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Faculty Hiring and Diversity: An Ongoing Collaborative Effort

ASCCC President
ASCCC Treasurer

Over the last several years, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has published various Rostrum articles on equitizing the hiring process, considerations for faculty diversification, and the impact of diversification on students’ academic outcomes and the student experience. One of the most important activities at a college or district is the hiring of new personnel. At many colleges, while hiring happens year-round, the hiring of full-time faculty tends to be focused in the spring term. While all hiring is crucially important for the functioning of a college, the hiring of faculty has perhaps the greatest overall impact, given the length of time that most faculty spend working at a college. Hiring full-time faculty and diversifying the faculty ranks have been priorities of the ASCCC for many years and recently have come more into focus given the increased recognition of the systemic racism that exists within and outside of the community college system.

In 2016, the ASCCC joined with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Advisory Committee to produce a manual regarding hiring and increasing diversification at the campuses in the California Community Colleges system, the EEO & Diversity Best Practices Handbook.[1] This handbook highlighted practices used at campuses and districts across the state to increase diversification among all hiring groups and listed nine effective practices that campuses should be using prior to hiring, during hiring processes, and after hires are made. Additionally, monies from the Equal Employment Opportunity funding were incentivized for districts that could demonstrate the implementation of the majority—and eventually six— of the nine effective practices listed. The ASCCC again worked with the Chancellor’s Office to disseminate this information, holding numerous regional meetings, presenting at conferences across the state, and generally engaging all stakeholders throughout the system in use of the handbook.

These efforts were embraced throughout the state, but, as with so many initiatives, momentum slowed as colleges met the requirements and were not required to move further forward. In 2018 and 2019, Assemblymember Jose Medina held hearings on both the University of California and California Community Colleges practices in diversifying faculty hiring, calling attention to the slow movement of these efforts.[2] In 2018, the CCC Chancellor’s Office, in partnership with the ASCCC, created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, which was charged with finding ways to continue to increase diversity at the system’s colleges in addition to a myriad of other changes to the system as a whole. The DEI Work Plan was approved by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges at its September 2019 board meeting and has driven much of the work of many of the system stakeholder groups since that time. The ASCCC responded to its assigned roles within the DEI plan by appointing faculty to serve on the DEI Implementation Task Force as well as partnering with stakeholders throughout the system.

One of the most crucial of these assigned tasks is in the area of diversification of faculty hiring. The examination of faculty hiring requires the review of the structural, human, and cultural factors that are part of the hiring process. To this end, the ASCCC developed a series of modules around all areas of the hiring process, including not only hiring itself, but recruitment and retention as well. Those modules, detailing model hiring practices and procedures, can be found at https://ccconlineed.instructure.com/courses/5733. While the ASCCC did much of the work in the creation of these modules, other stakeholder groups, including the Chief Instructional Officers Board, the Chief Student Services Officers Board, and the Association of Chief Human Resources Officers, also provided valuable insight and contributed to these courses around hiring. The courses went live in June 2020 and were the subject of numerous webinars and other activities, including presentations at the ASCCC Fall 2020 Plenary Session.

The modules are presented in order, with pre-hiring, hiring, and post-hiring all covered, and contain critical resources and other printable materials that can be used by hiring committees as well as local EEO officers. Each module begins with “Dialogue Principles, Guiding Questions, and Equity Framework” and then moves into “Model Activity, Resources, and Tools.” They are designed to be used by anyone serving on any hiring committee at any campus, college, or district. Similar to many ASCCC Resources, these modules are designed to be living documents and will be added to and refined over time.

Hiring processes and criteria have often failed to integrate effectively a minimum qualification that assesses how applicants can effectively serve students from diverse environments. The Student Senate for California Community Colleges, a partner in the statewide DEI work, is committed to working with the ASCCC and the system’s stakeholders to “create a campus climate of cultural awareness and respect for all students of color to feel welcome, safe, and free to express their opinions,” a strategy delineated in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success Diversity, Equity and Inc lusion Integration Plan.[3]

Increasing input from students in hiring processes can broaden perspectives regarding serving diverse populations. Student participation in hiring committees can be included in both formal and informal ways. Recently, the Association of Chief Human Resources Officers suggested several strategies to address student involvement. Recommendations include allocating resources to hire students to serve on hiring committees, hiring committee training for students, and suggestions on student involvement in various phases of the hiring process. In September of 2020, the Chancellor’s Office General Counsel issued a legal opinion around the use of students in recruitment and hiring efforts; while this question had been raised for several years, the promulgation of a legal opinion has provided colleges with an opportunity to change the dialogue around student participation.[4]

Additionally, the Chancellor’s Office EEO and Diversity Advisory Committee, now co-chaired by Deputy Chancellor Dr. Daisy Gonzales and ASCCC President Dolores Davison, will be revising the EEO & Diversity Best Practices Handbook; the timeline for dissemination to the colleges is tentatively set for the Spring 2021 term. The rollout of the new handbook, along with other materials for colleges, will be widely publicized and will occur at events across the stakeholder groups. The focus of the EEO and Diversity Advisory Committee is also changing: rather than focusing primarily on compliance, the intent of the committee is to focus attention on addressing systemic barriers that limit access to employment opportunities, issues of systemic and institutional racism and of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in the interests of what best serves the state’s colleges, students, and communities. All of these changes and practices cannot succeed without the concerted efforts of stakeholder groups across the system, and the ASCCC looks forward to continuing to engage faculty leaders in all areas around these efforts.

1. The EEO & Diversity Best Practices Handbook is available at https://www.cccco.edu/-/media/CCCCO-Website/About-Us/Reports/Files/2016….

2. A hearing on the California State University diversification efforts was scheduled for 2020 but has been moved to 2021 due to the pandemic.

3. The plan is available at https://www.cccco.edu/-/media/CCCCO-Website/Files/Communications/vision….
4. The legal opinion memo can be found at https://www.cccco.edu/-/media/CCCCO-Website/Office-of-General-Counsel/L…).

Ethnic Studies: Looking Back; Looking Forward

Southwestern College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee
ASCCC At-Large Representative
ASCCC South Representative

With the implementation of Assembly Bill 1460 (Weber, 2020), community college faculty are looking to system leaders for guidance. California State University’s general education breadth policy, formerly titled Executive Order 1100,[1] and the Guiding Notes for GE Course Review [2] provide details related to the new CSU General Education Area F, while the CSU Chancellor’s Office has provided a revised ethnic studies FAQs document.[3] While these details help to inform conversations, many colleges and faculty can also benefit from a historical perspective around the ethnic studies discipline as well as implementation guidance.


Since its inception in the late 1960s, the ethnic studies curriculum has rejected the historical typecasting of people of color as nameless side-players or victims of imperialism, colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy. Rather, ethnic studies frames people of color as agents of change and producers of knowledge, with rich intellectual traditions rooted in cultural practices, while challenging Eurocentrism within higher education. Diverse histories, experiences, and theoretical frameworks are valued, debated, and expanded in all sectors of society.

Students have been at the front of the demand for ethnic studies since as long ago as late 1966, when black students at San Francisco State College called for a comprehensive and culturallyresponsive black studies department. In November 1968, after two years of administrative inaction, black students, staff, teachers, and administrators went on strike, and the Black Student Union demanded a new Black Studies department with twenty full-time positions. The strike began on November 6 and within two days was endorsed by a coalition of Black, brown, Native American, and Asian-American students who had organized the Third World Liberation Front in the spring of 1967. The Third World Liberation Front added demands, including “a call for a School of Ethnic Studies, which would encompass the study of other racially oppressed groups” (Biondi, 2012, p.56).

The coalition groups argued that the college curriculum lacked relevance to their experience and histories as people of color in the United States. Students boldly argued against institutionalized racism and inequalities and condemned curriculum that promoted the “white savior” narrative that relegated “Third World peoples” to “faceless, dumb, creatures” who are acted upon rather than being “actors and doers who have played vital roles in shaping the course of American history” (Murase, 1976, p. 206). Students at SFSC rallied for increased funding and support for ethnic studies, for increased enrollment of students of color, for an education that reflected their history and experiences as people of color, and for an education that allowed them to serve their communities. The strike ended on March 20, 1969. The administration created a Black studies department and established a pioneering School of Ethnic Studies, later renamed the College of Ethnic Studies after expanding to include programs in Chicano, Asian-American, and Native American studies.


The year 2020 was a time of awakening to issues of race and inequity, as college faculty engaged in racial equity discussions and rediscovered the value of the ethnic studies discipline. Many positive pedagogical and practical effects support the proliferation of ethnic studies curriculum and graduation requirements. Ethnic studies courses bring to the forefront the complete histories of historically-marginalized groups that were overlooked or hidden, and students from all backgrounds who take ethnic studies courses are better equipped for real world diversity.

Approximately 80,000 community college students transfer to a CSU each year (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, n.d.). Expanding the ethnic studies curriculum improves student transfer, provides courses at a lower cost, and reduces unit accumulation by giving students the opportunity to take a course to fulfill the ethnic studies requirement at the lower division. In addition, emphasizing culturally-relevant curriculum at the lowerdivision
opens new doors of possibility for future study for all students, whatever the students’ educational and career goals may be.

Currently, Title 5 §55063, which contains the minimum requirements for the associate degree, does not include ethnic studies as a separate category or area, though the California Community Colleges Curriculum Committee is discussing revisions and expects to put forth draft language in spring 2021. At the Fall 2020 ASCCC Plenary Session, delegates passed two resolutions—9.04 and 9.05—in support of an ethnic studies graduation requirement. The resolutions define ethnic studies as an interdisciplinary and comparative study of race and ethnicity with special focus on four historically defined racialized core groups—Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latina/o Americans—offered through various disciplines including ethnic studies, Chicana and Chicano studies, Latina and Latino studies, African-American studies, Black studies, Asian-American studies, Native-American studies, Africana studies, Mexican-American studies, indigenous studies, Filipino studies, La Raza studies, and Central American studies.[5] The resolutions call for the ASCCC to work with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to support an ethnic studies graduation requirement while signaling strong support for ethnic studies as an essential curriculum.

Locally, community college articulation officers have submitted existing courses for review by CSU for consideration to meet the CSU Area F general education requirement. Faculty have begun revising and creating ethnic studies curriculum to meet the demands of CSU transfer students and any current or proposed local requirements for their local associate’s degrees. In addition, for many students, cross-listed or dual designator courses—identical course outlines with different course prefixes—will play a major role as colleges look to provide students with options to satisfy the CSU requirement prior to transfer while discussions begin around adopting an ethnic studies course prefix. Currently, course prefixes or designators—e.g. MAS for Mexican-American studies—vary at colleges throughout the system. Most colleges have not created an ethnic studies prefix, a component that the CSU will be looking for.

A proactive way to begin the necessary conversations is with the idea of a culturally competent curriculum, either as a pedagogical choice supported by professional development for teaching and assessment methods, or as a requirement for the course outline of record. In addition, local academic senate leaders and faculty should re-acquaint themselves with standards for placing courses into disciplines[6] and the minimum qualifications for teaching in a discipline as explained in the Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in California Community Colleges Handbook, colloquially called the Disciplines List.[7] Unfortunately, such discussions are hampered by the lack of ethnic studies faculty employed throughout the system, even though the Disciplines List has well-established minimum qualifications for ethnic studies faculty. However, the focus of the CSU’s ethnic studies core competencies on the four historically-marginalized groups creates the opportunity for community colleges to address the diminishment members of these groups have faced by encouraging hiring of ethnic studies faculty.

Faculty leaders should also review how their colleges allow a single course to meet multiple requirements for earning an associate’s degree, a practice often referred to as double-counting. Title 5 §55063 states that a single course may not be used to satisfy more than one general education requirement; however, a single course may be an option in more than one general education area. In addition, the same Title 5 section indicates that whether a student can double count a single course for more than one degree requirement other than general education “is a matter for each college to determine.” For example, College A may allow an “Introduction to Biology” course to fulfill both the natural sciences requirement and a requirement in the Biology ADT, while College B might not allow that double counting. This permissive language opens the door to college districts interpreting this language differently, which creates equity issues for students.


Local efforts to make progress in matters related to ethnic studies should start in the classroom with faculty looking for ways to infuse elements that emphasize the full experience of people of color in their disciplines. Numerous presentations and many Rostrum articles can be found on the ASCCC website to provide faculty with inspiration to make a shift to a more culturallyrelevant curriculum through an equity lens.

Academic senates can also begin to work toward progress in this area. Local senate presidents or curriculum chairs can agendize conversations using AB 1460 or the ASCCC resolutions as a beginning place. These bodies can discuss questions such as what the impact would be of adding an ethnic studies general education requirement to the local associate’s degree, what the impact of a graduation competency might be, and what might be the result of infusing cultural competency into course outlines.

Definition of terms is also important. Colleges should agree on definitions of terms like “culturally competent” and develop ways to apply that definition in policy and in the classroom. They should also review local policies and procedures for hurdles. The Chancellor’s Office has developed a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Glossary of Terms” to help support local discussions.[8]

Finally, interested faculty should seek out like-minded individuals with whom they can explore and pursue progress in this area. The saying “work with the willing” is crucial for the courageous conversations needed to add cultural competency and ethnic studies elements into the curriculum. Organizers might host book clubs on seminal texts in the field of ethnic studies or race or provide professional development opportunities for infusing cultural responsiveness or antiracism into the classroom. Attendees can then be invited to participate in further dialog. Local leaders and other faculty need to be identified to champion and advocate for a culturally competent curriculum.


Biondi, M. (2012). The Black Revolution on Campus. Berkeley: University of California Press.

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. (n.d.) Transfer. Retrieved from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website: https://www.cccco.edu/Students/Transfer#:~:text=Some%2080%2C000%20Calif….

Murase, M. (1976). Ethnic Studies and Higher Education for Asian Americans. In E. Gee (Ed.) Counterpoint: Perspectives on Asian America. Los Angeles: University of California, 1976.

1. The full CSU GE Breath requirements are available at https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/8919100/latest/
2. The Guiding Notes for General Education Course Review are available at https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/administration/academic-and-studen…
3. The CSU FAQ document is available at https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/diversity/advancement-of-et….
4. This section is adapted from “Our Call to Action: Ethnic Studies and the San Diego Community College District” by Candace Katungi, Ph.D. and Gloria Kim, Ph.D.
5. The text of the resolutions may be found at https://asccc.org/sites/default/files/Fall%202020%20Adopted%20Resolutio…
6. For further information on this topic, see the presentation “Assigning Courses to Disciplines” from the 2020 ASCCC Curriculum Institute, available at https://asccc.org/content/assigning-courses-disciplines-who-owns-course…, and the September 2016 Rostrum article by John Freitas titled “Who Gets to Teach That Course? The Importance of Assigning Courses to Disciplines,” available at https://asccc.org/content/who-gets-teach-course-importance-assigning-co….
7. The current document is available at https://asccc.org/sites/default/files/Minimum_Qualifications2018.pdf.
8. “The glossary is available at https://www.cccco.edu/-/media/CCCCO-Website/Files/Communications/vision…

Revisiting the 50% Law: Its Intent and Its Future

ASCCC North Representative, ASCCC Legislative and Advocacy Committee
Woodland College, ASCCC Legislative and Advocacy Committee
City College of San Francisco, ASCCC Legislative and Advocacy Committee

Full-time faculty in the California Community Colleges system live on two sides of California Education Code §84362, colloquially known as the 50% Law. This law requires that 50% of a district’s expenses be expended on salaries of cl assroom instructors. Classroom faculty are included on the instructional side of the law, while the other side includes support faculty such as counselors, librarians, tutorial coordinators, and any other faculty not actively in a classroom as well as other college operating expenses. While in theory this separation may be reasonable, the reality is that student success is not only about the classroom experience. With the outcome emphasis of the CCC Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success, guided pathways, and the Student-Centered Funding Formula, the system’s focus has shifted to personalized wrap-around services for students. These wrap-around services require a coalition of faculty to support each student, faculty from both sides of the 50% Law. The law may therefore be a fiscal and structural barrier to student support. The California Community Colleges system needs to finally have the difficult conversation about the 50% Law.


The intent of the 50% Law, to spend at least 50% of a district’s budget inside the classroom, has been essential in growing instructional programs at the California community colleges. Since the law’s enactment in 1961, many instructional faculty were hired and programs were created or expanded to meet increasing regional and local community needs, all the while community colleges strive to fulfill their missions. This structure brought opportunities for more students to pursue their educational goals. However, over time colleges have become aware that what happens in the classroom is only one part of the student journey to achieve these educational outcomes. Many students begin their education with great dreams of achieving a specific goal—such as a certificate, a degree, transfer, or skill-building—but are unable to complete without the various support systems colleges provide outside of the classroom. In sum, students need support inside and outside the classroom, including the support of non-instructional faculty members, to thrive and succeed.


Holistic student support has become the focus for many institutions. This focus requires a partnership between instructional and non-instructional faculty members to personalize support for each student, at scale, while also being mindful of equity implications. No single faculty member or group of faculty members can do this alone. This effort is, and should be, college-wide and system-wide. Through the guided pathways framework, each college is re-examining practices and structures to address student barriers. One of the identified barriers is the siloing of faculty into the dichotomy of instructional and non-instructional, thereby creating an artificial distinction. The planned synergy of this work cannot be done without equal support for all who are engaged in these efforts.


Counselors in particular were negatively impacted by the 50% law. Counselors, because they do not count on the instructional side of the law, are often the last hired and first fired when budget cuts are necessary. This issue is acute for part-time counselors. Many counselors, and often other resource faculty, are not eligible for tenure due to their categorical funding source outside of the general fund. Categorical funding is not as stable as general fund budgets, so colleges are reluctant to grant tenure to faculty not supported with general funds. In addition to this barrier, the role of counselors has changed in the past decade with the increased focus on counseling in multiple initiatives such as the Student Equity and Achievement Program. The guided pathways framework has also changed the role of counselors to a more laborintensive case management and success team model. This new focus has expanded the role of counselors, but the 50% Law currently creates a barrier to hiring needed counseling positions and providing them the protection of tenure.


The call to reexamine the 50% Law is not new, but previous efforts were unsuccessful. However, at this time, the system needs to formally start the conversation on alternatives and the viability of recommendations. In 2015, a workgroup on California Community Colleges regulations, consisting of appointed faculty and administrators and sanctioned by CCC Chancellor Brice Harris, came together to explore regulatory issues and make recommendations. The workgroup presented its proposal in 2016, and that proposal was updated in 2019 with “The 50% Law and the Faculty Obligation Number: An Updated Proposal.”[1] The workgroup found that instructional practices have changed since the creation of the 50% Law; they have become a shared activity between instruction and support with an increasing focus on services that actively support student success.

The workgroup affirmed the essential role of the 50% Law but called for a reconsideration of the percentage and a redefinition of the expenses considered to be instructional in nature to include costs that directly impact “instruction and learning.” These costs would include the following:

  • faculty working outside of the classroom but playing a direct role in the education of
  • faculty who provide educational services directly to students,
  • governance activities that directly impact the education of students, and
  • professional activities that pertain to curriculum.

These recommendations support the crucial role of non-instructional faculty members. The report clearly stated that “Counselors and librarians are faculty members who serve necessary functions for the instruction of students, whether inside or outside the classroom.” The workgroup also recommended that tutorial support and resigned time for instructional and curricular development and for academic senate governance activities should be included in the calculation. These recommendations have not received traction in the system.


This call for a reexamination of the 50% Law is not intended to negatively impact the hiring of faculty and spending for instruction. In fact, to achieve equity and faculty diversification goals, the system needs more focused spending on hiring faculty. Those faculty need to be supported with the right to tenure-track positions. The goal is to redefine instruction under a holistic student support model that reflects the realities of student needs for personalized support to achieve their educational goals. In this time when colleges are dismantling barriers, the system needs a re-examination of the 50% Law.

1. The original proposal may be found in the May 2016 Rostrum article “The 50% Law and Faculty Obligation Number:
A Proposal” at https://asccc.org/content/50-law-and-faculty-obligation-number-proposal. The updated proposal form 3=2019 is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zjUkO5P2LsFiFMy8zBaRsRiWYtIHxkUj/view?…

Taking Stock of CCCApply

Mission College, ASCCC Transfer, Articulation, and Student Services Committee
ASCCC South Representative, Chair, ASCCC Transfer, Articulation, and Student Services Committee

One of the most crucial moments in a student’s academic career is the application process. Aside from the personal stress students may face during this experience, they must also navigate through college applications that can often be complex and daunting and may unintentionally discourage them from attending college. This negative situation is often exacerbated for first-generation students who do not have familial support in navigating an application process. Fortunately for community college students, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has created an online tool that can effectively address many of these issues.

In 2011-2012, in conjunction with the CCC Tech Center, CCCApply was launched. This common online application is intended for use by all of the colleges within the California Community Colleges system and offers potential students the opportunity to apply for admission to any California community college through an online interface that facilities the entire process and encourages the completion of the application. Since the release of CCCApply, adoption by community colleges was “incremental” according to the Chance llor’s Office website (California Community Colleges, n.d.). However, despite this slow adoption, the online tool is now being used to some degree by the majority of colleges in the system and by the 2018 - 2019 academic year, averaged over two million applications from potential students (California Community Colleges, n.d.).

The popularity of this online tool is a testament to its necessity and an indication that CCCApply’s potential for long-term use and benefits is very strong. However, as can be expected with any project of such magnitude, issues with the online application program have appeared since its release that tend to limit its potential and effectiveness in assisting students with navigating through the application process. These issues—some of which were partly addressed through legislation—have led to various changes to the interface and application that have brought about some improvement; however, information from counseling faculty and others at California’s community colleges indicates that even more improvement can occur. Data from the Chancellor’s Office shows that the majority of students who apply through CCCApply ultimately enroll in community colleges. For this reason, this tool must work in a way that encourages completion of the application process.


The most common concern with CCCApply is the length of time to complete the application. The application takes an average of 45 minutes to complete, and the rate of abandonment is up to 14% in some districts (AB 3101, 2018). The lengthy application has led to several issues with access and completion rates. The first is the period in which students can fill out the application for a particular college for the term they wish to enroll, which can create problems due to a lack of consistent open enrollment dates for the application by district. For example, in one district, students who are interested in beginning in the summer or fall terms can begin the application starting February 1, but for another it can be January 1. This situation could be remedied by colleges aligning with the application windows of the California State University and the University of California. Doing so would allow for a streamlined process in terms of when students complete the applications and when high schools and adult schools can guide incoming students.


Access for dual-enrollment students is met with a barrier when the students decide to continue at their respective community colleges after high school. In order for their status to be changed from dual-enrollment to college student, they must complete the CCCApply a second time. Other access issues for returning students arise when a student is not enrolled for more than one semester or quarter. These students’ enrollment status can only be made active when they reapply.

An additional barrier occurs when a student has limited English language ability or when the application is not available in the student’s native language. In 2017-2018, 44.5% of CCC students identified as Hispanic (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, n.d.), but a Spanish application was not available until May 2020 when the CCCApply added a built-in application in Spanish (Donohue, 2020).


As campuses move toward implementation of meta-majors or grouped programs of study to fulfill the guided pathways recommendations, CCCApply has limitations in regard to how it is set up by a college and the data it can provide. For example, at some colleges, “meta-majors” is one field in the application, “program of study” is another, and there is an “educational goal” field as well. With three separate fields to complete, students are often confused and unsure of how the different areas are related, which causes data irregularities for the college.


In September of 2018, California passed Assembly Bill 3101 (Carrillo), which requires that CCCApply reduce the required questions to those necessary for federal and state mandates to improve the completion time and rate (AB 3101, 2018). The lack of clarity for the questions and required fields causes confusion for students, which has several implications. As all campuses move toward data-driven decision making and streamlining support and services through the guided pathways framework, the data that is used comes from the self-reported CCCApply. If students are struggling to fill out the application, then the data could potentially be incorrect. For example, at Mission College, 51% of students who complete CCCApply do not actually enroll. One common mishap at Mission College is that students mistake it for Los Angeles Mission College, which leads to students having to complete the application twice. Without reducing the completion time, colleges will continue to see students who do not enroll or continue to have challenges beginning their education. In addition, data will have several incongruencies, which can lead to a lack of support in the areas that need it most.

AB 3101 had a target implementation timeline of fall 2019. In June 2019, a noncredit application was launched, which allows for students wanting to take noncredit courses to complete a revised version within CCCApply and only answer questions that are relevant (Donohue, 2019). Also added in this version was the term ‘non-binary’ as an option in the demographics area for gender. In October 2019, CCCApply was launched as a mobile interface for smartphones. In March 2020, the pandemic delayed ongoing changes and improvements. Despite the challenges, improvements were made to the social security number question, providing more options and opportunities for students, particularly those without a social security number. Recently, other improvements made include linking the international student application to MyPath and providing more options in enrollment status for those who have attended adult school.

Despite the various issues that have arisen, CCCApply continues to show great potential in supporting students through the application process. The CCCApply Standing Committee continues its work in addressing and improving the online application and addressing concerns. Other factors such as the passage of AB3101 are clear indications that CCCApply will live up to its potential. However, in order to ensure that this improvement occurs and that the collective concerns of faculty are considered, faculty should stay informed on the developments regarding this important online tool. The CCCApply Public Documentation website developed by the CCC Chancellor’s Office is an excellent resource where the latest information can be accessed (CCCApply Public Documentation, n.d.). This site also provides a wealth of resources and information regarding the continued development of this important online tool.

Staying informed about CCCApply will help faculty to work with students to address the issues they may still be facing. As the CCCApply Steering Committee continues its work of improving the application, it must partner with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, local academic senates, and other relevant bodies to ensure that counseling and instructional faculty perspectives are included. Research has shown that the application process can be challenging and can serve to drive students away from colleges. With strong faculty input and continued improvement by the CCCApply Steering Committee, CCCApply can be the tool that finally ends that challenge.


AB 3101, Carrillo. (2018). Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=2….
California Community Colleges. (n.d.) Examine the outcomes of California community college
students. Cal-PASS Plus. Retrieved from https://www.calpassplus.org/LaunchBoard/Student-Success-Metrics.aspx.
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (n.d.) Key Facts. Retrieved from the
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website: https://www.cccco.edu/About-Us/Key-Facts.
CCCApply Public Documentation. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://cccnext.jira.com/wiki/spaces/PD/overview
Donohue, P. (2019). Release 6.5.0 Summary Notes. Retrieved from https://cccnext.jira.com/wiki/spaces/PD/pages/909246918/Release+6.5.0+S….
Donohue, P. (2020). Spanish-Language Translation in CCCApply & OpenCCC. Retrieved from https://cccnext.jira.com/wiki/spaces/PD/pages/1077281545/Spanish-Langua….

Americans with Disabilities Act and Disability Support Programs and Services Coordination to Best Serve Students

Los Angeles Mission College, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee
Santa Ana College, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee
ASCCC Area A Representative, Chair, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee
Grossmont College, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), one in four adults in the United States has some form of disability, such as mobility, cognition, independent living, hearing, vision, and self-care. Adequately meeting the needs of all college students with disabilities can be challenging; doing so during a deadly pandemic in which emergency remote and online instruction are the primary modes of delivery can be even more difficult. Colleges must comply with Americans with Disabilities Act §504 and Rehabilitation Act §508 and with the Civil Rights Restoration Act, as well as relevant state laws and regulations. Postsecondary institutions are required to make all programs and services accessible to all students, provide auxiliary aids, notetakers, and appropriate equipment to ensure the participation of students with disabilities in college classes and activities, and accommodate the academic participation of qualified students with disabilities in college classes and activities, whether online or in person.

Students with psychological, physical, and learning disabilities may utilize Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) to request academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services, and instructional support. The goal of DSPS is to foster the California community college experience through inclusive excellence and equitable access. However, the National Center for Education Statistics (2019) reports that only 17% of college students with learning disabilities take advantage of learning assistance resources at their respective campuses. According to the California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program (2017), new students may be unfamiliar with the range of services offered by their s chools’ disabilities services offices or they may feel embarrassed to reach out for assistance.

A student may decide to use alternative support services outside the traditional campus DSPS office and consult with the college’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator for assistance. When a student elects to work with the ADA coordinator, the ADA coordinator should collaborate with DSPS support faculty to determine and develop academic adjustments and devise an academic plan that supports the needs for that student. The DSPS coordinator and ADA coordinator should collaborate on each student’s academic plan to create inclusive learning environments, academic accessibility, and the appropriate learning accommodations. This process will communicate a message to the students with diverse learning needs that student inclusion and accessibility are important and fully supported.

Title 5 §56048 requires, as a condition of colleges receiving DSPS funds, that DSPS coordinators must meet the minimum qualifications for DSPS faculty stated in Title 5 §53414 or be academic administrators that “meet the minimum qualifications for academic administrators in Title 5 section 53420, and, in addition, have two years full-time experience or the equivalent within the last four years in one or more of the following fields:

  1. instruction or counseling or both in a higher education program for students with disabilities;
  2. administration of a program for students with disabilities in an institution of higher education;
  3. teaching, counseling or administration in secondary education, working predominantly or exclusively in programs for students with disabilities; or
  4. administrative or supervisory experience in industry, government, public agencies, the military, or private social welfare organizations, in which the responsibilities of the position were predominantly or exclusively related to persons with disabilities”

Because an ADA coordinator may not have the same minimum qualifications or recent experience with current best practices in student support as a DSPS coordinator, ADA coordinators are encouraged to consult and collaborate with their local DSPS coordinators to provide appropriate and intentional technical assistance to any student that may contact them for academic adjustments and assistance with access.


California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program. (2017, June). Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) for Students with Mental Health Disabilities Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.cccstudentmentalhealth.org
Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. (2018). CDC: 1in 4 US adults live with a disability. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0816-disability.html
National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics, 2018 (2020-009), Chapter 3. U.S. Department of Education, Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/ch_3.asp

Elevate the CTE Faculty Voice

ASCCC CTE Leadership Committee Member
ASCCC Treasurer, Chair, ASCCC CTE Leadership Committee
ASCCC Area A Representative, ASCCC CTE Leadership Committee
C-ID CTE Curriculum Director

The mission of the California Community Colleges, according to California Education Code §66010.4 (1), calls for the offering of lower-division instruction that is transferable to four-year colleges, providing career education training, strengthening students’ basic skills, and granting associate degrees and certificates. Career and technical education faculty have an important role in the community colleges system and in the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. In recent years, with the onset of additional attention and funding to Strong Workforce programs, the role of CTE faculty has come into the spotlight. The ASCCC is actively working to increase the voice of CTE faculty in all aspects of the work of the organization.

CTE programs specialize in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. These courses often require hands-on curriculum designed to meet the needs of industries and provide students with skills necessary to succeed in the labor market.  The role of CTE faculty has never been more important, as the nation is in the midst of a pandemic resulting in a worldwide economic crisis, coupled with intense social justice issues at the forefront of human consciousness and the expansion of the antiracist movement. Technology has also accelerated, which means the jobs of today and not the jobs of the future. CTE faculty are in the forefront of serving students to prepare for future jobs and are taking on what seems like an impossible mission with incredible grit and grace. They, as a collective, have found ways to deliver labs online, from having kits for students to pick up and use at home, to virtual reality labs. The ASCCC has worked closely with CTE faculty across the state to share and scale the best ideas to help students progress, learn, and complete their programs.

In 2015, to address the shortfall in middle-skilled workers and in response to the 2015 Board of Governors Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and Strong Economy recommendation, the ASCCC established the CTE liaison position[1] at the local level.  CTE liaisons are local senate elected or appointed representatives who offer a voice for CTE issues at the local level.

Education Code §88821(i)(2) requires the following:

For purposes of the Community College component and in compliance with the consultation requirements in Sections 70901 and 70902, the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges shall establish a career technical education subcommittee to provide recommendations on career technical education issues. No less than 70 percent of the subcommittee shall consist of career technical education faculty. The subcommittee’s charter shall require it to provide assistance to community college districts to ensure that career technical education and its instruction is responsive and aligned to current and emergent industry trends, and ensure that similar courses, programs, and degrees are portable among community college districts.

In response to this mandate, the ASCCC replaced its Vocational Education Committee with the CTE Leadership Committee in 2015. The committee is comprised of representatives appointed by the ASCCC to give a statewide voice to CTE issues. The chair of the CTE Leadership Committee is an elected member of the ASCCC Executive Committee. The committee has worked to ensure that the voice of CTE faculty is elevated, and has achieved notable results, including the institution of CTE liaison positions at each college, integrating CTE representatives throughout the Chancellor’s Office Strong Workforce programs, completing and establishing the CTE Faculty Minimum Qualifications Title 5 changes, instituting a regular electronic newsletter, and promoting and scaling the CTE Minimum Qualifications Tool Kit.

CTE faculty have been diligent in responding to the California Community Colleges system’s modernized goals. In 2016, the California Legislature took a bold step to improve career and technical education to “increase social mobility and fuel regional economies with skilled workers” (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, n.d.). With the infusion of Strong Workforce funds and the requirements of data-driven outcomes, CTE faculty created new programs, modernized curriculum, and developed and enhanced industry partnerships.   Recently, as CTE faculty were faced with the harsh new realities of a global pandemic, a new focus has become necessary on teaching tangible skills that address the ever-changing dynamics of a drastically reconfigured job market and social conditions. New discussion topics arose and were brought forward to ASCCC. The job market for career-based learning fields is rich, especially for essential workers in a time of pandemic challenges. Health care workers are in critical need. Empowering career-based learning and faculty teaching in career-based learning programs is of vital importance for ASCCC

Another conundrum for CTE faculty is of an ethical nature. In order to promote curricular success, CTE faculty must effectively manage creative handling of resources. This area creates uncertainty, and the implementation of policies governing programs and departments split between general education and career and technical education varies widely. Questions concerning enrollment capacity, course minimums and maximums, and facility and equipment access are left up to local administrators and instructors to interpret. Lab room maximum capacities often do not consider the space occupied by instructional equipment, making it impossible to meet state guidelines of four square feet of space per student. Under-enrolled courses are routinely supported by over-enrolled courses, and equipment purchased specifically for CTE usage is often used liberally by the non-CTE sections of a program. While sharing CTE resources for the benefit of students is a good idea in theory, the maintenance and upkeep of labs must also be shared.

The goal of faculty in CTE programs is and always has been to launch students on to a career path. The work CTE students do on campus is only a starting point to move the students quickly into the industry sectors of their choice. The goal of students is to find a path to enter a career, profession, or occupation. The faculty role is to guide them along the way.

The role of CTE faculty is more important than ever as today’s CTE programs are preparing the next generation of professionals. CTE faculty are training for tomorrow’s world of work, and layered on top are social justice issues, economic issues, and the after-effects of the pandemic. CTE faculty and the ASCCC will play a critical role in the recovery from the triple challenges the nation and the state are facing today.


California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. (n.d.) What is Strong Workforce. Retrieved
from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website: https://www.cccco.edu/About-Us/Chancellors-Office/Divisions/Workforce-a….
California Education Code §66010.4. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sec….
California Education Code §88821. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sec….

1. For more information on CTE Faculty Liaison, positions, see https://asccc.org/cte-faculty-liaison.

The Impact of ASCCC Statewide Service

ASCCC North Representative, ASCCC Relations with Local Senate’s Committee Chair
Palomar College, ASCCC Relations with Local Senates Committee
San Diego Mesa College, ASCCC Relations with Local Senates Committee

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.

Assistant Professor, Counseling
Palomar College
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.

Associate Professor, Business and Accounting
San Diego Mesa College
Guided Pathways Liaison 2018-Current, Relations with Local Senates Committee
Member 2020-2021

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.


Fill out the Faculty Application for Statewide Service[1] 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.

An Open Letter: From An Adjunct Faculty Member to Full-Time Faculty

Santa Monica College, ASCCC Part-time Committee

Note: The following article is not an official statement of the Academic Senate for California Community
Colleges. The article is intended to engender discussion and consideration by local colleges.

Whether they acknowledge it or not, adjunct faculty are aware of the dire state of their position. The academic market never truly recovered after the 2008 recession, an open secret that faculty and classified staff are aware of.

On the national level, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2018, only 629,932 full-time instructional staff were employed by 3,879 degree-granting post-secondary institutions. By comparison, in 2008, 578,119 full-time instructional staff were reported, leaving an increase of only 51,813 positions (National Center for Education Statistics, 2018). The statistics for nationwide part-time instructional staff are not indicated.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Management Information Systems Data Mart provides abundant data on the California Community Colleges system. The 2019-2020 data shows that as of Fall 2020, the California Community Colleges system employs 41,237 academic, temporary positions. Academic, temporary is an equivalent title to the part-time faculty missing information from the National Center for Education Statistics. Over 41,000 positions seem like a positive number until it is compared to the 18,145 positions that constitute academic, tenured/tenure track (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, 2020). The system has far more temporary employees than permanent positions, and adjunct faculty are limited in the number of units they can teach and therefore must frequently be employed at more than one campus simultaneously.

Part-time, or adjunct, faculty know that finding tenure track positions is very difficult. Yet they remain devoted to their jobs, trapped in a cycle that validates their love of teaching yet ignores them as professionals. They are virtually powerless in their careers and are left to the mercy of the adjunct or part-time hiring pool. Some receive less than a week’s notice for classes they are hired to teach and in some cases are notified the day classes are scheduled to start. As a result, they are left to design curriculum as the course happens. They are often left to their own devices as far as an orientation is concerned, and they often operate in a vacuum. If they are assigned to an office, it is usually shared with a handful of other adjunct faculty who all have a rotating schedule of three to four people at a time, and many are not given an office at all.

Prior to COVID-19, adjuncts in larger metropolitan areas would easily spend more time commuting between campuses in a single day than actually being in a classroom. They spend the same amount of time teaching, grading, and holding office hours as do their fulltime colleagues, yet get paid a fraction of the percentage. Adjunct faculty labor is cheaper than full-time faculty, but this cheap labor has unseen costs. Adjunct faculty spend unpaid and uncompensated time doing extracurricular activities to boost their curriculum vitae. Conferences, student clubs, and academic governance work are often uncompensated, with expenses paid out of pocket. Some adjunct faculty have a robust support system where they network and share conference opportunities and full-time position openings, exchange syllabi, share teaching strategies, and provide emotional support. However, not all adjunct faculty are lucky enough to have such a resource. For all of these reasons, adjunct faculty’s passion for teaching, researching, and being involved in shaping the education of California’s diverse student population leaves colleges as breeding grounds for adjunct faculty exploitation.

The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges noted in its publication Why Faculty Matter: The Role of Faculty in the Success of Community College Students that recent governing boards are considering “new employment arrangements,” including “17% of presidents [saying] they would eliminate tenure, 11% would hire more adjuncts, 38% would increase teaching loads, and 66% preferred long-term contracts over tenure appointments” (Faculty Association of Community Colleges, 2018). Eliminating tenure-track positions in favor of hiring more adjuncts or transitioning people into long-term contract appointments would not solve any of the deeper issues that adjuncts face. Rising figures in adjunctifaction, combined with slowly increasing student enrollment up until 2020, only highlight systemic issues in academia.

This open letter is an informal plea to all tenured, tenure-track, or full-time faculty: please, treat adjunct faculty fairly. Performing extra work without compensation is unpleasant, so full-time faculty need not necessarily enter into formal mentorship relationships, even though formal mentorships should be more popular. Instead, full-time faculty can look for ways to increase camaraderie and close the part-time to full-time divide.

From the perspective of adjunct faculty, the following are some immediate things to consider regarding informal mentorship:

  1. Be a mentor. If your campus does not offer any formal mentorship programs, go out of your way to talk to the adjunct faculty in the department. Introduce yourself and engage them. Saying hello in the hallway is not mentorship; it is civility. Offer to help adjunct faculty understand how the campus works if they tell you that it is their first semester. Give them tips on whom to contact. Treat them like colleagues, rather than an independent contractor that will be in and out of your life in fifteen weeks.
  2. Do not patronize adjunct faculty if they come to you for advice. Do not try to water down criticism. Adjunct faculty went to graduate school, too; they are used to criticism. They are not coming to you for advice, help, or feedback to inflate their egos. If they ask you for a review of something or offer an idea, let them know what your true professional opinion is.
  3. Tell new adjuncts things they do not know. A lot of fresh graduates—master’s and Ph.D. holders included—are unaware of conference circuits, how to find conferences, or what publications are worth pursuing. They frequently do not know about academic governance and how it works. If you know of an opportunity that you would reach out to a tenured colleague about, include the adjunct faculty as well.
  4. Allow adjuncts to vote in department affairs and have a say in how things work. Some campuses allow for adjunct faculty to vote in department chair elections or participate in senate positions. However, other campuses do not allow for adjunct faculty participation, and some adjunct faculty contracts actively discourage academic governance. Encourage adjuncts to participate in curriculum development, program review, and department governance. If you refuse to do that, then you refuse to acknowledge them as colleagues. Some adjuncts have been in their departments for several years and warrant some decisionmaking authority.
  5. Fight alongside the adjuncts. If you claim to value adjuncts, show it. If you claim to want a diverse hiring pool, then make it happen. Plenty of resources are available from ChronicleVitae, HigherEd, and the ASCCC that discuss how to recruit a diverse faculty pool and support current adjunct faculty. Do more than just say you value and respect adjuncts: use your tenured position to advocate for change. If there were things you did not know when you started working as adjunct faculty or when you became tenure track that you wish someone would have told you so that you would have struggled less, reach out and help educate the adjunct faculty on those matters.

Academia preaches inclusivity, diversity, and collegiality, but a divisive hierarchy still exists within the faculty structure. If all faculty work together, they can start bridging this divide.


California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. (2020). Faculty and staff demographics
report. Management Information Systems Data Mart. Retrieved from https://datamart.cccco.edu/Faculty-Staff/Staff_Demo.aspx.
Faculty Association of Community Colleges. (2018). Why Faculty Matter: The Role of Faculty in the
Success of Community College Students. Retrieved from http://uf4cd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Faculty-Research-Paper-1.pdf.
National Center for Education Statistics (2018). Trend Generator: Employees and Instructional Staff:
How many full-time instructional staff are employed by degree granting postsecondary institutions?
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/TrendGenerator/app/trend-table/5/12?trending=….

Eradicating Xenophobia in Community College

Palomar College

Note: The following article is not an official statement of the Academic Senate for California Community
Colleges. The article is intended to engender discussion and consideration by local colleges.

Immigrant, international, and refugee students continue to experience xenophobia and marginality living in the United States and attending community college. Xenophobia is a form of racism that takes place when someone carries hostility and hatred against people from other countries. The result of xenophobia is that immigrant, international, and refugee students feel invalidated and unwelcomed. As the United States experiences the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19, many Asian Pacific Islander students experience the spread of overt racism. Indeed, xenophobia towards immigrant, international, and refugee students is not a new phenomenon. Other racialized and religious groups who have also experienced marginalization include Afghan, Iranian, Somalian, Muslim, and Arab—including Syrian, Jordanian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, Libyan, and others—students, due to international affairs involving the United States. Sadly, many more groups of immigrant, international, and refugee communities continue to experience racial marginalization in the United States. Community college educators and leaders should be prepared to dispel assumptions and stereotypes about these groups. Educators and leaders need to dismantle the systemic barriers immigrant, international, and refugee students are confronted with on their campuses (Teranishi, et al., 2011).

The distinction between immigrant, international, and refugee students is important. While immigrant students arrive in the United States from other countries, their study time is not restricted. In contrast, international students are on F-1 visa status, which allows them to enter the United States as full-time students as long as they attend an accredited college or university and are of non-resident standing. While immigrants choose to move to another country, refugees are forced to flee due to persecution, ecological disasters, political unrest, criminal warfare, and other situations. The barriers immigrant, international, and refugee students face are also important to learn and address. For example, international students cannot seek employment while studying in the United States, whereas immigrant and refugee students may not have authorized legal status to work. Immigrant, international, and refugee students may experience a multiplicity of marginalization for being foreign-born, racially-minoritized, an English language learner, undocumented, first-generation, and targeted for negative religious sentiment proposed by others. Perhaps for these reasons, “immigrant college students are at higher risk of dropping out of college than native-born students” (Teranishi et al., 2011, p. 156). For many immigrant students who speak minimal English, the barrier of finding immediate work and navigating the community college system remains a great challenge. With the increase in inflation and cost of living, many immigrant, international, and refugee students struggle to make ends meet and live comfortably in the United States (Sadat, 2019).

Due to the proliferation and influx of immigrants in the United States, student populations in community colleges have indeed diversified (Sadat, 2019). To support immigrant, international, and refugee students, community colleges should consider providing professional development workshops that focus on competency training with information about multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural communities. This practice will support eradicating xenophobia, implicit bias, explicit bias, stereotypes, racial microaggressions, and assumptions people have about immigrant, international, and refugee students on their campuses and in their classrooms. Critical race theory scholars have alluded to the immensity of challenging communities that are aiming to radicalize racist ideologies (Yosso et al., 2009). To be an antiracist and liberator, one must call out the perpetuation of colonialism, imperialism, racist ideologies, and praxis in the education system.

Community college educators must continue to challenge deficit-minded thinking and practices and instead, hone in on equity-minded approaches to serving immigrant, international, and refugee students. Research by Semenow (2008) posited the negative impact of cultural encapsulation in curriculum. Cultural encapsulation is when one lacks knowledge of cultural backgrounds and fails to evaluate one’s own bias. As a result of cultural encapsulation in teaching, racism continues by invalidating global countries other than the United States. For many reasons, community colleges must critically examine the multifaceted perspectives and lived experiences of immigrant, international, and refugee students on their campuses. In addition, increasing study abroad opportunities and programs will immerse faculty and students in diversity and multicultural awareness (Boggs & McPhail, 2016). Research by McNair et al. (2020) suggested that to achieve an equity-minded campus culture, educators must critically reflect and examine policies, practices, and structures that perpetuate racial inequities. Thus, faculty must challenge deficit-mindedness and instead reflect on equity-minded and antiracist practices to welcome, accept, understand, engage, and continuously support immigrant, international, and refugee students holistically throughout their college campuses.

Some qualitative questions to consider when trying to understand the phenomenology of immigrant, international, and refugee students include the following:

  • What are the experiences of immigrant, international, and refugee students in their transition to community college?
  • What personal barriers impact immigrant, international, and refugee students?
  • What societal barriers impact immigrant, international, and refugee students?
  • What key sources of support have enabled immigrant, international, and refugee students to transition successfully to achieve academic and personal goal completion?

For transformational change to happen, educators and leaders need to focus on equity in elevating immigrant, international, and refugee students. The following are some equityminded praxis colleges can immediately adopt to support these students:

  • Outreaching to immigrant, international, and refugee communities about opportunities to attend community college.
  • Providing ongoing professional development trainings focusing on competencies regarding multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural communities. Professional development trainings should also include training employees—staff, faculty, and administration—on fostering inclusivity for immigrant, international, and refugee students on campus.
  • Implementing global and world cultural perspectives in pedagogy and student learning outcomes.
  • Creating a mentorship program for immigrant, international, and refugee students.
  • Sharing testimonials from former immigrant, international, and refugee students about their experience navigating the community college system.
  • Ensuring marketing materials and supportive services are translated into global languages.
  • Displaying images around campus that represent immigrant, international, and refugee students.
  • Ensuring that the college’s disaggregated data categorizes immigrant, international, and refugee students in accurate racial and ethnic categories as opposed to being aggregated in wrong and larger groupings.
  • Obtaining software that allows faculty to learn how to pronounce students’ names accurately.
  • Providing scholarships and grants for immigrant, international, and refugee students.
  • Presenting career planning workshops in diverse languages.
  • Having designated spaces on campus and online opportunities for immigrant, international, and refugee students to feel engaged in community building and group counseling opportunities.
  • Having behavioral health counseling available and ensuring students are aware of this free service.
  • Having celebratory events for students on campus and online at the end of each academic semester. These events can include international day and various world cultural celebrations.
  • Creating racial and cultural affinity groups on campus for students and employees.
  • Creating a strong alumni association that connects to international students worldwide.
  • Creating a welcome packet with a comprehensive resources guide. This packet may include services on and off campus, such as information on food pantries, housing, and immigration services.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Boggs, G. R., & McPhail, C. J. (2016). Practical leadership in community colleges: Navigating today’s
challenges. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McNair, T.B, Bensimon, E.M., and Malcom-Piqueux, L. (2020). From Equity Talk to Equity Walk.
Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education. John Wiley and Sons.
Sadat, H. (2019). Unveiling the phenomenology of Afghan women in community college. (Doctoral dissertation).
San Diego State University.
Semenow, L. B. (2008). Creating a Welcoming Community for International Students. The Vermont
Connection, 29. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1173&context=t…
Teranishi, R. T., Suarez-Orozco, C., & Suarez-Orozco, M. (2011). Immigrants in community college.
The Future of Children, 21, 153-169. https://doi.org/10.1353/foc.2011.0009
Yosso, T. J., Smith, W. A., Ceja, M., & Solórzano, D. G. (2009). Critical race theory, racial microaggressions,
and campus racial climate for Latina/o undergraduates. Harvard Educational Review, 79,
659-691. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.79.4.m6867014157m707l

Disciplines List Proposals

ASCCC Secretary, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee
ASCCC Area A Representative, Chair, ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee

Every year, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges accepts proposals for changes to the California Community Colleges Disciplines List, which sets minimum qualifications for CCC faculty. Two Disciplines List proposals were received by the ASCCC in fall 2020. The first was a proposal to revise the film and media studies discipline, and the second was a proposal to add a digital fabrication technology discipline. During fall 2020, both proposals were reviewed by the ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee, shared with faculty throughout the state, and then discussed during a first hearing at the Fall 2020 Plenary Session. The ASCCC Executive Committee reviewed the two proposals at its January 2021 meeting to determine that process was followed and all required documentation were submitted for each proposal. The committee supported moving both proposals forward to a second hearing at the Spring 2021 Plenary Session.

On Friday, April 15 at the Spring 2021 Plenary Session, the second hearing for the film and media studies and the digital fabrication technology proposals will be held. At that time, any clarifying questions may be asked and discussed with the originators of the proposals. The resolutions supporting these two Disciplines List proposals will be brought to the plenary voting session on Saturday, April 16, 2021. Disciplines List resolutions may not be amended; they must be either voted up or down as proposed. All delegates should come fully informed about these Disciplines List proposals and ready to vote on behalf of the faculty they represent.

The two proposals are as follows:

1.    Film and Media Studies

Master’s degree in Film/Cinema and Media Studies, Film, Television, and Media Studies,
Drama/Theater, Mass Communication
Bachelor’s degree in any of the above
Master’s degree in Visual Studies, Media Studies, English, or Communication
the equivalent

This is a proposed revision to the existing discipline qualifications. For specific information about the revision and justification for the revisions, see the summary[1] referenced during the Fall Plenary 2020 Disciplines List hearing.

2.    Digital Fabrication Technology

2 years professional experience
Any bachelor’s degree or higher
6 years of professional experience
Any associate’s degree

This is a proposed new discipline. For specific information about the proposal, including justification, see the summary[2] referenced during the Fall Plenary 2020 Disciplines List hearing. In addition to these two proposals moving from a first hearing t o a second hearing and consideration for adoption at the Spring 2021 Plenary, a second hearing was held at the Fall 2020 Plenary Session for one discipline, registered behavior technician, and that proposal was approved by the delegates. New and revised disciplines approved by ASCCC delegates are submitted to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for inclusion in the next edition of the Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in the California Community Colleges and approved by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. For more information about the registered behavior technician discipline, see the summary[3] and Resolution 10.01 F 20.[4]

The 2021-2022 Disciplines List process will open in February 2021, with proposals due by September 30, 2021. The ASCCC website has a page on the Disciplines List[5] with more information about the process and other supporting documents. Questions about the Disciplines List process can be submitted by email to info [at] asccc.org.

1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GO4ToHkXrYjmX8naGer9uOtUxb9xCx-0/view
2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jthffiGv-N6FLS_fLFoJhzXYXrFbVCuy/view
3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_88p7GX6uh743Ow9p7fY_JK_231SUhAZ/view
4. https://asccc.org/resolutions/disciplines-list%E2%80%94registered-behav…
5 https://www.asccc.org/disciplines-list