Each year, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges appoints hundreds of faculty members from across the California Community Colleges system to serve on statewide committees for the ASCCC, such as Curriculum, Standards and Practices, Part-Time, or Relations with Local Senates. Other appointments can be to Chancellor’s Office advisory groups like those for online education or guided pathways. Both part-time and full-time faculty can serve in many ways. Faculty service not only benefits the ASCCC and the system’s students but also brings opportunities for appointees to share their voices and collaborate with colleagues across California. The ASCCC’s commitment to equity and antiracism requires that the organization appoint a diverse group of faculty members to committees and workgroups. The ASCCC wants to support and elevate voices of faculty that have not been heard.
Especially in this time of crisis, faculty need to feel connected. Taking on yet another obligation might seem difficult but service to the ASCCC, although it is hard work, can be restorative. Statewide service will expand one’s views and provide a support structure of faculty who share the same passionate commitment to students. The work can invigorate and inspire faculty to make a change both statewide and locally.
The following statements are testimonials from members of the Relations with Local Senates Committee regarding their experience serving statewide and what it has meant to them.
HOSSNA SADAT AHADI
Assistant Professor, Counseling
Relations with Local Senates Committee Member 2020-2021
This academic year, 2020-2021, I joined the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Relations with Local Senates Committee. I am elated to have been selected to join the committee. Serving the ASCCC has empowered me as a faculty member to engage in local and statewide commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have also seen the impact of my statewide involvement in my role as a faculty member and counselor at Palomar College. I was recently selected to be part of a new subcommittee titled Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Competency that my campus academic senate established. I am incredibly proud of Palomar College for making transformational change as it relates to antiracism, racial equity, and social justice education. With exceptional leadership from my campus, faculty are supported in their trailblazing efforts.
I have also learned a lot from other faculty members from various California community colleges. Being part of the Relations with Local Senates Committee has been exciting as we have worked to develop exemplary practices for eradicating inequities locally and statewide. During the Fall 2020 ASCCC Plenary Session, I co-presented a virtual breakout session titled “Anti-Racism Best Practices for Student Services Educators,” and I co-authored a Rostrum article in November 2020 titled “Decolonizing Your Syllabus, an Anti-Racist Guide for Your College.” In December 2020, I was accepted into the Open for Anti-Racism inaugural cohort for the Anti-Racism Teaching Initiative for California community colleges. I am also the founder of two affinity groups on my campus, Empowered Women and Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. I will continue to elevate and validate students and faculty agencies relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I encourage other faculty to get involved with their local and statewide senates to systemically transform community colleges.
HOWARD L. ESKEW, JR.
Associate Professor, Business and Accounting
San Diego Mesa College
Guided Pathways Liaison 2018-Current, Relations with Local Senates Committee
My remembrance of arriving at my first plenary was that my mind swirled with excitement and then concern as I quickly realized the impact of being a part of an organization that has such a tremendous impact on one of the largest education systems in the nation. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the work and by being surrounded by such a large body of dedicated individuals who see their roles not only as educators, but also as impassioned agents of change. As I met and talked with colleagues from across the state, I began to appreciate all of the great work that informs and transforms the system to best serve students. As a result, I quickly realized I wanted to serve my community through statewide service.
My first experience with statewide service resulted from becoming the guided pathways liaison for my college, San Diego Mesa College. Service in this role includes consulting with and communicating to my local senate leaders to ensure faculty participation and voice is present. Additionally, liaisons work to generate support for their campuses’ guided pathways efforts. I also communicate opportunities to participate through the ASCCC in statewide workgroups, committees, and task forces as well as professional development opportunities offered in relation to guided pathways. It is a real privilege to serve in a capacity that bridges my local campus with the ASCCC and to lead in these transformational efforts.
This year I also have the honor of serving on the Relations with Local Senates Committee. Our team is an exceptional group of colleagues who engage in challenging dialogue to broaden and deepen our collective understanding of the critical issues facing colleges today. We use this understanding to innovate, create, and develop different mediums that inform and support the ASCCC.
This opportunity for service has changed how I look at my role as faculty. My service continuously challenges me to listen well, reflect more, and to be a stronger voice in my roles as educator, advocate, and support to my colleagues and students. Serving at the statewide level provides an appreciation and understanding of the importance of playing an active part in shaping the community college system. Each faculty member has the ability to make a positive impact on the process and make the system the best it can be for everyone, and especially for students. I hope to continue service at the statewide level and encourage everyone to also consider becoming an active part of the process.
HOW CAN YOU SERVE AT THE STATEWIDE LEVEL?
Fill out the Faculty Application for Statewide Service on the ASCCC website. Tell the ASCCC all about your experience and what you are interested in. Being new to the system or being part-time are not impediments; we want your input. ASCCC committees are usually formed over the summer, so check your school and personal email during that time to see if you have been nominated for a committee. If you are not, do not give up: the ASCCC appoints faculty throughout the year. Just remember to fill out the application each year.
We hope you will consider serving as an ASCCC appointee next year.
1. The form is available at https://asccc.org/content/faculty-application-statewide-service.