Why Should We Care About Categoricals?

Elimination of new student orientations, students registering for classes without assessing in mathematics and English, no student education plans. These are just a few of the examples of what might be in store for our campuses this year due to the unprecedented cuts to categorical programs. In July, the Governor signed into law a state budget that not only included deep funding cuts to categoricals, but also mandated significant policy changes allowing districts flexibility to move funds between categorical programs.

The Categorical Saga

The past few months have been a challenge for us all on so many levels. As we face unprecedented budget cuts, funding deferrals, and surges in enrollment, we also are getting a glimpse into the politics of it all. It is clear that some of our programs, and some of our student populations, have been deemed not worthy of the state’s resources. And those who care about student success and understand that success requires appropriate and adequate support are likely convinced that student success has been found not worthy.

Updating The Faculty Role in Planning and Budgeting Paper?

California’s current budget meltdown, the significant reductions in funding to the California community colleges, and the need for colleges to meet the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ (ACCJC’s) expectations on budgeting and planning have made Resolution 2.01 S08 timely. This resolution asks the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges to review its paper The Faculty Role in Planning and Budgeting to determine whether any update or further action is warranted in light of the 2002 Accreditation Standards.

Moving Forward with Basic Skills Strategies

The Basic Skills Initiative has taught us a lot of important things about our profession and about the students we serve in our classrooms. We know the percentage of first time students with basic skills needs are over 75%. But how much basic skills work do they need? In other words, we know the breadth, but what is the depth of those needs? The work with CB 21 rubrics and recoding basic skills courses has provided a great deal of information about the depth of basic skills needs.


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