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Metropolitan Community College-District 3

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    Adam Gotschall
    (R)

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    Dave Pantos
    (D)

Biographical Information

How should community colleges differentiate themselves from four-year universities?

What should be the qualifications of instructors at Metro?

If elected, what would be your first year priorities?

Current Public Office, dates held N/A
Past Public Office, dates held N/A
Education AA-criminal justice
Military experience 6 years Iowa army national guard. Deployed from October 2005-July 2007 in support of operation Iraqi freedom. Flood duty in June of 2008. 2009 Presidential inauguration security detail.
Volunteer experience Nebraska Veteran's Coalition, various tasks. American Legion Veteran's of Foreign Wars Hurricane Harvey relief, drove to Huffman, then Beaumont to deliver supplies. Iowa/Nebraska flood cleanup, including a 100 animal rescue. Other various jobs.
Community colleges are traditionally trade schools, with other options for education. Mostly, the community colleges need to focus on trades, which is something that universities don't generally do. Additionally, community colleges need to focus on being affordable, and stop trying to compete with universities. Most people seek out community colleges because they either don't want to spend the money on a university, or don't have the money to spend. College is already expensive.
My biggest qualification would be, to be politically neutral. Otherwise, it would have to come down to the areas of expertise. For instance: you don't want welders teaching nursing classes (despite the fact they've likely had a few emergency room visits). Otherwise, I'd like to see instructors who are happy, trusting, and have attainable goals for their students.
To build better partnerships with business owners.

Identify what the community needs from the school.

Lower the property tax levy.

Get businesses and labor unions involved with recruiting students. I.E. offer the students contracts /agreements. Offer the students competitive pay/benefits, etc....
Current Public Office, dates held Vice Chairperson, Metropolitan Community College, January 2020-present; Board Member, Metropolitan Community College, 2017-Present
Past Public Office, dates held Metropolitan Community College, Secretary, January 2019-January 2020. Board of Governors Rutgers University (1990-91).
Education JD - Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington, IN) MSES - O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (Bloomington, IN) BA - Rutgers College
Military experience None
Volunteer experience Omaha Northwest Rotary Nonprofit Association of the Midlands Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Children Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Commission
Especially in the time of this pandemic, Community Colleges need to provide high quality education to a diverse set of learners. The traditional community college student is by definition "non-traditional." Therefore, community colleges need to ensure that there are no barriers to entry. Community College should aim to be low or no tuition. Community colleges should continue to expand dual enrollment at high schools. The relationship between 2 and 4 year schools should be a partnership.
In addition to being excellent instructors/professors, Metro's college professors must be prepared to meet students where they are. Many Metro students are first generation students. Many are food-insecure and struggling during COVID-19. Also, for those professors/instructors who are teaching in the trade or certificate programs, they must be up-to-date in terms of the business/economic needs of the community to ensure their instruction provides a quick gateway to high-paying jobs.
We must continue to effectively respond to COVID-19 and its challenges. I am proud that MCC is now offering COVID-19 testing at its South Campus.

Finances are crucial for our students. I will prioritize the following: expansion of Pell grants to all students; keeping no tuition increases or at the very least limiting any increase to the rate of inflation; expanding education options in Washington Co. & in West Omaha; and keeping the tax levy flat for our district's taxpayers.