The County Voice

The CSAC Institute: Bringing the Classroom to You

As the Dean of the CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government, I am proud of the growth we’ve been able to achieve in the past year. We have begun offering classes in San Diego and Merced in the Central Valley, hosted by the counties. And we have plans to expand again next year to offer courses in Contra Costa County for people in the Bay Area.

The demand for these county campuses tells me two things about county employees. Most importantly, they recognize the value continuing education contributes to their personal capacity to better serve their community, and secondly, they take their jobs seriously enough that they want to be able to attend classes closer to the office—to reduce travel costs and time away from the office. That’s why we are offering our county campus classes.

I know there are some people who hold a dim view of government employees. I wish they could sit in one of our classes. They’d see county employees intent on improving their knowledge and skills, and focused on applying that on better performance. They’d see dedication, determination, collaboration and communication. They’d see what I see in the CSAC Institute—a means to improve the way we work to improve the lives of the people we serve.

You know, some people have suggested that we go to a more typical, computer-based distance learning model, where people can log into a class from anywhere. We may choose to do that with some courses in the future. But I think anyone who has taken one of our courses will tell you that there is real value in getting people together in the same room. There is energy, and camaraderie and networking that simply can’t happen to the same degree through distance learning systems.

I know our instructors prefer to interact with their students face to face, and I think most of the students prefer that too. Not to mention, there is value in getting out of the office to take these courses. I don’t care if you lock the door to your office to take a course or webinar. You know there are distractions that detract from the learning experience. So at least for now, we will stay focused on providing the best continuing education we can through a classroom model—but we are doing all we can to bring the classroom to you!

Find more information about the CSAC Institute at this link!

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