SPEAKING OF THE SENATE...
by Mike Scott, Academic Senate President
New Year, New Semester
It would be great if things were changing for the better. In reviewing what was written last year at this time by the Senate, it appears that things remain mostly the same. We still have some accreditation issues, and the budget is horrible. The only thing different is we now have the dreaded Student Success Task Force recommendations to deal with. The mission of community colleges in California continues to change with each passing month. Where it will ultimately take us, no one knows, but it will be more Basic Skills, CTE and Transfer oriented.
Our follow-up report is completed and will be mailed out before March 15. The main concern is our progress in the area of SLOs. We need to be closer to proficiency than we are at the present. Based on information as of the end of February, more work needs to be done. Course-Level SLOs are at 86% complete, Courses with Assessments/Timelines are at 54%. Program-Level PLOs are at 71% complete, and Programs with Assessment/Timelines are at 13%. In order to be considered proficient, we need all four of these areas to be at 100% or very near there. Hopefully, the Institute Day activities by the Divisions will get us there. Assuming the numbers improve and the Accreditation Commission accepts our work as sufficient, we will have until March 15, 2013 to be at the proficient level. If not, we face the potential of being placed on Warning, or at the very least, having a site visit forced on us in October to assess our progress towards proficiency.
Speaking of sanctions, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has been busy. They released their January 2012 list of visits and results. Only four colleges were reaffirmed based on a comprehensive evaluation. The following sanctions were made:
Columbia College, Fresno City College, Reedley College, Solano College, College of Marin, Evergreen Valley College, San Diego Miramar College.
Modesto College, Shasta College, Moorpark College, Oxnard College, Ventura College, Northern Marianas College, San Jose City College.
Show Cause (the worst sanction)
College of the Redwoods and Cuesta College.
Probation due to fiscal Condition
Palo Verde College. Apparently, the ACCJC is serious about those who fall below the 5% reserve mandate.
With the projected $7.5M-9M budget deficit for academic year 2012-2013, there is a recommendation being floated around that GCC reduce its course offerings by 5.56%. If the decision to make these cuts materializes, we are looking at cutting approximately 95 classes per semester. The decision rests with the Administration. Before any program is cut, they will have to supply data that justifies the program’s cuts. We can’t have an across-the-board methodology as we did the last time this occurred. How these cuts are made, and what method we will use, will be vetted through the governance system starting with Enrollment Management and further vetting at Senate. All program-related items fall under the purview of the Senate and will be taken very seriously.
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