Division promotes dynamic thought

Dean Patricia Flannigan believes online classes will expand opportunities. (Ashley Henderson – The Lariat)

Tiffany Lorey

An atmosphere of serious academic study permeates the third floor of the Business and General Studies building where the Social and Behavior Sciences division is headquartered.

The state of the art architecture and equipment gives students the assurance that they made the right choice.

“Saddleback should be their first choice when it comes to selecting a college,” said Patricia Flannigan, division dean.

According to Flannigan, the division is constantly making improvement to curriculum and course offerings to fulfill students education goals. 

“I want to make the division as user friendly as possible so that a more diverse student population will get an equal education comparable to a four-year college or university,” she said.

Flannigan added that program reviews and other assessment programs help keep curriculum on the cutting edge in all related academic areas.

The division also features a faculty teaching and learning institute that enable instructors to keep up with the latest teaching strategies.

One of Flannigan’s goals is to distribute the division budget wisely and to use all resources to promote the college and division accreditation process.  She also wants her division goals to feed into the college’s overall strategic planning process.

The experience of teaching students to think critically and the excitement of their learning opportunities are the two catalysts that inspire Flannigan.

“I just want them to think outside of the box,” Flannigan said.

Based on the economic crisis, California is struggling to meet the needs of all students. Flannigan thinks we need to make getting an education easier for students.

“We need to be more flexible in our scheduling, more affordable and we need to reach a wider range of students through new online course opportunities,” Flannigan said.

She believes the World Wide Web is the wave of the future in education and has the ability to expand what Saddleback has to offer.

“Online gives us the opportunity to offer more classes a semester because we do not need classroom space,” Flannigan said.

The division has one of the largest student populations on campus, Flannigan said.

“The instructors are really experienced and really explain their respective topics well, ” Yolanda Moreno, 18, freshman, said.

Flannigan is proud of how her department handles students.

“One of the advantages of such a large division is the students have more opportunities to experience different teaching styles through the various full-time and associate faculty teaching the different subjects,” Flannigan said.

Flannigan’s newest project has been to encourage instructors to post their bios online and add to their websites some helpful ideas and other information leading to student success in their respective classes. 

Students can contact the Social Science office at www.saddleback.edu/sbs/ or (949) 582-4733.

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