The Academic Senate’s Diversity Institute was a tremendous success. With more than 100 participants and breakouts on cultural competence, hiring, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) student issues, and many other topics, the message is clear that this Institute filled an important need. Attendees engaged in wonderful conversations and were determined to leave with practical ideas to implement at their colleges. One of the goals of the Institute was to specifically develop strategies for increasing the diversity of faculty leaders at our colleges and at the state level.
These days at board and district governance/budget committee meetings, faculty all over the state are making the case for why we need full-time faculty.
Of all college publications available to students, there is not one that is more important than the college catalog. this publication informs students about their rights and responsibilities, about college policies critical to students' success, and about the courses they need to reach their educational goals, be it to get a certificate, a degree, transfer to a university, or any combination of these. In fact, this publication supersedes any other document when it comes to the colleges' obligation in serving students.
Why do you Need to have Advisory Meetings?
First, it is the law. Title 5 55601 says, "The governing board of each community college district participating in a vocational education program shall appoint a vocational education advisory committee to develop recommendations on the program and to provide liaison between the district and potential employers."
I guess you could say that I am an eternal optimist who believes strongly that nothing is impossible. In 1992, I wrote a tech prep grant proposal as a high school computer applications teacher. My principal at the time said, "you can go to those tech Prep meetings if you want, but there's no money in it". A year later, he stood at the door with me as a whole new lab of shiny MAC computers were unloaded into my classroom, courtesy of a $30k tech Prep award, that no one but me thought I would receive.
Once, long, long ago in a place far, far away (mid-March 2006 in Palm Springs) during a dark and stormy thursday afternoon a special ops team of highly skilled operators slithered quietly into the tense atmosphere of a cold, dark dungeon deep below an ever so grand castle. They traveled incessantly from room to room with the only thought in their minds being a focused ideal of completely freeing the neglected few who braved these elements only to find themselves captured deep within this mighty fortress.
In September 2005 Senator Scott's vocational education legislation, SB 70, was chaptered into the Education Code (section 88532). The bill focuses on improving the linkages and career-technical pathways between high school and California community colleges. Most of the CCC response to the legislation will occur through programs coordinated directly from the system office, and personnel there have already begun to inform colleges about some of their plans.
Leadership: Hindsight or Vision-a bold title for this year's vocational education leadership Institute, and a title that set the tone for a truly inspirational and informative conference.
As a first time participant I was in awe. From the opening and welcome given by the President of the academic senate, Ian Walton, to the closing session by Patrick Perry, Vice Chancellor for technology, CCCCO the Institute covered a lot of ground and was entirely motivating.
It wasn't long ago that the only way to register for classes at the community college was for the student (and family) to drive to the college, talk to a counselor, fill out the application and other forms and eventually register for courses after a series of human-to-human contacts (via orientation, assessment, arena registration with college faculty available) at the college.
In fall 2005, the 80% proposal first surfaced. Essentially, the proposal would amend the education code, which currently limits the teaching load of a part-time faculty member to 60% of a full-time faculty member's load in a single district. The proposal, which is now Senate Bill 847 (ducheny), raises that limitation to 80% per college. In fall 2005, the body directed the Academic Senate Executive Committee to research the issues behind the 80% proposal and bring information and resolutions back in spring 2006.