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Academic Senate Newsletter

Tuesday May 3, 2011

Plenary Session

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We had a most successful Plenary Session, with 247 attendees. Judith Eaton, President of CHEA, was very well received as our opening keynote speaker. For the first time, we video recorded the keynote speech of hers (as well as the State of the Senate presentation) and they will be posted on our website soon. The faculty were also delighted to hear from Prof. Vincent Tinto who talked to us about student success in the classroom. The twenty breakouts and resolution voting included lively debates, as always! Presentation materials are now posted on our website, including articles from Drs Eaton and Tinto.

Congratulations to the newly elected Exec members (and thanks to all who threw their hats in the ring). The results of the elections were as follows:

  • President: Michelle Pilati
  • Vice president: Beth Smith
  • Secretary: David Morse
  • Treasurer: Wheeler North
  • Area A: Julie Bruno
  • Area D: Stephanie Dumont
  • North: Dan Crump
  • South: Kevin Bontenbal
  • South (one term): Michelle Grimes-Hillman
  • At large: Phil Smith

Our resolutions are now posted online and were recently sent to senate presidents. We urge senates to review them, as many of them recommend actions to local senates. In addition, the ASCCC honored Executive Director Julie Adams with a special resolution of thanks. (No, she is not leaving! This was just to honor and thank her).

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AA-T and AS-T Update

We have just distributed a detailed three-page update about the status of the degrees being developed; please read it and share it locally with those working on degree development. The Chancellor’s Office tells us that most colleges are in the process of submitting new degrees and they are approving new ones every day, so it appears colleges will be in compliance in the fall (by having some in place). We anticipate that while colleges will just have a few in place by September, they will continue to develop more and more as new TMCs are created during 2011-12. The process of developing some TMC may have caused some pressure as colleges anxiously awaited their release, but the process has been organic and in a couple cases, the need for more vetting time has resulted in better TMC developed with more input. We have found that the process is working well at getting input from both segments. We are meeting with as many groups as possible, to inform everyone and that outreach will be ramped up again in September.

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Curriculum News

A great deal has happened this year regarding curriculum: the prerequisites change, the new associate degrees and discussions about repeatability. The Curriculum Committee recently held regional workshops that were very well received. In addition, webinars on some topics are archived. Here is a summary about two current topics from Curriculum Chair, Beth Smith:

The Board of Governors will have a first reading in May of proposed changes to Title 5 that reduce the number of times that a student may re-take any course. Many of your colleges have already made changes to the number of times a student may take a course where an official symbol appears on his or her transcript (A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, FW, or W). The maximum number of times a student may take a course for apportionment is proposed to be three - no matter what symbol is recorded on the transcript, withdrawals included except for military withdrawal (MW). No timeline for implementation has been recommended at this time, and as soon as we know more about implementation requirements, we will forward information to you. Senates will want to review probation and disqualification processes and all intervention strategies used for increasing student success, and develop clear messages to students about the higher stakes now associated with taking any class.

Also under review, in separate but related conversations, are repeatable courses, most often offered in Physical Education, visual and performing arts, and some career technical education areas. The Senate is gathering input from faculty in these areas in order to inform probable changes and reductions in repeatability options. In order to protect programs and student development in these areas, the Academic Senate is working with the Chancellor's Office to develop as many curricular solutions and alternatives as possible. Curriculum committees will want to stay tuned over the summer and attend the Curriculum Institute!

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Student Success Task Group

SB 1143 was signed into law last fall and it required the Board of Governors to establish a task group to look at student success. The Academic Senate has four appointees and the group has been meeting monthly to address the requirements of the new law, including identifying:

1. Multiple measures and effective programs for assessing student success and completion;

2. Statutory and regulatory barriers to student success and completion;

3. Best practices for promoting student success and completion;

4. Alternative funding options;

5. The effective use of technology to promote, evaluate, and improve student success and completion.

Upcoming meetings will be June 8 in Los Angeles, July 13 (a retreat), and August 17. More information is available at: http://www.cccco.edu/ChancellorsOffice/TaskForceonStudentSuccess/tabid/1894/Default.aspx.  Meetings are public and open.

The group has started a website to solicit public input. Please provide your comments at:

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Upcoming Events

The registration for our annual Leadership Institute ends May 16; please be sure your college is represented. This event arms senate leaders with the foundation of senate authority.

The registration for the Curriculum Institute in July will end on June 13. There are so many new things happening regarding curriculum, you will want to be sure your college is present! The SLO Institute (July 14) will be abbreviated this year and will be held the morning before the Curriculum Institute at the same hotel; please check the website. The cost is only $40!

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This year the body of legislation affecting our colleges and academic and professional matters in particular is larger that usual. The Academic Senate took a position on some legislation at Plenary session (see resolutions) and the Executive Committee is taking additional positions based on standing positions. I recommend you use the FACCC website to track bills. Some senates assign the task to one senator: to pay attention to bills of interest. As you know, their status changes regularly.

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Thank you

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As my term comes to an end (June 30) I want to thank all the local senate leaders, the past and present Executive Committee members and the Academic Senate Office personnel for their incredibly hard work to ensure faculty empowerment, leadership and voice. I extend my very best wishes to Michelle Pilati and the Executive Committee for 2011-12. I will continue to help on the implementation of the AA-T and AS-T degrees as well as the Student Success Task Group, so I will not be completely gone. As Garrison Keillor said, “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”   :-)


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