In response to considerable discussion about the establishment of a basic skills discipline and resolutions (numbers 9.8S90 and 9.9S90) at the Spring 1990 Session of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges, the Ad Hoc Basic Skills Committee which was to include credit and non-credit instructors in basic skills was established in spring 1990 for the purpose of studying the issue of whether to create a pre-collegiate basic skills discipline. As directed by the resolutions, the committee held five hearings to listen to arguments by faculty across the state about whether or not a basic skills discipline should be established. The committee was directed to forward recommendations regarding the discipline issue to the Standards and Practices Committee for consideration. The committee's final report will be submitted to the Executive Committee before distribution to local senates.
Creative strategies need to be developed to meet the staffing and training needs of pre-collegiate programs, particularly to address the problems created by not having a basic skills discipline. The committee's examination of the issues leads to the following recommendations:
- Increase the number of faculty who are appropriately trained to teach pre-collegiate adult students.
- Encourage mid-career retraining leaves at full pay to help facilitate training for instructors who wish to work with pre-collegiate students.
- Encourage the University of California and the California State University system to create programs and/or revise programs to meet the needs of future community college instructors who will be teaching pre-collegiate students.
- Encourage the Academic Senate to include the issue of basic skills education on its agenda.
- Encourage the Academic Senate to promote the expansion and funding of additional full-time positions in reading, English, math, and ESL to meet the diverse needs of community college students.
- Encourage recruiting and mentoring programs that help college students seek careers in community college teaching; e.g. the Teachers of Tomorrow Program at American River College.
- Encourage discipline organizations to explore avenues for generating and attracting instructors and expanding internship opportunities.
- Encourage special funding to assist instructors in gaining the appropriate degrees to meet minimum qualifications.
- Encourage the establishment of a system wide job bank for instructors in Reading, English, ESL, and Math.
- Explore ways to make it financially feasible for faculty to transfer to colleges/districts across the state; e.g. year for year credit for experience on the salary schedule.
- Encourage special funding for incentives to instructors who teach in geographically sparse areas.
- Where appropriate, list certain study or learning skills courses under the education discipline to enable colleges to hire faculty with a master's in education.