State of Basic Skills Instruction in California Community Colleges

Basic Skills Committee

The 1998 basic skills survey of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges' Basic Skills Ad Hoc Committee found among the colleges much variation in practices but many similar problems developing strong basic skills instruction. Some common challenges facing basic skills instructors include classes that are too large, lack of adequate funding, ineffective assessment tools, inadequate research, lack of qualified reading instructors, problems coordinating programs, and insufficient faculty development opportunities. In spite of these challenges, many colleges have developed exemplary programs that stand as models. Based on these successes, a number of recommendations for good practice have been made for local senates to consider as they recommend policy for student success, planning and budgeting, curriculum, and other academic and professional matters.