April

A Tale of Interpretations: Transfer Velocity

It’s no secret to faculty that a wide range of critics have labeled the transfer function in the California community colleges “broken,” and faculty who attended the fall plenary session will recall breakouts and debate about AB 440 (reborn this year as SB 1440), the legislation that would prohibit colleges from including local course requirements should they choose to develop “for transfer” degrees as desired by the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The Transfer Degree: An Alternate Perspective

A hot topic in California higher education today revolves around community colleges awarding associate degrees that are meaningful yet unit efficient and that meet the needs of all of our students who invariably are pursuing different educational goals. These issues have been a predominant concern to transfer and articulation faculty over the last several years and are even more pressing today in the context of tighter budgets, an increase in students and in the projected need for workers in our state that have, at minimum, obtained an associate degree.

Coursework Recency

Resolution 9.10, passed in Fall 2006, asked the Academic Senate to “investigate the issue of coursework recency” and multiple curriculum committees have looked into the issue and found no neat solution.

Recency: the Problem

California Community Colleges Strategic Plan Assessment Action Planning Group (APG): An Update on the Group’s Recommendations

At the Spring 2009 Plenary Session, the Academic Senate endorsed the Assessment APG’s end-of-year report for 2008-2009. Since that time, there has been significant movement on some of the recommendations from the report.

Recommendation: Support statewide project to develop statewide prerequisites for a limited set of general education courses using content review per the Model District Policy on Pre-Requisites, including an evaluation of the impacts.

What Would You Like to Know? And How? A Conversation about the BRIC Project

This article explores the philosophy of the Bridging Research, Information and Culture project (BRIC). BRIC grew out of the previous Basic Skills Outcomes and Fostering a Culture of Evidence and Inquiry project (BSOC) that 2009 Fall Plenary Session delegates heard described in Rob Johnstone’s general session speech, and in the breakout that featured Rob, Janet Fulks, Bob Pacheco and Ian Walton. This article is Ian’s interpretation and exposition of an extended interview/conversation between Rob and Ian.

Ian: Where did BRIC come from and where’s it going?

The Appointment or Selection of Faculty to Short-term, Non-teaching Tasks - Why did HE get that position?

While there are many policies and procedures that we take for granted and others that we don’t really care about, knowing the who, how, what, and why of the selection of faculty for various tasks is an academic and professional matter. And a matter that local senates should play a significant role in determining.

When Are Counseling Paraprofessionals Appropriate? A Friendly Reminder

During this tumultuous economy, districts find themselves entertaining a variety of solutions as a means of tackling severe budget reductions, and colleges are faced with the impossible task of providing quality student services without adequate resources. As a result, paraprofessionals may have absorbed additional duties previously performed by a robust counseling department.

Maintaining the Academic Integrity of Short Term Courses

Is it really possible to effectively teach a three-unit writing course in four weeks? A business law course in a weekend? Reading in a six-week summer session?

With community colleges under pressure to be more efficient, more innovative, and more responsive to the needs of diverse student populations, semesters have been shortened from 18 to 16 weeks, summer sessions are offered in eight, six and four-week formats, and four-week winter intersessions are becoming common.

Setting Up an Institutional Review Board at Your College

At the Fall 2009 Plenary Session, the body adopted the following resolution concerning institutional review boards (IRB):

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges strongly encourage local senates to consider the development of local college and district Institutional Review Board (IRB) Committees as a preventive measure to litigation and for the protection of the students and community that they serve; and

Diversity Institute on the Right Track

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.

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