The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges has adopted regulations establishing distinct sets of standards for courses which may or may not be applied for credit toward the associate degree. In addition, the Board of Governors is now requiring that noncredit courses be approved through the same local curriculum review and approval process as that required for credit courses. The revised regulations, which will appear as changes in Title 5, Part Vl of the California Administrative Code, include as new section 55002.
We seem to hear more every day about declining academic standards. In January, the newspapers reported that only about 62 percent of candidates for certificates to teach in California elementary and secondary schools passed tests in basic skills. Many community college faculty are concerned about standards in their institutions, in part because in the late 1960s and the 1970s standards became associated, in the minds of many faculty members and students, with personal rigidity rather than academic rigor.
Instruction is the first priority of the community colleges. It is, in fact, the only reason for their existence. Instruction has now taken a thirty million dollar cut. The Academic Senate recommends to the Legislature, CPEC, and the Board of Governors that, if further economics become necessary, alternatives to cutting the instructional program be given first priority. For example, the cost of extra-curricular activities and administrative services should be examined prior to additional cuts in the instructional program.
Title 5 requires that the 15 semester units of general education mandated for the associate degree include at least one course in the following areas: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and learning skills. A course, to fulfill the general education requirement, must satisfy both general education and area requirements. The Education Policy Committee recommends the following criteria.
An annotated booklet by Leon P. Baradat