EXPLORING THE SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS WITH AN UPWARD BOUND COHORT FROM SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES: ANATOMY OF AN UN-NATURAL DISASTER
Despite outcomes that did not measure up to expectations, I believe that the exposure received by students (32), faculty (3), staff (6), and program management (3) provided sufficient educational opportunity to merit consideration for revision and reimplementation. Our successes (31 of 32 passed with an extraordinary course average of 81%) can be attributed to the efforts and support of all participants despite logistical constraints that left all wanting for time. Our confusion and failings, on the other hand, are largely a function of my ignorance of the intricacies and demands of managing a program with under-age participants. In other words, I had unrealistic expectations and failed to lead our collaboration toward realistic alternatives.
The introduction of inner city youth to the natural environment can be achieved with sufficient lead-time for planning, with allocation of additional time for such enriching field excursions, and with regular and structured communication and feedback between all participants. In my estimation these three elements were sorely lacking and dramatically reduced the efficacy/impact of the novel elements of our collaboration. But, in the final analysis, I would try it again. This presentation details the challenges encountered and strategies proposed to ensure success of a renewed attempt.