May

Improving Student Access to Financial Aid

Resolution 20.02 S09 of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges directed the Senate to encourage local senates to review and, where appropriate, act on the recommendations presented in Green Lights & Red Tape (GLRT), a 2007 report published by the Institute for College Access and Success. In an effort to assist colleges in doing so, this article summarizes the key points from the report.

Prerequisites: What Next?

On March 7, 2011, the Board of Governors approved changes proposed by the Academic Senate to change Title 5 §55003 regarding prerequisites. The Senate adopted a paper explaining the advantages of Content Review at the Fall 2010 Plenary Session and a second paper providing practical guidance on the establishment of prerequisites at the Spring 2011 Plenary Session. Changes to the means of establishing prerequisites come as California community colleges face the most abrupt and steep budget cuts in their history.

Starting Students off on the Right Foot and Keeping Them on the Right Track!

Counseling programs in the California community colleges play a key role in helping students succeed. Over the years, the functions of counseling departments have multiplied significantly, further exacerbating the ever-present pressure to serve more students with the same number of counseling faculty. Students are the first to complain of the difficultly of getting in to see a counselor, as evidenced by increasingly long lines at walk-up windows and the two to three week waits to get an appointment.

BOT Oh my!

There are many interesting, and sometimes frightening, stories about faculty not getting their rights and responsibilities given in AB 1725. Some accreditation reports have noted that some colleges do not have processes and procedures that are indicative of mutual agreement with and/or relying primarily on the academic senate. There have been reported incidents of local boards of trustees overstepping into the areas of faculty primacy delineated in Education Code and Title 5.

Processes and Models for Class Section Cuts

Given the emphasis on budgeting and planning in our accreditation standards, our colleges and districts have developed detailed planning processes including department- and division-level plans, college-wide master plans, and district-wide strategic plans as well as regular cycles of program review. And yet, in this time of deep budget contraction, I’m finding that many of our planning and program review processes seem woefully inadequate for helping us decide how to reduce our curricular offerings.

Academic Senate Annual Report

As local senate leaders, it is not always easy to communicate to faculty what you actually do. The Statewide Academic Senate shares this difficulty, and in order to address this issue, Executive Director Julie Adams worked with the Executive Committee to produce the first annual report from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, What Has the Academic Senate Done for You Lately?

Assessment Anxiety in the Air

The approval of a motion on assessment by the Board of Governors at its March 6, 2007, meeting has set off waves of anxiety across the system. As the chair of the task force approved by the Consultation Council to address the Board of Governors' motion, I hope to alleviate some of that anxiety by clarifying what the motion is asking for, what I perceive to be the motivations of the Board, and what the task force convened by the Consultation Council to respond to the motion is going to do.

To begin, here is the Board's motion in its entirety:

LDTP - Challenges and Opportunities

The California State University (CSU) system has been working on implementation of the Lower Division Transfer Pattern (LDTP) project for two years. So where are they? And where are we? Since its inception, the project has been somewhat controversial. First, the CSU faculty were not delighted that legislation (including SB 1415, Brulte and SB 1785, Scott) mandated them to look at the major preparation courses for the top majors at all 23 campuses to align the lower division curriculum and devise course numbers for them.

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