Karen Rothstein, PhD
eLumen Vice President of Strategy and Research
When I first became a teacher, during the 90s tech boom, some people were incredulous at my starting salary…an amount that was probably 1/10 a typical annual bonus. I could see the look on their faces…Why on earth would you go into education? And then I would ask, “Tell me about your favorite teacher.” Without missing a beat, she would launch into a fond tale about Ms. Stacey, who always found a way to make algebra fun using silly voices or Mr. Jennings who would pepper his history lecture with anecdotes about his own trials as a student. The fact that 30 years later a former student may regale friends with stories of her crazy English teacher Ms. Rothstein who would crawl under a desk to illustrate prepositions and recite Shakespearean soliloquies so dramatically that even Linda Evans would be impressed. That’s why I went into education.
After being a high school teacher, an adjunct professor, an institutional research analyst, and a Dean, I’m now asked…Why on earth would you become a vendor? Without missing a beat, I launch into my experience in meetings where we would discuss all the wonderful things we wanted to do for students and how we need to become a student-ready college. The “what” was exciting and inspiring. The “how”…well…um…yeaaah…we’re not quite sure how. How do we let students know their progress along their educational journeys? How do we provide accurate information about programs and course requirements? How do we let students know they are learning? How can we let potential employers know the skills our graduates have? Then I learned about a company that can help colleges answer all of these questions and empower students to make informed choices. That’s why I joined eLumen.
One of my “duties as assigned” is to write an ongoing blog. As a former English teacher and parenting blogger, I’m very excited to use this part of my brain once again. Please check back regularly to discuss what’s happening in the California Community College system as well as educational systems across the country. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and hope you will as well. There’s quite a bit of change afoot and plenty of fodder for rich discussion. Pathways, promises, and funding…oh my! Plus, I use words like “afoot” and “fodder,” that’s got to be worth something?