emphasis was upon the individual student, general education in the classics and loyalty to the college. Comparative languages and cultures were taught with emphasis upon the Middle East. Most graduate students traveled to Europe for their studies.

90% of the colonial period population was rural with the majority engaged in family run farms. Extended summer recess was necessary for youth to be at home helping out.

The recess practice continues today even though less than 1% of U.S. families engage in farming—a prime example of original intent disappearing while educational practice lives on.

Now go forward in time from the colonial college to the 20th century university—the German model is in place --emphasizing the teacher, subject matter specialization, group instruction and loyalty to the discipline. In this period the majority of the people worked in manufacturing and commerce.

As the industrial and scientific age moved forward, scientists and workers were needed for specific industries and emphasis upon the disciplines flourished along with American productivity. Graduate schools emerged and less emphasis was given to study abroad.

Higher Education Models: Now and the Future

Next we move up to the 21st century. Initially we do not see anything different from the 20th century.

But we are aware that in the greater society around us much is changing.

Ohlone students working in a science lab.Images of the new century involve global economic restructuring, vastly increased technology and information available, and the nature of work and careers drastically changed. Major questions arise about the carrying capacity of the earth for the growth in population. We witness widespread starvation on the one hand and massive wealth for a few on the other hand.

Half the world is healthier than ever before; the other half sicker than ever before. And we have an acquired weapons capacity for self-destruction looming like a great shadow over the entire planet.

The image of the 21st century education model is not at all clear, largely because it is still in its formative stages. So if you find yourself running low on energy at the end of each semester no matter what your work assignments; if as instructors you are sometimes frustrated with the number of students who seem not to fit in to what is expected of them; it may not be you, your workload or even the students. We may all be experiencing the gradually compounding inadequacies of what was thought for generations to be a tried and true learning system.

It is difficult because more and more is being expected of a system that was designed for a different time in history and is literally exhausting itself under the demands of a new global society. Just reflect on last month and the end of semester—people were sick, stressed and tired out and it really shouldn’t be that way. Learning really should be more fun for all concerned and the process evened out as a continuous learning system instead of peaks and valleys like we now experience.

Today farming and manufacturing together comprise only 5% of all U.S. employment.

We are in the service and knowledge global economy and a new education system needs to evolve to respond to this new reality. The proliferation of knowledge is so rapid and so immense that the discipline approach cannot reasonably be sustained. Witness how universities come up with all kinds of new department and sub department specialties.

At UC Berkeley, for example, they have departments of agricultural and environmental chemistry, computational and genomic biology, and molecular and biochemical nutrition, to new name a few examples.

Clearly this practice is not sustainable because the world is much more dynamic, and yes more unpredictable, than the German model of academic disciplines would have ever imagined. One cannot envision an important problem today’s society is facing that could be adequately understood through the lens of a single academic discipline.

The Internet

Another challenge to traditional higher education is that universities are no longer the primary repositories of knowledge. The Internet has changed that forever. I recall visiting a university in China in the mid 1980s where only the professors had books or could use the library- not the students. All instruction was by rote learning.

Today Chinese students like students most students the world over have access to the same information their teachers do.

This alone will revolutionize what we have known as higher education in the future.

The Internet holds promise to bring the world together not only educationally, but also economically, socially and even politically. The Harvard University Law School web site Worldvoice contains thousands of messages from people around the world who are telling their stories and versions of what is happening in their village or city, often in contradiction to the media or government versions of events and movements ( the website is currently inactive due to the unanticipated overload on the university server).

But the same powerful Internet resource can also create division. Extremists groups (in decided minority among populations) are using the Internet to galvanize their followers and make inroads into geo political arenas never before imagined.

Just look at the power of the conservative religious right in the U.S. comprising less than 20% of the population but literally pushing and shoving major corporations, the U.S Congress and perhaps soon the U.S. Supreme Court in directions that the majority of citizens oppose but are not politically organized to counteract.

And yet through the new global information society, when the citizenry gets the full picture of what is happening—for example U.S. practices of torture, unlawful imprisonment and widespread corruption and violation of rights of privacy of our own citizens—even a Republican dominated and conservatively influenced Congress at least balks at going along with these things because of public outcry. In the movie Gangs of New York, there is a line that could well describe the current U.S. Administration—“ It is very important to uphold the perception of the law, especially when you are breaking it.”

General Education that Preserves Rights and Freedoms

In this complex world it takes a well educated and informed society to keep us free from tyranny and as more than one great American leader has reminded us—from the greatest enemy which may come from within.

As we consider the purposes of higher education in modern society, like the colonists we may find that a general education that preserves our appreciation for and commitment to our basic rights and freedoms is what we should be again striving for. A group of Ohlone indians.We can also reach all of the way back to pre-literate societies like the Ohlone Indians and find a strange familiarity with our educational needs and certain aspects of their life 5,000 years ago:

The Ohlone Indians strived for a balanced rather than exploitative relationship with the environment, an economic system based on sharing rather than competing, a strong sense of family and community, social moderation and restraint, the opportunity for widespread artistic creativity, a way of governing that serves without oppressing, and a deeply spiritual sense of the world.

As Malcolm Margolin wrote in his book The Ohlone Way:

The irony is that while we look forward to a dimly-perceived future when such values might be realized, we have failed to understand that they existed in the not-so-distant past as the accomplishments no only of the Ohlones, but of Stone-Age people the world over.

Concentrating on narrow career preparation, as has been done by community colleges since our founding, may need to be re-examined in favor of a return to the general education for a literate, informed and involved citizenry while having the workplace provide cooperative hands-on occupational education. Perhaps we should strive to achieve a new balance between concentrating on the narrow confines of particular subject matter and this imperative to addresses changing societal needs from multiple perspectives.

Ask any student at Ohlone College and they will tell you, they are learning a lot of facts and figures, but we are not engaging them in integrating their learning to perceive the whole, or in helping them really cope with change from multi-disciplinary views and in real life terms. They go from class to class but the teachers of those classes have not joined together so that the curriculum could be integrated with the great lessons of the past or issues of today effectively engaged in by educators and students alike. The World Forums have begun to address this need and student response has been very positive.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

To better understand a new generation of learners, we might want to look at an article titled “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” from On the Horizon by Marc Prensky, who wrote:

Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. Today’s students have not just changed incrementally from those of the past, nor simplychanged their slang, clothes, body adornments, or styles as has happened between generations previously. A really big discontinuity has taken place. ..An event which changes things so fundamentally that there is absolutely no going back. This is the arrival and rapid dissemination of digital technology…

Today’s students have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital players, video cams, cell phones… which are integral parts of their lives. As a result today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors and their teachers…”

Prensky calls our younger students Digital Natives and he calls us Digital Immigrants. He cites many examples of Digital Immigrant behaviors: They include printing out your email and needing a paper document in order to edit it rather than on screen work. Presnky’s favorite is a phone call asking the other person if they got your email.

He goes on to say:

Digital Immigrant teachers assume that learners are the same as they have always been, and that the same methods that worked for teachers when they were students will work for their students now. It is not that Digital Natives cannot pay attention. They are choosing not to.

A young boy playing an educational game on a personal computer and talking on a cell phone.My 10 year old grandson is definitely a Digital Native. He and his fifth grade friends do not know the capitals of the U.S. nor the names or locations of most of the countries of the rest of the world. But they have spent many hours watching all of the Star Wars Episodes in order to try to find glitches in the film editing. He told me just one example in Episode III where the 4 armed character mistakenly is showing a finger protruding through his garment in an unnatural manner–this he said was obviously a glitch. They were very excited about their discovery!

A colleague of ours teaches in a private school in the Bay Area where starting with first grade the students go on line with their fellow students in a sister school in Japan. She says once they reach high school they actually go to Japan and their students come here. In the meantime they know a great deal about the education, culture and economy of that country. Learning the capitals of the U.S. and 180 other countries could be a snap for Digital Natives if the content is digitally delivered and if there is a reason for this learning in the mind of the student.

Not Right Brain vs. Left Brain—They're Complementary Systems

In considering what is involved in designing 21st century colleges, we might also want to consider new research on how our brain learns and functions. Within that three pound structure, events exist in a non linear, non chronological pattern. Everything in our life experience forms a seamless unity through the brains’ vast network of connections, nodes and interactions. When we think about it, political subdivisions are created through wars and other means, but the lines around what we call countries are totally artificial when the planet earth is viewed from space. We are being conditioned to run around this country in a rapid time-focused frenzy, but within our brain structure time exists as a unity with past, present, and future—flowing into one another like a montage. Not only can the past influence the present and future, the future can also exert a powerful effect on the present.

Human brain.Just witness all of the advertisements we see every January urging us to cut back from the food consumption we enjoyed over the holidays. The ads appeal to a picture of a slim person. They project that we should adopt now some new product or service to become in the future this ideal image. Thoughts of premature death or disability in the future cause some people to physically exercise more in the present. But throughout most of our educational experience, we were taught as if the brain operated only with the present and in a chronological fashion. We as digital immigrants learned slowly, step by step, one thing at a time, and above all seriously. We don’t like to learn by watching TV or listening to tapes.

And we don’t expect learning to be fun.

By contrast, Digital Natives have watched TV thousands of more hours than they have read. They spent their formative years watching Sesame Street where learning is fun! According to the author of Net Gen, they have been networked all of their lives and have little patience for lectures, step by step logic and tell-then-test forms of instruction.

According to new research, Digital Natives who are very visual, may actually be better equipped learners because of how the human brain works.

The human brain has two main hemispheres—left and right. Our two hemispheres have opposite and yet complimentary aspects. We need a full compliment of both to learn optimally. We have essentially two independent minds capable of judgment and decisions residing in one head.

In 90% of the population who are right handed, the left hemisphere is primarily involved in cognition of language and the right side in cognition of images.

The left side controls verbal, linear learning, language and logic. It performs the functions of learning arithmetic, algebra, calculus, and logic. The left hemisphere is a sense organ that perceives time as one –thing- after -another in sequence.

The right side hemisphere senses the world all at once—holistically, seeing the parts of the whole, and recognizing patterns. It thinks in images, not words. The right brain can gather up seemingly unrelated ideas and arrange them into highly creative idea constellations, thereby bypassing the left brain’s control.

The right brain can process millions of visual images in microseconds, thereby solving problems exponentially faster than the clock-bound left hemisphere.

We need the right brain to learn music, art, tennis, and geometry and to read a map, or to get out of a maze.

When we read a textbook the right brain goes off. Even if the subject matter is poetry the right brain is relatively inactive according to brain scan research. Viewing a power point slide with text only is all left brain. Adding pictorial images to the text attracts the interest of the right hemisphere.

One of the right brain’s most highly developed capacities is to decipher compound, complex images such as to discern people according to reading their faces. Our right brain aids in instantaneous recognition of a familiar person, not by eyes, ears, hair, etc. as details but by the holistic remembered image of the person’s face.

With the creation of the alphabet, reading and writing, educators relied most heavily on the left brain for aiding people to learn, whereas before societies were literate they had an oral-visual learning system that required more integration of right and left hemispheres.

We know that 80% of interpersonal communication is non-verbal. As I am speaking your left brain is engaged in following me word by word but the right brain is scanning for images. No matter what I am saying if an image changes that doesn’t fit in to the linear nature of the speech, you will change your thought patterns. Please observe:


I am talking about how the brain works but you are looking at these glasses and that is what you will remember about this section of the speech—and even after the speech.


In theatre, the Chinese have a saying: “Let us draw closer to the player so that we may see what they are really saying.” This is also why the Sorenson video relay is so important for deaf and hard of hearing communications. Body language and emotion are central to understanding human learning, but most left brain trained educators are not aware of this important science. Also all of our brain-type cells are not in the brain. Throughout the body there are brain-type cells communicating from the organs, nerves and muscles to the brain in our head continuously. This is the science of mind-body connection.

Biological psychologists are emphasizing the importance of right hemisphere activity in learning and upon enriched educational environments through the stimulation of multi-sensory activities. Structural changes in the brain’s cortex, the seat of intelligence, and in overall brain enlargement have been shown to occur in such stimulated environments.

Researchers in virtually every discipline of human studies are exploring a variety of techniques for enhancing learning abilities by tapping into aspects of our right brain through use of drawing, guided imagery, meditation, nutrition, autogenics, rhythmic and intentional breathing, sound and aroma therapies, dance, relaxation and movement such as yoga and tai chi.

Dramatic increases occur in the ability to acquire, retain and make use of ideas and information when the educational environment is multi-sensory, and integrates the learning capabilities of both and left and right brain hemispheres.

Research is emphasizing that learning is all about making connections. Each student is unique and new learning they acquire must be actively assimilated into their own brain system if it is going to be useful or lasting knowledge. The notion that instructors can build knowledge structures for students in general and then deposit them neatly as organized packages into their brains is no longer viable. We need models that favor teaching students to build their individual minds and develop their own multi-sensory learning frameworks.

In the sixth century B.C. the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu taught about the Way or Tao Te Ching. The Way has to do with the realization that we make sense of living by entering it directly, not as detached observers. This adage from Taoism is very apt:

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.

What I find in talking to our faculty and in my reading of the literature on learning is that when we utilize active and multi-sensory methods, encourage student interest by relating the subject to his or her direct experience, provide opportunities for students to interact, to have time to talk, write, reflect and otherwise make the learning uniquely their own, we are becoming a Learning College and are following the basic tenants of brain research.

Why then do we not see more of this incorporated in college teaching today?

One reason might be those who created the system we are now working in were the founders of the industrial age and were primarily left brain thinkers. They were greatly influenced by Newtonian theories that saw the universe as a great clock-like machine and the machine metaphor was transferred to schools and factories.

That left-brain dominated worldview rested on three key beliefs or assumptions of the time:

  • Reality is objective—it can be measured
  • Effects are predictable—they can be controlled
  • Knowledge is acquired solely through orderly processes of information collection and analysis

The left-brain ability to plan, organize, direct and control enabled humankind to harness forces of nature and developed sophisticated technologies to which much of our progress can be attributed, including the development of universities.

However, in a complex modern world that is changing at warp speed, these skills are becoming increasingly inadequate. The world today is neither stable nor predictable.

The universe is not a great machine—it is more like a Great Thought—at least in the quantum worldview one now reads about—a universe that is a dynamic, unpredictable, subjective, self-organizing system—tailor made for our right brain, if only we knew more about how to better use it in education.

The essential ingredients of quantum physics and ancient philosophy mirrors what has been written about the views of native American Indians who learned from direct sensory contact with Nature as their teacher and greatly relied on their own intuitive awareness. Interconnection or non-separation of humans with one another as well as all with nature is also woven into the learning patterns of pre-literate cultures. Donald Fixico has an excellent dis-cussion of traditional native knowledge in his book: The American Indian Mind in a Linear World. Ancient as well as contemporary science and philosophy calls us to recognize that all experiences—learning, thinking and doing—move us to wisdom and knowledge holistically.

The education system we inherited uses the behaviorist left-brain approach emphasizing parceling up knowledge or skills into bite-sized chunks that can be easily digested. Quizzes and exams are designed to determine whether the student has mastered these discrete bits of knowledge before moving on to the next topic. Learning from this perspective becomes analogous to moving along a well-trod and clearly marked road; and the main challenge is to keep students moving down the road on schedule.

Ohlone dance students.In the new knowledge based society, not everything students must learn can be codified, organized in a database or set forth in a textbook. Learning today that is associational or relational, of a critical thinking nature and is inherently bound to the experiences, skills and judgment of individual persons, is obtained through conversation and direct sensory experience, not from books or even computers. It requires dialogue, multi-sensing, movement, observation and sharing with others. And it is more right brain collaborative than it is left brain competitive. In the new learning college, the educator structures the situation so that students can take control of their own learning processes through a variety of pathways.

Patricia Cross writes:

Deeper learning occurs when learning is social, is active, promotes student ownership, is collaborative, includes prompt and ongoing feedback, and is reflective.

The books How Students Learn, Knowing What Students Know, Educating the Net Gen, and Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot provide additional insights and examples for practice and are included with the 28 recommended readings I list as references in the printed version of this talk which will posted today on the Web [below]. As just one example, a recent research study concluded:

Net Gen students have preferred modes of interaction, communication and socialization. Current and new students may be less willing to spend a large part of their education in lecture halls. Instead, they may prefer to augment or even replace lectures with formal and informal small-group discussion with peers. Rather than write a term paper, some may want to create a short digital story to demonstrate writing competency. The assumption that students want more technology may not be valid. The University of Central Florida study found that younger students are less satisfied with online learning than older students. The reason appears to tie to their expectation of being in a face-to-face social environment. Older students care more about flexibility than socialization.

The Ohlone Way

The Learning College model also applies to each of us who work at the college. The college culture is the sum of the habits of its members. Simply put, it is the “normal way we get things done around here.” When I first got here it was suggested that I not use the term the “Ohlone Way” because it had come to be a negative slogan. Now I am convinced it could be very positive to use the Ohlone Way as the metaphor for our Learning College.

As we learned from the ancient Tao and Ohlone versions of the Way the key word is participation. By putting forth a new standard of the normal way we get things done here we move together on this new Ohlone Way.

Moving from where we are now, here are some specific examples of how Ohlone might further develop as a learning college in the future:

  1. New learning environments will be designed based on learning research. Next week a special consultant is coming here from Boston to work with us on multi-sensory and environmentally positive classrooms. She is going to provide a candid assessment of the Fremont campus as the starting point. She will raise concerns about negative aspects of environment such as non-learning conducive lighting, smell, color, building condition, floor, wall and ceiling treatments and coloration, air quality, etc. that need to be removed or avoided as well as beneficial environments to be considered for installation. Before we remodel a classroom, lab or even a hallway, we will also want to ask what future learning activities or concepts of learning will be in play in this location so that the environment supports our new learning college paradigm.

  2. Learning communities will continue to evolve with at least 20 involving full-time students and 4 integrated courses that will be in place by 2010. A week from today faculty will be engaged in a day long workshop on expanding learning communities along these lines. Learning communities won’t be just for students. Faculty will form their own learning communities like the Basic Skills Faculty Learning Community initiated in 2005-06.

  3. The World Forums next year and following will arise out of learning communities—they will be infused into the curriculum in an interdisciplinary fashion.

  4. New schedules for courses are being modularized, condensed or otherwise made more accessible. In parallel with more learning schedule options for students, faculty and staff will have an annual calendar for their own Learning College through collaborative professional development activities. Faculty and staff will have many applied research projects underway to improve student success and times will be devoted to these activities when there are no classes being offered. Interim sessions will provide opportunity for some short-term experimental classes.

  5. Our learning college model will move us out to our neighbors. The entire college community will have an opportunity to reach out to provide shelter to a homeless family when over 200 college staff and students in 4 weeks time build a complete home for Habitat for Humanity—our own extreme makeover project at Ohlone!

  6. Our distance education model will transition to electronically distributed and mediated content and process across the curriculum—any time, any place. Rather than just converting lectures and textbooks into digital format, distance education will incorporate new Web-based methodologies for content delivery and new types of digital student learning activities will emerge in keeping with brain research and technological advances.

  7. An entirely new concept of student on campus employment will emerge as many more students work in labs, classrooms and offices as learning design and delivery collaborators and co-facilitators.

  8. Adjunct faculty and full-time faculty will work together in teams, no longer separated day, weekend or evening, and equal access to professional development as well as equal emphasis upon student learning outcomes will be the norm.

  9. International educators, especially from the Pacific Rim, will partner with Ohlone to carry the learning college model to their countries, businesses and schools. Exchange programs with universities in China will involve arts performing groups here and there, students knowing students here and there, faculty learning from one another here and there.

  10. Failure will not be an option at Ohlone College. Appreciative inquiry will apply both to how we evaluate student learning and to how we work together. Students own goals attainment will define success as well as course learning outcomes. As a result of projects like the new NSF grant and learning communities, African American and Latino students will have success rates similar to their Asian and White counterparts.

  11. Ohlone’s Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology will be one of the first chartered colleges in California—budget allocations will be programmatic not attendance based, faculty work loads will not be measured by classroom hours, staff will be full partners with faculty in cultivating the learning culture, near-by high schools and ROP will be seamlessly connected, self-directed teams will manage the college, administrators will be advocates and facilitators, board members will also be advocates and will facilitate community and college interface. Every student and every employee of the college will have their own portfolio of learning activities, professional development and personalized commitments to the college community.

  12. Classified staff will collaborate with architects and corporate partners to build a new state-of-the-art plant services and warehouse facility on the Fremont Campus. Staff will also continue to work with architects and will transition to the new student services building with not only new offices, but more importantly improved delivery systems for working together and better serving our students.

  13. As part of the new frontage development, there will be a meditation garden and nature paths. Every employee and student will have opportunity as the college day begins to walk with friends, practice the yoga sun salutation or do tai chi on the campus. The Ohlone Way will be both appreciated and practiced in day to day college life. Other college and community groups will be continually joining us here in this special place where for centuries people have danced on the brink of the world!


In closing, I believe that not only do we now have a Learning College at Ohlone, we are going to fashion in the future an even stronger and more effective learning college.

Dr. Treadway with student when he was a teacher in Hawaii.When I began my own college teaching career, I taught in Hawaii in an experimental middle-college which emphasized experiential and individualized learning. This past November I visited the former college student in this picture who became a high school principal. I also found seven other former students on the island of Saipan where I was accrediting the local community college. All of my former students held very responsible positions in their island society ranging from education to social work, from environmental protection to university research. It was extremely moving for me to have them share their success stories, all be it in a typically modest Micronesian manner.

When I returned to the mainland, I read a new book titled Our Time Is Now: Young People Changing the World. It reminded me of my own students in the 1970s and caused me to think about ours at Ohlone today.

Book cover for Our Time is Now.Our Time is Now tells the stories of how 30 young people in 20 different countries are taking action to lead in their local and global communities. They are addressing a host of urgent challenges including poverty, violence, racism, environmental destruction and civic apathy, to name only a few, and they are doing so with scant resources but a wealth of determination. All under 24 years of age:

  • Sadiqa Basiri from Afghanistan started her own school for girls
  • Hugh Evans from Australia organized over 1,000 volunteers worldwide
  • Vimlendu Jha from India mobilized citizens to save the Yamuna River
  • Maria D’Ovidio from Argentina organized responsible small business ventures

Reading Our Time is Now, meeting my former students, reading that in the last presidential election over 55% of 30 year olds and younger voter for Gore, and thinking about the students and staff I have come to know here at Ohlone –all gives me much hope. So much so that I decided to close my presentation with a tribute to the Learning College in the form of my own short movie creation. I had fun putting it together and I hope you enjoy it.


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