Occupational Education Issues


Firstly, I would like to use this article to introduce myself to some of you, and to explain my new role to others. Currently, the Executive Committee does not include an occupational faculty member. However, the Executive Committee feels strongly that the interests of occupational faculty throughout the state are best served when the chair of the Senate's Occupational Education Committee is an established Executive Committee member. During discussions regarding whether to appoint an Executive Committee member or an occupational education faculty member from the field, the Executive Committee felt that an Executive Committee member would immediately focus the attention of the President and the Executive Committee on the many rapidly changing occupational issues. I am honored and excited to serve as the chair of the Occupational Education Committee for 2001-02. As many of you know, I have been the chair of the Senate's Technology Committee for three years and have developed a solid working relationship with the Chancellor's Office. I hope I can use this base of experience to successfully represent occupational issues at the political level. And I have a fine team of occupational faculty to keep me updated on specific details.

Joining me this year on the Occupational Education Committee are:
Jane Thompson (Business, Solano College)
Mark Lieu (ESL, Ohlone College)
Beth Regardz (Digital Media, Cabrillo College)
Steve Brown (Drafting Technology, College of the Redwoods)
Warren Carter (Broadcast, Golden West College)
Shaaron Vogel (Nursing, Butte College).
It promises to be a dynamic team.

The Committee is currently working on three position papers carried over by last year's committee and hopes to bring them to a plenary session for adoption this year. As you are well aware, Senate position papers are the ideal vehicle to bring issues to the attention of a wider audience. Last spring a breakout session gathered input for a paper on ED>Net and this paper is currently being revised. Over the summer the Committee has been working hard with a paper on WIA, RWPEDA and One-Stops. It hopes to bring a draft for input to the Fall Plenary Session in Cerritos in November. The third paper will consider best practices in CalWORKS.

One of the major issues at the level of the Board of Governors is last year's initiative on "A Career Ladder Approach to Workforce Development." This effort was spearheaded by board member Amy Dean and included then Senate President Linda Collins in the writing team that produced the framing document. This year we expect to work with implementation and funding plans as the Chancellor's Office and the Board of Governors consider them. An update on this Initiative will be presented at the 2001 Fall Plenary Session.

Building on the outstanding success of last year's Occupational Faculty Leadership Seminar in Santa Cruz the Committee is currently considering plans for this year, including the possibility of both a North and a South venue, and appropriate dates and content. Watch our website as details develop.

The Committee is also monitoring work at the Chancellor's Office Workforce and Economic Development Advisory Committee (WEDAC) on which there are six Senate appointees and ED>Net on which there are, for the first time, three Senate appointees.

And finally, one of the most important goals of this year's Committee is to elect an occupational faculty member to Executive Committee in the spring elections. Please contact me if you are interested in running for election, or if there are other issues I can help you with.