Maintain Authority for Determining Basic Skills Coursework

Resolution Number: 
Assigned to : 

Whereas, The Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) work has confirmed that the majority of the California community college students need some form of basic skills coursework in order to be successful in higher education endeavors and that these students are largely students of color, immigrants, single parents, and other underserved populations;

Whereas, Successful basic skills programs rely heavily upon strategies and knowledge of developmental education research expertly crafted and informed by local population needs, which vary greatly within the California Community College System;

Whereas, Assembly Bill 1725 (1988) clearly indicates that faculty have the primary responsibility for curriculum, program review, and student success, yet some external organizations, grant funders, and Boards of Trustees members are imposing their own predetermined limitations on basic skills coursework (i.e., number of courses that can be offered prior to transfer); and

Whereas, Budget cuts have resulted in disproportionately high cancellations of noncredit and credit basic skills classes, summer basic skills programs, and first year experience programs, contrary to the well-documented effective practices necessary to provide an adequate foundation for student success;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that discipline faculty examine their own departments’ credit and noncredit basic skills programs and offerings with regard to their actual student populations and effective basic skills strategies, recognizing the important role of credit and noncredit basic skills development as essential to equitable outcomes for our diverse student populations;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges make clear to the Chancellor’s Office, the Board of Governors, and external agencies that attempts to dictate basic skills offerings coupled with disproportionate cuts to credit and noncredit basic skills work disenfranchises our diverse student population at the core and will permanently damage the future workforce and transfer populations necessary for California’s economic health; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with its partners (i.e., Chancellor’s Office, Chief Student Services Officers, Chief Instructional Officers, and Board of Governors) to make clear that attempts to dictate basic skills offerings are beyond their authority and are detrimental to the welfare of the students.

MSC Disposition: Local Senates, Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, CSSOs, CIOs

Status Report: 

This resolution establishes a position of the Senate that will be communicated with constituent groups as necessary.