Adjunct faculty have two roads to further employment: pursue a move from part-time status to full-time, tenure-track positions or embrace the adjunct status of full-time equivalent assignments. The processes and decisions in contemplating these two roads are complex, and the economic imperative is real.
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.
COVID-19 conditions have challenged the definition and validity of regional industries. Modified approaches to jobs beyond brick and mortar, stationery offices, and manufacturing locations have expanded employment to include working via the internet regardless of geographic location. Business and industry are changing and transforming at a rapid pace as technological advances accelerate and alter the way things are done. These conditions present the necessity of re-examining whether advisory boards should be expanded and modernized to a regional approach.
In March 2020, as colleges were suddenly shifted to fully remote instruction and services as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the California Student Aid Commission  put out a report recommending significant and beneficial changes to the Cal Grant system for California community college students. The report Cal Grant Modernization: A Vision for the Future (California Student Aid Commission, 2020) proposes to be a student-centered framework for modernizing financial aid.
GETTING THE GUIDED PATHWAYS GROOVE ON
2020 was the second year of a two-year legislative cycle. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature slowed the legislation train down, limited the bills to be heard, and prioritized those that absolutely must pass in that year, were directly related to COVID-19, alleviated homelessness, were related to wildfire preparedness, or were a response to PG&E bankruptcy. In 2019, 2,625 bills were introduced to legislature, 1,042 made it to the governor’s desk, and 870 became law. In 2020, those numbers were 2,390, 513, and 457, respectively.
Course design and teaching are two sides of the same coin of effective student-centered online education. Research regarding online community college students shows that a caring, engaged instructor is the biggest predictor of student engagement and performance (Jaggars & Xu, 2016), and it also shows that course design is a key driver of quality (Joosten & Cusatis, 2019).
Since their inception in the late 1960s, ethnic studies programs and courses have faced significant opposition and scrutiny in their attempts to be recognized as valid disciplines. In California’s community colleges, where the first ethnic studies associate of arts degrees were established, this opposition has served to stunt the growth of these programs and has contributed to a misunderstanding and confusion over their definition and implementation.
California’s Build Back Better effort requires reimagining possibilities. Student success is the key to the economic vitality of the state and of local regions. In a report published by the California Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education, Recovery with Equity: A Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic, a series of recommendations were established focused on the following guiding principles:
The system-wide effort to diversify faculty rests on evidence that a diverse faculty improves the retention and success of diverse students served by the California community colleges. The 2019 Literature Review on Faculty, Staff, and Student Diversity compiled by the Board of Governors Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force summarizes a sampling of this research (California Community Colleges Diversity Taskforce, 2019).