THERE’S A SCHOOL of thought that classified employees play a very limited role in student success. In truth, staff members are the unshakeable, earthquake-proof foundation on which students can build success, despite many potential obstacles.

For example, this spring at Los Angeles City College, students had to apply online because paper applications were no longer being accepted. Classified staff from Admissions, Academic Affairs, and the Career and Transfer Centers volunteered to help students enroll. Some staffers were trained to take student identification pictures in addition to their other assignments.

Similarly, because the administration decided not to print a schedule of classes, staff helped students look up classes online and print class sections. Since the online schedule of updated classes contained no information on prerequisites, staff also educated students about those requirements.

The contributions and expertise of classified employees should be part of the planning process as the California Community Colleges begin to enact state legislation on student achievement.

— Bessie Love is a Student Services Specialist and member of the College Staff Guild-Los Angeles, AFT Local 1521A