Thursday, March 31, 2016

J.C. Osborne - District 2 Candidate

1. Please provide a brief biography that explains your educational and professional background.

My educational background consists of an Associates degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master in Public Affairs and Juris Doctorate (law degree). I have several years of experience in human resource management, loss management, budgeting, auditing, and public relations. Additionally, I have served as executive director of a very important non-profit corporation. I lead by example and strive to raise public consciousness. I have never been afraid to take risks or to stand firm on principle. 

2. What is the role of the elected Board of Trustees from your perspective? How does that role relate to your individual input as an elected trustee?  How would you describe the efforts that will be necessary to be effective in your role – and what has prepared you to be successful in that role? 

The role of the Board of Trustees is to provide checks and balances to the role of the chancellor and to be an advocate for the students. It is my desire to serve which has lead me to the privilege of running for this very important position. I realize that Trustees have an opportunity to effect change in the lives of Dallas County residents. I am highly driven and strive for excellence in every situation put before me. I was fortunate to be able to use my benefits as a veteran to achieve the American dream. I would like for everyone else to have the same opportunities.

3. What is the role of the DCCCD in the educational marketplace in Dallas County? What is your agenda to continue to improve the quality and availability of educational programs to the citizens of Dallas County?

The role of DCCCD is to provide the workforce with skilled workers and also to prepare students who intend to pursue 4-year degrees. In terms of improving quality, I would start by eliminating remedial courses which are costly bridges to nowhere. I support an open-admissions policy which would allow everyone in the community to attend college. Secondly, I would tailor academic programs to meet the needs of the job market. STEM (science, technology, engineer and math) programs would be made a priority to prepare students for the workforce. I would provide tutors and other resources necessary to prepare students for success.

4. If elected, how will you advocate for DCCCD students, employees, and colleges, in your dealings with business, the community, other public servants, and voters?

The interesting thing about this question is that in order to be a great leader, one must first be a great follower. The second thing voters need to know about me is that I am not running to be a leader. I am running to be a public servant. As an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army, public service comes natural to me. While serving, I took college courses at night and received my associates degree in a relatively short amount of time. I ultimately was promoted to Sergeant and lead many soldiers to take advantage of their opportunity to pursue higher education.

If elected, the first thing I would do is survey the local businesses to determine the skills they seek. Then, I would ensure that DCCCD is arming students with the type of skills that they need to jump into the workforce. My goal would be to set a standard that at least 75% of graduates are employed immediately upon graduation and that they actually work in their field of study.

5. What do you see as the biggest assets, challenges, and opportunities, in the DCCCD? How will you strengthen those assets to meet the challenges and opportunities we face? What particular skills and connections do you bring that can benefit the Board as a whole, and by extension the DCCCD?

The greatest asset DCCCD has are its students. DCCCD needs to do everything within its capacity to attract as many members of the community as possible. As previously stated, I support an open admissions policy. The board's greatest priority (at least pedagogically) seems to be focused on getting students to graduate. Clearly, there is a shortfall in this area. I'm sure that the board is working hard to resolve this issue. However, the board doesn't seem to be listening to what the students actually want. They are not offering the types of academic programs which would attract students and reduce the student attrition rate.

Studies show that students are more likely to graduate when they are involved in extracurricular activities. I would increase funding in this area. I would fight to keep tuition low and reduce the cost of textbooks. I would also seek an increase in scholarships.

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