(The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges held its first Curriculum Institute in July of 1999. 20 years later, the institute has since grown to become an annual event with over 500 attendees. The following article, originally published in the October 1999 issue of the Rostrum, is offered to commemorate that first institute that started the tradition.)
(Marie Boyd served as curriculum chair at Chaffey College for many years and has actively participated in the California Community Colleges Curriculum Committee and various ASCCC committees. She retired at the end of the spring semester after twenty years as a reference librarian at Chaffey and having served the college in various leadership roles. The following article offers Marie’s thoughts and wisdom for all local academic senates and curriculum committees as she moves forward into retirement and new adventures.)
Members of curriculum committees regularly interact outside of meetings as a part of their daily routines. They may gossip in the halls about a new noncredit corequisite to be considered at the next meeting or talk around the copy machine about planned program revisions. Members also sometimes seek to add items for action to the agenda during curriculum committee meetings. Such actions as these may all be innocent, but they may nevertheless be legal violations of the Brown Act. Curriculum committees may therefore want to learn about the Brown Act and consider their relationship to it.
Attendees at recent ASCCC plenary sessions may have noticed that the Academic Senate has been taking more positions about legislation than it did in previous years. While more bills in general are indeed being introduced through the legislative process, the amount of legislation that has implications for curriculum has also increased, and therefore more action is required on the part of the ASCCC and local senates.
Guided Pathways is about changing the work, culture, organization, and evaluation of institutions by shifting from an institutional perspective to a student perspective. In doing so, faculty and colleges recognize that metamajors, if properly constructed, can provide students clarity in reaching their educational goals, and colleges can adjust student support, advising, and messaging, thereby reconceptualizing the journey from enrollment to educational plan completion.
To ensure success, the following questions can assist colleges in setting goals for their metamajor efforts:
(In 2013, the Academic Senate Executive Committee approved a project to record and preserve the history of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The April 2017 Rostrum contains an article that explains the intent and structure of this project. The project has been stalled several times, but it has not been abandoned. The following article was written as an aspect of the history project.)
Permitting high school students to take college courses while they are still enrolled in high school is nothing new. In the past, these students would go through a college’s established assessment and placement method, which usually included a placement test. With the passage of Assembly Bill 705 (Irwin, 2017), colleges no longer have access to placement tests for mathematics and English and have to develop new placement procedures based on high school performance data such as overall GPA, courses taken, and specific course grades.
The following article is not an official statement of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The article is intended to engender discussion and consideration by local colleges.
(Janet Fulks is a former member of the Academic Senate Executive Committee and has played an important role in ASCCC efforts regarding basic skills, guided pathways, and other areas. She retired this spring from Bakersfield College after twenty-five years in the classroom there. The following article, while not originally written as a farewell, offers the benefit of Janet’s experience and wisdom as she moves on to new challenges.)
Assembly Bill 705 (Irwin, 2017), now written into Education Code §78213, was legislation regarding placement of students into transfer-level English, ESL, and mathematics courses and in some cases college-level mathematics courses. Colleges are allowed to place students in pre-transfer courses only if students are highly unlikely to pass the transfer-level course and if placement in the pre-transfer course would maximize the likelihood that a student would complete transferlevel English or mathematics within a one-year timeframe or for ESL within a three-year timeframe.