For almost 60 years, since the creation of the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960, California community colleges have focused on serving students seeking lower division course work and career technical training. During that time, while focus on other areas of study has been diminished, including much of life-long learning and, more recently, much in remediation and basic skills, additional elements have rarely been added to the mission of the California community colleges.
At the outset of the California Guided Pathways Project, colleges struggled with where in their governance processes guided pathways efforts would reside. Many colleges set up separate guided pathways committees or task forces and assigned various existing and new staff from faculty, administration, and even classified professionals to lead the efforts. Many of these very same colleges are now restructuring their governance systems to accommodate guided pathways efforts, often feeling like Sisyphus rolling a huge boulder up a hill.
Successful implementation of a guided pathways framework in the California community colleges will entail transformation of institutions and processes with the students’ goals in mind. This undertaking will have significant implications for several academic and professional matters under academic senate purview, not least of which are “standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.”  Regarding these issues, academic senates and district governing boards are required to consult collegially.
Student-centeredness as equity in practice is an opportunity. Most of us desire equity to be more than a word that people say in passing; we want equity to be something that we practice with measurable outcomes as we close achievement gaps. The idea of student-centeredness as equity in practice means that focusing on students—all students—can infuse equitable practices into institutions if faculty are strategic and intentional. This goal is accomplished through student engagement, which is key to community colleges successfully implementing guided pathways.
The courage mustered by so many students, let alone undocumented students, to attend classes is not an experience that attendance policies are designed to recognize. Colleges do not have a metric for courage , which is likely why the courage on full display by the most vulnerable students just to make it to class is lost on colleges and even on their professors. Attendance is an expectation and the most basic requirement for success in a class.
Recent changes to federal policies regarding undocumented individuals in the U.S. have created challenges for community college leaders who wish to support the vulnerable population of DACA, AB 540, and other undocumented students in their colleges. These students may be undocumented due to outstaying a visa, having incomplete applications or delayed renewal processes, having come to the U.S. at a young age without official residency status, or other complications of the immigration process.
Faculty diversification efforts in the California Community Colleges and funding to address those efforts have been prioritized by multiple stakeholders, including the legislature, the Board of Governors, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC). This issue is not new for the community colleges, but, with a recent additional allocation of funding, it is becoming a more realistic goal. In fact, in 2016 the legislature enacted Senate Bill 826, known as the Budget Act of 2016, which stated,
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) has received many questions regarding exactly what a vote of no-confidence means when directed at an individual administrator, a board or office, or an idea or plan. At a college or district, a vote of no confidence by the academic senate can have a variety of meanings. The reasons for such a vote should be clearly spelled out in the resolved statements of a resolution that explicitly indicates what the action is intended to convey—alarm, a concern, a broken trust, or a call for removal of an individual.
WORK BASED LEARNING IN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Career technical education (CTE), labeled career education by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) in July 2017,1 has been given a boost in recent years by legislation and funding intended to support efforts to close both the skills gap and employment gaps anticipated in California’s future. While classroom instruction is a critical component of programs that prepare students for the general and job-specific demands of occupations, work-based learning is equally critical.
The following glossary was developed from research and feedback gathered from faculty and researchers from within the California community colleges. It was created in response to ASCCC Resolution 09.01 S17, which asked the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges to address confusion in the field by researching and updating the 2009 glossary of common terms for student learning outcomes and assessment.