July's budget uncertainties have lingered into our California fall, translating into general hesitancy and an Indian summermalaise as we (and the nation, it seems) awaited the results of the recall: some budgetary demands would be postponed until subsequent years, Master Plan bills would hibernate until their second year began in January, and our campuses lit bonfires that consumed discarded fiscal advice, full schedules of classes, and commitments to parttime faculty.
Among the principle values California community college faculty hold dear is ACCESS as a tenet for the education and services we offer to California residents. Concepts of access also apply to hiring of faculty, staff and administrators: do our workplaces reflect, like a microcosm of our state, the diversity of race, gender, ethnicity, and abilities that characterize our society?
Note: Last spring, the Academic Senate approved the paper, The Impact of Computer Technology on Student Access and Success in the California Community Colleges. After approval of the paper, I was contacted as the chair of the Technology Committee by Carl Brown, director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU), which was only briefly referenced in the paper. He pointed out that the HTCTU was doing much more than the paper had mentioned.
There is a saying in the biker world (I mean the Harley Davidson world) that seems apropos to our state of affairs on the front line as community college counseling faculty.
That saying is: `If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand." What do I mean and how does it relate to riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle?
The Academic Senate Office has been extremely busy over the summer. If you have not visited our website recently, I suggest you do so. Along with the constantly evolving session and institute information, we have added many new features. I would like to highlight just a couple of them available from the main Academic Senate website. First, we have added an interactive map of California that shows the location of each community college campus and includes a link to the local senate website.
While the California Community College System did not receive the requested Technology II budget for 2001-2002, all colleges have been actively involved in planning for the use of these funds, which we hope to receive in the 2002-2003 budget. As technology continues to play a greater role in the educational process, access to technology becomes an ever more important issue.
This past spring, the Consultation Council recognized the need to form a Task Force to determine whether students have adequate access to counseling services in California and whether the services are of the kinds and levels needed to help assure their success. Maybe Consultation recognized the need because of the possible layoffs of counseling faculty in light of the Audit of the 50% Law or maybe it was because of the consistent focus on the shortage of counseling faculty.
Firstly, I would like to use this article to introduce myself to some of you, and to explain my new role to others. Currently, the Executive Committee does not include an occupational faculty member. However, the Executive Committee feels strongly that the interests of occupational faculty throughout the state are best served when the chair of the Senate's Occupational Education Committee is an established Executive Committee member.
A number of exciting innovations have been developing in California's community colleges, especially with the help of Partnership for Excellence funds and supportive administrators. Over the past few years the Basic Skills Committee has featured many of these programs and approaches at Academic Senate plenary sessions. Included in these breakout sessions has been a variety of learning communities, in-class tutoring, integrated learning centers, and student success advisors.
In the past academic year, considerable attention of legislators, academics, and the larger community was devoted to the transfer mission of the California community colleges, one of two primary missions we have-though only one of six missions adopted by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.