We have a problem at our campus, and I’m sure it happens elsewhere. Civility is a real challenge. People get so mad at one another that it impedes our work. This happens with our board, our administrators, and yes, with faculty. Does the Executive Committee have any suggestions?
Trying to Get Along
In Spring 2005, the President of Santa Barbara City College asked the local academic senate to assume responsibility for planning and implementing a Student Success Initiative. The goal of this Initiative was to address the needs of the large population of under-prepared students entering the College and to increase the academic success of all SBCC students. The senate accepted this responsibility and the following summer formed a task force to begin planning the Initiative.
Not surprisingly, given the extraordinary budgetary times we find ourselves in, the Academic Senate finds itself receiving more inquiries about program reduction and discontinuance than is typical. Faculty aren’t contacting the Senate to find out how to jettison programs; rather, how can faculty defend vulnerable programs and the students they serve when programs are identified for reduction or elimination not on the basis of need, but on the basis of potential cost savings?
In Fall 2009, a resolution was passed to look into addressing the need for “standards and suitable criteria” whereby local college faculty can more objectively and easily establish equivalencies.
For those of you who have not participated in this faculty driven coursework alignment, CB 21 is simply the name of a data code that describes the level of courses prior to transfer-level courses. This data code is the 21st course basic (CB 21) code in the same way that CB 04 represents the 4th course basic code for degree applicability and CB 05 represents transferability of a course. Previously the coding was primarily assigned by someone other than faculty and often assigned by someone without knowledge of the curriculum pathway and existing course alignment.
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.
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.
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
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.