Students come to California community colleges with various backgrounds. Some come straight from high school, while others may have a long gap in their education. Some students take many honors and advanced placement courses in high school, while for others basic English or math might be more challenging. No matter what background a student has, he or she is put through an assessment process upon enrolling at a community college campus.
Any strong organization or institution should take careful thought for its own future direction, determining in a deliberate and explicit manner what it wants to achieve and what it wants to be. For this reason, strategic planning is a concept discussed throughout the California community college system, from the Board of Governors down to the level of local colleges and even individual departments.
Local senates have received applications for nominations of faculty to serve on the Board of Governors. The Executive Committee will make final selections and submit names to the Governor's office after it has interviewedcandidates screened by the Standards and Practices Committee.
The increasing demand for accountability, particularly in tax-supported institutions appears to be aimed primarily at the community colleges. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with expecting accountability, but, when an activity is held up to scrutiny, we should ask ourselves: What kind of accountability is being called for? Who is demanding the accountability? Why are they demanding it? And, are the methods used to scrutinize the activity valid?
The Relations with Local Senates Committee serves as a resource to local senates by assisting with local concerns related to strengthening the role of academic senates. This article provides background on some of the work of the Committee.
The Committee continues the tradition of two members from each Senate area. This year's members are:
Area A: Mike Butler (Redwoods) and Teresa Aldredge (Cosumnes River)
Area B: Kate Motoyama (San Mateo) and Cristine Ducoing (Solano)
Area C: Dorothy Williams (Antelope Valley) and Gary Morgan (Oxnard)
The purpose of this article is to highlight for occupational education faculty what is happening at the state level around vocational education.
From time to time, every local senate finds itself in the midst of crises-internal or organizational, at the college or within the district, lasting or transitory. Based on the experiences some senates have endured, we offer these suggestions for your consideration-and for wider debate and discussion. What follows, then are thoughts about the collective responsibilities of local senate members and advice particularly suited for local senate presidents and officers-whether in crisis or not.
At its September 2002 meeting, the Board of Governors was poised to adopt a new graduation requirement for all California community college students. This new requirement for information competency, employing the definition of information competency adopted by the Academic Senate, would indicate to transfer institutions and to employers that our students had the ability to recognize the need for information and to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all its various formats. It combines aspects of library literacy, research methods and technological literacy.
As I write this, I'm sitting in the Roadhouse Caf in LAX, Terminal 7, with a two-hour wait for a connecting flight. I was here a few weeks ago with Executive Director Julie Adams for a pause of similar proportions; we got a lot of work done (see accompanying photo), but, as importantly, we both noticed what a pleasant place it was to wait. The Roadhouse has a sign on the outside window, "Last Chance for Good Eats" (a believable enough claim as you're about to board an airplane), it has a Route 66 theme on the inside, and it seems to be a family enterprise-run by a very functional family.
I will never forget my interview for the job I still hold, 33 years later, as an instructor of philosophy at Grossmont College.