Speaking of the Senate
By Michael Scott
Academic Senate President
The Senate has been busy this semester. The following motions were the most important of those that were discussed. They covered areas primarily important to our students.
When the PFE program started, the annual funding was over $50,000 annually. It dwindled from there down to $35,000, then $23,000, in 2010 it was further reduced to $3,000 where it is today. The Senate is hoping to receive these student success funds so we can fund such projects as WAC, RAC, EAC, UN Model program and some of the other programs we were able to fund in the past.
It has been the policy at GCC that grades of C- earned at other institutions are considered non-passing. If the course is a pre-requisite for one of our courses, the student must repeat the class at GCC. GCC does not award plus/minus grades and a C-would be recorded as a C. The Senate felt that this was disadvantageous to students transferring to GCC, so the Senate has recommended that a grade of C- be recognized as passing.
The state minimum qualifications for noncredit courses and those of GCC differ. Our requirements are higher for most of the disciplines. GCC requires the same minimum qualifications for both noncredit and credit courses, but it currently does not formerly appear in our minimum qualification handbook. This motion will correct the omission.
The Senate was presented with three options for changing the final exam schedule. Currently, there are conflicts among the blocks scheduled so that some students have two finals at the same time, and a student having to take finals on days the class does not meet. The 6:30AM proposal was the most acceptable choice to the Senators. The Senate will consider one more alternative that was not considered: whether we should just keep the same final exam schedule and adjust it for irregularities.
AR 4240 before amendment allowed students to eliminate up to 24 units of course work over two consecutive semesters from the calculation of their GPA at GCC. This policy was developed to help those students who had legitimate reasons for earning non-passing grades in the past for reasons such as health problems, change of major (for example, if a student was a chemistry major and could not handle the math requirements so she changed to another, less math-oriented major), military deployment, or any other reason deemed appropriate for renewal.
The problem with the old AR 4240 is that it eliminated all coursework in the two semesters. That meant if a student took four three-unit courses in a semester, and earned an A in two and F’s in the other two, all courses were eliminated and the two A courses would have to be repeated. The revised AR 4240 allows students to eliminate 24 units of non-passing grades without having to eliminate any passing grades. Under both scenarios, the courses and their grades will still appear on the students’ transcripts but will not be counted in GPA calculations.
The Instructional plan has now been formally adopted. It was approved by the Senate, Academic Affairs, and Campus Executive. It is a living document that will be reviewed each year and go through program review.
The SLO and PLO forms have now gone through the governance process. Everyone should have received a copy of them from their division chair for use this Fall semester. It is important that we do our SLO/PLO assessments this semester so that we can be in compliance with accreditation. Kudos goes out once again to Yvette Ybarra and David Yamamoto for their work in getting these up and running in a very limited time-frame.
This motion was included, even though it did not pass, to inform the faculty that the Senate has assigned the C&I committee the responsibility of vetting graduation changes before the Senate receives them. C&I is now a subcommittee of the Senate, therefore it makes sense that the changes to graduation requirements be reviewed at C&I first, after which they are submitted to the Senate for approval.
Finally, with the passage of Prop 30, GCC was able to avoid most of the very ugliest of solutions to our budget deficit. But the passage also brought another blessing. The efforts to pass the proposition helped bring us back together as a community. We may not be all the way back, but we have made progress. The walls that went up in prior years, as we battled the economic woes we faced, have started to come down. We are, for the most part, more civil, respectful, and collegial. The constituencies on campus are working better together, and we are getting back to the “me too” attitudes of the past rather than “this is mine” of the past few years.
As we celebrate the holiday season, it is hoped that we will let bygones be bygones and come back in the new year with a resolve to repair our remaining issues and bring back the community spirit we used to enjoy. Happy Holidays to all!
Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/senate