Each time Carrie Biggs-Adams enrolls in a new class, she can’t wait to see who she knows from prior classes and who else she’ll get to meet. So it’s no wonder that when 2011 Class President Mark King graduated this spring, Carrie was ready to step up and represent her classmates as the 2012 Student Class President.
The Students Make the College
NLC is like no other college: our students share common values and come to class with a wealth of experiences. For Carrie, that’s her favorite part of her college experience.
“The knowledge, skills and experience an adult learner brings into the classroom are an integral part of the educational experience. It is the framework that supports learning, which is then reinforced by the professors’ expertise and subject knowledge,” says Julie Mendez-de Leon, director of Academic Advising at National Labor College.
Learning from the experience of her fellow students motivates Carrie to enroll in class after class to earn her bachelor’s degree in Labor Studies.
“Professors facilitate the open exchange of ideas, challenge assumptions, and provide students with the tools to think critically and strategically,” says Julie.
Build Your Union One Class at a Time
Students are often able to apply what they’ve learned in class the very next day at work.
Carrie was able to provide one of her locals with a turnaround plan after taking a course this past Spring on leadership theory, which showed how to build effective local unions.
“To have the information in an organized and comprehensive way is very useful. These classes aren’t just for newbies; seasoned labor reps can still learn,” says Carrie.
Improving Communication, Connections
“Being class president is an opportunity to serve. This is a labor college and we recognize the value of having representation.”
Carrie plans to represent her classmates this year by working to get a student non-voting position on the board.
With elected Chief Steward Dillon Taylor and Newsletter editor Johnnie Brewer, Carrie hopes to improve how the student government functions in an electronic form to improve communications and build connections.
Since we have less face-to-face contact being an online school, we need to have more outreach on the website and through Moodle to connect with students.
For Carrie, this challenge is indicative of the labor movement in general:
The whole labor movement is working on solidarity and relationships in an electronic form; it’s critical because it’s so different from face-to-face contact.
Carrie’s message to her fellow classmates: “Get involved. The labor college is in a geographic transition. Take it as an opportunity to increase our participation within the college and solidarity amongst the student body.”
Current students, follow your Class President’s advice and get involved this semester by: