Note: The following article is not an official statement of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The article is intended to engender discussion and consideration by local colleges.
The ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee works to adhere to the Disciplines List revision process to allow faculty to exercise their authority in establishing minimum qualifications. Two proposed changes to the Disciplines List have been in the process in 2019-20: a proposal to revise the minimum qualifications for film studies and a proposal to create a new discipline, registered behavior technology.
Much has been made in the media and in popular culture regarding the term “intersectionality,” but few people seem to know what the word actually means. Some, such as Ben Shapiro, claim that intersectionality is “a form of identity politics in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to. At the bottom of the totem pole is the person everybody loves to hate: the straight, white male” (Airey, 2018).
The October 2019 Rostrum contained two articles that called colleges to action on equitizing the hiring process. The article “Convergence of Diversity and Equity: Guiding Framework for the Hiring Process” outlines the equity-minded competencies of institutional agents necessary to meet the goals of faculty diversification.
Many people see accreditation as a requirement, an obligation, and a chore. However, these perspectives might change if those people could re-envision accreditation practices to focus less on compliance and more on how they can improve their colleges and make them student-centered. Two movements currently dominating California community colleges are guided pathways and equity, both of which focus on increasing student opportunities and completion and could help to refocus work in accreditation.
Many colleges have embarked upon a process of clustering their programs into related groups, often called “metamajors.” While this term has gained traction as a general description of the clustering process, in practice colleges have chosen a wide range of descriptive terminology that suits their local cultures and curricula.
Colleges began experimenting with more equitable placement practices for English, reading, and mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses as early as fall 2015 in response to the Multiple Measures Assessment Project. In October 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 705 (Irwin, 2017) into law. The overarching intent of the law was to close equity gaps in access and success in transfer-level English, mathematics including college-level, and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Statewide, faculty opinion was divided regarding the bill.
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has a well-documented history of embracing, supporting, and promoting student and institutional equity and achievement. The organization has taken a leadership role in pursuing adoption of equity regulations and urging their implementation.
At the Fall 2019 ASCCC Plenary Session, the delegates passed Resolution 1.02, titled “Adopt Instant Runoff Voting,” as an ASCCC Rules and Procedures amendment, changing section I.G to incorporate Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which will now be used at each spring’s plenary session when voting takes place for officers and representatives. The previous system used for these elections involved re-voting during the session for any election in which no candidate received a majority of the eligible votes cast.
Title 5 §53200 includes what is commonly known as the 10+1, a list of eleven areas of academic and professional matters that fall under academic senate purview. One of the 10+1 areas that sometimes does not get enough attention, at least not until financial issues arise, is the faculty role within budget processes. The budget at the state level is not much different from many local budgets: it goes through a series of steps, ideally with a variety of stakeholders involved, and the money never seems to be enough to cover all of the requests.