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.
A year ago at Spring Plenary Session in San Francisco, the body adopted two resolutions calling for an increase in the statewide minimum requirements in math and english required to receive an associate degree from any California Community College. With those actions, it became the responsibility of the President and Executive Committee to implement the official will of the body. For many resolutions, delegates don't examine what is required to implement them, and are satisfied when the results appear, a year or two later, recorded as completed in the senate status Report.
In 1985 the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges, in honor of the former state Chancellor, Gerald C. Hayward, created awards for outstanding community college faculty. The Gerald C. Hayward Award for "Excellence in Education" has been awarded since 1988. Four recipients, each from different areas of the state, are selected and honored annually at the March Board of Governors' meeting. All faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, are eligible for the award.
IMPAC, whose acronym stands for Intersegmental Major Preparation Articulated Curriculum, is completing its first fully funded-and very successful-year. Sponsored by the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS), the IMPAC project fosters faculty-tofaculty dialogues among community colleges, CSU and UC faculty teaching in key disciplines. The IMPAC Project is funded by a $550,000, five-year grant from the Governor for discussions that lead to demonstrable progress in increased transfer and, more importantly, in the successful transfer of our community college students.
This last fall the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges concluded another successful Plenary Session. This year the 32nd Fall session was again held at the Los Angeles Airport Westin hotel.