Encouraging Knowledge

On Monday, we visited the Tohono O’odham Community College and met with several campus administration including the President of the college. It was fascinating to hear about the struggles that the Tohono O’odham have had with promoting higher education on the reservation. It was hard, however, to not feel confident moving forward due to all the efforts that TOCC is putting into fixing these issues. Their staff seems extremely dedicated, key educational indicator statistics are trending towards the positive, and there was even an active campus development project being undergone. (the amphitheater which surprisingly enough does not have an O’odham language word equivalent). All of these point towards a bright future.

I also was rather surprised to hear that the college has a rather successful basketball team. For a school attempting to establish a good reputation in both the local community and overall academic sphere, a good sports team is a huge aid. In addition to simply attracting constant media attention and supplying a sense of college pride, I also noticed that the team did bring in a decent amount of revenue via ticket and merchandise sales. Just an interesting side note to an overall enlightening experience.

3 Replies to “Encouraging Knowledge”

  1. Haley. Thank you for granting this spring class a remarkable sense of closure with your final post. Out of a string of events, absurd and cruel by turns, you have evolved into a stronger, even more capable woman than you were before suffering the horrors of shingles and American Airlines. You have constructed meaning where most of the rest of us would have settled for shambles.

  2. Hey man, I agree with you on all fronts. To start a community college in an area that hasn’t been home to higher education before must’ve been extremely difficult but also so rewarding because it provides an opportunity to everyone that simply wasn’t there before. People from all ages go there which is incredible, because people can be there simply to enrich their knowledge but also it can serve as a stepping stone to other higher education, a gateway that previously didn’t exist on the reservation. I had a really good feeling about the community college. It was really cool to see how grateful people were to be able to get an education because they didn’t previously have those opportunities. That’s something I think we all take for granted too often here. Also their basketball team looked jacked. Hope they start gaining a name for themselves.

  3. You make an interesting point about the basketball team. While I appreciate the importance of athletics in a liberal arts education, I’m not much of a sport fans and have always been skeptical that a teams success in terms of wins is all that important for the players and even more skeptical that it is very important for the school. However, I keep running into this argument and admit that it has merit. For better or worse, people associate the success of a schools athletic teams with their academic quality. Its a kind of brand spill-over effect. But there is another reason to applaud TOCC basketball team that was made apparent by an article I read in the Runner. A local girl who loves to play basketball and who was also a top student in her class was convince to attend TOCC in part due to the basketball team. Since there is a correlation between athletic participation and academic performance among high school students, a college’s capacity to offer the chance to play on competetive sports teams is a big plus and complement for their academic environment.


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