January

Putting Prerequisites into Context: How We Got to Where We Are

The Academic Senate is currently embarked on a process to establish pilot projects whereby course prerequisite validation is based primarily on content review, without the need for statistical validation. How these pilot projects will be determined and the form they will take are to be worked out by the Prerequisite Pilot Project Task Force, under the leadership of Executive Committee member Richard Mahon, over the coming months.

Basic Skills – The Front Line Faculty are Often Adjuncts; How Do we Support and Involve Them?

The Issues and Solutions document below were generated at the "Involving Adjunct Faculty in Your College BSI Efforts" breakouts during the recent Fall Regional Teaching and Learning Workshops. The solutions were suggested by both the adjunct and full-time faculty attending these sessions. We all know the important role that adjunct faculty play in teaching our basic skills classes, and if you haven't yet had a discussion about adjunct issues in your Basic Skills Committee, I hope that this list will at least serve to get the conversation started.

It’s Not FSAs

The number one unasked question I answer as the Chair of the Senate’s Standards and Practices Committee is “are you sure you mean FSA and not Minimum Qualifications?” Of course, answering an unasked question with another question is a faculty kind of thing to do, so I don’t feel too abashed for repeating that interruption at the start of many MQ discussions.

Fall 2009 Referred Resolutions – Revising the 50% Law and Response to AB 440: “Transfer Degree”

Resolutions are referred for many reasons – much of the time resolutions are referred because the delegates believe the Academic Senate needs to have a position, yet the resolution being considered requires more work or more time is needed before an informed vote can be made. Most of the time such delays are warranted and allow for resolutions to be both perfected and appropriately considered. There were some noteworthy referrals made during our Fall Plenary. In one instance, the referral option was clearly the best solution.

Transfer Degree Déjà Vu

Transfer degrees are creating a buzz locally and statewide. These are degrees that have two goals – both degree completion and transfer. Legislators have shown interest in these degrees, and that interest caused some angst at the plenary session in the fall. But even if the legislative interest is removed, colleges are actively creating more degrees designed for students wishing to transfer as shown by the increased number of degrees approved at the Chancellor’s Office.

“All Senates is Local”

Okay, so I took liberty with Tip O’Neill’s famous quote of “All politics is local” and please, no groans from those grammarians about “is” instead of “are!” But Speaker O’Neill was correct in his observation that what happens at the local level is vital to the political operation of a country (and my extrapolation to college campuses and districts). We had strong evidence of this when more than 250 faculty leaders attended the Fall Plenary Session in November of this last year.

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