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Academic Senate Newsletter

Monday February 27, 2012


Dear Local Senate President -

Greetings! It has been an extremely busy month and there seems to be a wide array of things happening. Included in this update you will find a variety of information from ACCJC, the latest on the implementation of the Student Success Task Force recommendations, draft Title 5 language pertaining to “instructional materials”, and other important information. Note that you can find a copy of all updates here.

To those of you who attended our 2012 “Academic Academy”, we thank you for your participation and hope you returned to your college with a vision for your local student success agenda. The Academic Senate has hosted institutes on varied topics over the past few years, focusing on topics such as diversity, counseling, basic skills, and teaching. As this multi-purpose event needed a permanent name, we opted for “Academic Academy”. This year’s theme was “For the Common Good: Foundations for Success” and explored what we are doing and can do with respect to increasing success locally. This event was one of the Senate’s efforts to distribute effective practices in response to the SSTF recommendations. We recently distributed a survey to identify what programs you have that are facilitating student success – if you have not responded, we hope you will take the time to do so very soon. Student Success Survey

We’re keeping a close watch on everything that is happening at the state level and will continue to provide updates as needed.

Have a great week,

Michelle Pilati, Ph.D.


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Accreditation Updates

Earlier this month, we held our Accreditation Institute in collaboration with ACCJC. The event was advertised to, and intended to serve, both faculty and administration. In the opening session, it appeared that approximately half the attendees were administrators. The diversity of attendees served to enrich the dialog in the varied breakouts. Barbara Beno, Susan Clifford, and John Nixon (now Associate Vice President of ACCJC) were all in attendance, as well as a number of Commissioners. We hope to continue the collaboration that began with this event.

We have been contacted by, and are continuing to reach out to, the newly sanctioned colleges. Several have reported that the sanctions were a consequence of problems that the college was aware of and, in some instance, already working towards fixing. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance.

A number of important documents were recently distributed by ACCJC. In case you did not receive them, we are providing them to you here:

1. 2/15 – Invitation for Hearings on Accreditation Standards and Practices
2. 2/17 – Announcement of Commission Vacancies and Request for Nominations/Applications
3. 2/24 – ACCJC SLO Reporting Requirements

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SSTF Implementation

As noted in an earlier message, two bills have been introduced that relate to implementation of the SSTF recommendations. You’ve seen two drafts of what is now Senate Bill 1456 (Lowenthal), modifying a variety of Educational Code sections relating to matriculation. The legislative process is one that takes time and we are early in the process, so further changes are anticipated. The other bill, Senate Bill 1062 (Liu) , focuses on making changes related to the Chancellor’s Office, including permitting Title 5 changes to be made without Department of Finance approval and modifying the process for appointing vice chancellors and assistant vice chancellors.

It has been announced that various “workgroups” will be formed to address other aspects of the recommendations. Only one such workgroup has been announced at this time. If you are interested in serving, please be sure to fill out our Application for Statewide Service.

In some instances, implementation tasks will be given to existing groups. The ARCC Advisory Committee, for example, will be tasked with details of the “scorecard” which will ultimately consist of data obtained from ARCC.

Tangentially related to the SSTF recommendations (specifically, Chapter 1) is the development of assessments for use by K-12. As explained at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cc/ “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed through a state-led initiative to establish consistent and clear education standards for English language arts and mathematics that would better prepare students for success in college, career, and the competitive global economy. The California State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the standards on August 2, 2010.” Now that California has adopted the CCSS, efforts are underway to develop assessments to measure achievement of the new standards. California is part of the “SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium” and, from time to time, we are asked to review assessment-related materials. As we receive requests to review materials, we will share these with you. Thus far, we have received such requests with very little turn-around time. We have no control over this; we hope some faculty will be able to respond.

We’ll push out new information as it becomes available and have been archiving all SSTF-related materials on our website. Additional Webinars will also be scheduled as needed.

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Legislative Update

February 24 was the final date for the introduction of legislation. We’ll be watching all the bills that fall within the “10 + 1” through the legislative cycle. A topic that has had a lot of attention over the past two years is textbook affordability. A recent hearing served as a follow-up to a 2008 report on the topic Affordability of College Textbooks that concluded that most faculty turn in their textbook orders late and don’t consider costs when selecting a text. One would hope that was not true then and is even more untrue today. I mention this as there are now two bills that are intended textbook affordability by establishing the “California Digital Open Source Library” (Senate Bill 1053, Steinberg) and facilitating the development or selection of open source materials to be used by California faculty (Senate Bill 1052, Steinberg).

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Proposed Title 5 Change – Instruction Materials Regulations

Late last academic year an issue emerged related to “fees” charged for access to online materials. This resulted in the establishment of a taskforce to review the relevant regulations and code. There will be a first reading of the proposed changes to Title 5 at the March Board of Governor’s meeting (BoG Agenda Item 2.1).

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See you at Session!

This year’s theme, “Better Together: Equity, Access, and Success”, celebrates a year of new collaborations and importance of considering equity, access, and success simultaneously. This year's Spring Plenary Session will be held at the San Francisco Airport Westin and will be held in tandem with the CIO Spring Conference.

April 19, 2012 - April 21, 2012

Deadline to Register: April 5, 2012

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