Efforts to Improve Basic Skills Instruction in Community Colleges Show Promise

With well over fifty percent of community college entering students assessed as being underprepared to do college-level work in English, mathematics, and/or reading, according to our 1998 basic Skills Survey, California community colleges face a monumental task of providing effective basic skills instruction. This challenge seems daunting when we consider the degree to which many of these students lack rudimentary skills in reading, writing, and computation-usually after completing high school.

Local Senates

If you don't know much about the Relations with Local Senates Committee, you soon will. Our members are busy this spring with three projects having direct bearing on your local academic senate.

A Report From the Affirmative Action and Cultural Diversity Committee

Recently, the addition of new members has brought a new infusion of energy into the AA/CD committee. Just in time, too, because we are revising and updating the 1993 Student Equity handbook entitled "Student Equity: Guidelines for Developing a Plan" for the spring plenary session in April. AA/CD is in the process of discarding unnecessary or old information, adding new materials where needed, updating definitions, adding new and useful materials on campus climate, classroom assessment, learning styles, and academic mentoring, and updating funding sources.

The Disciplines List Hearings

The Discipline List Hearings are just around the corner! As many of you now know, the review of the proposed changes to the disciplines list is moving along. The disciplines list establishes the minimum qualifications for the faculty of California community colleges. The Academic Senate has the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Governors regarding proposed disciplines list changes. The following is provided to give everyone an update on the status of this year's review, what has happened and what will be coming up in the two hearings and Spring Session.

The Lessons of IMPAC

Surely by now you've heard about the IMPAC project (Intersegmental Major Preparation Articulated Curriculum), a project of the Intersegmental Commiteee of Academic Senates (ICAS). Literally hundreds of community college faculty have joined their discipline counterparts from UC and CSU to discuss curriculum, and yes, the A&T words: ARTICULATION AND TRANSFER.

"Where are We, and What are We Doing Here?"

"Where am I?" and "What am I doing here?" is a brace of questions that Executive Committee members ask often, as they wake up in strange-or vaguely familiar-hotel rooms, having departed home turf for YAM (yet another meeting). I recall that my own disorientation was chronic when, as Vice President, I was often traveling four to five times a week. Things are better as President; now I just wake up on cold rainy mornings in Sacramento wishing that the sun would shine.

Ignore Us At Your Peril!": The San Francisco Accreditation Hearing

"Ignore us at your peril!" Those were the closing words of Los Angeles Valley Senate President Leaon Marzillier during testimony at the Accrediting Commission's hearing on Draft A of the proposed new accreditation standards. The hearing, held on Sunday, January 6th in San Francisco, was the only one to be scheduled in the continental United States.

Many Irons in the Fire

The Academic Senate Curriculum Committee and Academic Senate appointments to Chancellor's Office advisory committees have been working on a number of things these last six months, of which this article will highlight but a few.

Title 5, Part II

Revisions to Title 5 Regulation in the area of curriculum continues. Known at Part II, this second batch of changes were recently aired for public comment. There are several areas to note.

Educational Opportunities

In a growing global economy, the social and economic foundation of the nation is dependent upon the educational level of its workforce. Therefore, we must not only ensure that educational opportunities are available to all students, but that these same students achieve equitable educational outcomes. Outcomes, as opposed to access, will ensure that historically underrepresented students will possess the needed credentials to gain economic, social and political power to function in a more global society.


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