April

Accreditation Teams

Given all the recent announcements regarding colleges on sanction or warning, did you know that the Senate has a resource for local senates in the area of accreditation? As a new service to local academic senates, the Accreditation Resource Teams will provide a direct and custom-made response to the needs of local academic senates concerning issues around the 10+1. This resource is separate from and in addition to the multi-college plenary sessions, institutes, and regional trainings provided by the Academic Senate.

Facilitating Difficult Budget Discussions

In these tough budgetary times, academic senate leaders can find themselves in the middle of some challenging, emotional discussions about class offerings and programs. Trying to address a budgetary shortfall, especially when a crisis develops rapidly, often pits faculty member against faculty member. Tension between colleagues is high, trust is low, and the ability to move forward can come to a stand still.

Senate Budget

The California state financial situation has been quite challenging recently, and, unfortunately, the situation will most likely continue to worsen, at least in the near future. The focus of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has been to maintain academic and professional standards to the greatest extent possible and to offer planning support for those colleges and districts struggling with budget reductions. Unfortunately, the Academic Senate is not immune from budget reductions either.

Julie's Inbox

Question: What is the legal or official requirement regarding the review cycle for curriculum? My college reviews all courses on a six year cycle, but I am told that other colleges do their reviews more frequently.

Implementing Prerequisites: A Response to SSTF Recommendation 3.4

In January 2012, the Board of Governors accepted the 22 recommendations included in the final report of the Student Success Task Force (SSTF). Many of these recommendations remain controversial and will continue to spur both discussion and opposition, and implementation of several of them will require either legislative or regulatory changes if indeed they are eventually implemented at all.

Paper Towels, Crony Capitalism, and For-Profit Higher Education

Just washed my hands; my hands are wet. I need a paper towel. I’m sliding my hand under the “electric eye.” Why isn’t a paper towel sliding out? This dispenser must be broken. I’ll try the next one. Damn, it’s not working either. Wait, maybe it’s just empty. I’ll try the next one. Unbelievable! I’m in a major, metropolitan airport and not a single paper towel dispenser is working. Nobody else is getting a paper towel either; we’re all having to drip dry. Argghh! Good thing I’m wearing jeans today…

Why WGU is a Bad Idea for California

In light of the Student Success Task Force Recommendations and a myriad of suggestions from sources about how to “fix” education in California, the Financial Aid Commission heard testimony in February 2012 from Western Governors University (WGU) and others about the potential of permitting students who are attending institutions that do not have a physical presence in California to access state financial aid. For a number of reasons this proposal should be the cause of some concern for community colleges.

Faculty Evaluations – The SLOAC Debate Continues

This year, for the first time, the Academic Senate’s Accreditation Institute was co-sponsored by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which collaborated with the Senate on the development and implementation of the institute. This collaboration with the ACCJC led to an increased understanding of the federal government pressures faced by the ACCJC and, in turn, a deeper understanding by the ACCJC of the value of faculty-led accreditation initiatives.

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