Just washed my hands; my hands are wet. I need a paper towel. I’m sliding my hand under the “electric eye.” Why isn’t a paper towel sliding out? This dispenser must be broken. I’ll try the next one. Damn, it’s not working either. Wait, maybe it’s just empty. I’ll try the next one. Unbelievable! I’m in a major, metropolitan airport and not a single paper towel dispenser is working. Nobody else is getting a paper towel either; we’re all having to drip dry. Argghh! Good thing I’m wearing jeans today…
“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.”
President Abraham Lincoln
In light of the Student Success Task Force Recommendations and a myriad of suggestions from sources about how to “fix” education in California, the Financial Aid Commission heard testimony in February 2012 from Western Governors University (WGU) and others about the potential of permitting students who are attending institutions that do not have a physical presence in California to access state financial aid. For a number of reasons this proposal should be the cause of some concern for community colleges.
This year, for the first time, the Academic Senate’s Accreditation Institute was co-sponsored by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which collaborated with the Senate on the development and implementation of the institute. This collaboration with the ACCJC led to an increased understanding of the federal government pressures faced by the ACCJC and, in turn, a deeper understanding by the ACCJC of the value of faculty-led accreditation initiatives.
For those of you who have not participated in this faculty driven coursework alignment, CB 21 is simply the name of a data code that describes the level of courses prior to transfer-level courses. This data code is the 21st course basic (CB 21) code in the same way that CB 04 represents the 4th course basic code for degree applicability and CB 05 represents transferability of a course. Previously the coding was primarily assigned by someone other than faculty and often assigned by someone without knowledge of the curriculum pathway and existing course alignment.
“All the elements of academic literacy—reading, writing, listening, speaking, critical thinking, use of technology, and habits of mind that foster academic success—are expected of entering freshmen across all college disciplines (ICAS).”
We have a problem at our campus, and I’m sure it happens elsewhere. Civility is a real challenge. People get so mad at one another that it impedes our work. This happens with our board, our administrators, and yes, with faculty. Does the Executive Committee have any suggestions?
Trying to Get Along
In Spring 2005, the President of Santa Barbara City College asked the local academic senate to assume responsibility for planning and implementing a Student Success Initiative. The goal of this Initiative was to address the needs of the large population of under-prepared students entering the College and to increase the academic success of all SBCC students. The senate accepted this responsibility and the following summer formed a task force to begin planning the Initiative.
Not surprisingly, given the extraordinary budgetary times we find ourselves in, the Academic Senate finds itself receiving more inquiries about program reduction and discontinuance than is typical. Faculty aren’t contacting the Senate to find out how to jettison programs; rather, how can faculty defend vulnerable programs and the students they serve when programs are identified for reduction or elimination not on the basis of need, but on the basis of potential cost savings?