Academic Senate

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Academic Preparation and Education Programs Committee

Denise Fleming (East Bay), Vice Chair 

The committee heard important reports from and exchanged information with our Chancellor’s Office liaison colleagues Beverly Young and Ken O’Donnell and with Michelle Pilati of the California Community Colleges (CCC). We also discussed Early Start reports from three campuses and the first reading of a resolution, co-sponsored by the Academic Affairs Committee, on the formation of discipline councils.

Dr. Young brought several issues to our attention:

Transition Kindergarten (T-K): Although Senator Darrell Steinberg’s bill to establish transitional kindergarten for four-year-olds did not pass this year, should such legislation move forward at a future date, the implication would be a shortage of qualified T-K teachers. The legislation would allow a rather liberal five-year time frame for T-K teacher to earn their credentials. With that in mind, we discussed possible scenarios within the CSU’s mission and current credentialing infrastructure.

Special licensing for PE via ROTC teachers: This initiative would allow ROTC instructors to pass the Physical Education subject matter exam for purposes of earning a ROTC-only PE credential. Although the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) did not pass the initiative, Governor Brown is favorably inclined toward it, and so we’ll likely see it again on CTC’s agenda.

Common Core Standards: Dr. Young announced a series of one-day regional Common Core meetings hosted by the Chancellor’s Office Center for the Advancement of Reading. Morning sessions will present general information on the Common Core, and the afternoon will feature sharing of best practices.

Teacher Ed Program Revision Proposal Funded: A Bechtel Foundation grant has been made to the CSU for $3 million for the purpose of “reimagining” teacher education.

Also: The Smarter Balanced pilot (practice tests) began on March 24. All third through eighth graders and eleventh graders will take the computer adaptive test.

Ken O’Donnell and Michelle Pilati, Project Director for the “Request for Expression of Interest” (REOI) project, discussed a proposal to the Irvine Foundation to coordinate Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses for GE and admission purposes through “linked learning pathways.”

Finally, the committee discussed Early Start reports from San José State, CSU Northridge, and CSU Fullerton. We found the reports challenging in that the programs were implemented differently at each of the campuses. Among such differences were the home campuses of the enrolled students, unit load taken, and mode of delivery. Further, the program assessment markers and terminology differed among reports. In the committee’s opinion, these differences render suspect any cross-campus or other systemic interpretation of the data.

For more information, contact committee Vice Chair Denise Fleming or visit the committee website.