In the "good old days," K12 education was relatively stable. It was the era when solid technology would remain solid for decades. Union City's directly relevant example is the auto/truck/van industry that grew for over 80 years before upheaval began. The demands of education were relatively stable. Readin', Writin', and Arithmetic were stressed and served well. College bound students were prepared academically. For graduates choosing a non-college route, jobs were plentiful and training was in-the-workplace. Those with a heart for supporting higher education focused on scholarships as highest priority use of funds, helping make college affordable for UC students.
The winds of change began blowing in the 1980s as the personal computer brought whole new skill requirements into the job market. homes and everyday life. It was no longer valid to assume that college bound students would learn the technology in college. Both colleges and the workplace expected fundamental capability. Teachers were required to add skills and methods. School systems made serious investments in technology and training.
Despite these emerging changes in education, those seeking to support education continued to focus on college scholarships, usually in pursuit of four-year degrees.
The arrival of the 21st Century added its own set of dramatic changes:
Again, teachers and school administrators adapted and invested. And it became clear that supporters of education had many new ways to provide support.
ROLE OF SCHOLARSHIPS
The role of four-year college education remains important and scholarships help defray rising costs. There is also great personal satisfaction in supporting the life progress of an individual student. But increasing utilization of alternatives to four-year education and increasing awareness of the direct role of K12 in college prep and career prep have broadened the options for education support
Economic considerations also affect thinking about best use of donated funds. Traditionally larger scholarships have been funded by "endowed" dollars, limiting the annual gifted amount to interest earned on principal. Today's rising costs coupled with continuing low interest rates have eroded the impact an endowed scholarship can have on a student's overall costs.
Your Alumni Association continues to believe in scholarships, and is aware it is the preferred giving avenue for many. But we believe changing times broaden the scope of alternatives to consider.
ROLE OF TEACHERS / EDUCATORS
Simply stated, the role of educators is changing constantly and rapidly.
Your Alumni Association has recognized that excellence in education is impossible without a teaching corp that is skill-prepared, able to afford innovation, and positively motivated rather than discouraged. Direct support is our Teacher Grant program, originated in 2015.
ROLE OF INNOVATION IN CURRICULUM
STEM based education introduced a concept almost unimaginable in the 20th Century -- the emphasis should be K-12, leading to the introduction of equipment like 3D printers in grade school and programmable robots in kindergarten. Resultant impact includes:
Equipping a school with technology is expensive. There is a danger that small schools simply cannot compete with larger school based on resources
Positively, there are possibilities for innovation that create standout opportunities for Union City Students. Examples include...
Your Alumni Association, working with our Education Foundation, is excited about the possibility of supporting new curriculum initiatives. We look forward to discussing your personal goals in supporting education in Union City.
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