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Academic Senate Newsletter

Monday January 25, 2010

Happy New Year!

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While 2010 has only been with us a few weeks, a great deal is happening already. . .

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Budget and State of the State

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Since the Governor’s proposed budget was released and his state of the state address, there has been a great deal of speculation about how community colleges are being viewed and treated and where things will end up (which of course no one knows). The January proposed budget only marks the beginning of the six-month period of debating and negotiating. How it ends up this summer may or may not resemble what we’ve seen this month.

At the recent Consultation Council, the Vice Chancellor reminded us of the statewide budget priorities, which are: 1) restoration of categorical cuts, 2) COLA, and 3) growth. Those priorities will be the foundation of advocacy efforts from the Chancellor’s Office and these are their primary talking points. The Academic Senate representatives continue to advocate for our students’ needs at every opportunity, and we are finding new opportunities everyday (e.g., new advocacy days and appointments with legislators each month).

In the coming months, local senates will do well to maintain a close contact with college presidents and budget officers and to read the ongoing memos that come from Sacramento, so that faculty have the same information as the others around the table in college and district budget discussions. The FACCC website is also a good resource.

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EAP Clarification

You may recall that the CSU system has developed the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in an effort to alert high school juniors (voluntarily) about their readiness for university level English and mathematics, thereby encouraging them to correct any weaknesses during their senior year. CSU has implemented the project over the last five years. In 2009, the California Community Colleges (CCC) began collaborating with CSU so that colleges may choose to use the EAP results to waive further assessments into English or mathematics when a student demonstrates readiness for college level work with their performance on the EAP. (Note that this is a local decision that should be made by the senate/curriculum process, not by others).

At the Fall 2009 Plenary Session, we adopted two resolutions, which identify some issues with the EAP in its present form. Their purpose was to identify for the implementation committee and local senates some areas that need improvement. We have two Academic Senate appointees to the CCC implementation committee.

We have heard that some faculty may have interpreted our resolutions to suggest that the Academic Senate is in opposition to EAP – which was not the intent and was not in the language of either resolution. The Senate encourages local senates to discuss and determine whether the EAP would be useful and beneficial for their students as an assessment waiver.

To clarify: community colleges that adopt the EAP as a waiver for college level English and mathematics are not eliminating assessment testing for mathematics and English levels prior to college, but rather are recognizing EAP as a waiver for those students whose score on the EAP indicated college ready.

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Equity and Diversity Institute

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The Academic Senate Equity and Diversity Action Committee has planned an excellent institute for February 19-20 in Orange County. The sessions will include campus climate, hiring practices, effective teaching and other relevant topics. It’s not too late to register for the event. We hope you will send faculty representatives and especially remind faculty who serve on your local diversity committees about this event. Please go to www.asccc.org to register (by January 26) or to see the program.

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Catalog Rights and Program Discontinuance

Given the budget situation, some colleges are reducing or even eliminating programs and a couple of local senates have asked about the requirements as they may affect students in the pipeline in a program. Stephanie Low has issued the below statement:

In response to your question about the regulatory requirements for program discontinuance, title 5 section 55130 (d) notes that a credit program is approved “until the program or implementation of the program is discontinued or modified in any substantial way.” This part also gives authority to the Chancellor’s Office to terminate the approval of a program. I have not found in title 5 any other reference to program discontinuance or termination nor to continuing to offer courses to students after a program has been discontinued.

Please refer to Legal Opinion 09-04 in regard to catalog rights for students who need to complete an educational program.

Accreditation Standard II 6(b) advises the institution to “… make appropriate arrangements so that enrolled students may complete their education in a timely manner …” after a program is eliminated or requirements are significantly changed. District policy might determine how long the course(s) must be offered and include provisions for substituting courses for program requirements.

Stephanie Low, Dean, Curriculum & Instruction
Academic Affairs Division, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office


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Resolutions to be Debated in April

While January is the month most people make resolutions, the Academic Senate makes them in the Fall and Spring at our Plenary Sessions. There we debate and vote on important issues and the results become the official adopted positions, which then guide our future work. For example, in the last few years, the delegates determined our position on the English and mathematics graduations levels and defined what an AA versus an AS are.

Local senates will want to ensure ample time is allowed to get campus-wide input and encourage local debate. You may want to put a placeholder on your early April senate agendas for discussion about the resolutions that will be sent to you during March. However, some “referred” resolutions that are particularly provocative will return to Spring Plenary for debate so senates can already be discussing them. For example, Resolution S09 10.11 “There is no equivalent to an associate degree in MQs ” suggested that we recommend to the Board of Governors that there is no equivalent to the associate degree for disciplines in which a master’s degree is not generally expected or available and that an associate degree is the minimum educational qualification required for all faculty members in these disciplines.

The upcoming Rostrum will address a number of the issues that will be debated, so reading it (and some of the recent past Rostrums) will also help you prepare for the voting on these and other topics. Senate presidents will receive all the pre-session resolutions around the last week of March, so please plan on discussion time in your senates.

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C-ID (Course Identification Numbering System)

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C-ID is currently vetting descriptors in Accounting, Communication Studies, History, and Sociology for review - with the intent of having the descriptors reviewed by February 7 and finalized by the end of February. Faculty input is necessary for the success of C-ID ---so please encourage your faculty in the listed disciplines to sign up and offer their feedback as soon as possible. Please refer any questions to C-ID's faculty coordinator, Michelle Pilati, at mpilati@riohondo.edu .

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Good news: Credit by Exam and CTE “Residency requirements”

The Academic Senate adopted several resolutions in the last few years recommending that we encourage colleges to remove the so called “residency requirements” that many colleges impose on secondary students who successfully complete courses that have articulation agreements with colleges, typically in career technical education programs. The Academic Senate-led initiative, Statewide Career Pathways: School to College Articulation has developed the infrastructure to increase articulation, so that qualified students do not have to repeat course content. The Chancellor’s Office just released the below statement, which is a happy bit of news.

Dear Colleagues,
As many of you are aware, implementation of SB 70 has resulted in a great deal of work between the Chancellor’s Office and the California Department of Education to promote Career Technical Education pathways for California students. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has been involved in significant efforts to articulate secondary and community college CTE courses, with the result that many high school and ROP students are completing coursework that enables them to earn Credit by Exam for articulated community college courses.

In order to apply for Credit by Exam, current regulations require that a student be “enrolled in good standing” at the institution. Some community colleges have interpreted this to mean that a student must complete 12 units at the community college in order to be determined to be “in good standing.” While there is currently nothing to preclude a college from adopting that policy, I want to clarify that there is nothing in current law or regulations that requires it. A student who enrolls at the college can be considered “in good standing” until the student’s actions or performance result in loss of “good standing” status. There is no requirement in Title 5 that local policies require any units to be completed before the awarding of "credit by exam.”

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has held discussions with CACCRAO representatives as well as CTE administrators from colleges and the Chancellor’s Office to explore ways to improve the transition of secondary CTE students into community college programs. These discussions will resume and further refinements in this area, including possible regulatory changes, may be proposed. You will be further advised and consulted as these discussions move forward.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Linda Michalowski, Vice Chancellor, Student Services and Special Programs
California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Email: lmichalo@cccco.edu


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CB 21 Coding Workshops

The Academic Senate is holding nine regional meetings to support faculty as they work on the CB- 21 coding of basic skills courses. We remind you that it is critical for the discipline faculty to determine the correct code for their courses, as only they know their curriculum. You can find information at http://www.cccbsi.org/pizza-and-cb21 . The deadline for all courses to be re-coded is March 1st. Please share this information with basic skills faculty.

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The California Nisei College Diploma Project

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At the last Board of Governors meeting, the Board learned about the California Nisei College Diploma Project and efforts underway to honor former students in the California Community Colleges System that were unable to complete their studies due to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Chancellor’s Office is working with Assembly member Furutani’s office and the California Nisei College Diploma Project to inform community colleges that want to identify, conduct outreach, and honor their Nisei former students. Several colleges (e.g., Sierra, San Mateo and San Francisco) have already honored former students. Local senates may want to consider hosting similar ceremonies. The Board of Governors January agenda listed the numbers of Japanese-American students that each college had enrolled in 1941.

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Accreditation Update

I will send you an update about recent attempts to improve accreditation processes at the system level in a separate email.

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In Closing...

The Executive Committee is very busy planning our many upcoming events and working with our many committees. We look forward to seeing you at our area meetings in March and at the Plenary Session in April.

Jane Patton, President
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges

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