Who We Are: Demographic Survey of ASCCC Committee Members

Standards, Equity, Access and Practices Committee
Past Equity and Diversity Committee Chair

At the ASCCC Spring Plenary in 2009, Resolution 1.02 Assessment of Inclusive Practices passed, asking the Executive Committee to conduct a self-study of its diversity and inclusivity practices:

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has a commitment to faculty diversity in all its forms as stated in its Diversity Policy; and

Whereas, The Academic Senate values self-reflection and evaluation of its responsiveness to all faculty across the state;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges conduct a self-study to assess the effectiveness of its efforts and the perceptions of the success of these efforts to promote equal opportunity, including collecting data on the inclusion of diverse voices and opinions; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges report to the body at a future plenary session the results of the self-study.

Toward this end, the Equity and Diversity Action Committee (now reconstituted as the Standards, Equity, Access, and Practices Committee) conducted a demographic survey of the membership of all committees of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The survey attempted to identify the level of faculty involvement from multiple demographic categories that would help the Senate to understand more clearly whose voices are represented in positions of influence in ASCCC committees and working groups and how those numbers compare with tenure and tenure-track faculty at California Community Colleges (CCC) as a whole, when those data are available.

The survey was released to committee members on April 23, 2012, and responses were collected until May 17, 2012. To solicit as great a response as possible, follow up emails to chairs about the email survey were sent on May 1 and May 11. Rosters on the ASCCC web site indicated that the Academic Senate at that time had 63 faculty members serving on its committees, including the Executive Committee. Of the population of committee members, 50 completed the survey, providing a strong response rate of 79%.

College/District and Regional Representation/DOE Designations

Respondents were primarily full-time faculty with tenure (96%) employed at 40 of the 112 California community colleges, with most colleges (n = 31) having a single faculty member on an ASCCC committee, eight colleges having two committee members, and one college having three committee members. Disaggregating the data by district revealed that 33 of 72 California community college districts were represented on ASCCC committees, with most districts having a single committee member working with the senate (n = 21), eleven districts having two committee members, and one district having five faculty on ASCCC committees. Further, the ASCCC divides itself into four geographic areas: Area A (Central Valley) had 20.38% of the total committee memberships, Area B (San Francisco Bay Area) had 31.25%, Area C (Los Angeles Area) had 20.83%, and Area D (San Diego Area) had 31.25%. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the respondents reported that they worked at suburban colleges, while 28% reported working at urban colleges and 14% worked at rural colleges.

Minority Serving Institutions

Because the United States has, over the years, become more racially and ethnically diverse, and in an effort to increase the participation and success in postsecondary education of underrepresented groups of students, Title III now recognizes several types of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that may be eligible to compete for special grant-funding. MSIs include those colleges in which a particular group of students (Hispanic, Asian-American/Native American/Pacific Islander, or Black) constitutes 25% of the student population with no other minority group exceeding 25%. When asked if their college had been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), 48% responded yes, 34% responded no, and 18% did not know. When asked if their college had been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an Asian-American/Native American/Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), 12% responded yes, 54% responded no, and 34% did not know. Due to an oversight in the original data collection, no question about black-serving non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities (non-HBCU) was asked of respondents; however, three California community colleges are identified at the federal level as having this designation, and 0.5% of survey respondents were from black-serving non-HBCU institutions.

Age/Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation/Ethnicity/Ability/Veteran Status

The average age of the respondents was 49.96 + 8.4 years. Respondents were asked to identify their gender, including an option as not identifying as exclusive male or female. Of those, 48% identified as male, 52% female, with none identifying in any other category, and none, under separate questioning, identifying as transgender. In 2008 almost 53% of CCC faculty were women and 47% were men. When asked to identify their sexual orientation, 85.1% of the respondents identified as straight or heterosexual, 10.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 4.3% identified themselves as bisexual. While 97.8% of respondents reported that they had no serious physical or mental impairment or limitations, 2.2% reported needing to use a wheelchair or had serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and another 2.2% reported having a mental illness such as a mood, anxiety, or schizophrenic disorder. Four percent (4%) of the respondents were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The 11 – 12 Equity and Diversity Action Committee asked respondents to report their ethnicity, race, or heritage and allowed them to choose as many as they desired; some faculty gave responses not listed on the original survey. In an attempt to facilitate this data to be used in comparison to statewide data, we collapsed categories to best represent those at the state level.

Ethnicity Number of faculty TOTAL Percent on ASCCC Committees CCC Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty, Fall 2008*
American Indian 1 2% 1%
Asian Pacific Islander
Asian-American (2)
Multiple Heritages (1)
Filipino (1)
Vietnamese (1)
5 10% 8%
Black or African American 3 6% 6%
Multiple Heritages 6 12% Not reported
White or European American
Northern European (1)
Eastern European (2)
Heritages (5)
Western European (1)
White (18)
27 54% 68%
Mexican American, Latino
Mexican American
/Chicano (5)
Puerto Rican (1)
6 12% 13%
Californian (1)
1 2% 4%
  50 100%  

Faculty Service Areas/Length of Time in Service/Discipline Expertise/Senate Experience

Respondents reported that their average length of time as full-time faculty at their college was 14.59 + 6.41 years, and, importantly, that the average length of time they served as part-time faculty was 3.36 + 4.01 years. Respondents reported serving on their local senates for an average of 7.3 + 5.1 years. Twenty-eight percent of respondents were, at the date of the survey, elected officers of their local college or district senate, and the average length of time that ASCCC committee members reported serving as officers of their local senates was 4.2 + 3.5 years.

Twenty-percent of respondents reported being vocational faculty. ASCCC committee members described themselves as coming from a wide variety of disciplines as shown below.

Discipline or Specialty Count
Couseling/Articulation 11
Biology 3
Englih 3
Library Science 3
Mathematics 3
Psychology 3
Business, Economics, and Accounting 2
Child & Family Studies/Early Childhood Education 2
Communication Studies 2
Earth Sciences/Geography/Environmental Studies 2
History 2
Aeronautics, Automotive, Marine, Electrical 1
Anthropology 1
Astronomy 1
Cardiovascular Technology 1
Computer Networking 1
Engineering 1
Humanities 1
Kinesiology 1
Physics 1
Radiologic Sciences 1
Reading 1
Spanish & ESL 1
Studio Arts 1
Theatre 1

According to its Inclusivity Statement, the ASCCC values the diversity of opinions and experiences that varied faculty will bring to their committee activities each year. In order for the ASCCC to meet its mission of fostering the effective participation of California Community College faculty in all statewide and local academic and professional matters, we strive to include as many voices as possible in our committees, actively reaching out to faculty across the state. This demographic survey establishes an important baseline to help the ASCCC in this effort. The results found in the study allow us to compare the ASCCC with other organizational, state, and federal data and to compare the make-up of our organization over time. While progress can always be made, the Senate feels satisfied that the members of our committees are currently representative of the faculty body in California Community Colleges and that the extended efforts we have made in outreach prior to making committee appointments are proving successful.