March 5, 2013 | Student Feature
On Monday, March 4, members of the New Community College’s Ethnographies of Work II class visited City Hall for the New York City Council’s fiscal year 2014 budget hearings. Accompanied by Larian Angelo, NCC’s Vice President for Administration who helped organize the trip, 14 students toured the beautiful and historic corridors of City Hall. As students took their seats in the upper balcony of the City Council Chambers, Council Member Robert Jackson (District 7, Manhattan) gave them an overview of what to expect during the hearing. Council Member and Chairman of the Finance Committee Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. (District 47, Brooklyn) opened the session with a public welcome to the NCC students. The Committee on Finance, including members Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens), Fernando Cabrera (District 14, Bronx), Robert Jackson, G. Oliver Koppell (District 11, Bronx), and Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8, Manhattan) posed questions to Mark Page, Director of the New York City Office of Management and Budget, on topics such as funding for education, libraries, and cultural institutions and hurricane relief support.
Ethnographies of Work II is the second course of a two-course sequence that uses social science concepts, perspectives, and methods to increase student understanding of the work world and the processes and contexts that link the self and work. The class looks at careers and provides students with an understanding of how different types of work impact the daily life of New Yorkers. The course encourages students to consider how their skills, passions, and interests will contribute to New York’s economic sustainability.
During the second semester students will conduct an ethnographic investigation on an occupation of interest and participate in fieldwork at a work site. Throughout the semester, students will add more in-depth ethnographic writings to their body of ethnographic works and continue to reflect on their own journey toward deciding on a career path. Attending the City Council finance hearing helped students to contextualize how decisions could potentially impact their future fields of interest and the work they will one day be doing.
“I wanted the students to experience the ‘budget dance’ and to see that there is an active group of people lobbying on their behalf and asking the different agencies to be more accountable. I also wanted them to understand that not all ‘cuts’ are unavoidable, and that there isn’t an infinite budget. I hope the students see that we believe that someday they will be on the ‘floor’ grappling with these very hard decisions,” commented Assistant Professor Nicola Blake.
The next class experiential learning activity will be to a courtroom to observe a judge. These class visits allow students to become active participants as they explore career opportunities and prepare to take their place in the New York economy.
About The New Community College at CUNY
The New Community College at CUNY is an urban public institution located in midtown Manhattan that offers associate degree programs in an environment that nurtures student success. Our goal is to increase the graduation rate for our students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. The NCC connects field experiences with classroom learning in a structured and supportive environment. All students begin in the Summer Bridge Program and engage full-time in a city-centered first-year experience before starting their major coursework in one of six degree programs. Instructional teams comprising faculty members, student success advocates, graduate coordinators, peer mentors and library staff create a rich classroom environment complemented by an integrated advisement program to help students stay on the path to graduation. To learn more about The New Community College at CUNY, visit www.ncc.cuny.edu.