Whereas, Legislators have recognized the importance of improving student transitions from high school to community college, commonly referred to as career pathways, since 2005, which has led to local, regional, and state investments serving middle schools, high schools, and colleges (SB 70, 2005, Scott; SB1070, 2012, Steinberg; AB 86, 2013, Blumenfield; and the California Pathways Trust Fund, 2013-2018);
State and Legislative Issues
Whereas, California law establishes the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) as the coordinating and planning agency for statewide postsecondary education, but CPEC was defunded by the governor in 2011 and its statutory functions did not include oversight of higher education;
Whereas, Expenses for California community college students have risen dramatically in the past few years and the Middle Class Scholarship Act (AB 1501, Perez, as of February 9, 2012) would bring much needed relief for families with annual incomes of less than $150,000 that are struggling to meet the burdens associated with the rising costs of higher education and who often do not qualify for financial aid;
Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges opposes “recommendations that establish different academic policies for students based on their differing abilities to pay” (Resolution 7.03 F11) and also strongly opposes “any attempt to abridge the mission of California community colleges, reduce their affordability, or remove their control from the communities they serve” (Resolution 7.02 F11);
Whereas, AB 1741 (Fong, as of March 30, 2012), the Student Success Infrastructure Act of 2012, would set up a fund, subject to the Budget Act, to enhance the following infrastructure in the community colleges:
Whereas, The governor’s proposed January 2012-13 budget calls for saving $517 million through the curtailment of early childhood education (ECE) by slashing program eligibility, lowering family income levels, and removing the enrollment in a course of study in higher education as a reason to be eligible for services, and recommendations for 2012-2014 include moving all except a fraction of ECE from the State Department of Education to the State Department of Social Services;
Whereas, Assembly Bill (AB) 1056 (Fong, February 18, 2011) calls for the establishment of an electronic student transcript record-keeping and transmission system for all California community colleges (CCC) that will allow student transcripts to be transferred internally and externally by secure electronic means;
Whereas, Such a system (which is already operational in a pilot form - http://etranscriptca.org/ ) will likely reduce operational costs, expedite the transfer of student transcripts, and increase record portability;
Whereas, The 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education expressed the intent that access and affordability are the principles on which California public education stands;
Whereas, Based on these principles the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has a long-standing position against fees for public higher education, a position that unfortunately has not been upheld by the Legislature;
Add a second resolved:
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with Assembly member Anderson as AB 2400 moves forward to perfect the legislation and protect faculty primacy in curriculum and program development.
MSR Disposition: Referred to the Executive Committee to do with as the Executive Committee sees fit.
Whereas, Due to current economic realities and high unemployment rates in the state, tens of thousands of unemployed or underemployed Californians are entering or returning to college to improve job skills or train for new careers;