CalWORKs in California Community Colleges: An Academic Senate Perspective

Career Technical Education
Vocational Education Committee

This position paper of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges provides background and analysis to increase awareness and understanding of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program.


Academic Senate Policy Level Recommendations

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges:

  1. Recommend continued support of CalWORKs programs in California;
  2. Support the rights of students to receive both job and academic skills in a "career ladder" environment;
  3. Oppose the reductions in the CalWORKs programs reflected in the state's 2002-03 budget;
  4. Oppose the use of narrow performance based outcome measures in the evaluation of CalWORKs programs;
  5. Recommend the modification of CalWORKs programs to permit a longer total timeframe;
  6. Recommend the inclusion of study, training and education time in the definition of work for CalWORKs students;
  7. Oppose the proposed federal reauthorization changes that increase work requirements for CalWORKs students.

Recommendations to Local Senates

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourages local academic senates to:

  1. Oppose the reduction or closure of local CalWORKs programs;
  2. Support the strengthening of local CalWORKs programs by integrating a "career ladders" approach;
  3. Ensure the full participation of faculty in the design and implementation of CalWORKs programs at their college;
  4. Ensure that curriculum for CalWORKs students responds to program timeline requirements but also maintains academic quality and integrity;
  5. Ensure that faculty are involved in all support functions of CalWORKs programs, including student career workshops;
  6. Urge that necessary logistical support be provided for CalWORKs students in areas such as financial aid, book support, childcare and transportation; and finally
  7. Urge that faculty initiate efforts to improve retention levels for CalWORKs students.