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Academic Senate Newsletter

Tuesday September 4, 2012

Dear Senate Presidents

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Welcome back! As is often the case, things really did not slow down for us this summer. In addition to the events we always see many of you at—the Faculty Leadership and Curriculum Institutes—we had excellent attendance at the “Train the Trainer” events held last month for counseling faculty. These most recent events focused on counseling about the AA-T and AS-T degrees. We’re pleased to now share the resources that were developed with everyone, available at www.sb1440.org. Resources from both Leadership and Curriculum are available at www.asccc.org.

While there are over a dozen general happenings to report out on at this time, I’ll just point out the few most noteworthy items. If you do have questions about any state level issues, please feel free to use our general E-Mail, info@asccc.org, and your question will be routed to the appropriate party.

We’re in the midst of preparation for our Fall Plenary Session (November 8 – 10 in Irvine) and have selected the theme “The Transformation of Education: Evolution, Not Revolution.”  You’re invited to find irony in the theme as the impact of the November elections on our colleges could very well be revolutionary.  We’re pleased to share that the first day of Plenary is being held in conjunction with the Chief Student Services Officers and are looking forward to working with them.

I’m anticipating – and bracing myself for – an eventful year. I hope the term is starting off well for all. Those of you who are not back yet, have a few more weeks of fun for the rest of us.

Michelle Pilati, President

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Stay Informed

Some of you may already have noticed that we have modified the functionality of our listservs, allowing you to sign up and remove yourself from our various listservs. Local Senate Presidents are encouraged to sign up for the Local Senate President list. You can sign up for any of the Senate’s listservs, including the discipline listservs used for C-ID and TMC information. Note that these are not two-way listservs:  only the Senate can post to them. We have kept them one way so that you all are not inundated with messages from other sources. 

Other listservs you may want to consider signing up for include:

“Today’s News”. The Chancellor’s Office sends out “Today’s News,” a compilation of news stories about community colleges that is produced Monday-Thursday. These messages can be accessed at here and if you subscribe to the @CalCommColleges Twitter feed, you will be notified when the site has been updated each morning and a link is provided. To be added to the listserv and receive it by email, you would need to send a request to Gary Alexander.   

CCLC. Information about CCLC is available at www.ccleague.org. CCLC is the organization that represents your college presidents and board members. Sign-up for updates here.  

Faculty with an interest in advocacy should consider becoming a member of FACCC. Learn more about this organization at www.faccc.org.

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Get Involved

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While most appointments have already been made for our various standing committees, we are still actively seeking faculty for a wide array of other state-level activities. The level of commitment varies widely, as do the skills and experience needed to serve. Efforts to provide higher education input on K-12’s “Common Core” are currently underway and often involve a one-time review of materials. Please submit your interests and expertise to us. More information is available on our website.

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Emerging Issues in Distance Education

There’s an interesting mix of things happening with respect to distance education (DE). At the same time that reactions to DE abuses are leading to an increased focus on rules relating to state authorization and last date of attendance, interest is increasing in how massive open online courses (“MOOCs”) can be used to increase access to education. A related development, consistent with the “completion” agenda, calls to find more ways to award students’ credit for past experiences.

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The accreditation standards are currently under review and public comment is encouraged. More information can be found at www.accjc.org. The Consultation Council has been discussing the topic of accreditation and may be convening a task force to explore the reasons behind the many sanctions in California.

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November Elections

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What can and should local senates do regarding the upcoming elections and, more specifically, propositions that they want to take a position for or against? We’ve had questions from many of you regarding the taking of positions and what local faculty can and can’t do. Education Code §7054 prohibits the use of tax payer resources to advocate on behalf of measures or candidates, but does not prohibit informing others about the consequences of such and does not prohibit a body from taking a position. While the Senate has not yet formally adopted a position on Proposition 30, we expect to do so at our upcoming Executive Committee meeting.

In April, the UC Academic Senate called upon “The Regents of the University to support specific ballot measures and legislation that will increase state revenues and/or specific ballot measures and legislation that will prioritize funding for public higher education.” The Regents have now endorsed Prop 30. Similarly, the CSU Academic Senate and the CSU Board of Governors have endorsed the measure.

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Student Success Task Force

Implementation of elements of the Student Success Task Force Recommendations continues to move forward. While the focus thus far has really been on student services, expect a shift to instruction to begin in the months to come. Basic skills, professional development, and enrollment management are all areas in which meetings have been held, planned, or scheduled. Again, please be sure to indicate your interest if you wish to be involved.

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TMCs, C-ID, AND AA-T/AA-S Degrees

The anthropology and computer science TMCs are now available at  C-ID.net. Plans are being made to convene a number of disciplines during the fall term. To date, due to the timing of the legislation, C-ID descriptor development often followed TMC development. This lack of timing alignment has created confusion and issues around degree approval. As a consequence, all future TMCs will be developed after or concurrently with C-ID descriptor development.

The Chancellor’s Office will soon be sending out a communication regarding a new goal for TMC-aligned degree development. In the simplest of terms, colleges should be planning on developing TMC-aligned degrees in any discipline for which they currently offer a degree.

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Repeatability Again

Questions around repeatability persist, so the Academic Senate is planning to repeat what is becoming a regular practice of holding regional curriculum meetings. Stay tuned for dates and topics.

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Basic Skills

A reminder to all that the BSI reporting form is due on October 10, 2012. 3CSN is providing regional meetings to assist colleges in completing the forms. More information about these meetings can be found at http://3csn.org/. Questions can be directed to Barbara Illowsky, who is now working in the Chancellor’s Office overseeing basic skills.

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Attention CTE Faculty

Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development, Van Ton-Quinlivan, will be speaking at a number of local town-hall meetings to bring business and community leaders together with educators. The goal is to help bridge the skills gap and spur job creation by making community college workforce training programs even more responsive to California’s regional economies. Faculty presence is critical at these events. The complete schedule can be found here

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