The 2009 Vocational Education Leadership Institute was held March 12 through 14 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. The Vocational Education Leadership Institute is designed to develop and promote leadership among occupational faculty at local, regional and state levels. It is funded by a federal Vocational and Technical Education Act (VTEA) leadership grant that is administered by the Chancellor's Office for California Community Colleges and provided to the Academic Senate for implementation. The Institute provides training and a range of tools to the faculty in attendance.
At the 2009 Spring Plenary Session, faculty passed two important resolutions concerning prerequisites. One of them asks the Academic Senate to recommend changes to Title 5 requirements for the validation of computational and communication prerequisites from the current statistical requirements to content review only. It also requires that local senates should have a valid challenge process and conduct research to analyze the effects of this change.
The Academic Senate has a strong commitment to diversity, and the Executive Committee is committed to fostering diversity among faculty leaders. We're always on the lookout for new college leaders and strive to improve access and equity. Each year, the Academic Senate holds elections for the Executive Committee and for officers at the Spring Plenary Session.
This article is adapted from remarks delivered at the Academic Senate Plenary Session on Thursday, April 16, 2009.
The Academic Senate and Research and Planning Group (RP) collaborative group on Student Learning Outcome (SLO) Assessment sponsored four regional meetings in March where researchers and faculty shared dialog on their working relationships and how they can address common issues of improving student success, supporting evidence-based decision making, and moving toward a culture of inquiry. Meetings were held at Mt. San Antonio College, Merritt College, Sierra College, and Mesa College.
In the 2005-06 academic year, longtime Riverside Community College (RCC) District president/chancellor Salvatore Rotella announced his intention to retire on June 30, 2006. Three years, three searches, three search consultants, two interim chancellors, and nine public finalists later, the RCC District appointed Dr. Gregory Gray as chancellor.
At the Spring 2008 Plenary Session, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges adopted the position paper Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations about Grade Distributions. This document examined California Community College Chancellor's Office data on grades at the system level, and also in a selection of career/technical programs that have external requirements such as a licensing board. Among its conclusions is the finding that despite concern at a national level, for the California Community College (CCC) System there is no evidence of grade inflation in general.
"Putting out fires, that's all I ever do." This observation came, alas, not from a Fire Technology student but from an academic senate president who felt she never had time to tackle the real and pressing issues that impede educational excellence at her college. The need to be proactive as well as reactive confronts not only local senate presidents but the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges as well.
With all the activities occurring at our colleges, the ones with due dates and compliance requirements often rise and stay at the top of the to-do list. That means that issues like hiring diverse faculty, developing culturally-competent curriculum, or increasing student equity find a home on the back burners until there is motivation to move these issues to the front. The next academic year, 2009-2010, will be the right time to bring to the forefront all of those simmering, yet important discussions of equity and diversity. The reasons why next year is so opportune follow.
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges strongly support discussions among community college faculty and with colleagues from the University of California and California State University about the development of sustainability curriculum; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges offer breakouts on the development of sustainability curriculum in career technical education, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and liberal arts areas at the Spring 2009 Plenary Session. (Resolution 9.04 F08)