September

Area of Emphasis Transfer Model Curricula: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About AoE TMCs

Senate Bill 1440 (Padilla, 2010) resulted in faculty spending countless hours developing transfer model curricula (TMCs) at the state level and the corresponding associate degrees for transfer (ADTs) at the local level. Although much work was accomplished in the two years following the passage of SB 1440, the legislature adopted a follow-up bill, Senate Bill 440 (Padilla, 2013), to ensure progress continued on developing ADTs as well as establishing strong pathways to the California State Universities (CSU) for community college students.

Big Wheels (of Accreditation) Keep on Turning: An Update to the Field on ACCJC Activities

Since June, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has met several times and made significant announcements in regards to accreditation.

ACCJC Article on New Standards; New Practices

ACCJC’s most recent newsletter, Spring/Summer 2015 Newsletter contains an article of interest to the field entitled “ACCREDITATION: NEW STANDARDS, NEW PRACTICES” and is available on the ACCJC website. This article highlights the major changes in the standards and the rationale for the changes.

LGBT Campus Climate Survey – An Eye-Opening Experience

With the recent historic Supreme Court decision on gay marriage rights, LGBTQ college students are living in exciting times with hopes of futures endowed with equal rights.  In order to ensure that college campuses are providing students with equal educational opportunities through a safe, welcoming, and inclusive college experience, colleges must take the LGBT Campus Climate Survey, a nationally-recognized assessment tool for assisting campuses in improving their environments for LGBTQ students.

Faculty Primacy in Online Education

Online education in California is experiencing an exciting period, as the Online Education Initiative (OEI) is beginning to roll out its offerings to California community colleges.  In August 2015 the student readiness modules were launched, allowing colleges to use free tools to measure students’ preparation for the rigors of online classes.  Common assessments and educational plans will also be connected to the OEI, bringing with them the promise of more support and services for students and faculty in online education.  Perhaps no portion of the OEI is more anticipated than the arrival o

Striking the Right Balance: Local Control vs. System-Level Decisions

When I first began attending Academic Senate plenary sessions, former ASCCC Executive Committee Member Richard Mahon semi-jokingly labeled me the champion of local control.  Richard’s reason for assigning me this title was that I loudly and emphatically protested whenever anyone raised the possibility of setting system-level standards or regulations that would restrict colleges’ ability to set their own standards or make their own decisions.  I fully believed in the right of colleges to manage their own resources and practices, and I continued to champion local control over all other consid

The Online Education Initiative: A Progress Report

Since the Online Education Initiative (OEI) was announced in Fall 2013, many questions have arisen: When will the first classes be offered?  What are the requirements for participation?  When will the Common Course Management System (CCMS) be operational, and will it live up to the promise of being a system that meets the needs of all online faculty and students across the state? Will a separate online community college be the end result of this project?  Throughout the course of numerous meetings during the past months, answers to many of these questions have been clarified.

The Concept of Credit Courses: Another Look at Course Repetition and Repeatability

The changes to regulations regarding credit course repetition that were approved in 2011 have now been official for three years.  The Academic Senate has offered numerous presentations at plenaries, institutes, and regional trainings to help local senates and faculty prepare and implement the 2011 regulation changes, and in November 2013 the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office published the Credit Course Repetition Guidelines.  Still, these regulations remain a cause for concern for some faculty, and various groups and individuals have continued to lobby for additional changes

A Challengingly Good Year: An update from the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum

As most of us can attest, decisions made in the Chancellor’s Office directly affect the day-to-day workings of our colleges. Never is this fact more obvious to faculty than when they are creating or revising curriculum. As colleges work to address the educational goals of their students and meet the curricular requirements of the Chancellor’s Office, issues may surface that could adversely affect curriculum and curriculum procedures at local colleges. When warranted, these curricular issues come to the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC) for consideration.

Building Faculty Processes for Student Success and Equity

While many challenges are currently facing California community colleges, the mandated Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) and Student Equity Plans are two of the most pressing requirements for colleges in Fall 2014. With the SSSP plans due October 17 and Student Equity Plans due November 21, faculty must help craft meaningful methods to locally address student completion of educational goals. The toughest questions concern access and success—specifically, how colleges will examine and respond to achievement gaps across student populations.

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