The Community College Initiative: Make An Informed Decision

In February when we go to the polls to vote in the primary election, we will also be voting on the most important community college proposal we have seen in our careers: The Community College Initiative, formally known on the ballot as The Community College Governance, Funding Stabilization, and Student Fee Reduction Act. Since passage of Proposition 98 in 1988, several reforms have moved California's community colleges away from a secondary toward a postsecondary educational structure.

Change is in the Air

As I write this, we are in the month of August, and there is a clear feeling of change in the air. On a national level, there is a growing intensity surrounding the upcoming presidential campaign, even though the actual election is over a year away, and a common theme among the candidates for the presidency is one of change. Much closer to home, our System has a new (interim) Chancellor, and I am writing an article for the first time as President of the Academic Senate.

What Have I Done to Myself?

So you woke up this morning and it suddenly hit you that it wasn't a bad dream, that you really were elected to be the Academic Senate President of your college. And you realize that you've been in denial since that happened, thinking rosy thoughts about how to promote change and make the world a better place.

And now the reality of it all is sinking in.

You realize that your calendar is no longer a thing you possess; rather it possesses you like a rabid anaconda with epilepsy.

Faculty Involvement in the Legislative Process. or Professor Smith Goes to Sacramento

Legislators receive ideas for bills from many sources -it could be a concern that they know about personally, it might be from a constituent, or it could be from a lobbying group. Education is a "hot button" in politics-everyone wants an educated citizenry and work force. Many bills are introduced each session that deal with education-most of them seem to be about K-12 issues, but a good number overlap the K-12 and higher education segments, and many of them deal with higher education issues exclusively.

A System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC)

At our colleges, curriculum committees make decisions about curriculum, and their recommendations are presented to the boards of trustees. The primary responsibility and authority for curricular recommendations rest with the faculty. At the state level, however, discussions in the System Office (which is responsible for overseeing and carrying out various Title 5 and Education Code mandates pertaining to curriculum) have been held typically with little or no input from faculty.

There are New Possibilities to Our Perennial Problems: Let's Get Radical!

As vocational faculty we continually adjust our curriculum to the latest standards in industry to ensure that our courses are up to date. In addition, we vocational faculty must strive to keep up with the latest developments on our own campus, meet with our advisory boards to respond to their concerns, try to follow current legislation, and find and keep funding mechanisms. Are there new possibilities to our perennial problems?

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