Academic Senate

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Academic Preparation & Education Programs (APEP) Committee

Denise Fleming (East Bay), Chair

APEP had no resolutions under development from its March meeting and there were no matters of sufficient urgency to warrant a request for a first reading waiver, so the committee received reports from (and asked questions of) its Chancellor’s Office liaisons, and identified priorities for its work in 2015-16.
The committee spoke with Ken O’Donnell, Senior Director, Student Engagement, about mathematics preparation, and learned that the Math Council had recommended couching the expected mathematics proficiency requirement in terms of the CSU Entry level Mathematics subject matter standards, rather than “intermediate algebra.” APEP will be following these developments closely because of its connection to requirements that community college students must meet prior to transfer. APEP is also concerned about mathematics preparation in high school, and next year it will be exploring the possibility and implications of a state high school graduation requirement of three years of mathematics. One obstacle is a shortage of qualified mathematics teachers. A possible solution to this might be a tuition forgiveness program for students who teach in public high schools.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Support Eric Forbes and Admissions Director Nathan Evans met with the committee and informed it of an upcoming meeting that the Admission Advisory Council will be holding with the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS). APEP was pleased to hear this news, because better coordination between the UC and CSU in matters of admissions is important for both systems, and there have been several recent instances of the CSU needing to react to changes being made by the UC and BOARS. Other issues that were discussed with these liaisons included the redirection process used by the CSU for students who have completed the SB 1440 Associate Degrees for Transfer, and how the exponential growth in the number of students completing such degrees is leading to large-scale redirections of transfer applicants.
Ed Sullivan, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Academic Research, also met with the committee. He shared some preliminary data based on a study of a single campus that indicated that the gains students made in English during Early Start did not seem to transfer to their other fall courses. APEP encouraged AVC Sullivan to continue investigating how participation in Early Start affects student performance in other courses (not just in English and mathematics). The committee is especially interested in learning about the differences in effectiveness between one-unit and multi-unit courses.
Beverly Young, Assistant Vice Chancellor: Teacher Education and Public School Programs, was unable to meet with the committee, but APEP expects to work with her next year as it monitors how the teacher preparation landscape is changing in terms of the Greatness by Design initiative, and the specific actions being adopted by the CTC following the work this year of six major task forces. APEP will also be keeping its eye next year on various issues related to the alignment between Common Core curriculum and Smarter Balanced assessment.