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2023 November Rostrum

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Vision 2030 and Opportunities for Academic Senate Leadership

ASCCC President

Dr. Sonya Christian may not have officially started as Chancellor of the California Community Colleges until June 2023, but from the time she was selected as chancellor by the Board of Governors in February 2023, she has been working with leaders from the community colleges, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), the Governor’s Office, legislature, industry, and more to set the direction of the California Community Colleges system.

The Vision for Success (CCCCO, n.d.a.) adopted by the Board of Governors in 2017 and then the Multi-Year Roadmap between the Newsom Administration and the California Community Colleges (Department of Finance, 2022) in 2022 both set ambitious goals for student success, transfer, and racial and regional equity. What the Vision for Success and the Roadmap both lacked was input from system stakeholders, including faculty and others, in the determination of goals, metrics, and areas of focus.

At the June 2023 Consultation Council meeting, the first of Dr. Christian’s tenure as chancellor, she explained to leaders of the many stakeholder groups represented that Vision 2030: A Roadmap for California Community Colleges (CCCCO, n.d.b.) is intended to blend elements of the Vision for Success and the Governor’s Roadmap and, more importantly, that its actions, goals, and metrics  would be shaped through broad public input.

Understandably, since most of the early discussion about Vision 2030 happened during the summer months and the three strategic directions of equity in access, equity in support, and equity in success have remained consistent since being introduced, faculty could easily assume that Vision 2030 was pre-set and be frustrated by the existence of one more system-level plan with outcomes being determined without the input of students and stakeholders. However, Chancellor Christian has expressed a different plan: to have stakeholders shape the actions and metrics of Vision 2030 through engaged input.

This continued engagement and shaping of Vision 2030 has happened in many ways, as noted by the Summary of Vision 2030 Engagement Activities (CCCCO, n.d.d.) shared with the Board of Governors in September, and efforts are ongoing. Consultation Council discusses Vision 2030 monthly and, each month since June, has engaged in activities to identify strengths, weaknesses, and missing elements. Chancellor Christian and Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales engaged with students, faculty, CEOs, and trustees in a series of online town halls in September, each conducted in partnership with their respective representative organizations: the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the Community College League of California. Each of these townhalls included an overview of Vision 2030 and then multiple means of sharing thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. For the Faculty Vision 2030 Town Hall held by the Chancellor’s Office and the ASCCC on September 14, faculty were encouraged to use Padlet or Zoom chat to provide input. Some of the feedback shared focused on part-time faculty parity, career education, expansion of open educational resources and zero textbook cost, continued student supports including housing, technology, and mental health, lifelong learning, climate literacy across disciplines, support for expanded library services and personnel, and more. Feedback also focused on the need for professional development to support local equity efforts, to expand culturally responsive teaching practices, and to learn about artificial intelligence.

A Vision 2030 Community Input Feedback Form is available on the Chancellor’s Office website, and all are encouraged to provide input. [1] The Vision 2030 Board of Governor’s agenda item in September included a thematic summary of input (CCCCO, n.d.e.) received via the form. Whether one has provided input already or not, everyone is still encouraged to provide input as the Vision 2030 continues to evolve.

Regarding the plan for adoption of 2030, at the September Board of Governor’s meeting, the Board took action to approve the Vision 2030 goals and strategic directions. Input will continue to be collected throughout the fall semester, with the intention of having the Board of Governors approve actions, outcomes, and metrics at its January 2024 meeting, with those elements to be reviewed and, potentially, revised annually to meet emerging needs.

As an example of the evolving nature of the Vision 2030 actions, at Consultation Council in July,  seventeen actions within the three strategic directions were previewed and discussed. At Consultation Council and the Board of Governors in September, two months later, the seventeen actions were reduced to twelve actions, some of which have been added since July, most notably the intention that “all actions, policies, and procedures will be enacted centering equity and inclusion and dismantling prejudice and racism” (CCCCO, n.d.c.), while others have been refined, combined, or removed based on feedback.

As one looks beyond the three goals of Vision 2030 to the strategic directions of equitable baccalaureate attainment, equitable workforce and economic development, and the future of teaching and learning, many actions can be taken, inclusive of efforts already in practice at some colleges but intended to be expanded to scale at more colleges. Within the strategic direction of equitable baccalaureate attainment, dual enrollment was an early emphasis as many heard or read about Chancellor Christian’s intention for students to complete a minimum of 12 units of college credits through dual enrollment, a goal that was first included in the Governor’s Roadmap. This strategic direction also calls for an expansion of California community college baccalaureate programs as well as improved transfer pathways to university systems. Important, too, to equitable baccalaureate attainment is the focus on programs for traditionally disproportionately impacted groups like justice-involved and impacted students, veterans, foster youth. The strategic direction of equitable workforce and economic development includes actions focused on career education, work-based learning, apprenticeships, development of high tech or high touch systems, and a spotlight on intentionality within four key sectors: healthcare, climate action, STEM, and education. The future of teaching and learning strategic direction most notably includes generative artificial intelligence, an area where much is to be learned and with many implications for teaching and learning.

Many of the elements and actions within the strategic directions speak to teaching and learning through curriculum, instruction, and student supports, all of which fit within the roles of faculty across the community colleges as well as within the academic and professional matters delineated in California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55200 on which academic senates are to be collegially consulted. Academic senates will have many opportunities to lead; within the academic and professional matters, these opportunities are a responsibility of academic senates. A few ways in which academic senates can provide leadership through recommendations related to specific Vision 2030 actions are as follows:

  • Collaborate among faculty across instructional and student service areas to recommend dual enrollment pathways and courses that could include career exploration, college success strategies, STEM foundations, career education early pathways, and general education coursework. This effort may include development of new curriculum or revision of existing courses to best take high school-to-college students through dual enrollment.
  • Collaborate among faculty across instructional and student service areas to recommend coursework and certificate and degree pathways for justice-impacted students, including adults and, in an intersection with dual enrollment, juveniles.
  • For all populations, especially for those called out as special populations in Vision 2030 and those for which opportunity and gaps persist, collaborate among faculty to develop recommendations for effective services and support in and out of the classroom as well as for professional development to support continued faculty growth in support of these efforts.
  • Collaborate among faculty across general education, STEM, career education, and student services disciplines to develop and assist in implementation of recommendations related to credit for prior learning, credit attainment for apprenticeship learning, competency based education, and development of new career education programs. Additionally, explore new industry partnerships and career education program development.
  • Collaborate with professional development leaders to identify immediate and ongoing needs for professional development among the wide range of potential faculty needs, from culturally responsive teaching and counseling and effective online teaching strategies to understanding artificial intelligence and an exploration of technologies that could be deployed to increase student support and engagement.
  • Collaborate among faculty within disciplines and across colleges and universities to determine what lower division coursework is critical for upper division success in a major and how lower division pathways can be refined to provide transfer preparation for a wide range of university options, including California State Universities, Universities of California, California’s independent colleges and universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other public and private out-of-state institutions.
  • Collaborate with bargaining unit leaders, human resources, and administrators to continue improvement of hiring processes, faculty onboarding, and ongoing faculty growth through the full duration of employment, particularly with an eye toward hiring and support of diverse faculty and deployment of inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and accessibility within faculty evaluation and tenure review processes.

While a new California Community Colleges vision can feel a bit overwhelming and, frankly, at times disconnected from the day-to-day work of faculty with students, much about Vision 2030 is encouraging. For one, faculty along with all stakeholders have an opportunity to shape the actions, outcomes, and metrics until the Board of Governors takes action to finalize these elements in January 2024. Faculty should take advantage of this opportunity and provide input through any of the means available. Second, faculty are a critical part in attaining the goals of Vision 2030, and academic senates have an opportunity to lead through development and communication of recommendations within academic and professional matters and then to assist in the implementation.

It will take a village to achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030. Fortunately, the California community colleges have more than 56,000 faculty already working to advance equitable student access, support, and success. Together with academic senates and with students and stakeholder partners, faculty can do much to advance the actions central to Vision 2030, its goals, and its strategic directions.


CCCCO. (n.d.a.) Vision for Success.
CCCCO. (n.d.b.) Vision for 2030.
CCCCO. (n.d.c.) Vision 2030: A Roadmap for California Community Colleges DRAFT 4.
CCCCO. (n.d.d.) Vision 2030 Engagement Events.
CCCCO. (n.d.e.) Vision 2030 Website Feedback.
Deprtment of Finance. (2022, May). Multi-Year Roadmap between the Newsom Administration and the California Community Colleges.

1. The Community Input Feedback Form

Zoos, Planes, and Urban Agriculture: Celebrating the Diversity and Scope of California Community College CTE Programs

ASCCC Area A Representative and CTE Leadership Committee Chair
ASCCC At-Large Representative

The California Community Colleges system has a strong history of providing innovative career technical education to meet the needs of communities and providing students an opportunity to achieve a living wage. Some CTE programs, such as agriculture business, administration of justice, automotive, child development, information systems, nursing, police, and fire, are offered at multiple colleges across the state. Other programs are specialized for meeting unique community needs.

One of those specialized programs is the Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Moorpark College provides students with experimental hands-on learning opportunities through its five-acre zoological facility America’s Teaching Zoo (The Teaching Zoo, n.d.).  This zoo is one of only two in the United States located on a college campus. Around 125 animals live in the zoo: baboons, lions, coyotes, New Guinea singing dogs, badgers, and more (Exotic Animal Training and Management, n.d.). In this program ,college students have the opportunity to study in a living laboratory while achieving an associate degree or certificate. Students in the two-year program take classes such as animal care and handling, wildlife education, animal training, and applied wildlife conservation. Graduates are prepared for entry level employment in zoos, animal parks, and wildlife rehabilitation centers.

One of the newer CTE programs in California is the flight science program at Reedley College. Students in the Reedley College program achieve an associate degree in flight science and embedded certificates in private pilot, instrument reading, commercial pilot, and flight instructor. Students take academic courses, use flight simulators, and have hands-on flight experience taught in line with Federal Aviation Administration regulations (Flight Science, n.d.). The college recently purchased five new Skyleader 600 airplanes to support the program (Harrington, 2023). This program is the only one in the state that allows the use of federal financial aid for pilot training. Students completing this degree are prepared for entry level positions as flight instructors (Miller, 2018).

San Diego City College has a sustainable architecture program with degrees and certificates in sustainable urban agriculture, organic gardening for the culinary arts, urban gardening, and urban farming professional. Students in the program work hands-on with urban farmers and educators at the one acre Seeds @ City Urban Farm that is on the San Diego City College campus (Sustainable Agriculture, n.d.). The program focuses on economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The college even has a farm stand on campus where it sells produce from the enterprise (Berry, 2022).

These examples are just a sampling of CTE programs across the state. Students can also participate in programs such as drone piloting at Palomar College (Become a Drone Pilot at Palomar College!, 2023), agriculture and equine studies at Feather River College (Agriculture & Equine Studies , n.d.), supply chain management at Coastline College (Supply Chain Management, n.d.),  or an artificial intelligence in business certificate at Mt. San Antonio College (Artificial Intelligence in Business Certificate, n.d.). A wide variety of other programs exists at colleges across the state.

Each of these programs serves industry, community, and state needs and is supported by dedicated career technical education faculty. Career technical education programs such as these are well designed to support the goals of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Vision 2030, which has a goal of increasing with equity the number of California community college students earning a living wage by 10% (CCCCO, n.d.) In addition to the updated Vision, the CCCCO is working on a new California State Plan for Career Technical Education (California Department of Education, 2022) that prioritizes the work-based learning opportunities highlighted in CTE programs around the state.

CTE programs across California are innovative and diverse, and they have tremendous scope. They play a vital role in preparing the workforce of California.


Agriculture & Equine Studies. (n.d.). Feather River College.
Artificial Intelligence in Business Certificate. (n.d.). Mt. San Antonio College.
Become a Drone Pilot at Palomar College!. (2023). Palomar College.
Berry, C. (2022, August 30). City College farm to sell fresh fruit, vegetables weekly. City Times Media.
CCCCO. (n.d.). Vision 2030.
California Department of Education. (2022). California State Plan for Career Technical Education (CTE).
Exotic Animal Training and Management (n.d.). Moorpark College.
Flight Science. (n.d.).  Reedly College.
Harrington, J. (2023, September 18). Reedley College adding 5 new airplanes to its flight science program. ABC 30 Action News.
Miller, B.  (2018, February 23). Reedley college creates brand new program to become a pilot. Your Central Valley.Com.
Supply Chain Management. (n.d.) Coastline College.
Sustainable Agriculture. (n.d.) San Diego City College.
The Teaching Zoo. (n.d.). Moorpark College.

Gift-Giving Discourse: Decriminalizing Academic Progress Language

ASCCC North Representative

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Jelal al-din Rumi

It is a heavy, invigorating lift to participate in how intentionally the community college system is changing to serve the evolving needs of students. And as the changes evolve into more changes, no college should fall behind. Strides can be taken that are simple and inconvenient but that provide benefits to students that colleges cannot ignore. Those strides include changing the way institutions talk and think about academic probation in order to increase student success. Regularly reviewing and revising institutional language reflects professional agility in understanding the experience of the modern day community college student. Decriminalizing academic probation language requires exploring how colleges view their students and how they see their roles in students’ academic journeys.

In Spring 2023, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges passed Resolution 07.01 SP 23 Destigmatize Academic Probation Language and Processes, [1] encouraging local colleges to review “local policies and practices with an aim of mitigating local processes that may negatively impact students who are on academic or progress probation.” Prior to the resolution, the ASCCC’s Rostrum article “Addressing the Stigmatization of Academic Probation” (Curry, 2023) provided an overview of why these updates are so important. As the article highlights, Cal State Fullerton has made some great strides in this area, publishing Toward a Racially and Culturally Sensitive Renaming of “Academic Probation” (Boretz , et.al., 2021), a data-informed report and call to action claiming that the language conventions that higher education uses when referring to academic progress are harmful:

a departure from the term ‘probation’ may help to eliminate the perception of criminalization that some students associate with the language used to describe their academic standing. Perhaps adoption of neutral language will in turn help to close equity gaps with regard to student persistence, academic resilience and more equitable graduation rates. (Boretz , et.al., 2021)

The report offers the hope that “we may indeed be faced with an opportunity to create a student experience of overcoming academic obstacles that is characterized by racial sensitivity, emotional neutrality and self-empowerment, rather than fear.”

Changing the Narrative from Fear to Uplifting

Changing the words that institutions use when discussing students and student success—discussions directly with them and about them among colleagues—is an important step in decolonizing thought-systems to ensure that respect for students and their capabilities is primary. The way faculty and staff talk about students reflects their values, and the best place to begin reflecting respect is to start with codified policies and formal paperwork. The benefits in updating such language are as follows:

  • It can convey to students that the college is there for their success, not failure;
  • It can convey to students that the college has standards that it expects will be met and that the students will be supported if those standards are not met;
  • It can offer program and department employees a chance to discuss the foundational reasons why ingrained, everyday language can either brighten or dim student capabilities;
  • It can offer employees an opportunity to collectively replace deficit responses with affirming language;
  • It can provide counselors, department chairs, instructional faculty, and all student-facing groups the opportunity to develop conscientious and intentional academic progress.

Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and anti-racist scholar and educator Asao Inuoe (2022) writes about the impact of language in his blogbook Decolonizing Our Language. His view on teaching writing could be a guide as colleges look at local ways to upgrade current academic documents, forms, and person-to-person references. Inoue offers strategies to improve “language habits” and asks institutions to “[consider] the conditions and consequences of our languaging as more important than any individual’s motives or reasons,” suggesting that they should look to “crafting sustainable gift-giving discourse – that is, languaging that sustains, does no harm, and always tries to heal.”

Progress over probation and disqualification over suspension employ a form of restorative justice: through word choice, one acknowledges the systems that actively prevent students, especially students of color, from succeeding while also proving that institutions are capable of making change for the betterment of every student.

Culture Shifts and Lowkey Enrollment Management

Changing the language for academic progress in the California Community Colleges system is essential to gain a level of accuracy and support for the student experience. In the Rostrum article “Defining the Gaps: The Power of Language and the Allocation of Responsibility,” Shaw and Wallace implore the ASCCC to make more intentional vocabulary choices in resolutions and state that “the ASCCC should encourage delegates to use terms and descriptors that more accurately describe the struggles underrepresented and marginalized students experience in their institutions” (Shaw & Wallace, 2018). The accuracy with which one refers to academic progress will help retain students who hear how much the college wants them to succeed, especially at times when they are in need of the most support. Institutional self-edification could mean the difference between a student continuing at the college, with hope and confirmation of support, or turning away after being re-traumatized, alone, and disenfranchised. Affirming language begets success for everyone.

Local academic senates can initiate change, in collaboration with all constituency groups, to collectively develop and upgrade terminology that empowers rather than dehumanizes student identities. If associated student governance bodies, students at-large, classified staff, and administrators are included and encouraged to provide input, the dialog could offer college-wide unification in the collective effort to uplift students. The process of engaging collaborators and discussing what the changes may be, where changes need to be made, and where operationalizing the changes itself offers an opportunity to exercise inclusive practices and include diverse perspectives.

If colleges change academic probation language and communicate in a manner that “does no harm, and always tries to heal” (Inuoe, 2022), they can open doors to deeper, transformational changes in alignment with principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and anti-racism. Doing so can not only change words in websites and forms but also change the culture to more deeply actualize the humanity in higher education.

If you are aware of someone who is working on changing academic progress language at your college, please let the ASCCC know. Monitoring the progress of this work and establish local promising practices can be very useful. Email msapienz [at] ccsf.edu (Mitra Sapienza).

For ideas on how to begin or continue implementing changes regarding academic progress language, the following resources may be useful:


Boretz, E., Gunn, K, & La Pietra, D. (2021). Toward a Racially and Culturally Sensitive Renaming of “Academic Probation.” California State University, Fullerton.
Curry, S. (2023, February). Addressing the stigmatization of academic probation. Senate Rostrum.
Inuoe, A. (2022). Decolonizing Our Language.
Shaw, L. A., & Wallace, J. (2018, October). Defining the gaps: The power of language and the allocation of responsibility. Senate Rostrum.

1. See the text of all ASCCC resolutions

Imposter Syndrome: Exploring Challenges Faced by Black Students in STEM Academic Programs

ASCCC Treasurer

In recent years, the underrepresentation of minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has received a lot of attention. Black students specifically face unique challenges that often result in imposter syndrome, a psychological condition where individuals doubt their qualifications and accomplishments and fear being exposed as frauds. Black students in STEM programs suffer from the imposter syndrome due to various causes and with various consequences. However, potential strategies exist to help these students overcome this issue.

Causes of Imposter Syndrome

One of several causes of imposter syndrome is racial stereotyping. Historically, Black individuals, especially males, have been subjected to negative stereotypes regarding their intellectual abilities. In institutions of higher learning, these harmful biases can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and a constant need to prove oneself in academic environments. Another cause of imposter syndrome is the lack of representation. The scarcity of role models and mentors who share the same racial background can create a sense of isolation and self-doubt among Black students. This absence of representation makes envisioning success in STEM fields difficult and increases the likelihood of experiencing imposter syndrome in STEM academic programs. Additionally, discrimination and microaggressions can lead to imposter syndrome. Experiencing discrimination and microaggressions within STEM academic programs creates an overwhelming sense of exclusion and marginalization. The consistent exposure to such negative academic environments can increase feelings of imposter syndrome among Black students, making them question their abilities, qualifications, and ultimately why they are in the programs in the first place.

Consequences of Imposter Syndrome

Many consequences of imposter syndrome occur, including self-doubt, fear of failure, academic underperformance, lack of persistence, and attrition. Black students experiencing imposter syndrome often doubt their competence despite their accomplishments, and this self-doubt can result in a constant fear of failure, which can limit their willingness to take on additional challenges or pursue higher-level opportunities. In addition, imposter syndrome can impact academic performance in a negative way. Black students may feel unworthy of their achievements, underperform academically, disengage, and sabotage their own success. This behavior ultimately ends up hindering their academic progress in STEM programs. Further, imposter syndrome can cause many Black students in STEM programs to experience decreased motivation, reduced engagement, and an increased likelihood of dropping out of their academic programs. This increased lack of motivation and engagement, along with a fear of being exposed as an imposter, can overwhelm their desire to persist and thus contribute to the high attrition rates of Black students witnessed in STEM programs and in STEM fields.

Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Research in this area suggests some strategies that institutions of higher learning can implement to help Black students deal with these feelings of being an imposter. The first strategy is to build supportive communities. Programs such as Umoja are examples of such communities but can be even more intentional if the supportive community specifically gathers Black students in STEM programs. Programs such as TRIO STEM, Black Students in Science Organization, and National Society of Black Engineers demonstrate the success of such efforts. Creating this sense of belonging for Black students in STEM programs is crucial. Therefore, encouraging the formation of support groups, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities can help create supportive communities where Black students can share experiences, seek guidance, and find reassurance.

Another strategy that institutions of higher learning can implement is to emphasize the importance of representation. In order to combat imposter syndrome, Black students should see themselves both within the STEM faculty and student population of the institution. In addition, institutions of higher learning should encourage the involvement of successful Black professionals in STEM fields as guest speakers, mentors, and role models in order to help reinforce positive self-perception and confidence.

As important as the outside learning environment is, another strategy is to cultivate a growth mindset within Black STEM students. Colleges should emphasize the importance of effort, resilience, and mental growth instead of focusing solely on achievement. Black students often need help in understanding that mistakes and setbacks are essential for growth and should be seen as learning opportunities rather than failure. Further, targeted and intrusive student support is a necessary strategy to battle imposter syndrome. Colleges need to recognize the unique challenges faced by Black students in STEM programs and provide tailored student support systems. This effort can include additional tutoring, academic resources, and counseling services that are specifically designed to address imposter syndrome and related challenges.

Most importantly, Black students in STEM programs need to feel a sense of belonging in the classroom environment. Curriculum and pedagogical strategies can create safe spaces where open discussions about race, imposter syndrome, and diversity-related issues can take place. Even in STEM disciplines, faculty and students should be encouraged to challenge biases, stereotypes, and microaggressions in order to cultivate an inclusive and supportive academic environment.

Imposter syndrome poses significant obstacles for Black students in STEM academic programs. Overcoming this phenomenon requires collaborative efforts to dismantle systemic barriers, decolonize curriculum, provide Black professional and peer mentorship, and create inclusive educational environments. By addressing the causes of imposter syndrome head-on and implementing relevant strategies, educational institutions can create a more inclusive environment where Black students feel empowered, confident, a sense of belonging, and supported in their pursuit of STEM careers. Realizing and encouraging the true potential of talented Black STEM students, and ensuring their success, benefits not only the Black students themselves but also the global STEM economy as a whole.

The following resources can provide additional information on imposter syndrome:

Bidwell, A. (2015, May 7). African-American men: The other STEM minority. U.S.News & World Report.
Chakraverty, D. (2020). The impostor phenomenon among Black doctoral and postdoctoral scholars in STEM. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 15, 433.
Chakraverty, D. (2022). Faculty experiences of the impostor phenomenon in STEM fields. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 21(4), ar84.
Clance, P. R., & Imes, S. A. (1978). The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 15(3), 241–247.
Collins, K. H. (2018). Confronting color-blind STEM talent development: Toward a contextual model for Black student STEM identity. Journal of Advanced Academics, 29(2), 143-168.
Markle, R.S., Williams, T.M., Williams, K.S., deGravelles, K.H., Bagayoko, D. & Warner, I.M. (2022, May 2). Supporting historically underrepresented groups in stem higher education: the promise of structured mentoring networks. Frontiers. doi: 10:3389/feduc.2022.674669
Peteet, B. J., Montgomery, L., & Weekes, J. C. (2015). Predictors of imposter phenomenon among talented ethnic minority undergraduate students. The Journal of Negro Education, 84(2), 175-186.

2023-2024 ASCCC Committee Composition Snapshot

ASCCC Area C Representative, ASCCC Data and Research Chair

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is committed to including diverse faculty, perspectives, and experiences as reflected in its mission and vision statements. [1]  The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan [2] included as one of its goals to “Engage and empower diverse groups of faculty at all levels of state and local leadership.” Listed under that goal was the following objective: “Increase the diversity of faculty representation on committees of the ASCCC, including the Executive Committee, and other system consultation bodies to better reflect the diversity of California.” The ASCCC Strategic Plan Directions 2023-2026, [3] adopted by the delegates to the 2023 Spring Plenary Session through Resolution 1.02 S23, continue to reflect the ASCCC’s commitment to empower faculty and uplift underrepresented voices.

As one component of reflecting on the goal of increasing diversity and empowering underrepresented voices, the ASCCC Executive Committee reviewed demographics of the faculty serving on the 2023-2024 ASCCC committees. As of September 15, 2023, 106 faculty were appointed to ASCCC committees out of 588 faculty that applied for statewide service. The following tables provide a snapshot of current committee composition with information comparing the applicant pool to the faculty appointed, expressed as percentages.

Table 1: Ethnicity
Ethnicity Acknowledgments Appointed (%)
African American/Black 8 10
Asian/Pacific Islander 10 8
Hispanic/Chicano 17 17
Multiracial 5 11
White/Caucasian 51 43
Other/Prefer Not to State 9 11
Table 2: Gender Identity
Gender Identity Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%)
Female/Feminine Presenting 60 60
Gender Fluid 2 2
Male/Masculine Presenting 31 31
Other/Prefer Not to State 7 7
Table 3: Sexual Orientation
Sexual Orientation Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%)
Bisexual 5 5
Gay 4 7
Heterosexual 64 66
Lesbian 2 4
Other/Prefer Not to State 25 18
Table 4: Disabled
Disabled Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%)
No 89 86
Yes 6 9
Other/Prefer Not to State 5 5
Table 5: Veteran
Veteran Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%)
No 91 93
Yes 6 9
Other/Prefer Not to State 5 5
Table 6: Work Status
Work Status Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%)
Part-Time 28 16
Full-Time 72 84

This snapshot of data suggests that the internal processes for selecting faculty to serve on committees is robust in that the appointed percentages are largely aligned with the applicant pool percentages. However, this conclusion may not be accurate in all cases. For example, the data in Table 6 on work status suggests that the ASCCC could expand its intentionality in selecting part-time faculty for committee service.  

The data in these tables is only internal to the ASCCC. The following two tables are the equivalent to Tables 1 and 6 across the entire state for Fall 2022, the most current data available in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart, [4] and provide a comparison.

Table 7: Ethnicity Statewide (Fall 2022)
Ethnicity Percent
African American/Black 6
Asian/Pacific Islander 11
Hispanic/Chicano 18
Multiracial 2
White/Caucasian 54
Other/Prefer Not to State 9
Table 8: Work Status Statewide (Fall 2022)
Work Status Percent
Part-Time 67
Full-Time 33

Comparing the internal data to the statewide data provides another avenue for exploration and analysis. For example, in comparing the ratio of part-time and full-time faculty, the statewide and internal percentages are practically reversed, showing the underrepresentation of part-time faculty that applied for statewide service, with an even smaller fraction appointed to the current ASCCC committees. A growth opportunity clearly exists in recruiting more part-time faculty for statewide work.

This report is simply an initial presentation of ASCCC committee composition data. Although it is only one small component of a larger picture, the data presented in this article provides an opportunity for organizational self-reflection and continuous improvement.

Alternate Tables that Incorporate Statewide Data

Table 1: Ethnicity
Ethnicity Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%) Statewide (%)
African American/Black 8 10 6
Asian/Pacific Islander 10 8 11
Hispanic/Chicano 17 17 18
Multiracial 5 11 2
White/Caucasian 51 43 54
Other/Prefer Not to State 9 11 9
Table 6: Work Status
Work Status Applicant Pool (%) Appointed (%) Statewide (%)
Part-Time 28 16 67
Full-Time 72 84 33


1. The ASCCC Mission and Vision Statements can be found on the ASCCC website.
2. The ASCCC Strategic Plan.
3. The ASCCC Strategic Plan Directions.
4. This information was queried on September 30, 2023 from Datamart.

Resolutions Considerations

ASCCC Area C Representative, ASCCC Resolutions Committee Chair
ASCCC President

As the primary instrument for faculty across the state to guide the work of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC), resolutions are critical and foundational. Academic senate leaders from throughout the state should be familiar with the full cycle of the process as well as some guiding principles when writing resolutions. Basic guidance on resolutions and recently updated tracking information are available on the ASCCC website, but some considerations regarding the bigger picture surrounding resolutions are not necessarily addressed in the current Resolutions Handbook. [1]

Resolutions Process: Main Components

Resolutions begin with an idea that is of statewide interest. The ASCCC Executive Committee and the organization’s other committees submit resolutions that are introduced at area meetings. Additional resolutions and amendments may be introduced by interested faculty members or local senates at area meetings and, if supported by the area, are forwarded to the ASCCC Executive Committee to be included in the resolutions introduced at each upcoming plenary session. During the plenary session, faculty attendees may submit resolutions and amendments by the daily due times. Resolutions and amendments submitted at the plenary session require seconds by four registered delegates. However, finding willing seconders at the plenary is generally not difficult.

Debate and voting on proposed resolutions and amendments occurs on the final day of each plenary session. Final versions of adopted resolutions that include any approved amendment modifications are compiled and distributed to all colleges within a few days of the end of the plenary session.  

With guidance from the delegates in the form of the final, perfected resolutions, the work begins to address the resolved statements. Resolved statements are first assigned to the ASCCC Executive Committee or other committees and, as the will of the faculty, become high priorities for each committee to address. Ways to address resolutions vary as widely as do the resolutions themselves, including Rostrum articles, developing formal papers, forming task forces, collaborating with the Chancellor’s Office and system partners, providing webinars and other professional development opportunities, and more.

Updated Resolutions Tracking

Recently, the ASCCC website has been updated to provide status information on each resolution, which provides more transparency on progress in addressing resolutions. The adopted resolutions webpage is a great resource to search for resolutions with the current status displayed in the final column. One may limit the search to topics or committees by using the check boxes on the left-hand side of the webpage.

In addition, each committee webpage—under the “Communities” tab on the main ASCCC webpage—features a “Resolutions” label toward the bottom of the page. Clicking that label will display the resolutions assigned to that particular committee, again with the status displayed in the final column.

Statewide Issue or Concern

Resolutions should address issues or concerns that are statewide in nature. Many issues and concerns arise at local colleges and districts. Some may even be caused by directives from the legislature or the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The same issues or concerns may not necessarily arise at all of the colleges in the system. Area meetings and the first day of a plenary session are good venues for receiving feedback on possible resolution ideas to see if other colleges have related experiences. Searching adopted resolutions on the ASCCC website for resolutions on similar topics can help to determine whether a topic is statewide in nature; it can also help resolution writers to avoid duplicating existing resolutions.


Resolutions must address issues within the purview of the ASCCC and may only direct the ASCCC to act. Academic and professional matters detailed in Title 5 §53200, colloquially referred to as the “10+1,” largely describe the purview of the ASCCC. Faculty should carefully consider the nature of the issue or concern and its relation to academic and professional matters when drafting resolutions.

Focus on Intent

Making very specific requests with carefully crafted language may not aways align with the resolutions process. Addressing intricate resolved statements often involves multiple steps and working with many constituents, which may not be apparent in all cases.

For example, a resolution may request the creation of specific language in Title 5 related to curriculum. Curriculum clearly falls within the umbrella of academic and professional matters and is thus within the purview of the ASCCC if the particular request is of statewide interest. However, Title 5 is rather intricate, and what may seem like minor changes in one section could have profound, and sometimes unexpected or unintended, consequences in another section or sections.

Title 5 changes to curriculum-related topics are vetted through the California Community Colleges Curriculum Committee (5C), which is a committee of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CO). Membership of 5C includes CO personnel, chief instructional officers, chief student services officers, a classified curriculum specialist, a student, and, of course, faculty appointed by the ASCCC. After much discussion and often legal advice from the CO, recommendations from 5C are often further vetted by each constituent group. All proposed Title 5 updates go through both 45-day and then 15-day comment periods before final consideration by the Board of Governors, which makes the final decision to adopt or not. At any of these steps, updates and changes to the originally proposed language may occur.

This example demonstrates why some actions requested by resolutions may not be within the power of the ASCCC to implement on its own and in some cases ultimately may not be possible to fulfill at all, although the ASCCC will always attempt to follow the direction of the resolution. For this reason, resolved clauses should focus on the intent or goal of the resolution rather attempting to direct specific, narrow language or actions.

Integrated Planning

Colleges have mission statements and develop educational master plans that align with their missions. Colleges may also have strategic plans and other plans that align with the educational master plan and have annual work plans that focus the work on shorter time frames. Program review often involves relating work being done at the program level to strategic directions or metrics from these plans. All of the work at a college aligns with the mission statement, and all the plans likewise align with the mission and each other, which is often referred to as integrated planning.

The ASCCC is a different type of organization, and such a traditional integrated planning model does not quite fit. However, the ASCCC has a mission statement and does engage in institutional self-reflection and strategic planning, with the most recently developed 2023-2026 strategic plan directions [2] adopted during the 2023 Spring Plenary Session with Resolution 1.02 S23.[3]  In addition to fitting within the academic and professional matters purview of academic senates, resolutions should align with the ASCCC mission statement. Resolutions that also align with the strategic plan directions will help the organization make progress on those directions, the ASCCC analog of integrated planning.  

The wide variety of resolutions in recent years that cover various and sundry topics potentially says a great deal about the current state of the community college system. Addressing this multi-dimensional array of resolution topics and requests potentially divides the work of the ASCCC, taking its Executive Committee members, committees, and other resources in many directions. Resolutions that are aligned with the mission and strategic plan directions will more holistically focus the work of the ASCCC, providing opportunity to make significant progress on strategic plans and goals adopted through the resolutions process.


As an organization, the ASCCC manages the workload of a large team of volunteers, from Executive Committee members working with some amount of reassigned time to committee and task force volunteers and faculty experts who fully volunteer their time, energy, perspectives, and knowledge.

As noted in the Resolutions Handbook, resolutions requiring substantial resources will only be carried out if the resources are available. The ASCCC addresses resolutions with the intent of focusing on the issues raised or taking the actions directed, yet instances arise when resolutions may not be acted upon or may not be acted upon in the exact way called for in the resolution. These determinations are made individually dependent on available time, talent, and finances. In other cases, a resolution may no longer be relevant, as with those setting support or oppose positions for specific bills that have been amended to no longer be consistent with the will of the delegates. In these cases, the resolution is rendered moot or infeasible.

Resolutions are the foundational instrument through which faculty statewide provide guidance to the ASCCC Executive Committee and direct its work throughout the state. The Executive Committee urges all faculty to be involved, ask questions, and actively debate. The roughly 1.9 million students in the California Community Colleges system deserve the best effort and involvement from all faculty who serve them.

1. The ASCCC Resolutions Handbook
2. The ASCCC Mission Statement and Strategic Plan Directions are available for review on the ASCCC website.
3. Full text of all ASCCC resolutions.

Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee: Supporting Faculty Navigating the Borderland of Higher Education and Carceral Systems

ASCCC At-Large Representative

At the Spring 2022 Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Plenary Session, the delegates debated and approved Resolution 13.03 SP22 Establish ASCCC Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee. [1] This resolution was in response to the need to support faculty who are teaching in carceral settings and institutions as well as to ensure that the voice and perspective of faculty are brought forth in the conversations held between multiple governmental bureaucracies. In fall 2022, the ASCCC established the Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee to engage with this work.

In its first year of existence, the RSFAC worked hard to develop relationships with system partners new and old. The 2022-2023 committee made meaningful connections with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Rising Scholars Network (CCCCO, 2021). These connections provided the RSFAC with the background and context in which this social justice work was and is being done. From these early conversations, the RSFAC sought to further develop the Rising Scholars faculty liaison community through regular communication via the Rising Scholars Faculty Liaison Listserv. [2]

For 2023-24, the RSFAC has begun to identify more intentional ways to support Rising Scholars faculty. The committee hopes to collaborate with the CCCCO and CDCR to deliver professional learning opportunities for faculty and other stakeholders involved with their local institution’s Rising Scholars program or equivalent. These professional learning opportunities will necessitate describing what community college instruction looks like in a carceral setting.

Community college instruction in a carceral setting is a unique environment that aims to provide individuals with access to higher education and skill development. Rising Scholars faculty engaged in what their community refers to as teaching on the inside are guided by the primary goal of supporting individuals who are committed to engaging higher education as well as career technical education skills that can enhance their prospects for successful reintegration into society. Yet, the carceral setting is challenging. For example, teaching on the inside requires navigating security measures that impact how and when instruction can be delivered. Additionally, Rising Scholars are challenged with limited resources, such as limited access to the internet, textbooks, classroom space, and student services support such as counseling and tutoring.

Addressing these barriers has been a challenge unto itself. The most notable barrier is increasing and improving the lines of communications between and among various bureaucratic organizations. Unlike a traditional educational setting where institutional lines of communication for an instructor tend to be direct and can be conducted nearly instantaneously, the carceral setting often adds additional, albeit necessary, points of contact before instructional issues can be resolved. Needless to say, Rising Scholars faculty teaching on the inside necessitate specialized instructional support as well as increased advocacy that could help improve the teaching and learning experience in a carceral setting. The various stakeholders involved in the Rising Scholars program recognize this fact and have committed to resolving this and other known issues. The desire to resolve issues that are impacting the teaching and learning experience in a carceral setting is particularly important when one recognizes the moral imperative and positive outcomes of “proactively bring[ing] college to our students, wherever they are and not to wait for students to come to us” (CCCCO, n.d.a.).

Education in carceral settings is often seen as a means of rehabilitation. Beyond the tangible and measurable outcomes of carceral education, such as personal development, anger management, substance abuse treatment, and job readiness skills, all of which are necessary to prepare rehabilitated individuals for life after incarceration, exists a moral and social justice imperative that aligns with the Comprehensive Mission for Public Education in California Education Code §§66010.1-66010.8, the Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the California Community Colleges found in California Code of Regulations Title 5 §51201, and Vision 2030: A Roadmap for California Community Colleges (CCCCO, n.d.b.). Reducing recidivism rates and increasing post-release employment opportunities is equity work par excellence, and all system constituencies and partners must ensure that Rising Scholars programs or their equivalent are supported through and through. Yet, to do so, a commitment to change hearts and minds to embrace social justice is needed.

Changing the public's perception about carceral education is a huge lift, as the task is without a doubt complex and multifaceted. Any effort to engender a new tact with understanding carceral education must begin with addressing the negative perceptions that stem from misconceptions, biases, or lack of awareness about the potential benefits of such programs (Cleere, 2021).

The Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee is committed to engaging in the following strategies:

  • First, and foremost, raise awareness about the existence and effectiveness of carceral education (Cleere, 2021). To do this, the committee will seek to share success stories of individuals who have benefitted from these programs as well as faculty who have supported those successful individuals.
  • As with any systemwide effort that seeks to operate in a space multiple bureaucracies occupy, the ASCCC must engage with stakeholders (Cleere, 2021) such as policymakers, educators, prison staff, and community members, not just about the importance of carceral education but also to actively identify known barriers and work to address them, particularly those that impact teaching and learning. The Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee is committed to advancing the voice of faculty and students in these spaces.
  • Finally, changing hearts and minds of those who are critical of carceral education necessitates regular and consistent professional learning and development opportunities designed to promote restorative justice, advocate for policy changes, and foster empathy and compassionate understanding (Cleere, 2021). Restorative justice centers on the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration into society as a means of healing and preventing future harm. This type of work demands policy changes that support the increase of access to education and career technical education programming for those on the inside.  And for both restorative justice and policy change to be actualized, a concerted effort must be designed and implemented to challenge stereotypes and biases associated with incarcerated individuals.

The Rising Scholars Faculty Advisory Committee is steadfast in its collective belief that this equity work is a true north star that all should be guided by at the local institutional level as well as the systemwide state level.


Cleere, G. (2021). Prison Education and Desistance Changing Perspectives. Routledge.
CCCCO. (2021). Serving California's Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Community College Students.
CCCCO. (n.d.a.). Introduction From the Chancellor.
CCCCO. (n.d.b.). Vision 2030: A Roadmap for California’s Community Colleges.

1. Full text of all ASCCC resolutions.
2. Those who are are interested in remaining current regarding the Rising Scholars community’s communications should email ASCCC_RISINGSCHOLARS [at] listserv.cccnext.net to sign up for the ASCCC Rising Scholars Faculty Liaison listserv.

Are Your Instructors Ready for Noncredit?

ASCCC South Representative and Chair, Noncredit, Pre-Transfer, & Continuing Education Committee
Noncredit, Pre-transfer & Continuing Education Committee

Noncredit adult education in California traces its origins back to 1856, when the first adult school opened in San Francisco and offered courses in basic numeracy, literacy, and vocational education to immigrants (West, 2012). Supporting a population influx fueled by the gold rush, California’s new statehood status, and the marketing promises of the West, noncredit adult education provided a foundation for what would soon be the community college system and adult educational opportunities in California.

Nearly 175 years later, the core mission of noncredit adult education remains the same: to provide learners with basic skills, workforce preparation, college preparation, short-term training, and other skills they need to succeed in college, life, and work. While its mission remains unchanged, its scope has expanded to include K-12 students in early college preparation and career readiness through dual enrollment.

In 2022-23, nearly a quarter of a million students enrolled in one or more free noncredit classes at one of 108 community colleges offering noncredit across California (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, n.d.). Through the convergence of state restrictions on pre-transfer and an increasing demand for workforce training and upskilling opportunities, colleges are increasingly tapping into the potential and flexibility of noncredit programming.

As institutions build noncredit programs, they will see an increased need for qualified instructors to teach the courses. While significant discussion has taken place on standards for minimum preparation for faculty, more formal discussion is warrented regarding what constitutes highly prepared and effective instructors.

The Uniqueness of Noncredit Students

The needs of noncredit students require that their instructors be the best of the best. Before seeking to enroll in adult education programs, many noncredit students have yet to be successful in their educational pursuits for a myriad of reasons (Skjoldhorne, et.al., 2023). They may have

  • had to drop out of school to provide for their families.
  • immigrated from a new country and need to build their language skills and sometimes repeat programs and degrees in the U.S. for which they have foreign credentials.
  • undiagnosed or untreated disabilities, which may create frustration with the learning process and a feeling of otherness.
  • been ridiculed and ostracized for not conforming to gender norms or those of the dominant culture.
  • been justice-involved and are returning to a formalized educational setting with limited recent socialization.
  • given up on their educational goals because they experienced trauma in the classroom: a disrespectful teacher, microaggressions, embarrassment, lack of support, and a plethora of other reasons. Similarly, they may have experienced trauma outside of the classroom, such as the loss of a loved one, a life-changing accident, or loss of permanent housing.

Conversely, some noncredit students are naturally curious to learn and want to try something new. They have had very positive learning experiences and want to continue learning throughout their lifespans. Other students find value in building relationships and making connections through community engagement.

The state of California establishes minimum qualifications for the employment of all community college faculty. However, the minimum qualifications are exactly that, a bottom line, and colleges may wish to consider other desirable qualifications in their hiring decisions. Noncredit students deserve and need instructors who are community-centered, skilled in pedagogy, and innovative in design, as well as being flexible and adaptable in their approach and being practitioners of radical care and cultural humility. Consideration of these characteristics and skill sets in hiring criteria along with the minimum qualifications will enhance the effectiveness of noncredit instruction.

Attributes and Characteristics of an Effective Noncredit Instructor

Community-centered: Noncredit education bridges the community, college, and classrooms. It is a kaleidoscope for California's community colleges, providing a unique learning forum for students from a range of generations, educational attainment, cultures, and languages. Many noncredit students begin their college journey through a college-community partnership or a satellite center. Noncredit faculty must understand and recognize the essence of the communities they serve, from urban neighborhoods to rural service areas.

Skilled in the art and science of teaching: Different life stages require different strategies for teaching and learning. Effective noncredit instructors should be prepared to teach minors, adults, and older adults using a variety of instructional methodologies grounded in pedagogy, andragogy or adult learning theory, and geragogy or older adult learning theory (University of Illinois, Springfield, n.d.). A successful noncredit instructor should have a foundation in pedagogy, andragogy, arguably geragogy, and strategies to support students with disabilities. The one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning does a disservice to students. Multiple instructional methodologies will likely be needed to teach an objective based on the given needs of the student population. Instructors must be willing to try and fail and try something else to help their students achieve the desired learning outcomes; therefore, they must have an innovative mindset.

Innovative in instructional design and practice: Innovation, the iterative process of generating and implementing new ideas, is essential for the most effective noncredit instructors (Muzumdar, 2019). Faculty must be willing to experiment with various instructional approaches to meet the individual needs of each student. Each population has its own needs that converge within a single course. Student abilities vary widely, from those with an elementary school education to those with professional degrees. Yet, all students work toward the same goal, in the same space, with the same instructor. These demands require patience and flexibility.

Patient: A patient instructor recognizes that students learn at their own pace and that several iterations of the presentation of content using multiple methodologies may be necessary for students to obtain mastery. Such instructors also recognize that learning is a process, mastery takes time, and making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. These notions apply to both the student and the instructor, for faculty must also be patient with themselves.

Flexible and adaptable: Noncredit learners have competing demands on their time, including family, work, and other commitments. Effective teachers of noncredit learners must be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of their students. Examples include moving away from punitive participation models and making space for unexpected life scenarios. Noncredit faculty must be prepared to build a cushion of flexibility into each course that does not punish students when something beyond their control occurs, knowing and understanding that students may have families to care for, variable work schedules, unreliable transportation, and other stresses and need the educational content to change their circumstances.

Practice radical care: Dr. Rosa L. Rivera-McCutchen (2021) introduces radical care as a framework based on five intentional actions: addressing anti-racism, building relationships on trust, setting excellence as an expectation for both faculty and students, leveraging power, and seeking to believe the best is possible regardless of how circumstances may appear. This holistic approach is critical to supporting the psychological, social, and emotional needs of students, especially in class settings that strive to achieve anti-racist and inclusive learning environments (Howard,2021), which are necessary for creating the sense of safety and belonging needed to achieve success. A noncredit faculty member must be comfortable with being an advocate and strong voice for students who experience challenges and have been traditionally excluded, in many instances, from essential support and opportunities. Cultural humility is a crucial ingredient to practicing radical care.

Practice cultural humility: Cultural humility requires instructors to be self-reflective and aware of personal biases and beliefs about racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, for these beliefs could hinder their ability to provide effective instruction and serve all of their students (University of Oregon, n.d.). Cultural humility also requires instructors to be aware of their positionality and the power dynamics within the classroom and commit to removing those barriers to create an environment conducive to learning.

From Qualified to Exceptional

As institutions continue to develop and update noncredit programming, considerable thought should be given to the competencies and qualities of noncredit instructors. The state of California establishes minimum qualifications for hiring faculty, but, given the increasingly vulnerable populations and unique backgrounds of the students noncredit regularly serves, colleges would do well to consider additional desirable charateristics. The most effective faculty will have foundations in adult learning theory and equity-mindedness. The reemergence of noncredit is rooted in a reimagination of teaching and learning practices at California's community colleges.


California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. (n.d.). Data Mart Student Headcount.
Howard, T. (2021, March 3). Educators need to provide radical care for students. UCLA School of Education & Information Studies.
Muzumdar, S. (2019, March 20). Integrating innovative learning in everyday instructional design practice. eLearning Industry.
Rivera-McCutchen, R. L. (2021). Radical care: Leading for justice in urban schools. Teachers College Press.
University of Illinois Springfield. (n.d.). Pedagogy, andragogy, & heutagogy. 
University of Oregon. (n.d.). What is cultural humility? The basics.
West, L. L. (2012). A brief history of adult education in California community colleges. Capital Adult Education Regional Consortium.
Skjoldhorne, S., Barrat, V., & Toso, B. (2023). Adult education transitions to postsecondary education and adult learners in the workforce: An analysis of the California Adult Education Data System (CAEDS). WestEd.

The Faculty Empowerment and Leadership Academy Project: Organizational Theory, Values, and Ethics

ASCCC Secretary
North Representative

Ethical beliefs outline more and less desirable behaviors, based on a set of underlying values (White & Wooten, 1985).
This academic year, the Faculty Empowerment and Leadership Academy (FELA) project aims to create a yearlong experience to inform participants about organizational theory, values, and ethics. Organizational theory provides intervention strategies for conscious organizational change and includes three primary change areas: the team, organization processes, and responsibilities. The strategies encompass effective approaches and techniques to facilitate change within organizations. Burke and Bradford (as cited in Anderson, 2012) define organizational theory as a “system wide process of planned change aimed toward improving overall organization effectiveness by way of enhancing congruence of such key organizational dimensions as external environment, mission, strategy, leadership, culture, structure, information and reward systems, and work policies and procedures.” Additionally, organizational theory provides broad behavioral science techniques applicable to organizational development. The practical application theories that FELA participants can use are integral to achieving organizational goals and success with marketing, information technology, operations, human resources, and communications.

As part of the FELA project, the Faculty Leadership Development Committee of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has been charged with impacting the leadership experience of community college faculty members. The FELA 2023-2024 project mission is as follows:

  • To Connect: Provide one-on-one mentoring to diverse faculty for personal and professional development with mentors who are campus leaders or administrators.
  • To Empower: Create safe, brave spaces for courageous conversations to investigate equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and anti-racism, to share personal and collective experiences on race, privilege, and oppression, and to embolden new faculty leaders to advocate for transformative change on their campuses.
  • To Guide: Provide networking opportunities and share guidance for navigating and improving systems of higher education. Mentors will address the specific goals of the mentees.

The enhanced experience of participants will foster professional learning in a mentorship cohort model. Implementing the FELA project will require building an effective leadership team governed by strong ethical practices and principles. The work will begin by orienting participants to the leadership development project and establishing cohesiveness with a shared goal. The process will include meetings with a check-in aspect where participants share personal learning and successful experiences. The facilitation process will feature four core values adopted from The Skilled Facilitator that include valid information, free and informed choices, internal commitment, and compassion (Argyris & Schon, as cited in Schwarz, 2002).
The development and enhancement of community by the team will be driven by five principles:

  • Engagement of Stakeholders to Implement Change
    Participants will learn about ASCCC statewide collaborative approaches with the understanding that creating positive change in the California Community Colleges system is a complex undertaking. It involves implementing and complimenting many aspects of transformational leadership in order to be successful. An important component of change is the engagement of all stakeholders in the transformation to design and understand a process that engages all those involved early in the change. Stakeholders must believe that collegiality and progress is far better and more successful than battling over details (McKee, Boyatzis, & Johnstone, 2008).
  • Authenticity of Communication
    Participants will work within the foundational framework that is key to any type of effective change, culturally responsive and compassionate communication. Ensuring that communication is candid, anti-racist, and inclusive improves leader credibility. Naming and addressing conflicts and barriers to student success is vital to transformational change and an essential part of establishing authentic communication. Change tends to bring about employee engagement that may be extra sensitive to tone, candor, and concern. (Anderson, Anderson & Ackerman, 2010). Through effective and intentionally affirming communication, a change leader, or a positive emotional attractor, can express energy and excitement that builds momentum to successful change in an organization (McKee, Boyatzis, Johnstone, 2008). Fundamental to authentic communication is, as reflected in the ASCCC community agreements, to “Communicate with respect and humility: recognize personal biases and avoid making assumptions when interacting with others.”
  • Empathy
    Compassion is empathy in action (McKee, Boyatzis, & Johnstone, 2008). Hope and compassion bring about a feeling of renewal. This form of social awareness can help participants and leaders to enhance their understanding of others as they develop better, affirming communication and perspective of those they work with (Bradberry, Greaves, & 2009). Organizational leaders within the California Community Colleges system need to understand the impact of their ability to empathize on those that they work with.
  • Relationship Management
    Relationship management in this project will relate to participants’ social competence. Relationship building coincides with the management of the bonds that are built with constituents over time. Collaboration lends itself to a strong relationship, which in turn makes implementing change easier. Social competence is one of the primary competencies of emotional intelligence. It involves social awareness and relationship management. The key to this competence is the ability to read the room and understand the mood, motives, and behavior of those around one with the goal of improving relationships (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009).
  • Maintaining a Sense of Stability in Chaos
    Organizations must maintain stability even through the course of change. Participants must reflect on the question, “What is our core purpose?” (Anderson, Anderson, & Ackerman, 2010). Core purpose stabilization and shared values provide the basis for alignment. FELA participants will embrace their responsibility in understanding and collaborating with all those in the California Community Colleges system who will be affected by students’ successful outcomes through all the change that is being implemented.

FELA 2023-2024 Mission

In accomplishing its mission and operating from the aforementioned principles, FELA 2023-2024 will focus on the development of faculty from historically underrepresented groups in higher education, aligning directly with one of four ASCCC 2023-2026 Strategic Plan directions, “Developing Innovative Activities to Empower Faculty and Uplift Underrepresented Voices.” The project will provide opportunities to connect with leaders from across the state, to empower faculty to seek leadership roles, and to benefit from regular contact with mentors. All activities in this leadership development project are designed to ensure participants are ready to meet the challenges and see the excellence in transformative leadership and equity-minded approaches that will help them better work with and serve diverse student populations.

Lessons to Be Learned Regarding Challenges to Holding Organizational Theory Values

  • Financial and economic tensions: During FELA project meeting sessions, participants may have to accept ideas that do not fit with their values, keeping those values secondary to decisions that directly benefit students. This challenge is referred to as a “tension being driven by ego gratification, personal success, and financial rewards versus championing traditional humanistic values in the consulting process” according to Church et al. (as cited in Anderson, 2012).
  • The push to see organizational theory in action as technology: The FELA project leadership team will support participants implementing new technological success strategies that may have been overshadowed by core historical practices, values on which andragogy is based, or the necessity of implementation. “Many practitioners have become routine in their applications; they have succumbed to management pressure for the quick fix, the emphasis on the bottom line, and the cure-all mentality…. They seem to have lost sight of the core values of the field” (Margulies and Raia, as cited in Anderson, 2012).
  • Management culture and expectations: Tensions may exist between the California community college expectations of cost-effective practices that produce immediate results versus valuable team consulting analysis. The leadership team will encourage participants to identify and operationalize principles versus institutional practices, procedures, and values that may produce tension surrounding implementation strategies.
  • Research: The FELA project seeks to orient participants to research data aimed to empower, connect, and guide faculty leaders.


Anderson, D. (2012). Organizational development: The process of leading organizational change (2nd ed.). California SAGE Publications.
Anderson, D., & Ackerman-Anderson, L. S. (2010). Beyond change management: how to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. (2nd Ed.). Pfeiffer.
Bradberry, T. & Greavis, J. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Talent Smart.
McKee, A., Boyatzis, R. & Johnston, F.E. (2008). Becoming a resonant leader: Develop your emotional intelligence, renew your relationships, sustain your effectiveness. Harvard Business School Press.
Schwarz, R. (2002). The Skilled Facilitator. Jossey-Bass.
White, L. P., & Wooten, K. C. (1985).  Professional ethics and practice in organizational development. Praeger.

Staying Connected and Connecting Others

ASCCC Area C Representative

With so much occurring throughout the state of California, faculty leaders may wonder how to stay up to date on current matters and how to keep other faculty informed. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) provides a number of newsletters and listservs to help faculty stay connected and informed. Such resources from the ASCCC provide ways to connect other faculty to information on statewide academic and professional matters.

Staying Connected: Newsletters and Listservs

The ASCCC has a number of services to keep faculty and colleagues informed. One may sign up on the ASCCC newsletter and listservs webpage. Anyone can sign up for any of the categories or topics. Good starting points are the following:

  • President’s Update: Members receive periodic messages from the ASCCC president that are also archived on the ASCCC website.
  • Senate Presidents Listserv: Messages of interest to all academic senate presidents and leaders are sent to this listserv.
  • Area A, B, C, or D Listserv: These listservs receive less frequent messages more focused on events within each specific ASCCC area. The ASCCC Area webpage, also houses the area map and college listing.  Another way to find out which area each college belongs to is to use the ASCCC Directory. Clicking on any college in the directory will provide more details about that college, including the college president, academic senate president, curriculum chair, liaisons, and more.

The ASCCC also offers discipline-specific listservs, some that address part-time faculty, some geared towards career technical education, some related to the Open Education Resources Initiative, one related to curriculum, and many others.

All listservs are available to anyone who wishes to join. For example, one need not be an academic senate president or even a faculty member to sign up for the Senate Presidents Listserv. All local senate presidents registered on the ASCCC directory are added to the senate presidents and appropriate area listservs.  

ASCCC Executive Committee members, including area representatives, do not have administrative access to these lists and are unable to add and remove individual members or check whether someone is actually subscribed.

Connecting Others

Academic senate presidents are encouraged to forward messages from the ASCCC to the faculty they represent in order to help keep all faculty informed of statewide activities, actions, and opportunities. Another way to keep others informed is to encourage them to sign up for the newsletters and listservs. In that way, individuals are able to tailor the information they receive by picking and choosing particular listservs.

More resources are available on the ASCCC website, with many highlighted in the April 2023 Rostrum article “Resources for Academic Senate Leaders”.

All faculty are also encouraged to consider statewide service on ASCCC committees and to encourage other faculty to do likewise. [1] Statewide service is a great way to learn more about academic and professional matters in the state-level landscape and to meet other motivated faculty across the state.

1. The form used to volunteer for ASCCC committee service.