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Academic Senate Newsletter

Tuesday September 3, 2013

President's Message

Beth Smith
Grossmont College

Welcome back to another fall term filled with hope and anticipation for faculty and students alike.  The Academic Senate is already busy working on the resolutions approved by the delegates in spring, planning Fall Plenary and other events, revving up to award and recognize outstanding faculty and programs, and addressing the requests you send to the Senate office daily.  We are pleased to be able to respond to your inquiries through info@asccc.org where you can request presentations, ask questions, get help with 10+1 issues, and more. As part of our work this year, we are looking for examples from you of outstanding work by faculty so that we can more successfully tell our story to those outside our system.  When you have a moment, please drop us a quick message about something great happening at your college, and we will follow up with you to learn the details.

Legal Challenge to Collegial Consultation - Many of you will recall that an organization in California has legally challenged the Title 5 regulations that describe academic senates, academic and professional matters, and collegial consultation.  The state attorney general's office has prepared a case in support of the Board of Governor's (BoG) authority to determine of the role of academic senates through Title 5 as directed in AB 1725.  The case is provided here for your review [please link the attorney general case here, and please share it with your faculty.  The Academic Senate was not asked to participate in the development of the case, and after you read it, you will see that the attorneys chose to keep the defense of BoG authority at a high level rather than respond to claims and isolated examples of where participatory governance fails.  We expect to hear a judgment by the middle of September.

Accreditation - With countless articles, emails, and news through the grapevine about the challenges facing City College of San Francisco (CCSF), it is important that you hear about how the ASCCC is responding. I have met once each month with the faculty leaders and other interested people at the college to help them with the work they must do in the months ahead.  Our number one priority regarding accreditation and the recent activity regarding ACCJC is to help CCSF regain its accreditation by meeting the standards.  CCSF faculty have already accomplished a great deal and are committed to getting the work done.  Secondly, we want to address the Senate's longstanding concerns expressed through the resolution process about our accrediting agency that were affirmed by the US Dept of Education.  For all of us, it's important that we focus on helping CCSF complete the long list of tasks that they must accomplish, and I'm personally grateful for all the offers of help from faculty leaders around the state to bring their expertise and processes to our colleagues at CCSF.  We will be calling on you in the next few months.

The Senate is actively working to support all the colleges in meeting the accreditation standards and our Title 5 responsibility through the 10+1 where #7 states that senates have the obligation to make recommendations regarding "faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self study and annual reports."  To that end, we have learned that the Association for College Business Officers is offering a workshop on September 20 at San Diego City College regarding Standard III.  If your college needs assistance with this particular standard on resources, please encourage your CBO and colleagues to attend this important event.  More information can be found here.

Legislation - Some of the more challenging bills of this legislative season are now two-year bills, which means we have more time to discuss the merits or concerns faculty have with the ideas.  SB 173 (adult education and noncredit) and SB 520 (online course partnerships with technology providers) are both two-year bills.  We continue to communicate our opposition to SB 440 (transfer) and AB 955 (two tier funding), both of which will probably be decided this year.  And because faculty have an interest in many different bills, we are developing a greater web presence for easier access to Academic Senate legislative information that should be available soon.

UC Definition of Intermediate Algebra - The Senate has several resolutions on hold while math faculty across the state continue to discuss the content of Intermediate Algebra, prerequisite mathematics courses for transfer math courses, and student success in basic skills courses.  UC contributed to the conversation this summer with a definition of Intermediate Algebra and policy on mathematics preparation for all students.  Please find that document attached here for your reference, and again, please share this information widely with your faculty. BOARS statement 

No-cost Mental Health Training Resources - Faculty responded well to a plenary session presentation a couple years ago on mental health of students.  Leaders in the state crafted the following message regarding support and training opportunities for all of us in this critical and sensitive area:

As many as one in five students suffer from a mental disorder that may threaten their well-being or academic performance. Training everyone on campus to identify, approach and refer students in psychological distress is an effective strategy for strengthening the safety net for all students. The start of a new school year is a great time to bring attention to this important issue, and remind everyone on campus about the importance of prevention and early intervention when it comes to student mental health.

Kognito gatekeeper simulations are designed specifically to address the training needs of the California community colleges by offering an online, research-proven and engaging program that is easy to provide to all faculty, staff, administrators, and students. There are now a total of six trainings available, focusing on three specific student populations: students in psychological distress, LGBTQ students, and student veterans. For more information about the trainings, visit their site by clicking here.

All California community colleges are eligible to receive no-cost training and technical assistance services (such as consultation and resources) from the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS), including the interactive online trainings provided by Kognito Interactive. These trainings and services are made available through the CCC Student Mental Health Program, a partnership between the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges funded through a grant from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). CalMHSA is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA administers programs funded by the voter approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) on a statewide, regional and local basis.

If your college is already using the Kognito trainings, now is a great time to remind everyone to complete the training. If your college is not already using the trainings, please contact CARS to get started. Call today to receive customized, no-cost training and technical assistance services for your campus at (855) 304-1647 or email us at SMHP-info@cars-rp.org. For more information, visit: www.CCCstudentmentalhealth.org.

Useful Links - As you begin this academic year, please note the following links to information and resources that may help you and your faculty [please add links to the following]:

Thanks for all you do for students every day.


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