October

The Academic Senate and the Nursing Advisory

In June 2002, the study "Associate Degree Nursing: Model Prerequisites Validation Study" was completed as a Health Care Initiative Project. It concluded that four factors best predict student success in completing nursing programs: overall GPA, English GPA, core biology courses GPA, and core biology repetitions (the fewer the repetitions the better). Using that data, a formula was then been developed that can be used to create cut scores for admission to associate degree-nursing programs.

CVC, What's Going On?

The California Virtual Campus (CVC) began as the California Virtual University (CVU). Funded at $2.9M in the 1998 budget, the CVU with four regional centers was created to assist in the effort to convert and create online courses and programs to cope with the increasing number of students enrolling in California's institutions of higher education. A database of available on-line courses, training, technical support, and shared resources (more efficient through the economy of scale) made the CVU a necessary resource for the successful implementation of online courses.

What's Been Happening in the Legislature?

One of the standing committees of the Academic Senate is the Legislation and Governmental Relations Committee. A major charge of this committee is to track state and federal legislation that affects the community colleges and to keep the Senate President and the rest of the Executive Committee informed about such legislation. A primary goal of the committee is also to keep all faculty abreast of legislative affairs, both through Legislative Alerts to local senate presidents and by providing periodic updates on the Academic Senate's website.

Equity and Diversity. Implementation and the Role of Local Senates

Note: The following historical summary was compiled from on-line histories and documents prepared by the Chancellor's Office.

A Little History
California community colleges are bound by state and federal legislation to provide a working and learning environment that reflects the rights of all students to study and to access services in an environment that is equitable, free from discrimination and harassment, and in which everybody is respected and treated fairly. We are also bound by a pervasive understanding that to do so is morally right.

So, You're Thinking about a Vote of No Confidence: 10+ Questions to Ask

H as your local senate considered taking a vote of no confidence on an administrator? At some colleges, there have been ongoing issues with long-standing administrators. At other colleges, new problems have arisen as a result of the budgetary constraints in the last year. At times of fiscal hardship, typically there are more instances in which local senates find their rights and responsibilities have been curtailed, so the discussions about a no-confidence vote have increased.

Accreditation Standards: State and Local Concerns

Since Fall 1979, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has passed nearly 120 resolutions that have to do with accreditation. Of those resolutions, nearly one-third date from Fall 2000 and urge opposition to the unilateral imposition of new accreditation standards by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which includes the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). At the heart of the Senate's complaint is the new standards' reliance on Student Learning Outcomes (SLO's).

Revisiting Associate's Degree Standards

During the last two Senate plenary sessions, there has been spirited debate over whether to raise statewide requirements (Title 5) in mathematics and English for the associate's degrees. Currently statewide minimum requirements specify a course in elementary algebra and a course no more than one level below transfer-level English composition (Title 5, section 55805.5). Thoughtful arguments were put forth in previous breakouts by both those who favor raising these requirements and by those opposed to raising them.

Faculty Development: Hanging on by a Shoestring?

The lack of funding for faculty and staff development is beginning to show at the colleges. While enrollments and class sizes increase, student preparedness and the student skill levels in reading, writing, and mathematics decrease, and the economy forces more students into working beyond a 40-hour work week, splitting their class schedules to attend both day and night classes-although budget reductions and compressed calendars have limited class offerings. Our faculty and colleges are less able to cope with the stresses of today's community college environment.

What is a Good Education?

As a faculty member, do you find that your students today are as well prepared as they were when you were a student? Has the preparation, with which students have come to you, improved or deteriorated with each passing year? My guess is that you would say the latter. Who or what is to blame for this state of affairs? If we believe that the high school curriculum is lacking in the rigor or design to produce well prepared college freshmen, then we may look towards who exercises the most control over that curriculum.

Educational Policies Committee

The charge of the Educational Policies Committee includes analysis of issues that have wide educational implications for our colleges and students. The committee then develops recommendations to the President, the Executive Committee and the field. Our findings and recommendations may also be included in published position papers. Committee members this year include Greg Gilbert (Copper Mountain), Paul Setziol (De Anza), Angela Caballero de Cordero (Allan Hancock), Gary Morgan (Oxnard), Glenn Yoshida (Los Angeles Southwest) and Alisa Messer (San Francisco).

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