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Academic Senate Newsletter

Wednesday September 22, 2010


A couple weeks ago, senate presidents and college vice presidents received a memo from Vice Chancellors Linda Michalowski and Barry Russell and me which provided a short update about the status of SB1440 and advised colleges to wait for further information before having any serious local curriculum discussions. Please know that official information is forthcoming in the next few weeks. While the bill has not yet been signed, it is expected to be and this will result in a significant change in how we think about some of our degrees, as well as an even greater change in what these degrees mean and do for students.

In the meantime, the Academic Senate has begun conversations internally with faculty including Articulation Officers, our Chancellor’s Office, and the CSU Academic Senate. We are drafting a proposal for a possible statewide response to SB1440 that would provide an option to local faculty and would encourage more coordination and a streamlined process. We plan to share these ideas by the end of the month. A project steering committee has yet to be formed, and that will be explained before long.

The basic idea is to convene intersegmental discipline faculty, coordinated through the C-ID process, to simultaneously determine what courses would compose both a California community college degree and be the best preparation in each of the most popular transfer majors (which is building on the work of LDTP and IMPAC). The recommendations of these groups will be vetted and if they are agreeable, would form the foundation of a statewide model which could be given fast-track approval and would minimize the local work needed in order to comply with SB1440. Following the proposed model major or area of emphasis would be optional, but would have the benefit of having had intersegmental discipline faculty vetting and would provide students and universities with some assurance of common preparation. There are many more ideas under discussion and this is only a very brief sketch, so we hope you will continue to be patient until more information can be prepared! I have given this same preliminary information to the CIO board and the Consultation Council. We think implementation need not be as cumbersome as it might first appear. We will not recommend 112 different solutions in each major---which likely would not benefit anyone. It is critical to remember that we are combining BOTH major preparation AND an associate's degree. We are convinced we can do both rather smoothly. As we mentioned in the memo, please send any questions to sb1440questions@cccco.edu

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C-ID and Your Role

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Senate presidents play a vital role as our conduit to discipline faculty and we very much appreciate of your help disseminating information regarding C-ID. Please encourage your faculty to visit www.c-id.net to sign up for our October 7 and 8 Discipline Input Group (DIG) meetings and our discipline listservs. C-ID provides a logical venue for discussion and vetting of activities related to SB 1440 – these listservs will ensure that your faculty don’t miss out. Stay tuned for further updates related to C-ID.

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Board of Governors (BoG)

1. The Academic Senate made an informational presentation at the BoG meeting (on September 13, 2010), about prerequisites and will present suggested Title 5 revisions at a future BoG meeting, after the implementation group meets again. Paul Steenhausen from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) also spoke to the Board about the LAO paper, Back to Basics: Improving College Readiness of Community College Students , and about his experience in the statewide Assessment Action Planning group, which concluded that having more appropriate prerequisites is one important strategy to encourage students to get the foundational skills needed. Their final report said, “After considerable debate, the group arrived at consensus on changing prerequisite validation regulation to only require content review for prerequisite validation, meaning statistical validation would not be required.” Their conclusion matches that of the Academic Senate resolution. Nancy Shulock has published several articles supporting the Academic Senate’s position. See:  Prerequisite Policy in the California Community Colleges  and How to up the odds of college completion.

2. The Academic Senate passed a resolution (13.06, S09) regarding the need to change the antiquated lab space allocation rules in Title 5, and I am pleased to report that after many months, the BoG has approved revising that section from Title 5. Thanks to last year’s Curriculum Committee and Fred Harris in the Chancellor’s Office for shepherding this through! This is another example of excellent collaboration between the Academic Senate and Chancellor’s Office.

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Academic Senate Website

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New and improved!

The Academic Senate launched its new website September 1, 2010, and the reactions are very positive! Special kudos to our Executive Director, Julie Adams and our Creative Director Rita Sabler for their tremendous work to improve our website. You’ll find new ways to search for topics and new content to support your local work. We’ll provide you with details at the Fall 2010 Plenary session and other events.

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Plenary Preview (November 11-13, Anaheim)

I am happy to announce our Fall 2010 Plenary Session opening keynote speaker: Sylvia Hurtado from UCLA. Professor Hurtado is a recognized scholar in the field of higher education. Her research has focused on issues of diversity and democratic practices in education. 

We will also feature general sessions on Accreditation and on SB1440 implementation.

You will soon begin receiving mailings with details about Plenary Session and area meetings. We look forward to seeing at least one representative from 112 colleges! Please be sure your college is there. Registration is now open on the website.

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This bill calls for a California Community College Task Group to identify metrics of student success. The bill was opposed by most constituent groups, but the Chancellor’s Office later modified the language and took a supporting position. It is uncertain now whether or not the bill will be signed, but regardless, the Chancellor has stated his intention to have a task group. The Academic Senate is following every discussion and will advocate for a very strong faculty presence.

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The Academic Senate is Here to Serve

We regularly receive questions from local senates in our office and welcome the chance to provide support. Please send questions to info@asccc.org and we will route them to the best person to respond. The Executive Committee members and our Relations with Local Senates Committee also arrange to visit senates. If you would like someone to visit your college, please complete the Request Service form.

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Best Wishes In Closing

As our three colleges on the quarter system join the rest of us in starting the new year, the Academic Senate sends best wishes to all local senates for a productive 2010-11.


Jane Patton, President
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges

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