Newly elected academic senate presidents often have important documents handed to them at the last minute before they are due or are not appropriately included in approving the documents at all. This situation occurred not long ago at one of the colleges in a multi-college community college district. At the time, this particular college had been operating at a financial deficit for at least three consecutive years.
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is now 50 years old—younger than some but older than many faculty that are currently involved with the organization. The success that the Academic Senate has had as a resource for faculty and as a state-level voice on academic and professional matters during its first fifty years is solely due to the contributions of faculty throughout the state. When individuals consider service with the ASCCC, many questions, as well as hypotheses, arise regarding how one becomes involved.
California community colleges comprise the largest system of higher education in the United States, educating approximately 2.4 million students. As the largest system of higher education teaching one of the most diverse groups of students, the California Community Colleges must ensure that the student population sees itself represented by the community college faculty.
At its Fall 2016 Plenary Session, the ASCCC approved Resolution 10.01 F16, which changed the process to revise the Disciplines List from a biennial to an annual process. This important process has now begun again: faculty can propose new disciplines or make revisions to those that exist. Proposed revisions to the Disciplines List can be submitted to the ASCCC Office for possible consideration by the delegates at the Spring 2020 Plenary Session.
Note: 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.
As institutions begin to re-examine the effects Guided Pathways will have on them and on their students, the types of data colleges will want to review include new measures such as the average number of units to complete a certificate, degree, or transfer in the latest three years of awards and the number of students achieving awards. Faculty need to be a part of these conversations because analyzing the data and contextualizing the many variables are key to determining whether the data are indicating issues such as the following:
Today, industry standards are changing at an unprecedented pace, especially in areas such as technology and transportation. As such, colleges and districts that provide the courses and training for students to work in industry must be responsive to these changes. Course and program offerings must keep pace, including course offerings that meet a legal mandate or address a significant change in industry or licensure standards. This point is where the discussion continues on course repetition and repeatability.
(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 and as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ASCCC.)
Local academic senates are tasked to make recommendations for faculty professional development policies and activities at their colleges. Such policies may include consideration of how faculty professional development (PD) is defined, how much is required, when, where, and how it will be offered, whether faculty will be compensated, who will be responsible for selecting and planning particular activities and assessing their efficacy, and how funds are allocated for PD activities.
At the September 2018 Board of Governors (BOG) meeting at Southwestern College, the BOG approved changes to Title 5 §§55200-55210. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) endorsed proposed changes to the regulations through Resolution 6.08 in Spring 2018.