California community colleges provide open access to higher education for all students irrespective of ethnicity, gender, age, disability, or economic circumstances. This objective is enshrined in law. A directive issued by the California Legislature in 1991 charged all levels of public education, including California community colleges, to provide educational equity "[n]ot only through a diverse and representative student body and faculty but also through educational environments in which each person.has a reasonable chance to fully develop his or her potential (Education Code 66010.2c)."
Recommendations to the Board of Governors and Chancellor
- The Chancellor and the Board of Governors must assert that in creating or revising an equity plan, the intent is not mere production of a plan, but to make a difference in the lives of our students.
- The Board of Governors should again require districts and colleges to re-evaluate and review periodically their student equity plans. The Board should also specify a time period for such review and evaluation.
- The Board of Governors should require districts and colleges to implement and develop those plans as a minimum condition for funding and should direct the Chancellor's office to enforce that condition.
Recommendations to Local Senates
The Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges recommends to local academic senates that they:
- conduct research to establish baseline data in the 5 student equity indicator areas.
- set high but reasonable, achievable, measurable goals in the 5 student equity indicator areas.
- implement their college student equity plan by establishing a timetable and identifying individuals responsible for implementation.
- raise the visibility and progress of the plan and its implementation within the college community.
- recommend that multi-language materials, information, orientations, and services for non-English speaking populations are provided and that courses are offered at more flexible times and at convenient sites.
- include learning styles inventories as part of student matriculation and placement services.
- ensure that faculty and staff development programs provide training in the following:
- Needs of target populations;
- Learning and teaching styles;
- Use of technology and issues of access;
- Innovative teaching styles.
- conduct periodic reviews by including student equity goals as part of program reviews and establishing periodic review of the student equity plan, revising as necessary or as called for by any existing Board of Governors regulation.
- foster academic mentoring and job shadowing for students, particularly those in targeted populations or at risk groups.
- examine, as part of facilities master planning, the impact of facilities on equity goals or objectives.
- work to ensure that sufficient numbers of basic skills classes are offered to meet student needs.
- incorporate student equity as a primary focus of their staff development programs and orientations of all faculty.
- research the link between student equity and faculty and staff diversity.