Education Funding Should Include Support Services

Education Funding Should Include Support Services

Three students listen to a presentation in classHere at Tallahassee Community College we are proud of the students we serve. Because of our open door policy, we welcome a diverse group to our campus each year. They hail from 38 different states in the U.S. and nearly 80 different countries worldwide. Some come directly from high school, while others have not attended a school in years. Some arrive College-ready, and some need a remedial class or two. Many have struggled their whole life to make ends meet, but plenty come from wealthy families as well.

Each of our students has their own talents, their own set of hurdles to overcome, their own story.

As an institution of higher education it is our job to challenge them to learn, grow and change, but as a community college, there is the additional responsibility of meeting them where they are. We provide an atmosphere of support and a network of resources to any of those who need it. We seek to find and remove barriers to learning. These barriers can be anything from everyday issues like forgetting to set an alarm in the morning to more significant issues such as food insecurity or mental health. It’s certainly difficult for someone to focus on classwork when they haven’t eaten in over a day, or they are having an anxiety attack. We provide food, shelter, clothing and support to hundreds of students each semester through a variety of programs provided by Student Services, Career Services, Veterans Affairs and the TCC Foundation, to name a few.

Unfortunately, the volume of those who are in need of support has risen significantly in recent years, especially in the number of students utilizing services offered by our Accessibility and Resource Center including the Counseling Center. Though TCC is committed to improving our network of support, funding is tight and too many times it necessitates hard choices.

My hope is that our state leadership will recognize the crisis at hand and focus on funding mental health support services in addition to the other pressing issues that need addressing in education. Our students and our future depend on it.


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