(In 2013, the Academic Senate Executive Committee approved a project to record and preserve the history of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The April 2017 Rostrum contains an article that explains the intent and structure of this project. The following article was written as an aspect of the history project.)
In February 2010, the ASCCC Executive Committee published a white paper titled Data 101: Guiding Principles for Faculty.  Since that time, data has become an everyday part of faculty lives throughout California’s community colleges and districts. Data is integral to decision making and student success on college campuses. From guided pathways implementation and the Vision for Success goals, to AB 705 implementation and closing equity gaps, faculty take on a significant role in data-informed discussions and decisions.
As mentioned in previous Rostrum articles and the ASCCC paper Equivalence to the Minimum Qualifications (2016),  colleges should recognize that faculty applicants may prepare in various ways for employment and may meet qualifications in different ways depending on their disciplines. As a result, colleges should have means of considering qualification through equivalence.
Since 1990, districts have been required, per California Education Code §87360, to include in their hiring processes for faculty and administrators “criteria that include a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students.” This statute is included in the Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in the California Community Colleges, also known as the Disciplines List.
For almost 60 years, since the creation of the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960, California community colleges have focused on serving students seeking lower division course work and career technical training. During that time, while focus on other areas of study has been diminished, including much of life-long learning and, more recently, much in remediation and basic skills, additional elements have rarely been added to the mission of the California community colleges.
At the outset of the California Guided Pathways Project, colleges struggled with where in their governance processes guided pathways efforts would reside. Many colleges set up separate guided pathways committees or task forces and assigned various existing and new staff from faculty, administration, and even classified professionals to lead the efforts. Many of these very same colleges are now restructuring their governance systems to accommodate guided pathways efforts, often feeling like Sisyphus rolling a huge boulder up a hill.
Successful implementation of a guided pathways framework in the California community colleges will entail transformation of institutions and processes with the students’ goals in mind. This undertaking will have significant implications for several academic and professional matters under academic senate purview, not least of which are “standards or policies regarding student preparation and success.”  Regarding these issues, academic senates and district governing boards are required to consult collegially.
Student-centeredness as equity in practice is an opportunity. Most of us desire equity to be more than a word that people say in passing; we want equity to be something that we practice with measurable outcomes as we close achievement gaps. The idea of student-centeredness as equity in practice means that focusing on students—all students—can infuse equitable practices into institutions if faculty are strategic and intentional. This goal is accomplished through student engagement, which is key to community colleges successfully implementing guided pathways.
The courage mustered by so many students, let alone undocumented students, to attend classes is not an experience that attendance policies are designed to recognize. Colleges do not have a metric for courage , which is likely why the courage on full display by the most vulnerable students just to make it to class is lost on colleges and even on their professors. Attendance is an expectation and the most basic requirement for success in a class.
Recent changes to federal policies regarding undocumented individuals in the U.S. have created challenges for community college leaders who wish to support the vulnerable population of DACA, AB 540, and other undocumented students in their colleges. These students may be undocumented due to outstaying a visa, having incomplete applications or delayed renewal processes, having come to the U.S. at a young age without official residency status, or other complications of the immigration process.