Fall 2014 was a very busy time in the California Community College System, with significant work taking place on AB 86 and Adult Education planning, Student Success and Support Program and Student Equity Plan development, the California Open Educational Resources Council, and the statewide technology initiatives—Online Education (OEI), Common Assessment (CAI), and Educational Planning (EPI)—among other programs and initiatives. Spring 2015 promises to be even more intense, with all of the 2014 initiatives continuing and a number of new efforts set to launch. The amount of work may feel o
Our Foreign Language Department wants to offer its two highest levels of Spanish concurrently because the two classes do not get enough enrollment to survive individually, but the dean is saying that offering the classes together would be a violation of Title 5. What are the regulations or limits regarding the offering of concurrent classes (two or more classes taught in the same place at the same time by the same instructor, such as multiple levels of a class sequence being combined)?
Resolution 9.06 S10 seeks to inform faculty about “local course offering priorities for both credit and noncredit and… recommendations regarding classification of noncredit courses and programs that are meeting community needs.” Resolution 9.02 F11 calls to explore “the appropriate division of credit and noncredit basic skills classes” while also supporting “funding noncredit career development and college preparation classes at apportionment rates commensurate” with credit funding.
At the 2011 Fall Plenary Session, the delegates passed resolution 13.10, which resolved that the “Academic Senate for California Community Colleges disseminate information about the California State University’s Expository Reading and Writing Course by Spring 2012 to local academic senates and encourage them to involve their English faculty (including their reading faculty) in collaboration with local high schools and CSU campuses in this college readiness effort.” The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) was designed to improve the readiness of high school students for English comp
Dwindling student services funding and a deeply ingrained stigma against people suffering from psychological disorders have contributed to colleges’ lack of preparedness in serving students with mental health needs. And although the recently adopted Student Success Task Force Recommendations emphasize the critical need for strengthened support services, a legislative commitment for funding of these services remains elusive. As a result, the number of grant applications is on the rise as many of us are seeking funding alternatives just to help existing programs stay afloat.
I began my career as a community college instructor with a sense of social justice – I wanted to work in the most diverse educational environment to help students regardless of background to succeed and to become the future leaders of their communities, their cities, their state, and this nation. The promise of the original Master Plan was a very radical vision, assuring that every student desiring higher education would have access to it.
System-wide success measures and benchmarking are increasingly a part of our local dialog. When faculty review the Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges (ARCC) report or the Chancellor’s Office DataMart results, they often feel that the reports do not accurately reflect the activity of our programs. For this reason, faculty should know how the work we do locally is translated into system-wide information.
Just as the dust begins to settle and faculty leaders think their colleges might just meet the 2012 deadline the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has set for student learning outcomes, program review, and planning, the ground threatens to move again. In the Summer 2011 issue of ACCJC News*, the ACCJC announced that it had begun the decennial review and possible updating of accreditation standards.
The Noncredit Task Force—composed of 42 people from all disciplines and roles in noncredit across the state, including 17 different institutions—was developed in Spring 2010 to address specific noncredit resolutions about accountability reporting and to oversee a pilot project which is revolutionary to many areas of noncredit: the use of progress indicators for students’ work. Some areas of noncredit have always graded or indicated progress, while other areas have evaluated student work and carefully advised students’ next steps based on the students’ abilities.
In the current budgetary and economic climate, the California Community College System is being pushed to change more than ever before. Proposals from a diverse set of constituencies and interest groups are so frequent and numerous that faculty are hard-pressed to respond to these proposed reforms, much less develop a proactive vision of where we want to go. Yet without such a vision for the future, disparate forces could easily pull us apart.