Focus on Transfer: ADTs, UCTP Degrees, and Community College Bachelor’s Degree Programs

There has been much work regarding the transfer pathways for our students to four-year institutions over the last year. At its September 2017 meeting, the Board of Governors adopted a Vision for Success with specific goals, including “increasing by 35% the number of CCC [California community college] students system-wide transferring annually to a UC or CSU.” As guided pathway programs are considered in the structure of our institutions, transfer will continue to be a significant area of focus.

TOP Code Alignment Project and Impacts on Local Coding

If you have ever worked with Taxonomy of Program (TOP) codes before, you likely encountered frustration, either due to a lack of sufficient details about which programs would be appropriate to the code, or because there was no code that really fit the program. To address these challenges, the TOP Code Alignment Project developed a process to work with local colleges to aid in the identification of appropriate codes. This process engages discipline faculty in the local review of TOP codes while improving accuracy in all statewide data tracking systems.

Effective Participation in Governance: Policies and Practices

Colleges regularly examine their board and administrative policies to ensure that they are up to date and aligned with statute and regulatory changes. In doing so, the academic senate is consulted regarding establishing or changing any policy that falls within academic and professional matters—the 10+1—or other policies related to faculty as designated in statute such as faculty evaluations, faculty hiring, minimum qualifications, administrator retreat rights, and the appointment of representatives to college bodies.

Effective and Efficient Local Curriculum Approval Processes

At the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Spring 2016 Plenary Session, the delegates approved the paper Ensuring Effective Curriculum Approval Processes:  A Guide for Local Senates.   This paper was created to assist curriculum committees, faculty, and other interested stakeholders in streamlining local curriculum approval processes, and it contains a number of effective practices colleges can implement.

The Importance of Designated CTE Liaisons for Local Senates

While all curriculum in the California community colleges is created and approved through the same general process, career technical education faculty face numerous special circumstances with which general education faculty may be unfamiliar.  Many CTE courses lead directly to certification, employment, licensure, or registration. Creating a new CTE course, certificate, or program requires labor market data and approval of the regional consortia. CTE programs regularly hold advisory committee meetings with industry partners and are subject to program review every two years.

“Canned” Courses and Faculty Responsibilities

For years, many faculty members have relied on proprietary materials provided by publishers.  Ancillaries in the form of overhead maps, test banks, homework labs, and other supporting documents have been crucial for faculty in disciplines ranging from anthropology to women’s studies.  Recently, however, questions have begun to arise regarding the use of proprietary and publisher materials, especially those that seem to supplant the role of the faculty member in the creation of course content.  This issue became a topic of discussion for the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’

The Senate and Union Relationship: Understanding Their Roles and Working Together

Understanding the differing but sometimes intersecting roles of academic senates and collective bargaining units, or unions, can sometimes take some work, but doing so is essential to developing and maintaining a productive and collegial relationship between the two. Both bodies represent faculty—supporting, furthering, and protecting faculty interests. However, all too often the two bodies find themselves at odds with each other, disagreeing over purview.

A Small Victory for Us All: AB 1995 and Student Engagement, Inclusion, and Dignity

Late in September, a piece of legislation became law with little fanfare but with great implications for the humanity and dignity of some of our most at-risk students. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1995 (Williams), which opens the doors, literally, for homeless students to use on-campus shower facilities. Prior to this legislation, students could only use college shower facilities if they were enrolled in a physical education class.

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